A lesson my mother taught me when I was 8 years old has had a huge impact on how I always find hope while practicing SFBT. Today, I am telling you that story.
When I was a young kid, my mother taught me the single most important lesson I could ever learn about the sun and biology. I will never forget it. And it now impacts the way that I think about the Solution Focused Approach and the work that we do. Now when I was a kid, I used to love to go outside and play. I played sports and I played with other kids in the neighborhood and I just loved being outside and doing what kids do. And one day I remember I was young man,
I was probably about eight (8) years old and I went to go outside and play and I saw that the sun was not out and I said to my Mom, “Can I still go outside and play because the sun is gone.” And my mother sat me down and she explained to me that the sun is never gone. It is always there.
It’s just sometimes it is hidden behind dark clouds. And I remember just being fascinated by this, that even though you couldn’t see it,
the sun is always there. So I ran outside and I looked up and I just see, if like, Mom’s telling the truth, and even though there’s clouds,
the sun is always there, I should still be able to find where it is. So little eight (8) year old
Elliott is outside looking up, trying to see if he could find the sun. And sure enough amongst the dark clouds,
there’s a patch of light where the darkness is a little bit lighter and the sun is, that’s where the sun is, behind that little patch of clouds.
And I remember just being fascinated by the idea that no matter what happens, the sun is always there,
just sometimes hidden behind dark clouds. The sun is the single most important thing that happens on earth around us.
I’m standing at my house and you can hear birds chirping and you can see insects flying around.
Plants are turning green as we’re here in the spring without the sun none of this happens. The sun is so important because
it permeates through every walk of life, every area of life. And without the sun, none of this could exist.
None of these things could do what they’re doing. I want you to think about hope in the same exact way that we think about the sun.
When the client comes into your office, they brought hope with them. It just might be hard to find because it might be hidden behind dark clouds.
It might be hidden behind problems. It might be hidden behind fear. It might be hidden behind stress and anxiety,
but it is all ways there. If you remove hope, then the client cannot do the thing that they’re doing.
They cannot get in the morning and they cannot walk into your office. Hope is present because if the client is in the act of being,
then hope is there and it is my job to do with eight (8) year old Elliott did, to go outside and look up into the dark sky and see if you can find evidence of the sun.
It is your job to look into the client’s life in the midst of the darkness and find evidence of the light.
Find evidence of hope because it is always there. The moment we forget this, that hope is not always present,
then we stop looking for it. And we stopped attending to it and we accidentally remove the very essence of what it is to be a human.
If your client walked into your office as a human then they walked into your office with hope and it is your job to ask them questions that bring about the presence of more hope.
So often people ask me like, “Elliott, what do you do with clients who have no hope?” And
I’m always baffled by that question because I always think back to Elliott at eight (8) years old thinking, I once thought there was no sun on dark days.
But that is obviously not true and I want to convince you that even on dark days, there is hope.
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