I’ve learned some of my most important lessons about the Solution Focused Approach from life, not from trainings. One of these lessons came from my High School coach and I carry it with my to this day. That’s what this video is about.
I often talk about the lessons I learned throughout my life that helped me as a solution focused practitioner. In fact, I would say a lot of the things I learned, the most important solution focused lessons I learned didn’t come from the solution focused brief therapy world at all. Didn’t come to any lectures. I attended trainings, I attended, mentorship I received the. All those things are important. Those life lessons actually we’re much more important. So one example is how I’ve learned the importance of bullying and how police can actually increase your ability, which that’s an interesting thing, right? Someone believing in you can increase your ability. Let me tell you how I learned it when I was in high school. Um, that was very young for my grade and that was really cool, really fun and all that stuff. But the implications on my life and particularly was as an athlete, it meant most of the kids on my grade level were one year older than me on the calendar.
So that meant when I started playing high school sports on the Varsity level, I was 16 years old, but a lot of my competition, a lot of my peers were 18, so I was really, really nervous and I will never forget I was playing from Franklin school, were playing against Oliver Ames high school at all of our aims high schools. There is a road game. It was a first game where I was going to get to get in and play and it was a really, really important at bat when I got into the game late in the game, it’s a tie game and there’s a runner on second base. So those of you who know baseball now there’s a runner on second base, which means I have to get a hit in order for that run into common score and we would go into the lead and hopefully win the game.
So I go up to the plate and my coach noticed that I was very, very nervous. And um, he called timeout and he called me over to him and he said, Connie, Connie, Connie, Connie, uh, or how are you doing? You okay? And I said, yes, coach. He said, no, you’re not. You look really nervous. And he said to me, do you know why I’m not nervous about you being in this situation right now? And I said, no. And he said, because Elliot all season long, I’ve been analyzing the way that you swing the bat and I am very confident that you have the perfect swing to get a hit off of this picture. And I said, really? He said, yes, you have the perfect swing to get a hit off of this picture. All I want you to do is pick out the type of pitch that you like, put your perfect swing for this picture onto the ball and we will live with whatever happens.
And I remember being just filled with happiness and confidence just because this guy believed in me and I went back to the plate and I took my batting stance. He threw me a pitch eventually and I got a hit. I hit the ball into left center field, those, you know, baseball, but he didn’t left center field. And uh, I got a double and the guy on second scored and we won the game and then after the game we’re all jumping up and down and celebrate it because it was important game. I ran up to my coach, I ran up to coach p and I said, coach, how did you know that I had a swing that could do that? And my coach said, Elliott, I didn’t know. I just need you to calm down and believe in yourself. And I sat and I thought about that for a long time, long, long time.
But I thought, how did his belief in me increase the likelihood that I would be successful? And the truth is because it helped me focus on confidence. It will be focused on skill, don’t be focused on an outcome. And all of us are that way. And one of the things that I think makes solution focused brief therapy work is when your client comes into your office and they’ve been struggling with depression or an addiction or a making bad choices or trauma, whatever it is, a lot of times what’s even more debilitating than the trauma or the difficulty is their lack of confidence that they can overcome it and be successful. And your questions have to convey belief. Your questions have to sound as though you believe your client can affect change because if you can believe in them than their ability goes up and they are much more likely to have successful, to have success with whatever intervention or whatever thing they do after the session. So always remember the lesson I learned playing baseball, that if you can believe in people, they’re much more likely to believe in themselves. And then they’ll get a hit and whatever it is they’re doing in their life.