Oklahoma Partnership Initiative

Can Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Help Families Affected by Substance Abuse?

Our Partnership

DU's Johnny Kim joined forces with researchers at the University of Kansas to meet the needs of families affected by both substance abuse treatment and the child welfare system. The goal of this study was to partner with the Oklahoma Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health services to help build on their collaborative infrastructure to increase well-being and permanency outcomes for affected children and families.

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About the Project

The study used a randomized controlled trial design to test the effectiveness of solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) on families involved in the child welfare system. SFBT is a collaborative approach to therapy that uses precisely constructed questions to help patients achieve defined goals.

Half of the counselors at a community-based substance abuse and mental health agency were selected to receive SFBT training. The other counselors at each agency served as the control group and continued working with their clients providing treatment as usual, which consisted of cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing.

This collaborative study was possible due to funding from the US Dept. of Health & Human Services and Regional Partnership Grant.

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Johnny Kim

Johnny Kim is an associate professor at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work. His research focuses on evaluating the implementation and practice of different social work interventions, with a focus on solution-focused brief therapy.