Solution-Focused Brief Therapy With People With Mild Intellectual Disabilities: A Case Series

John M. Roeden*, Marian A. Maaskant, Fredrike P. Bannink, Leopold M. G. Curfs

*Corresponding author for this work

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Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a form of behavior therapy that focuses on evoking desired behavior rather than on the existing problem behavior. To illustrate the use of this form of therapy, the authors undertook a study of 10 case studies of applications of SFBT with people with a mild intellectual disability (MID). For all 10 cases, before SFBT, after SFBT, and during a follow-up after 6 weeks, the following measurements were taken: assessment of quality of life and assessment of maladaptive behavior as well as goal attainment according to people with MID and according to carers. It was found that SFBT treatments contributed to improvements in psychological functioning and decreases in maladaptive behavior. In addition, achievement of goal attainments were noted according to both people with MID and their carers. The positive changes evident after SFBT proved sustainable during follow-up. Treatment strategies and therapeutic alliances employed were usually assessed as positive by the participants. Although the study had limitations due to the lack of a control group and the small number of cases, the fact that several case studies showed positive treatments results did indicate the effectiveness of SFBT for people with MID.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-255
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • behavior therapy
  • challenging behavior
  • intellectual disabilities
  • solution-focused brief therapy

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