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By Jane E. Peller, John L. Walter

Publish 12 months note: First released in 1992

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Postmodern approaches A number of key figures are associated with the development of these various approaches to therapy. Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg are the co-founders of solution-focused brief therapy. Michael White and David Epston are the major figures associated with narrative therapy. Social constructionism, solution-focused brief therapy, and narrative therapy all assume that there is no single truth; rather, it is believed that reality is socially constructed through human interaction.

15 INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW In high school I started using drugs. I was thrown into a youth rehabilitation facility for stealing. Later I was expelled from regular school for fighting, and I landed in a continuation high school, where I went to school in the mornings and had afternoons for on-the-job training. I got into auto mechanics, was fairly successful, and even managed to keep myself employed for 3 years as a mechanic. • I want to make a difference. • I am afraid of failure. • I know that when I feel alone, scared, and overwhelmed, I drink heavily to feel better.

Who could be all those things? Certainly I do not fit this bill! Do not think of these personal characteristics from an all-or-nothing perspective; rather, consider them on a continuum. A given trait may be highly characteristic of you, at one extreme, or it may be very uncharacteristic of you, at the other extreme. I have presented this picture of the therapeutic person with the hope that you will examine it and develop your own concept of what personality traits you think are essential to strive for to promote your own personal growth.

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