For many years, the Solution Focused Approach has had a reputation for being focused on the future. I remember being in graduate school and learning about Solution Focused Brief Therapy. And one of the things that people said was an advantage or strength of this approach is that it’s focused on the future. And at the time I was actually really interested in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
I was working at a job where they were making me do Cognitive. Behavioral Therapy. And I thought that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is what I was supposed to be practicing. And when I made the switch and started focusing my energy and my learning on Solution Focused Brief Therapy, the number one criticism that my colleagues and peers would give me was they’d say, I don’t like that approach because it ignores the past.
And I never really understood that because to me, even though I was hearing people describe Solution Focused Brief Therapy is a future focused approach. And even though I was aware that people were thinking this, To me, it was always a very holistic, very global approach, meaning it focused on the client’s future, the client’s present and the client’s past.
Now, here we are. It’s a couple of days before Christmas and I’m going to walk around this town center and I’m going to interview people. I’m going to see if I can get people to talk to me and see if they will allow me to ask them a question that I think will trigger them to have a positive response about their past. Now, one of the reasons why this is very important is, so I’m super lucky.
One of my very best friends in the world, a guy named Dr. Adam Froerer. He happens to be one of the leading researchers in this field. And Adam is aware of research that says one of the benefits of psychotherapy is it just makes you feel good. Not necessarily solves a problem, but like one of the things you want to come from therapy is it just makes you feel good.
So I’m going to ask people one question and see if it makes them feel good, but that question’s going to be about their past and let’s check it out. Please. Let me interview you. No. Alright we’ll keep on going. But what I want to ask you is what is your favorite Christmas memory? Mine’s probably when we went to New York City for Christmas two years ago.
Really? Yeah. Is this your brother. As a family you went to New York City? Yeah, we flew out on Christmas and got to see all the pretty Christmas lightss and skate at Rockefeller, that was pretty awesome. Now I said, I’m going to ask one question. But a follow up question is what made that your favourite? You saw the lights, skate at Rockefeller You’ve seen lights and trees before. What made that so special?
Cause there’s nothing like Christmas in New York. And we went with our family and our friends and I love New York, so does he. Awesome, alright. What’s yours? Mine would probably be watching the Christmas Story marathon every Christmas. Watching the Christmas Story marathon every Christmas? Yes. How old are you? I’m 20. 22. That is like an answer that you should, you’re like a millennial, like you’re even after millennial and you have such an old soul answer. And what’s your name? Jake. Jake. Ellie. Thank you, Jake and Ellie. I really appreciate it.
What is your very, very most favorite Christmas memory? My favorite Christmas memory. I don’t know. Let me think about it for a second. Oh, I know we didn’t make cookies in my house. When we were about four to six, we made Christmas dog treats. You made Christmas dog treats. Okay. I said, I’m going to ask you one question. I now want to ask a follow-up question. Of all of the things that have ever happened in Christmas, what makes that one the standout one that says like, that’s my favorite memory? I think it was just me, my brother and my mom and dad just baking in the kitchen together for our dogs. Like we didn’t even get to eat it, but I don’t know. It was just the laughter and the baking.
Okay. Katelyn and Kira, what is your most favorite Christmas memory? Oh, that’s so hard. Probably going to feed the homeless. Like maybe last year, we went to go feed the homeless and like almost the entire day. And then later we got home and we were making food for other people and just trying to make sure everyone was well taken care of for the holidays before we like sat and reflect about ourselves. But being nice to others before ourselves.
Was that the first time you ever did that? No, we do it almost every year. I just, I like giving to others before receiving stuff from my family and friends. I like giving back to the community. Okay. So a follow up question. When you do things for other people, how do you know it’s good for you? Like what do you notice about yourself that tells you, I did that good thing for someone else, and now I’m experiencing this? It just makes me happy knowing that I’m giving to others and being able to help other people. I don’t know. It just makes me so happy just giving to others. Katelyn, you’re awesome.
Kira your turn. I don’t really know how to follow up her answer. Okay. So I’m a really big believer in God. And that’s just who I am. That’s always who I’ve been. And like, when I was like younger, I don’t really remember, before like pandemic stuff, I actually went on a mission to go build homes for people during Christmas. And I do that a lot, but yeah, I guess that was the best memory of Christmas. How come? What, what made that the best memory? Oh, I just love the kids. I love like spreading faith, like to them. And I love just like talking to them and hearing their stories and just like being with them because I feel like they have such cool stories that nobody really has the time or care for to listen to. And I just, I love that. Kira, how old are you? 15 and Kaitlin 15.
