Quick Fix Solutions

 

There is a relatively new kind of therapy in psychology called Solution-Focused Brief Therapy [SFBT].  It was initiated in the late 1970s.  Gerald Corey rightly lists it among Postmodern approaches in psychological counselling. 

Postmodern is a term that can cover all that remains mysterious in our times.  Contemporary life is always too complex to understand.  It will be easy to understand 2012 when we look back at it from 2022 or so.  It appears that the reality from the last two decades of the 20th century onward remains mysterious to analysts in general.  Postmodernism is a label that I came across in many fields such as Arts, Literature, and now Psychology. 

SFBT came into existence more or less at the same time as Quickfix appeared in little tubes.  The advertisement of Quickfix in the late 1970s was something like this: joins anything except broken hearts.  Will Quickfix or any other adhesive think of such a slogan today?  We have become too postmodern (post-postmodern?) to think of joining broken hearts.  There are easier solutions.  Divorce and remarriage.  Again divorce and remarriage.  Any number of times.  After all, even before marriages we went through so many metaphorical divorces and remarriages!  [ I mean the kind of marriages I have witnessed in the jungles near the Old Fort and elsewhere in Delhi.]

SFBT is a quickfix solution that psychology offers.  Almost like a painkiller.  And I like it.  I would go for it just as I would go for a painkiller when I have a headache instead of seeking out an Ayurvedic physician.  [Is there any genuine Ayurvedic physician today?  Ayurveda is now promising quickfix solutions like “fairness in 6 weeks” or “black hair in 2 months” and so on.]

I am an individual who went through quite many counselling sessions right from the 80s.  All my counsellors were Catholic priests who seemed to think I had serious mental problems.  A few of them were qualified psychologists too.  They made me more and more sick with their counselling and experiments.  When I finally escaped from their clutches and came to Delhi, all my madness vanished, gradually naturally.  [That I am no more mad is my claim.  Probably the people who put up with me at my workplace may not agree, particularly those who have religious inclinations.]

SFBT is a kind of mental painkiller.  Don’t bother to look back at what your father did, mother did, teachers did, society did…  Just look ahead and see how you can cope with your problem(s).  You have the ability to behave effectively, though this effectiveness may be temporarily blocked by your negative perceptions.  Look at the way you did things right.  Look at how it worked well the last time.  See how somebody at least said to you that you did it right, and did it well.  And you too saw that it was right indeed.  Your right.  Focus on that.  What strategy worked then?  Why not work on that strategy for a while more?  Or adapt the strategy to the current situation? 

Everyone has the potential to do the right thing and be successful.  That’s the essence of SFBT.  I like that.  I didn’t know about it when I came to Delhi.  But I think I was practising that.  Thank God, I left God and came to Delhi where all gods appear fake.

 

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About matheikal

My more regular blog can be accessed at www.matheikal.blogspot.com
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4 Responses to Quick Fix Solutions

  1. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    Matheikal,

    Can you recommend the post-modernayurvedist who can immediately change the remainig black hair on my head to white? I want to look more distingusihed!

    RE

    • matheikal says:

      Raghuram, I see the ad on the Malayalam TV channel. Dhatri Hair Care which promises to cure not only grey hair but also baldness. Renowned Malayalam movie actresses are the brand ambassadors. By the way, Ayurveda is a big business in Kerala. They sell quite a lot of stuff like liver tonics, body rejuvenators, and god-knows-what. Welcome to Kerala’s Ayurvedic business.

  2. dnambiar11 says:

    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy sounds very interesting. I mean really. It makes so much sense. I wish more people knew about this. I’m wondering if patients can actually tell their doctors that they’d prefer this to the traditional never-ending therapies. I might know instances of people drowning in all of that. ‘Just looking ahead and seeing how one can cope with problems,’ as you put it, just sounds more positive. Yay to SFBT.

    • matheikal says:

      Thanks, you understood that my blog is an odd mixture of seriousness and levity. I was afraid no one would get that.

      Yes, SFBT is quite useful in dealing with problems which are not very acute ( which don’t require a clinical psychiatrist’s help). Quite a lot of problems of day-to-day life can be solved using SFBT without spending much time analysing the past, etc. It is effective too, unless one’s past is a big burden!

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