In the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of teaching and one question that comes up a lot is how to handle situations when the client is so focused on the problem that answering SFBT questions is too hard for them. I’ve had that question so much that I’ve been thinking a lot about how to respond. This video is how I want everyone to respond when you find yourself working with someone who is in this situation.

So, Hey, I am, uh, on my road home from Tahlequah, Oklahoma on my way back to where I live in the Dallas Fort worth area of Texas. And, uh, I was thinking about some things that I’ve been doing recently, so I’ve been teaching a lot. We had about 1500 people sign up for my video training series SFBT 2020, and then I had an online course that I was teaching, uh, just today. And a lot of people are asking like, how do you use Solution Focused Brief Therapy when the client is like, stuck in the problem and they’re so stuck in ensconced in the problem that they can’t see anything else than the problem. And I think this is such a common, common, thing. I was driving and do you ever like, get so deep in your own thoughts that you just forget to like turn on the radio or do anything else entertaining. You’re just like so deep in your thoughts.

And I was thinking about this because so many people were asking this question and I just thought, how do I explain, how do I explain how to respond in that way? And I know when people ask these questions, they’re typically asking like, what question can I use to help the client get unstuck? But I actually want to suggest to you that it’s not a question. It’s an attitude. I want you to be more stubborn in your belief that there is always hope, than the problem is stubborn in your client’s life, right? So, let me repeat that. I want you to be more stubborn in your belief that there’s always hope, than the client’s problem is stubborn in their life. Because it’s not, there’s no question you ask to like, there is no like, get the client unstuck question, but you have to be determined in your belief.

Now, if you’ve been following for a while, you’ve heard me say that I have had some of the best Solution Focused trainers in the world, Linda Metcalf and Chris Iverson and Harvey Ratner, Evan George, and all of these people that i’ve spent a ton of time with. But honestly, I’m not kidding. The very best teachers I’ve ever had have been my clients, because what they did was they demonstrated change to me and caused me to believe that there is always, always, always hope. So when the client is in my office and they’re just like so stuck in the problem that they can’t see beyond it, I’m not thinking of like what question can I ask to get them unstuck? But I’m just holding onto my resolute belief that there is always hope, and what gives me that as a realistic belief is because I’ve seen so many clients get better when circumstances and the environment would make it look like there was no chance they had to get better.

I’ve seen people grow and evolve when you just didn’t think there was any shot that they could grow and evolve. So I want you to just like, understand this, there is no question that is going to help your client not focus on the problem. In fact, that’s not even our goal. I just want to keep asking questions and the client can come up with an answer that is more connected to hope for their desired outcome, than it is for fear and despair due to their problem. And that does require me to be determined and really stubborn in my belief in the client’s ability to create change regardless of how long, profound, or significant the problem has been in the client’s life. So I want you to think about that for a moment. There is no questions that you asked to get the client unstuck or unfocused on the problem.

There’s an attitude and a stubbornness you have to have moving towards hope. And I was thinking about that as I was driving. I am 100% confident that I’m going to make it home and that’s just my job. Like I’m going to make it home short of an accident that literally ends my life. I’m going to make it home. And um, the reason that I believe that is because home is my destination. Now, there might be some barriers along the way that I have to go around. There might be some challenges on the way that I have to overcome, but like I’m going to get home like that, that’s my job. And I have a really dogged determination and a real stubbornness to believe that I’m eventually going to make it home. And I want you to have that same attitude of belief that if you ask about times in the client’s life when they did have hope, and if you ask about times in their life when their desired outcome was a little bit there, that eventually the client’s going to answer the question or they’re just going to walk out of the session, which in 15 years I’ve only had happened once, and even that person called me later and scheduled another appointment.

So don’t worry about that part. You just keep doing your job and that job requires you to be stubborn in your belief that there is always hope for change, even when the client is so stuck in the problem they can’t just see it. It’s my job to keep asking questions until they do. And that is, that’s not a specific question that gets him on stuck. That’s your attitude of belief. So I hope this video helped. Uh, I’m going to get back on the road and, um, I said I want to get home, I want to get home before it’s too late, so I’m going to head off and get back on the road. So please help me spread this message. Share this on your social media pages. Give me a like, give me a share. If you’re watching this on YouTube, subscribe to my channel. Click the little bell so you get notifications when I post more video content. Um, leave a comment below because I would love to hear what your thoughts are. Like my favorite thing is interacting with the people that follow me. And until next time I will see you in the next video.