When I lecture, I often do live demonstrations and it is not uncommon that I look out in the audience and see people taking notes to transcribe all of the questions I ask. This trend is fine, but makes me feel like people are missing an important point and that is what this video is about.

So if you have listened to my videos, gone through my youtube channel, listened to my blog, most of my teaching, I’m obsessed with helping therapists not experienced that difficult, an awful feeling when you get stuck in session, kind of searching for the right, right question to help the client make a change in their life. And recently I was in a place near Amsterdam called Brader and I was teaching while I was there. And during the event, during the two day event, I did some live demonstrations to help people kind of understand the process of solution focused brief therapy. And something dawned on me that there’s a real subtle nuance thing that I think, uh, that, that I think leads to people getting stuck more often. And that’s what this video is about. That’s what I want to share right here is how to master this real subtle, kind of nuanced understanding of this approach that would help you not get stuck in session and not experience that dreadful, painful feelings.

So one of the ways, one of the things that stood out to, one of the things that I notice is when I do a live demonstration, I noticed that people in the audience will like grab their notepads and start like writing down the questions that I ask. And the, the thinking is if, if like I can find the right question, then I can ask the client that question and the client will experience change. Another example is, uh, so there’s a therapy session that I used some time in my trainings where a client said, I don’t know a lot. Like literally for about 10 minutes, just, I don’t ever question I asked, she’d say, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. This went on for 10, 12 minutes. Uh, we actually had somebody transcribed it. And in that time she said, I don’t know, 105 times.

And then I asked a question and she answered it and the rest of the session was not the same and later got feedback that that literally changed her life. So one time I was showing that that video in a in a training and someone asked me why didn’t you ask that question earlier? Which brings me to the point I want to make in this video. It’s not about the question, it’s about the process in the question. So for example, we, me and that client needed to go through the process to get to that point where the question was asked in a way that the client could hear it in the way that I could ask it in a way that would make change more likely. I think if we think it’s the question, so thus, we could have asked that question 10 minutes later and the client would have answered.

It is not really accurate because sometimes the client has to think their way through. The client has to, has to like some relationship and the process has to unfold, which leads to that point in the session where change can happen. So it’s not about the question meaning Ooh, that was a good question. So you should have asked it earlier. It’s about the process that led to the question and the question occurring at a time in the session where change could happen. Right. I hope that makes sense. So when people write down my questions, I think they’re there. The questions are important in the therapy is important, but don’t negate the process because you still have to hang in there. I think part of what happens in these difficult sessions and, and look, sometimes it’s just hard for clients to answer questions, not because they don’t understand the question per perhaps they don’t trust you.

And just by hanging in there and sticking through this sesh through the questions and sticking with the process, the client realizes like, Oh wow, this guy really does mean what he say says. And he really does intend to follow up these questions and believe in me. And after 10 minutes of complete devotion and belief, the client gave an answer that changed your life. I mean, if you come from a background where I’m thinking of a client, I saw, uh, I asked the client one time, what are your best hold from our session? And the client told me he didn’t want to answer me and I asked him how come? And he said, because, uh, he went and saw a previous therapist and the previous therapist made him feel crazy when he told them what he wanted. And he tried to diagnose him as being bipolar because he was being grandiose on what he wanted.

And I was taken aback by that. And I, I mean, I apologize, I’m sorry the previous counselor made you feel that way. Uh, but suppose you didn’t have to tell me what would be the thing you would notice from coming through the session that would make a difference to you? And he said, I don’t know. So I don’t know. And in hanging in that session, he eventually told me what it was that he wanted. And about a month later, he actually had this grandiose thing that he wanted and it completely transformed his life. So I don’t want you to misunderstand. It’s not just about the questions, it’s about the process and the way that it unfolds in the session. And sometimes your job is not to find the right question, but it’s to hang in there until the client decides that you’ve asked the question at the right time in the right way and the process of therapy has led to an answer.

Uh, I know this is so hard to explain it and I hope I’m doing a good job of making this make sense, but I just don’t want you guys to fall into the pattern of thinking it’s your job to find the right question to lead towards change when I actually believe it’s just as much your job to hang in the session and continuing at asking the right asking questions because sometimes the right question is just the next question, the process that comes from your persistence and what your persistence says to your client. Because your persistence as you believe in me, your persistence as you think I can do it. Your persistence as you have hope for me, and sometimes just sitting in that space, even if the client is saying I don’t know, has an incredible impact of inspiration on a client’s life. And sometimes that’s just as powerful as the question itself.

So, um, when you are thinking about solution focused brief therapy, try not to fall into the pattern of thinking. It’s just about you figure out what the right question is as if there is a question that leads towards change. And sometimes I just want you to bring your belief and your passion and your heart and your hope into the session and understanding that sometimes just sitting in that space, regardless of the questions is sitting in that space in a devoted way, says something to the client that will impact their life. So thanks for watching the video. Look, I really want you to comment on this video. Let me know. Does this make sense? It’s a very hard thing to teach in a very hard thing to be clear about. So leave, uh, leave a comment below. Let me know how this resonates with you. If you want more clarity, I might need to make another video about this just to make it make sense. So leave a comment below, like, share, subscribe to my Youtube Channel, head on over to elliottconnie.com and check out all the things we have there. And never, ever forget that you are always just one question away from making a difference in someone’s life. So hang in there.