1st Edition

Core Competencies in the Solution-Focused and Strategic Therapies Becoming a Highly Competent Solution-Focused and Strategic Therapist

By Ellen K. Quick Copyright 2012
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the Solution-Focused and Strategic Therapy field this is a landmark book, the first to address all of the core and clinical competencies involved in running a practice, including learning and applying a conceptual map, developing and maintaining an effective therapeutic alliance, and intervention planning. With the patience of an experienced teacher and knowledge of a master therapist, Dr. Ellen Quick shows how to move from minimal competency to higher levels of proficiency. She addresses therapists from all of the behavioral health care disciplines and teaches them to tailor treatment to their clients’ unique strengths and proficiencies, discover and amplify what works, and change what doesn’t. Dr. Quick presents the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudinal components of each competency, with an emphasis on demonstrating their applications in actual clinical practice. Readers will appreciate that, by the end of the book, they will not only be able to demonstrate competence, which is a critical component of an evidence-based practice, but will also be excited to build proficiency in areas of special interest and expertise. The lessons learned in this book will allow readers to continue to advance their competency skills long after they have put it down.

    Chapter 1: Introducing the Clinical Competencies of the Solution-Focused and Strategic Therapies—Provides key definitions of competency-related terms and describes the three components of a competency. It also briefly describes the six core competencies and the related twenty essential clinical competencies.
    Chapter 2: Understanding the Conceptual Basis of the Solution-Focused and Strategic Therapies—Reviews the background, theory, and methods of solution-focused therapy, brief strategic therapy, and an integrated solution-focused/strategic approach.
    Chapter 3: Forming an Effective Therapeutic Alliance—addresses how to create a relationship where the client feels safe, understood, and hopeful. Clinical examples illustrate the process.
    Chapter 4: Maintaining an Effective Therapeutic Alliance—Covers how solution-focused and strategic therapists attempt to nurture therapeutic relationships that work for clients throughout treatment. Case examples illustrate ways of addressing ruptures in the alliance both by “going back to the basics” and by “doing something different.”
    Chapter 5: Performing an Integrative Solution-Focused/Strategic Assessment—Covers assessment at multiple levels, including multi-axial DSM diagnosis, cultural variables, readiness for change, and safety issues.
    Chapter 6: Developing a Case Conceptualization and Intervention Plan in the Solution-Focused and Strategic Therapies—Addresses how to collaboratively build an intervention designed to amplify what works and to change what does not; how to present treatment options; and how to elicit what clients are “taking with them” from a session.
    Chapter 7: Implementing Solution-Focused and Strategic Methods and Interventions—describes and illustrates the basic solution-focused and strategic procedures, along with how and when to incorporate didactic information, other methods, and other modalities (including groups, classes, medication consultation, and family and couples work) into the process.
    Chapter 8: Monitoring and Evaluating Clinical Outcomes—Describes multiple ways therapists routinely evaluate process and outcome.
    Chapter 9: Maintaining Treatment Gains and Planning for Termination—Discusses maintenance of gains in single-session, brief, and intermittent treatment. It also focuses specifically on how decisions about frequency of sessions and when to discontinue therapy are made collaboratively.
    Chapter 10: Practicing the Solution-Focused and Strategic Therapies with Cultural and Ethical Sensitivity—This chapter focuses around two case examples that illustrate two clients from similar backgrounds who have different goals and treatment plans. Through the progression of these case studies, readers learn how cultural factors are considered in solution-focused and strategic work.
    Chapter 11: Becoming a Highly Effective and Competent Solution-Focused/Strategic Therapist—Describes optimal competency-based training that fosters highly effective and competent therapy, beyond the minimum competency level. It also presents some solution-focused strategies that may be used in training programs, clinical supervision, and/or self-reflection, inviting therapists to embrace challenges, increase flexibility, and transform impasses into interactions that make a positive difference for clients.


    Ellen K. Quick, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in brief psychotherapy. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College (1970) and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh (1974). Since 1981, she has practiced at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Dr. Quick trained with Milton Erickson, at the Mental Research Institute, and at the Brief Family Therapy Center. She has written and taught about the integration of solution-focused and strategic therapy, with an emphasis on “doing what works” on multiple levels: in the client’s life, in the therapist’s work, and as a philosophy shared with the client.

    “Dr. Quick has accomplished a seemingly impossible task!  She has produced a book so thoughtfully conceived, and so clear and detailed about the best practice of solution-focused and strategic therapies, that it is an invaluable resource for both the novice and the seasoned practitioner.” – Eve Lipchik, Private Practice, ICF Consultants, Inc., Milwaukee, WI; Author, Beyond Techniques in Solution-Focused Therapy

    “Ellen Quick has taken on an extremely important task in the evolution and maturation of solution-focused brief therapy. […] This book offers an outstanding blend of solid scholarship and accessibility, which will be of great interest to students, practicing therapists, and clinical researchers alike.”Terry S. Trepper, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Purdue University Calumet; Editor, Journal of Family Psychotherapy; Co-Editor, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice