Jay Haley: The Problem Solving Therapist

Jay Haley, a noted expert in the field of therapy, developed the method of problem solving therapy.

Jay Haley on Therapy Problem Solving Puzzle Image

What is problem-solving therapy?

Problem-solving therapy shifts the focus of therapy from the client to the framework of the family unit. This approach differs from other therapies by emphasizing the social context, or social situation, of human problems.

Haley believes people do not develop problems on their own, but as a response to their social environment. In problem solving therapy, the therapist approaches each problem with techniques specific to the situation. This therapy defines a problem as a particular behavior that is a part of a sequence of acts among several persons.

The goals of this therapy are to solve problems, achieve goals, and change the patient’s behavior.

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The symptoms of someone’s problems must be studied in addition to the social unit. The emphasis is not on the individual; therapy should focus on altering the social situation to produce change. All the people in the social unit are responsible for the problems of one of its members.