In all models of therapy, the initial interview is a significant component: It sets the tone, structure, direction, and foundation of treatment. In brief therapy, the opening moves are even more important because there is less time later to correct errors or change direction. This volume provides practitioners with an up-close view of exactly what expert brief therapists do at the beginning of treatment and why they do it. Each author describes his or her particular orientation, presents annotated transcripts of actual initial sessions, and responds to pointed questions from the editors about their cases.

Following an introduction by the editors, the first section of the book covers initial sessions in therapies for individuals. These include the rational-emotive approach, a one-session intervention, an interpersonal psychodynamic model, neurolinguistic programming, and the I-D-E (interpersonal-developmental-existential) approach. Beginning cognitive-behavioral therapy with depressed or drug abusing adolescents is covered, and a directive approach strongly influenced by the work of Milton Erickson is presented.

The next section addresses methods and strategies for working with couples and families. Chapters on marital therapy cover an integrative approach that combines an intra- and interpersonal focus in marital therapy, a cognitive-behavioral approach that is based on principles of social learning and social exchange theory, emotionally focused therapy, and an approach that utilizes reflective conversation. A solution-oriented model, "the possibility paradigm," for helping families amplify their strengths is delineated, as is a strategic MRI-style model for working with an individual family member, and a structural approach for creating familial change.

An ideal companion to Budman's THEORY AND PRACTICE OF BRIEF THERAPY, this illuminating and unique casebook is essential reading for all clinicians who need to learn more about time-effective models. Offering a comparative view of a variety of models, it is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate students.