One of the most common questions I get asked is about how to use the Solution Focused Approach beyond the first session. In this video I address this question and share the one thing you must not do when a client comes back to see you for a follow up session.
I just got off of a really long trip where I flew here to London where I’m going to be doing some work. And it was funny because just before I took off, I had a really long, I got a slew of emails from people just kind of coincidentally different people asking me about using the solution focused approach, uh, beyond the first session. And you know, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve heard me say that I think this is an under talked about topic. I think so often in the books that we write in the lectures we do, we talk about what happened in the first session and a lot of people contact me asking, what do you do beyond the first session? And I ended up having a conversation with one of the, like leaving single session, uh, people in the world talk to me about the mindset of a single session versus the mindset of solution focused brief therapy where the client may come back for followup session.
And as we talked about how to do followup sessions, there’s one key thing that I think I want everybody to know and I hope I can add some clarity. So like what do you do when the client comes back after the first session? Now, one of the most common questions that you’ll see a professional start the followup session with is what’s been better? But we’re not asking as an assessment, like we’re not assessing what’s been better. What we’re really asking is what progress is present towards the desired outcome. So we might say, what’s been better than the client might say, Oh, I’m happier. So the therapist’s job is to put language from the desired outcome in the previous session into that. So what difference has it made to be happier as you make movement towards your desired outcome? See what I’m saying? So it’s really important that we recognize that we’re asking what’s better for opportunities to ask further questions about the presence of the desired outcome. Now, there might be times where you’ll spend the entire session just asking about further details about their presence of desired outcome by following up the what’s better question or there might be times where you have to ask another desired outcome question just by saying, so what are your best hopes from this session? But I think the real key important thing is to not fall into the trap or the idea that you’re doing an assessment of some kind.
There are kids in and they’re going to come again. But the, the key is to not feel like you’re falling into the trap of assessing for what’s been better. Cause one of the most common questions people ask is, so what do you do with nothing’s been better? Um, it doesn’t really matter because if they say nothing’s been better, we’re going to say things like, so what did you notice about yourself to let you know you were still moving towards your desired outcome while nothing was getting better? Any answer a client gives you is an opportunity to ask more questions. When the followup sessions, we’re just looking for more opportunities to ask more questions. When you using the solution focused approach, you have to hold the belief that change is more likely when the client is discussing the presence of their desired outcome. Now that presence doesn’t matter whether it’s in the future present or past, but change is more likely when the client is discussing the details of the presence of their desired outcome.
So now I hope you understand when somebody comes in and I say, so what’s been better? That’s just my kicking off the beginning of a conversation that will lead towards details of the presence of their desired outcome. So even if they say, oh, nothing has been better, it’s been a horrible week. I’m still gonna ask questions about their presence of their desired outcome. And I might even need to ask another desired outcome question. But I’m not looking for what’s been better. I’m not, I’m not assessing for signs of progress. I’m simply looking for opportunities to ask more questions that will continue the description process going along. So I hope that makes some sense. This is a really popular question. So if you guys want more clarity, leave a comment below. Let me know what you think about this video. Please like, share, subscribe to my Youtube Channel and head on over to elliottconnie.com where I’ve loads and tons of stuff there for you. Thank you for watching this video and I’ll see you next time.