Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Thorana S. Nelson


Family therapy, similar to other mental health services, has focused on ways to make therapy brief or short term . One model of family therapy, the brief/solutions therapeutic orientation, claims that certain techniques can reduce the number of sessions. This therapeutic model focuses on the solutions clients bring with them to therapy. By focusing on clients' solutions and not their problems, the brief/solutions orientation claims that clients reach their goals more quickly, finish therapy more quickly, and are more satisfied with the services they receive . However, there is little empirical evidence to support these claims. This research specifically looked at the brief/solutions concept of pretreatment changes (changes clients make before the first therapy session) and the impact that noticing pretreatment changes as a therapeutic intervention had on therapeutic outcome variables of relationship functioning, goal attainment, problem solving, and communication. No evidence was found that noticing pretreatment changes influences therapeutic outcome. Evidence was found that pretreatment changes do not disappear when noticed. Ideas for future research are included.