At this point in my career, I’ve done countless trainings, traveled around the world, all throughout the United States, since COVID online. And sometimes I’m surprised when something that I’ve never experienced before happens. And that’s what happened this last week. I was doing a training for an organization called PESI, and something happened in this training that I’ve never experienced before, and highlighted something that I think needs to be said about doing Solution Focused work, or even doing any work as a psychotherapist.

So here’s what happened. A lot of times in my trainings, I’ll show video examples of me working with clients (with client permission, of course). And I think that’s the best way to learn because you get to see how the approach happens, kind of word for word, utterance for utterance. Like it’s not just the therapist recounting what’s happened. You get to see how the conversation gets actually built word for word.

In this particular training, it was about using Solution Focused Brief Therapy. And this particular video was about me working with a couple, it’s a really well known video session, probably the most scrutinized video session in our entire field. Literally thousands of people have seen it.

And we are doing a description.If you’re not familiar, in Solution Focused Brief Therapy, there’s really a couple of very important points of a conversation. The first is the very beginning where you talk about the outcome the client wants to achieve. And then next is the description where the client describes the presence of that outcome. So that’s what happened here.

The client talked about the outcome they wanted, this couple talked about the outcome they wanted, and they started doing a description of the presence of that outcome. And in that description, they reconnected. There was an intimate conversation, held very respectfully, wasn’t lewd or pornographic or anything, they just talked about… they would kiss and they would have sex. And then we went on to the, they would spoon, and they went on to the next thing. And somebody in the audience put in the chat that this conversation has become cringey.

And I was like, what? She said, yeah, the conversation has become cringey. And it was so upsetting to me because what the person was actually saying was that they were uncomfortable with conversation of a sexual nature. And it reminded me of something like, if you’re gonna do Solution Focused Brief Therapy, well, you have to remember, it’s not about you. It’s about the client’s healing and the client journey. If you are uncomfortable with the things that would happen in the healing process, then you should not be seeing clients. You need to do your own work on why you are uncomfortable. And particularly when you’re working with couples.

Look, if I’m in a romantic relationship and my partner and I are not in a great place, and we’re starting to think about things like separation and divorce, and then you have a conversation about like what would happen if your life transformed and your relationship healed, you have to anticipate that there would be a physical nature to that. Now, that doesn’t mean it should be a pornographic conversation, but you have to anticipate there would be a physical reconnecting. And it doesn’t matter if it’s couples therapy.

If people come to individual therapy and they talk about how much they miss their partner and they would hold hands, kiss, cuddle, and more, that’s part of what happens when people heal. Those things get resolved. Those things get fixed. And if you are not comfortable to sit in the presence of a person healing and describing that healing,

having at least some bit of a physical component to it, you should not have access to clients. You are letting your own comfort and your own issues get in the way of somebody else’s healing. When this happened in my training, like I very passionately said exactly what I’m saying here, and then she was saying to me like, I was just stating my opinion.

And you know, she, she doesn’t think I should have responded the way I responded. And even when, as far as saying like, I’m sure you block people on social media just for sharing their opinion. And it’s like, no, you’ve gotta sit in this moment and recognize that you need to grow as a clinician. Recognize you need healing, recognize you need access,

you need to get better, you need to improve you, you need to remember that the therapy session is not about you or your comfort. It’s about your client and their healing. So look, when you’re using psychotherapy or solution focused grief therapy or doing psychotherapy in any way, there are gonna be pieces of the session that make you uncomfortable, that make you the person uncomfortable,

but you’re not there as you the person, you’re there as the clinician. And you have a responsibility to be able to go on the healing journey with your clients. And that is a sacred responsibility if you allow your own uncomfort to get in the way that you don’t deserve the right to sit with people in their healing.