Today. I want to tell you maybe the most powerful question that you can ask when you’re practicing Solution Focused Brief Therapy. But before we even get to the question, I’m going to tell you why it’s so important.
There is a mistake that you’re likely making when you apply Solution Focused Brief Therapy. And I say that very, very confidently because almost everybody makes this mistake. And what you do is you actually spend too much of your time and energy in the session, believing your client’s words, trying to interpret your client’s words, trying to understand your client’s words instead of trying to use your client’s words. So a really good example, this happened today on one of our coaching calls for my training organization and somebody was like, you know, I’m using Solution Focused Brief Therapy. And what do I do when the client says, and just to give an example, if the client says something like I’m having a hard time sleeping, I was actually example that happened in the coaching call.
And like I said, like we all, I struggled with this when I was first training it was a very, very common mistake. So client says, I’m struggling with sleeping. We start trying to understand, like, what do they mean by this? And what’s the underlying issue. And instead I want you to ask this really powerful, important question. And that is what would you rather be experiencing. To ask the, what would you rather question flips it. So now the client can say, well, I’d rather be sleeping really well. And once the client says that, now I start being able to say like, suppose somehow, while we’re talking this ability to sleep really well, came back to you. First thing you’d noticed that, you know, you’ve got the ability to sleep well, I’d be calm and I’d be relaxed. And what else would you notice?
And then the client starts to describe the impact of this like sleeping well thing. And through that description leads towards change, where you get tripped up is your client says I’m not sleeping well. And then we start worrying and we start panicking and we start thinking that we have to solve the sleep problem. But the truth is I just have to help my client describe the impact, the outcome manifesting itself in their life would make. That’s what it takes.
That’s really what Solution Focused Brief Therapy is all about. So when a client says something like really problem laden, and they say something like really kind of symptom laced, like I’m not sleeping, I got a bad headache, whatever, I get to ask the, what would you rather be experiencing question? Like, how would you rather things be?, and then, ‘Oh gosh, I’d rather be getting all the sleep I need? And what impact would that have in your life?’ And have a description about the impact of sleep being present in their life.
And that will keep you on track with Solution Focused Brief Therapy. So I promise you, this is an unbelievably important thing that you learn in your practice.It’s an unbelievably important question that you learn how to deploy and the biggest skill, not being distracted by the problem. And instead asking questions like this.