I want to talk to you today about the Solution Focused approach’s ability to work with any client coming from any perspective, with any problem. I got a comment on Facebook the other day, and it was a type of comment that kind of gets my blood boiling a bit, where someone said that no approach is one size fits all. And when I hear comments like that, I always have two responses.
My first response is why not? Like if I have a headache, Tylenol is the thing to take, right? If I have a headache, then you do this thing, right? When I played athletics, when I had a sore muscle, I put ice on it. There is no, not every sore muscle could benefit from ice. The idea that a therapy approach can’t affect every client positively is ridiculous. If we think about the masters of Psychotherapy, like the Milton Erickson’s, the Jay Haley’s, the Steve de Shazer’s and the Insoo Kim Berg, the Virginia Satir’s. We don’t ask them to be eclectic.
We assume that they can have a positive impact on their clients, regardless of the problem the client brought to therapy. So why on earth do we have this weird idea that no approach is a one size fits all approach. Of course these approaches are one size fits all because it’s actually not the approach that has an impact on the problem. It’s the connection between the professional and the client.
That connection has a positive impact on clients. Regardless of the problem we brought to therapy. There is so much research about this, both inside the field of psychotherapy and outside the appeal of psychotherapy, that it’s insane that we’re still having to have this conversation. Anyone out there listening to this, listening to my voice and watching this video who thinks it’s the therapy approach that makes a difference in your client’s life.
You’re just flat wrong and ignoring mountains of research that are very, very clear in saying it’s the connection between the therapist and the client that makes the difference. The reason why therapy approaches matter is because that’s the vehicle we use to facilitate that connection. So you have to have a therapy approach that is congruent to the therapist, or you can’t facilitate a true, genuine connection. But once a true, genuine connection is formed, then change is likely to happen. So what makes the Virginia Satir’s and the Steve de Shazer’s and the Jay Haley’s and the Milton Erickson’s so successful, is because they know the approach so well, it emanates from them and it allows them connect with their client and thus things get better. Right?
So that’s the key. I just don’t understand why we still have people out there saying stuff like, no approach is one size fits all. It’s ridiculous. It’s absolute wrong thinking because you’re putting too much weight on the approach and you’re undermining, you’re minimizing the impact of connection. The other reason why I get so up in arms about this is because the Solution Focused Approach is not a one size fits all approach because what we do is so based on language and the client’s desired outcome. I could make the argument that this approach is different for each and every client because each and every client has different language and a different way to describe the outcome they’re hoping to achieve. Thus, the therapist must ask different questions and apply those questions in different ways. So you can’t buy into the idea that no approach is one size fits all because that’s actually not true.
And you also have to understand that Solution Focused Brief Therapy is not a static approach. It varies based upon the clients we see because the clients we see, their language varies and thus, so to do the things they are hoping to achieve. So I hope this video kills this idea that we’re going to start criticizing things, because we’re saying it’s a one size fits all. That is not true. This is about connection. This is about language and this is about change. And there is a mountain of research that says that type of thinking is just not right.
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