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This paper will highlight how solution-focused brief therapy and premarital counseling work hand and hand with each other to help create a suitable intervention program. One of the most challenging things about been married is having a full harmoniously (McGoldrick et al., 2016). Marriage is defined in different words so as the definition in the dictionary, on the acceptance of society. The dictionary defines the word marriage as a diverse form “as a union and that establish in various of the relationship”(2010).
We all have a different opinion, viewpoint about marriage, and this sometimes can be based on culture, ethnicity, and religion, etc. Many times, people may disagree with what is a marriage because of their own beliefs and even experiences in life. On the other hand, sometimes it can be a lack of knowledge, having an open mind, or even skill. Premarital counseling helped provide couples with professional experience, which allow the couple to build excellent communication (Carroll & Doughtery, 2003). A couple needs to seek premarital counseling before getting engage or married because it can allow them to make a good foundation without having any significant issues.
According to Senediak (1990), one of the early interventions is premarital counseling. It is as well as a great tool to utilizes for the emotional well-being of the couples (Senediak, 1990). Premarital counseling is not the only source of intervention to create a good foundation for couples. A solution-focused approach is another foundation that helps create a goal, focus that strengthening a couple of relationship before marriage. Also builds a high line of communication within the couple relationship as well as individuals. Some couples are that our typical traditional married couple that is defined in the dictionary. So, in this case, strength-based premarital intervention such as primatial counseling is a great tool to utilizes with our non-traditional couples.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFB) is a therapeutic conception that focuses on finding the solution in the present moment by discovering a new goal for the future. SFBT utilizes the solution-oriented approaches to help find a suitable targeted. SFBT aim is to help the client to take a positive method of thinking (Friedman, 1993). With this type of approach, the therapist uses the tools to help find different ways to improve the couples find the strength within themselves while avoiding any blaming. In the SFBT, the therapist allows the client to have an input on decision making because they believe the clients are the expert of their own lives. Therapist use this has a guide to work over their weakness to help the relationship grow. Premarital counseling and SFBT is a great tool that works very well together that allows couples to see their strengths within each other.
Using SFBT and Premarital Counseling Together
The objective as an SFBT therapist utilizing premarital counseling is to identify a connecting image amount the couple and is making a change towards that image. The premarital therapeutic approach aim is to engage with the client with a beginner’s mindset to have a better understanding, at the same time believing that the clients are cable of deciding (Gehart,2014). SFBT approach believes it is essential as a therapist to listen to your client during each therapeutic session. It allows you as a therapist to have a high line of communication which help the client to build a thrust with you. During the sessions, if the couple’s line of dialogue gets off track, the therapist can intervene by helping the clients to use words to help get back on track. With this approach, it can create a type of language that channels a high line of communication between couples. Overall, the couple can use the information that they have gain during each session.
Couple’s Resource Map (CRM)
Christine Murray established the Couple’s Resource Map (CRM) to support premarital therapy through the eyes of solution-focus (Murray & Murray,2004). When Murray created the CRM, the intention was to help support couples who are thinking about being married. The CRM can help couples identify their strengths that help enhance their relationship. The CRM will help work in different areas of the couples lives such as, “individual resources, relationship resources, and contextual resources” (Murray & Murray, 2004).
The CRM plays two roles within the therapeutic session, and they are intervention and assessment. These two tools within the CRM approach helps couples to understand things about each other and see each other in a different point of view. The use of CRM assessment tool allows the SFBT premarital counselor to clearly understand the client’s strengths and weakness as well who their support groups are (Murray & Murray, 2004). The personal and individual domain within the CRM has six areas, such as “values, coping skills, self-esteem, self-awareness, personal dreams, and self-soothing strategies.” Sphere’s pointed out that the are several parts such as, couple history, knowledge about each other, and how to deal with negativity.
There are several engulfs ideas in the CRM that is appropriate sphere such as, her/his career, friends, economic context, social network, and cultural resources. SFBT premarital counselor needs to understand that is very important when utilizing the CRM tools with couples. It is essential to have the same approach engaging with the client because the CRM believes that everyone can see things differently. With the utilization of using the CRM in a high stage of support, the therapist can help identify a solution that can help work with the couple’s needs. When the client at their lowest levels. The therapist can utilize a different tool to help the client during their lowest by supporting them to find a way to bring them to the degree that they need to be.
Solution-Oriented Thought Process
During premarital counseling, SFBT must use questions that can help enhance the couple relationship and help them to work on a solution that can help their relationship. Base on this engagement from the therapist, and the response from the couples. The therapist would have a much better idea of what tools to use to create a CRM which would help set goals for the couple’s marriage. Miracle questioning is a solution tool therapist to help couples to identify their problems in their relationship (Gehart,2014). The therapist also not only can use the miracle question but also, they can use the scaling problem. The therapist uses scaling question to asks the couple, “How is their process now relation to their goals for the future.”
