It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I started posting my weekly blog videos, but here we are at the 150th such video. In this video I address what is perhaps the holy grail of Solution Focused work; how to know if true questions are working.
if I’ve gotten it once, I’ve gotten it 10 million times, people email me literally daily with a question that starts with how do you use solution focused?Brief therapy went with.dot, dot, and I understand like I’m not criticizing those people. I’m not, I’m not making fun or poke holes. I actually understand it. It’s like an essence. How do we know that solution focused? Brief therapy is working with a multitude of these problems in a multitude of the things that come into our practices. So I want to, I want to address that really, really directly like solution focused. Brief therapy is working when the client is answering questions in a, in kind of a boat, a weird way when we’re doing the sessions, it’s really not even our business to do anything about wondering whether or not the client, whether the session is working, cause that’s actually the client’s domain.
That’s the client’s job. It is my job to ask questions that involve the detailed desired outcome. Being present in the client’s description and asking as many questions I can that manifest that into reality. And then whatever happens next is my client’s responsibility. This is true whether you’re working with couples, whether you’re working with someone who has survived as significant trauma, whether you’re working with someone who’s dealing with postpartum depression, whether they’re working with someone who is a child, whether you’re working with a group, are they working with a family? Like good job is to help the client articulate and identify their desired outcome and then ask them as many questions as possible about the inclusion of the desired outcome in their detailed normal life. Like, so let me give you an example of what I mean. I’ve got a referral a few weeks ago from a mom of a young girl, little eight year old girl or girl or so.
And the mother was convinced that this daughter would not talk to me. The mother said that she’s been to therapists before. She does not talk or respond to the therapist questions. And um, she heard good things about me. So I just wanted to see if you would bring them. So good question. Questions like, so how do you work with a young girl who doesn’t talk or how do you do family therapy? Do you do this with just the parents? I invited them all to come and mom sat there, a little girl sat between mom and dad. Dad Sat there and I did what I did. I asked, what are your best hopes from our talking? And it was my job to ask that young girl, even though it was very clear to me, she did not want to participate in this session. It was very clear to me that she didn’t, she was not excited for just making the session, but that’s my job.
So I asked what the rest of my talking and she just stared there and mom tried to answer for her and I said, mom, no, no, thank you. I need to ask your daughter. So I asked again, so what are you best? So from we’re talking and the little girl didn’t say anything. And then dad tried to answer program and I said, Dad, no thank you. You got to let me do my best and talk to your daughter. So asked again, what are you best known for talking? And the daughter just stared there and I said, I understand you’ve seen therapists before. Did you find any of them helpful? We’ll go shook her head. And I said, so if I can be helpful to you in any way possible with the outcome you’d like to see in your life, and she kind of murmured to not be in trouble anymore.
Well instead of being in trouble, what would you rather consider yourself in? And like, if in trouble doesn’t work for you, what would you rather be in? And she kind of mumbled, I’d like to be happy and my parents to be happy with me and now we have an outcome we can start going on with the session. So just understand that every time in your head you start thinking how to solution focused brief therapy. Work with.dot, dot. My job stops with my ability to ask desired outcome questions and then to ask the client to describe a life when that desired outcome is present. Everything after that is my client’s job. This comes up a lot with couples. When people kind of think like the therapist’s job is to keep the couple together, but that’s not true. When people come to my office and they’re in a relationship, I’m not trying to save the relationship.
I’m trying to ask them desired outcome questions so where they can do a description of the presence of desire and outcome and the client sought out whether or not this is the relationship they want to be in or not. Now I’ve had couples come back to my office literally in tears thanking me for saving their marriage x number of years in the past, but I’ve also had a couple, I’m thinking of one in particularly that came to my office years later with their teenage son to thank me for not forcing the be together. It turns out divorcing and finding happy relationships was the best thing they ever did. So understand it’s so important that we understand our role is to ask about the desired outcome and then somehow engage the client into description of that desired outcome and stop wondering so much about how to solution focus group therapy works because that’s not really our business, that’s our client’s business.
So I hope that this addresses this question. I hope that that kind of makes sense. Leave a comment below. Let me know what you think about this. Cause this is kind of a big deal. Like this is like in my opinion, this is almost like the holy grail of solution focused therapy. So leave a comment below, let me know what you think. Hit that light button, hit that bell is you’re on my youtube channel. Head on over to elliottconnie.com for all the free videos and trainings and things I got going on and I’ll see you in the next video. And never, ever forget that you are always just one question away for making a difference in your client’s life. Later.