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Lynn Hanninen February 15th, 2005 01:09 PM

hi, could someone tell me, what, if any, relationship there is between Adlerian Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy? Thanks! Lynn

Henry Stein February 16th, 2005 10:41 AM

Re: adlerian-sft?
SFBT and Classical Adlerian psychotherapy have different objectives and levels of depth, especially regarding the unconscious, fictional final goal. The first "blows away smoke" whereas the second "puts out the fire." There is modest similarity to Adlerian Brief Therapy. It would appear that the "miracle question" in SFBT was derived directly from Adler. Check

At a counseling level, try: LaFountain, Rebecca M. A., " School with solutions : Implementing a solution-focused/Adlerian-based comprehensive school counseling program." Alexandria, VA : American School Counselor Association, c1998. 161 p. Also look at:

John Simon March 10th, 2005 05:19 PM

Re: adlerian-sft?
I am confused by the "blows around smoke versus puts out the fire" comment. A number of good research studies have shown that theoretical orientation contributes only about 15% to therapeutic efficacy. Given this research, I would think it would be difficult to prove that an Adlerian background would be much more effective that a Solution Focused background. It seems that somehow we might lose sight of the client when we hold fast to theoretical abstractions. Can you show me where I have gone wrong?

Henry Stein March 10th, 2005 05:54 PM

Re: adlerian-sft?
The smoke and fire metaphors describe the difference between reducing or elminating the symptoms, vs. correcting the causes (faulty lifestyle and fictional final goal) of the symptoms.

I'm not sure if any of these "good research studies" included Classical Adlerian psychotherapy and factored in the varying skills of the psychotherapists. If you consider psychotherapy as more of an art than a science, there is no meaningful statistical way to prove the superiority of any approach. However, one could compare the case analyses and treatment demonstrations of highly skilled therapists from various approaches, utilizing the guidelines of qualitative analysis.

Adler's theoretical constructs offer outstanding tools for capturing the uniqueness of the individual client and engaging in creative, depth psychotherapy. Take a look at the stages of psychotherapy in "Classical Adlerian Theory and Practice" at

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