During the goal setting, it allows the therapist to have a bright outlook on the couple’s behaviors to continue with the scale. Another way scaling questions can help with the therapeutic process. By showing the therapist to see if the couples can work with the set goals, and that is not too much for them to handle (Gehart,2014). Another SFBT type of questioning can utilize exception questions. This can help arises solutions to arrive during the session that can help the therapist to know what solution in the past works and what are some issues that can be avoided. However, exception questions only help the therapist to identify the solution but also, to reach the goals.
Feedback to the Clients
During the therapeutic session with the client and therapists, therapists need to utilize feedback which help the clients to see their process. The feedback from the therapist would open a line of honest communication between the therapist and the client. Utilizing the feedback should always identify both clients’ feelings; it can help validate both parties taught and feelings throughout the process. When you use feedback as a therapist, it is essential to know to always have a new insight into their method towards the goals (Murray & Murray, 2014).
The Tenets of SFBT
According to the article by Shazer et al., the is much information about the understanding of beliefs of SFBT and it works together.
1. Little things can make a significant change
2. The solution doesn’t need to focus on the problem.
3. “The language for solution development is different from that needed to describe a problem (as described above).”
4. “No problem happens all the time; there are always exceptions that can be utilized (as described above).”
5. “The future is both created and negotiable.”
Shazer et al. (2007, p. 1-3).
According to Gehart, (2014), the first and second therapy session, the therapists would lead the conversation about things they want to change amount their relationship or their partner. This approach will help identify various ways that help recognizes the process of what is working or not for the couples.
Presumption Questions and Future Solutions
In the SFBT approach, the therapist in premarital counseling, the beliefs are that therapy is very beneficial for clients in any circumstance. In the process, SFBT therapists can ask many questions to understand the changes within the relationship. When the therapist follows these steps, it can help the clients see that there are hoped to get resolution within their relationship (Gehart,2014)
Coping Questions and Compliments
Compliments and Coping Question within the SFBT with the viewpoint of premarital counseling allow the therapist to have a more genuine appreciation. It supports clients when there are feeling overwhelmed or hopeless. This type of questions helps clients to reflect on their relationship as well as individual (Gehart,2014).
Using compliments within the SFBT is not only helpful for helping a client with their emotion but it also useful in therapy. During the process of utilizing these tools, the therapist needs to make sure the client to be in a positive space. As well to have the client to create that positive future instead of dwelling on the negative. The SFBT focus on the positive solution, which will help the couple with their future goals to help improve their relationship (Gehart,2014).
Limitations of SFBT
Unlike another therapeutic approach which aims to address the underlining issues of the presenting problem, however, the SFBT only focus on the current relationship problem rather than the underlying problem. The SFBT therapist is not able to give treat clients who are seeking more profound underlining treatment (mental health issues). SFBT approach, which is a quick solution focus on many causes or misses a crucial underlining problem that the client needs to be address or resolved. SFBT is generally an excellent treatment approach for different stressors many clients experience in their everyday lives. However, inappropriate the client strength to help them focus on the future rather than the problem. The therapist usage of SFBT in premarital counseling is to help reflect on all part of the relationship.
SFBT in premarital counseling work with the couple to help find a solution-oriented approach that focuses on assisting the couple throughout their marriage by utilizing the information gathered to foster a new perspective for their future. By focusing more on the solution, this allows the couple to focus more on their future rather than their presenting problem (Clark-Stager,1999). The use of short-term SFBT therapeutic intervention, it can create support which can utilized within the many populations that have a positive effect on diversity and premarital therapy. With diversity involved while using the premarital therapy approach within the therapeutic sessions.
It allows the client as well the therapist to have more positive and conformable feelings, which can make it more comfortable to help address the situation. When a couple is feeling any distressed, premarital counseling can be utilized during these times of need. SFBT goal is to bring to balance amount the couple by using each other strengths. This gives the couple hope for the future as well a sense of security of knowing that they have these tools to help them to work through any issues if it arises in the future.
- Carroll, J. S., & Doherty, W. J. (2003). Evaluating the effectiveness of premarital prevention programs: A meta-analytic review of outcome research. Family Relations, 52, 105-118.
- Clark-Stager, W. (1999). Using solution-focused therapy within an integrative behavioral couple therapy framework: An integrative model. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 10, 27-47.
- Friedman, S., & Lipchik, E. (1999). A time-effective, solution-focused approach to couple therapy. In Donovan, J. M. (Ed.), Short-term couple therapy (pp.325-359). New York: Guilford Press.
- Gehart, D. R. (2014). Mastering competencies in family therapy: A practical approach to theory and clinical case documentation (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub.
- McGoldrick, M., Carter, E. A., & Garcia-Preto, N. (2016). The expanded family life cycle: individual, family, and social perspectives (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
- Marriage. (2010). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/marriage
- Murray, C. E., & Murray, T. J. (2004). Solution-Focused Premarital Counseling: Helping Couples Build a Vision for Their Marriage. Journal Of Marital And Family Therapy, 30(3), 349-358. doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2004.tb01245.x
- Senediak, C. (1990). The value of premarital education. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 11, 26-31.
- Shazer, S. D., Dolan, Y. M., & Korman, H. (2007). More than miracles: The state of the art of solution-focused brief therapy. New York: Haworth Press.
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