Our journey started talking on the phone once a week and now we’re standing on red carpets at Hollywood events. Wanna know how we got here and what the key to our success was? Stay tuned.

Yesterday I went to a fundraiser that was hosted by my really good friend Tiffany Haddish. She does this fundraiser every year. It’s a prom theme to raise money for her organization, SheReady, which donates money, resources, luggage and things to the foster care system. It was amazing because there were so many celebrities there, and I got to walk the red carpet, which in this event was blue, but I got to walk the carpet and take pictures and get interviews… and I brought my team with me.

I really had a moment when I was thinking we have access to all of this now. But I remember when I didn’t have access to rooms in the psychotherapy field ’cause there were people who didn’t want me to be there, but now I have access to the world and I can bring my team with me. And it’s amazing.

When people are trying to hold you down, it is so important to find people, even one person that believes in you. Because once you start believing in you and once that person can believe in you, then you start to change your world and change the world. And that’s the space we’re in now.

All I could think about was how this journey started. Adam and I met 17 years ago at this point, something like that. We started talking a long time ago. We met at a conference and at that time it was very normal to meet at a conference and be like, “Alright, I’ll see you at the next conference.” I knew I loved Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and for whatever reason you were like, “Let’s keep talking. Let’s not wait till the next conference. Let’s talk next week.”

And it started with phone calls, Zoom wasn’t a thing at the time. Skype wasn’t a thing at the time. We just literally talked on the phone about our ideas related to Solution Focused Brief Therapy.

It made me think about every obstacle that was in our way towards getting here. When I came into this field, I experienced a ton of racism, a kind of gatekeeping behavior for some people I won’t name. These people did really horrible things and tried to not only stop our progress professionally, but they tried to impact us personally. They would talk to Adam and they would say, “Why are you hanging out with Elliott?”

But yet, because we run our organization from this place of love, hope, passion, and dedication to the Solution Focused Approach, we never stopped. In fact, that stuff fueled us. This relationship has sparked more than we can ever imagine. Y’all don’t speak, but for real, from the bottom of my heart. I thank both y’all.

Adam: Thank you. I think when we started back then, we didn’t really imagine anything happening really. We just thought we wanted to pursue what we’d like doing. And I think one of the things that I have learned through this journey is that when you set your sights high, you achieve it and then go beyond. And I think that’s really kind of the essence of Solution Focused therapy. I think that’s the essence of our friendship. Every time across the years we kept saying we don’t couldn’t get closer, we kept finding ways to get closer. And I think that’s one of the things that happens when you look at where you’re going, where you want to go, is that you get there and then you realize that can even go farther than you expected it to go. And so really I would just say, thanks for taking us as far as we can go.

Cecil: I think it speaks to a lot of what you were saying. I was just doing what I cared about. Work that I could see myself doing for a long while, with people that I see myself doing it with. And that brought me to Adam. Adam brought me to you. For some reason I held on (joking) and we’re still here.

Look, if you’re in this field, if you’re trying to do this work with clients, it is hard. I cannot stress to you how important it is to have a team around you, to have support systems around you, to have loving, caring people that care about your journey, your mental health, your professional skills, and your abilities around you.

So build that community, join my community. That’s what the SFU is here for. But really surround yourself with people. The world is harsh, it is negative, it is difficult. But when you are surrounded and insulated by love, you can accomplish anything. And that’s the whole point of having a team and having a community.

That’s why I started my organization. You’re welcome to join our movement or create your own.

Surround yourself with love.