Okay. You too. I’m not joking. We’ve been walking around here asking people this question and I see, I didn’t know you’d be 15, but I knew you guys would be younger. I knew you guys were younger. Like your generation has a bad rap, like you’re selfish, and like you could have said my favorite Christmas was I got this awesome gift. And both of, you said unbelievably charitable things about what your favorite memory was. So thank you for sharing that with me.
What is your most favorite Christmas memory? Probably last year I went down to a cabin with my family and it was really, it was just really nice getting to spend time with them. We took the dogs and it was just really nice getting to spend time with family. Okay. So I have a followup question, last year was probably like the year of family time because we were stuck in the house and didn’t leave.
So what made that particular trip stand out after like spending a year stuck in the house with them? I feel like it was just the, honestly the Christmas spirit, like it was just nice getting to be somewhere pretty with it. I went up to Arkansas. It was nice getting to be somewhere pretty with my family. Like a lot had gone down that year. And it was nice to just know that the year’s over and I was spending it with like people I love. Indigo, you’re awesome. Thank you. You too. Bye. Bye.
What is your most favorite Christmas memory? Most favorite Christmas memory. Probably when I was overseas in Europe with my grandparents and I was sliding down this hill that was iced over. And once I got to the bottom of the hill, I sat there for some reason. And another guy came behind me and hit me and I had to go to the hospital. That was my most fondest Christmas memory. How could, okay! Why would going to the hospital make it onto your top list? It was a really fun drive to the hospital? Because we were in Russia and Russian drivers are kind of scary.
You know, I’ve been to Moscow a couple of times. Oh really! Yeah. Where were you in Russia? Moscow, actually. Yeah I’ve been to Moscow. You know how I can tell you’ve been to Moscow because you pronounce it Moscow. Most Americans who’ve never been there call it Moscow, Yeah I hate that pronounciation. But my grandparents are from Moscow and I visit them every summer when there’s not COVID. But yeah, that’s where I was. Stephen. Thank you so much. You’re the only person to answer this question with like an injury, but you answered it, nonetheless. Yeah, it was great talking to you. Yeah. Thanks man. Have a good day. You too.
Okay. So Kylie, what is your favorite Christmas memory? My favorite Christmas memory is whenever I was really young, I woke up and I saw all these presents under the tree and pictures of Santa Claus, scattered everywhere. That’s very cool. When you say real young to me, cause I’m old, you look real young now. How old were you when that happened? I had to be around 6, 4, 5 or around there. Cool. And I was going to, is this, is this Mom, the person who. This is grandma. Mom’s mom or? Mom’s mom. Oh, awesome.
So can I ask you the same question? What is your favorite Christmas memory? I would say when I was in elementary school, because I loved cats all my life and I had this huge blue stuffed cat that had like purple ruby eyes or diamond shaped eyes. And I still remember that. Loved it, loved that stuffed cat. Is that what you got for Christmas? That year? It was about Four feet high, Four feet! How old were you at the time? I was in elementary School. I was probably fourth grade. That’s so cool. That is so cool. Thank you. And thank you for having a cool granddaughter like Kylie. I know, she is so much fun, you have no idea. Every year just about I’ll ask her if she wants to go on vacation and she told my daughter once to tell Grams not to ask me if I want to go on vacation. Just tell her to tell me when we’re leaving.
Ebony, what is your favorite Christmas memory? My favorite Christmas memory. Oh, I know, my favourite Christmas memories probably last year, Christmas, whenever I got this pair of air Jordan ones and they were purple and I was so happy and also it was cause I got like a job, so I was able to actually get my parents gifts for Christmas. So it was nice. What gifts did you give your parents? Do you remember? I got my Mom a hundred dollars. I’d given her a hundred dollars visa gift card and I got my dad the same thing. That’s very cool.
All right. And your, your Peyton. Peyton that’s right. My best friend’s daughter’s Peyton. I should remember that. Okay. Peyton, same question. What is your favorite Christmas memory? Probably watching my dad open all the gifts I got him last year. And how did, being so young, how did you get him like, all the gifts?
