One of my favorite things to do is to take walks. And I’m here in LA, I’m in Beverly Hills and I was taking a walk and I was just kind of thinking about like the beginning of my career or earlier stages of my career when like I just would dream about, I just want to be a Psychotherapist and make a difference in people’s lives.
That was my biggest dream. I want to get a license and I want to do the kind of work that makes a difference and has an impact on people’s lives in a positive way. I never could have imagined the life I currently live, where I’ve traveled around the world giving lectures, I’ve written books, I’ve done keynotes everywhere, and now I’m in LA working on a major massive TV project, hanging out with celebrities every night and taking a walk at Beverly Hills.
Now I’m telling you that not to like show off. I’m telling you that because I have a point. I think Solution Focused Brief Therapy should best be understood as unlocking your client’s dreams. When we start working with our clients, instead of asking them about their problems and the origin of the problem and things that have gone wrong in their lives and all the symptoms and all of those things, we need to ask people, what are your best hopes from our talking.
That question was originally developed in London, England, a place called BRIEF with Chris Iveson, Harvey Ratner and Evan George. But when you break that process down, we’re not really, what we’re asking is like what are your dreams? What is the thing that like you’re almost afraid to admit that you want to achieve in your life?
And the reason that’s so important is because oftentimes we’re held back by our realities. We’re held back because we can only see so far. Just like me, like I could not have imagined this life literally if you had twisted my arm and like I just couldn’t have seen it. And I think we have to like understand that when we’re asking clients, What are your best hopes from our talking. Like we’re giving them permission to dream.
And even if they can’t describe the future that they can’t yet see, the fact that we’ve unlocked the dream means they’re now on the path. If you had asked me back in 2008, 2007, 2006, like the beginning of my career, like What are your best hopes, I would’ve told you as far as I could see, which is I want to have a private practice where I was drawing a living or making a living and making a difference in people’s lives. That’s all I would’ve told you. But the fact that I’ve now triggered to start dreaming puts me on the path. And before you know it, I’m writing books and before you know it, I’m speaking at conferences. Before you know it, I’m keynoting at conferences.
Then before you know it, someone in LA says, we wanna make a TV show based upon your work and your life. I mean it’s surreal. As I walk around here thinking about it, it’s just like surreal. But that’s what, that’s what happened. When you unlock dreams, it’s, think of it like, like if there’s a boulder rolling down a hill and it hits a barrier, if you remove the barrier, the boulder just keeps rolling. And by having solution focused conversations, we unlock the barrier of the person being held back based upon their reality. And then they get to live life rolling down that hill.
And whatever happens along that way happens. Just like with me, I couldn’t have seen it then, but it was just part of the process of rolling down the hill. So understand like that’s what we’re doing in Solution Focused Brief Therapy, like we’re unlocking the client’s ability to dream and forward think and think about their tomorrow and think about their biggest wishes, hopes, and ideas. And I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.
I am living in a future that I once couldn’t have seen and I just, I want everybody to experience that feeling because it’s magic. And have conversations with people that allow them to live in a future that they once couldn’t have seen too.