Beyond Pragmatism: Brief Therapy and Christian Counseling

Volume 16
Fall 1988
Beyond Pragmatism: Brief Therapy and Christian Counseling

The increased attention being given to the potential of brief therapy and short-term counseling underscores the importance of the issue of pragmatism in Christian counseling. In their well-known book Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution (1974), Watzlawick, Weakland and Fisch note the similarity between their four-step paradigm for brief therapy and the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. Since original Buddhism is preeminently pragmatic this comparison furnishes the occasion for an examination of a pragmatism in general and brief therapy techniques in particular. This examination leads to the conclusion that in spite of the obvious similarities between brief therapy and original Buddhism, there is the profound difference that the latter does concern itself with the root cause of the human dilemma while brief therapy professes no interest in causal factors. The comparison, then, encourages Christian counselors to look beyond pragmatism and, in doing so, to recognize both the potential and the pitfalls inherent in counseling on the brief therapy model.

Dr. D.J. Hesselgrave
246 - 253
Add to Cart $5.00