The Surprise Task: A Solution-Focused Formula Task for Families
Department of Family Therapy
Journal of Family Psychotherapy
This paper presents an augmentation of two solution-focused formula tasks. The Surprise Task is a specification of the “formula first session task” and the “do something different” task. The first task was designed to get people to view exceptions to their complaints while the second task directs people to take action about their complaint. The Surprise Task combines these two foci and gets one member of the household, the identified client, who is a youngster, to do something different, a surprise, while the adult member(s) of the household attempt to notice change. This noticing can then be used as exceptions and built upon to help the family construct a different view of their current situation. A case example will be utilized to demonstrate how this new task can provide impetus for change in a family.
Reiter, M. D. (2004). The Surprise Task: A Solution-Focused Formula Task for Families. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 15 (3), 37-45. https://doi.org/10.1300/J085v15n03_03