Watzlawick (in Neal, 1997) tells that the adoption of treatment, based on the focused problem-solution brief-therapy, was in a way, a respond of dissatisfaction from the traditional treatment model: “Well, I’ll tell you first about what I do not do. I am a Jungian analyst. So you can believe me that I heard about the sub – conscious, the need to find the reasons in the past and allow a person to connect them to the insight. The magic word, “insight”. In my personal life, my professional life, or other aspects, I never went through the expected events of insight. So I see my task, as a therapist, to help people cope with their problem in another way by suggesting them how to behave when the problematic situation that causes the pain reappears. I bring people to behave with the problematic situation, as if they have to do something they had not been taken into account in the past. If I success in doing it, this can be the solution. They can suddenly realize, “Oh, of course, this is a different way that I can handle it. Until now I thought I could do just that, and now I find I can do it differently”. One of the main ways in which Watzlawick and his colleagues have dealt with problematic situations was through the use of paradoxes
Watzlawick ( in Neil, 1997) describes himself as a radical constructivist he sees the world as a place where all truths are relative. Therefore, the task of the therapist in such circumstances derives from the collapse of a personal reality format: “Look, if my reality format collapsed, which can happen as a result a particular event, so I feel threatened. Nothing matters. Life has no meaning”. “So I see my task as a therapist to help that person to create a different reality, even if it is slightly different, of second order, that is tolerable.”
A clinical example: A story told by Weakland can illustrate what was said previously (Soroka, 1993): A drunk couple had a session with Haley. After the meeting, the couple argued over who would drive back home. Neither wanted to drive the car back from the clinic to their home. Haley thought he has an event he could not overcome. He suggested that the husband would drive from the meeting halfway, then – his wife will replace him and drive the other half way to the house. This way no one should drive from the clinic to home. Surprisingly, the couple “bought” the idea. This is an example of giving new meaning to a given reality.