The Initial Phase
In any brief intervention the initial sessions are critical to the final outcome: the therapist not only has the task of engaging the patient so that he stays the course, but she also needs to do so relatively rapidly given the brevity of the therapy. In large part engagement is facilitated through formulating a focus for the work that is both meaningful enough to the patient to engage him, and that can also be realistically addressed within the time limit. The first four sessions in DIT are therefore devoted to identifying a focus for intervention that engages the patient to work actively on an area of his interpersonal functioning (the IPAF) in order to alleviate his more acute symptoms. This chapter reviews the aims and strategies of the initial phase (sessions 1–4).
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