Hello and welcome to episode three of Don’t Forget with Anna Francis. I’m Anna Francis, the CEO of the SFU, and a registered counselor in New Zealand.

This video series is all about sharing my thoughts, ideas and reminders about things we so often and easily forget when we are using the Solution Focused Approach. In each segment, I focus on one key thing that I hope helps you on your learning journey and keep your SFBT skills sharp.

For this month’s episode, I’m gonna be talking with you about what we need to remember to leave at the door when you’re in session to prevent you from getting stuck. It’s really easy to get stuck in session and we often attribute this to external factors, like specifics of the client’s problems, and issues that they bring to this session, or the difficulty that our clients have answering our questions.

But what it ‘usually’, or I’d even go as far as to say ‘always’, boils down to, is a lack of confidence in ourself and truly knowing and trusting our role in the session.

This is about remembering our role as Solution Focused Therapists, and how we have Solution Focused conversations, and learning which parts of us need to come into the session, and which parts of us we need to leave out.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and what I learned for me was the “Why I keep getting in my own way.” And how that leads to me getting stuck. For me, I’m a very maternal and nurturing person by nature, so my numbness gets triggered and I wanna rescue and protect my clients, letting my parent role take charge. I wanna ask different questions or abandon the approach when they keep saying, “I don’t know.” I wanna offer advice, and ideas of things that I’ve learned that could be useful. I wanna save them from the awkward silence when they don’t know the answers to my questions. I wanna give them language when I can see that they’re struggling to find the words. I wanna give words of encouragement and compliments to try and convince them of something they don’t believe about themself.

But notice every sentence starts with I, that’s all about me, and my need to appease my comfort level, and appease my maternal and nurturing nature. None of these things promote autonomy. None of these things promote belief in my client. And none of these promote the growth and the change that they came for, not in the way that we know Solution Focused Brief Therapy works.

Being aware of these things about myself has helped keep that part of me out of the room, and now there’s space to truly listen to what they’re sharing, and not miss all of those treasures that I’m there to collect and to turn into hope-filled questions.

We also need to identify the parts of our ego that need to stay out. Looking at what we are thinking about when we get stuck in a session is a good way to work out what that is.

I know when I look back, at times, I got really stuck. I identified for me that was fair and a lack of confidence, and that took up a lot of room. I wanted so badly to be a great counselor and be good at my job. I really wanted my clients to like me. I wanted to see the results of our work together. I wanted to see that I was being useful and I wanted to ask the right questions.

Again, all of these things start with I, there is too much of me in the room, getting in the way of just being there and being able to listen, and to be free to ask the next question. It really is worth taking some time and looking inwards, in what’s going on for us when we get stuck, and once we know we can refocus and be mindful of what matters and what doesn’t, we can then challenge our thinking, and test leaving that out, and see what happens.

How would a session go if I genuinely didn’t worry about whether I ask the right questions? How would a session go if all I think about is how amazing my clients are, and let myself be inspired by them, and their ability to show up, and be vulnerable enough to answer my questions?

How would a session go if I just work on the assumption that the Solution Focus process really works, and my never knowing the outcome is okay? I really challenge you to take a look inwards, and see what you learn about yourself. Do you have other rules that get in the way? Are you also a parent? Are you trained in a different profession, that creeps in without you even knowing? A teacher role, perhaps? Are you a fixer? A people pleaser? Give that some thought and see how that may be showing up in the session. And if it’s getting in your way, we need to become aware of what characteristics we have that may be getting into the session and we need to learn to leave them at the door.

What difference would it make to your work if you could identify and challenge those niggly doubts that creep in? What difference would it make if you could be more clear in identifying your role in a solution conversation and staying in your lane?

I would love to hear your feedback about this. Is this something you’ve already worked through? And if so, what did you discover? I would love to hear that too.

Thank you so much for joining me for this Solution Focused snippet, and I really hope that this reminder helps you as you continue to grow and develop your skills and confidence.

If you enjoyed this video, please like and share with your colleagues and leave a comment. I really genuinely love to interact with you, so don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel and click on the bell, so that you get notifications for our other amazing videos all about Solution Focused Brief Therapy with your clients.

So until next time, keep being you.