One of the keys to understanding, mastering and implementing Solution Focused Brief Therapy successfully is understanding that this Approach is not about positivity. This approach is not about being Pollyannaish or seeing the world through Rose colored glasses. This Approach isn’t even about clients’ strengths. All of those things are things that lots of people in this field believe, but are simply not true.
This approach really at its core is about resources. And recently I was teaching a course. So I’m teaching a course online right now that is all about using this approach with all of your clients and being able to master it and get down in there and do really well with this way of working. And during one of the meetings we had in this course recently,
somebody was asking me about like, so how do you do something that we in Solution Focused Brief Therapy call resource talk? How do you do it well, and it hit me. I think that I’ve kind of taken for granted that people would know how to do resource talk. In essence, people would know how to have conversations with clients about their resources in a way that evoked them and allowed them to use their resources
to change their life, which is really the whole point. If your client can walk out of the Therapybelieving in themselves as more resourceful and being more aware of their resources than they are their problems, then you have gone a long way towards changing their lives forever. So it made me think, gosh, I think maybe I’ve taken it for granted.
So we should probably talk a little bit about how to talk to clients about their resources in a way that allowed their resources to play a significant role in change going forward in their lives. So here’s what I want you to think about, and here’s exactly how to do resource talk. First of all, you have to understand that every single one of your clients has accomplished something in their life.
And I’ll give you an example. I remember one time I saw this client who told me they wanted to be an Astronaut. This client was in the fifth grade. Young man told me he wanted to be an astronaut and he wasn’t a terribly good student. And the mom would always lectured him. Like, if you want to be an Astronaut, you have to be a really good student. And you’re not a good students so you’re going to work hard. You’re going to study more. And this kid really was struggling in school. And I asked this kiddo to tell me how he successfully got through kindergarten, grade one, grade two, grade three and grade four. So you have successfully guided yourself through five grades. Now you may not be the best student in the world, but you have successfully gotten through five of these grades. Can you tell me what skills you used to do that? And this young man told me that he focused when he needed to.
He told me that one time he was sitting in a class and there was someone sitting next to him that talked to him a lot. And he realized that that person who was talking to him a lot, distracted him. And even though he wanted to sit next to that person, who was talking to him, he needed to have to seat move. So he asked the teacher to move his seat. And he made all of these distinctions and described all of the resources he had that helped himself go from grade K through grade four. And after doing a description of all the resources he has within him, his Mom comes back to, therapy a couple of weeks later saying, I have no idea what you said to my fifth grade son, but his grades have dramatically improved. And he is now living a completely different life, doing his homework, studying, paying more attention. Focused. I don’t have to fight with him about homework anymore. And he is living a completely different live.
And the Mom was like, how’d you do that? And I just know, because when you talk to someone about their resources and you talk to them about how they have previously used their resources, it changes their life. Like think about that, that kid walked into that session, believing that he’s not a good student, but he walked out thinking to himself as someone who successfully has gotten through five grades already. And it changed the way he saw himself, which changed the way he viewed himself. That’s the key.
Like when you change the way someone views themselves, you change the way they conduct themselves. That’s the key. You know, when you talk to your clients, you have to ask them about their accomplishments in their life. And sometimes they are major accomplishments, like someone has graduated from medical school and become a doctor. And sometimes they’re seemingly smaller accomplishments. Like this person has gotten themselves into the fifth grade, but you have to treat everything as it’s an accomplishment. Once you do, you realize that every accomplishment takes resources to make them manifest and resource talk is simply asking, what did you draw upon to help that thing become a reality.
Resource talk is simply saying to your client, how did you do that? But not certainly the actions they took, but the resources they tapped into to make that happen. And you can do an entire session that is nothing but, what do you have within you that allows you to accomplish the things that you accomplish? So there you go. That is a lesson in how to do resource talk.Talk to people in your life about their resources. Talk to your clients about their resources. Talk to people in your life about the accomplishments in their lives and ask them what they drew upon, what they have within themselves to help them accomplish the things that they do. I promise it’ll make a difference in your work. It’ll make a difference in your life.
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