In La Paz, Bolivia and I was speaking at one of the largest universities they have here in Bolivia last night. And a lot of the questions a lot of the students ask the question that I realized I’ve never really addressed. A lot of their questions were like, well what about when the client doesn’t answer your question? And solution focused brief therapy, It’s a questions based approach, which means the answers the client gives you are quite important but we’ve never really talked about how do you know when a client has answered your question or not. And it’s not just here in Bolivia, no matter where I go all around the world people struggle with. But what if I asked the client a question and they don’t answer it? How do you do solution focused brief therapy then? So I thought it was important to make a video to talk about how do you know when the client has an answered your question.

So imagine if you’re sitting with a client and you ask the opening question into a solution focused conversation, what are your best hope from our talking and the client shrugs their shoulders. And says, I don’t know, a lot of times our natural reaction is to think the client didn’t answer the question. So thus, continuing on solution focused brief therapy will be challenging. But I want to challenge that idea because I want you to understand that I don’t know is a very appropriate response. And the way that we can tell what a client has answered, our question is if after answering the question after saying a response to my question, if I have the opportunity to ask another question, that simply their job is to allow me to have another opportunity to answer their question. So if they say, I don’t know that I’m going to say, so what do you think?

Or if I asked you that question and you did know…? I’ve had clients tell me, I don’t know, I’m not even motivated to be here. Well, if I’d asked you that question the day you made this appointment, what would you have said? So it’s my job to come up with another question based on the response to the client gives me and not to judge whether or not they answered my question or not. Because every answer’s an adequate answer as long as they’re still sitting in front of me, giving me the ability to ask another question. That’s how solution focused brief therapy works. And I want you to really think about that for a bit, that the client’s job is to give a response that I, as the therapist can use. And as long as they do that, then they’ve answered the question to a satisfactory level. So thank you for watching this video. Please subscribe to my Youtube Channel, head on over to my website, elliottconnie.com I’ve got loads of free stuff over there and like share and comment on this video and I’ll see you in the next video.