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The task-centered approach is part of the broad family of problem solving approaches which are further a branch of psychology. To be precise, the task centered approach borrows heavily from behavioral and cognitive psychotherapies. According to Sternberg (1995) the mean that “the task-center therapy makes use of the theories on how people see, learn, memorize, and reflect on information.” utterly, this approach is overly structured, time-limited and dilemma focused. In particular, the approach is very popular in today’s social service intervention (Healy, 2005). Healy further argues that comparable and short term interventions can bring about long-lasting solutions. For instance, in as short as 6 weeks a critical problem can be dealt with permanently. In practice therapists have attribute various strengths and weakens to it applicability.
The strengths of task-centered therapy
Task centered therapy has made a great contribution to the practice of social work it term of handling various clients problems. It is short term therapy process that yield results within a very short period of time. This may range from 8 to 12 sessions. Indeed, the authors of this therapeutic approach were interested in developing a type of therapy that that would yield the best results in the shortest time possible (Marsh, & Doel, 2006; p14). With this in mind they gave a consideration to aspics of therapy that had been proved to be effective in brining about the desired effects with a short period of time.
It is an empirical approach to practices in that it was founded on findings or research concerning practice as a result it was constructed with concepts that are researchable. The approach has been tested and found to be very effective and contains inbuilt mechanisms to evaluate progress and outcome.
The therapy involves active participation of the clients thus giving them the ability to have some control over the process. For instance the clients and the therapist converse before the process patient gets to select the behavior he wants handled (Telson, Reid, and Garvin, 2003; p 6). With great emphasis on behavior, the therapist then help the patient come with tasks which are performed in order to improve on the behavior. Some of these tasks can be conducted during therapy session while some can be conducted any time even when it is not therapy time. It realizes change though use of tasks to realize change in behavior. The tasks are normally designed to tackle identifies problems and can be created from a range of practice approaches and problem solving activities with the client. Certainly this kind of participation the improves or enhances the outcome of the process
Task-centered therapy tend o be very effective since it is very problem specify aiming directly and what require a therapeutic attention. As a result it addresses specific task that are suppose to be addressed for the realization of the desired products that the therapy is being conducted for (Telson, Reid, and Garvin, 2003; p7). The simplification of the issues that requires therapy into task certainly make it easy to handle every issues conclusively thus enhancing the realization.
This kind of therapy has not limit when it come to the types of practitioners who use it and the number of clients that could benefit from it. For instance, client such as case manager, developmentally disabled, social workers, families and Marital and couples could all benefit from the kind of therapy(Marsh, & Doel, 2006; p15).
This therapy is conducted within the client’s environment. This way the client needn’t worry about inability to continue with his or her regular duties. Once the solution to the behavior being handled has been transformed in to achievable task to e conducted overtime, the task can performed during therapy session and out side therapy sessions without interfering with other client’s responsibilities.
As there are two sided to a coin task-centered therapy dopes not have benefits a lone but also possesses various disadvantages. This approach due to focusing on specific issues the method can encourage ignorance of issued that may be critical and yet are perceived and not being critical and not requiring attention. The may negatively affect the entire outcome.
This approach is also time limited (Telson, Reid, and Garvin, 2003; p 9). A great change in a client’s life is expected to be achieved within the shortest time possible. Achieving a lot in short time can be frustrating since some tasks may require more time to achieve may be squeezed within a limited time thus this
Since the therapy focuses on specific tasks, the goals of the process must be precise. Get such precise goals is normally complex since the goals have to be specific and void being loose and at the same time lay emphasis an task center activity depended on the problems being handled. Therefore, the service provider must be keen to use the clients own word and objectives to express goals and objectives.
A failure to explore the problems properly can lead to development of wrong objectives and goals. In exploring problem it is necessary that the practitioners go beyond the immediate issues presented by the worries of an individual (Marsh, & Doel, 2006: p17). This exploration can sometimes be limited by what is “right” and what can be accessed by a therapist. For instance, while dealing with children it may be difficult for a therapist to access welfare rights.
Task development is difficult since it require as striking of a balance between the decorative need of allowing full client participation and the need to employ service expertise to the services user. Several questions need to be answered; is it fully understood what obstacles are in the path, and whether any rehearsal is relevant? It is very difficult to replicate the process since every situation unique (Marsh, & Doel, 2006; p17).
It is further problematic when it come to predication of the outcome a task-whether it will be successful or not in realizing the desired objective. It is necessary that evaluation be conducted to determine any changes in goals and objectives so as to make necessary changes on the tasks and this is very tedious
Certainly, the existence of limitation does not at all undermine the ability of this therapy approach to realize the best outcomes possible. Although it is not a magic bullet it applicability remains unquestionable. It can always be combined with a different therapy or be substituted with another therapy when its effectiveness is in doubt.