Well, I work two jobs and so I just been saving up all year and so I spent a lot of money and got him a bunch of gifts. What’s what’s your favorite gift you got your dad. Oh, actually, you know what, I’m going to change the question. What, what response did you get from him that made you happy?
He was just like super, super excited and like thanked me so much for all of them. And it was like very impressed that I got them all that. That’s really cool. Now I’m going to be honest with you. We had been walking around the town square here for a little while now. And you know, your, your generation doesn’t have the greatest reputation. Cause you guys are like doing Tik TOK challenges.
You’re punching teachers. You’re ripping stalls out of the bathroom. Not you two specifically, but your generation. So people are going to be surprised that when I ask you what your favorite memory was like, you should say something super selfish, but both of you were like, I worked and saved up money and like did something for somebody else. Why do you think that matters doing something for other people?
It matters because like I know, both of us since like, our parents do so much for us, especially where we live, it’s not cheap. So our parents do a lot, a lot for us. And I feel like sometimes kids are so like selfish and don’t care, but like, they’re like, oh, it’s fine if they spend a hundred bucks on me who cares.
But like, for me, it’s like when I spend money on my mom and I can get her stuff, it makes me happy cause she was like so surprised. She was like, oh wow. I was not expecting that. But it’s like, it’s just fun to see them excited that they’re getting something back after they’ve spent thousands of dollars on us every year. I love that.
I, just love how much you guys are going to change the stereotype of teenagers. Do you have anything to add to that? No, basically just like the same thing. Pretty much. I wish, I hope I have kids that like do awesome things for me and like save up all their money from their two jobs. My mom is like my BFF and I know her dad is her BFF, like we’re super close with like our parents. So it’s like fun. It’s not a burden getting them stuff. It’s like fun for us.
It’s honestly like more fun, like giving gifts than receiving them. Like for me, at least. So being just 18. When did you learn that? Probably when I was like 16, when I started making money and was able to like get my friends gifts and just like, like seeing how they reacted. Like I just felt like that was more like interesting and more like, I liked it better than like getting gifts for myself. This is so dope. Look at these people. Alright, thank you guys so much. I really appreciate it.
That was amazing. And as you watch that video, did you notice how many people smiled as they talk about their favorite Christmas memory? How many people got in touch with something that was surprising to them? Did you notice how many of those memories were about family and togetherness? Did you notice the shocking information that come from young people where you would think that they’re so selfish and all about me? And you know, the things that we hear about young, people’s like they’re selfish and all about me and they just want what they want and immediate gratification.
But every single young person we asked, talked about them doing something nice for someone else. You know, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, there’s, there’s a lot of these myths around. And one of the things that I hope my videos do is myth bust. And I hope that this video just demonstrated that you can ask people about their past and evoke positive memories.
And if you were doing a Solution Focused session, like think of those young people that were saying, I mean, I just, two of those young people said that they saved up their money to buy their parents’ Christmas gifts. I could ask them what skills did you draw upon to do that? Where did you learn to save up money?
What does it say about you that you were able to do that? What was the first sign that you had that let you know you were capable of doing this. When you gave the gift to your parent was the first thing you noticed that lets you know, that you had successfully made them happy. Like you can ask all of those questions. So please don’t ignore the client’s past.
That’s where the richness is. That’s where the evidence of their greatness is. That’s where so much fruitful content is. And if you accept the idea that Solution Focused Brief Therapy is only about the past. I mean, it’s only about the future. If you accept the idea that Solution Focused Brief Therapy is only about the future, then you miss a huge opportunity to talk to clients about what makes them so great because the evidence of their greatness showed up in their past.
So your questions need to be about their past, just as much as it is about their future. So I loved it. It’s so great to talk to people and to get the Christmas spirit. It’s so great to ask people these questions and hear their answers even fills me up and gives me a bit of energy. So I just want to say thank you guys for supporting my channel.
Thank you so much for following me on social media and supporting my work. It means more to me than it could ever, that I could ever let you know. So please take a moment and enjoy this Christmas season. And I hope that you do something this season, you do something this year, that one day someone’s going to ask you, what’s your favorite Christmas memory and you’re going to tell them about Christmas 2021.
And please don’t forget. Follow me on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and subscribe to my YouTube channel. If you’re listening to this anywhere other than my website, head on over to www.elliottconnie.com and check out all the free videos and free lectures and all the stuff I have there. And thank you so much.
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