The Solution Focused Approach can be used with just about any client. While true, this reality is hard for many professionals to believe as it is counter to what most of us are told in school. As a result, the number 1 question people ask in trainings is, “how does this approach work with XYZ kind of clients”. Here’s my most current answer.

So all week I’ve been having a blast teaching in cities, uh, around the DC area. Uh, three different cities, three different events. I just arrived at their hotel where I’m going to do the third one tomorrow. And in the first three cities something has come up that I want to, I want to talk about, right? Like, so the number one question that I always get when I teach solution focused brief therapy is people ask me, so how do you do solution focused brief therapy with people with personality disorders or depression, anxiety, addiction. And we think about like as a clinician we think about how do we do this approach with like the type of client that we struggle with. And I was thinking about how to answer that over the past few days. And I, I want to give you an idea that really should help and bring this home solution focused.

Brief therapy has multiple meta analysis to demonstrate its effectiveness when working with clients. So basically we know scientifically that solution focused brief therapy works. So instead of thinking about people with the diagnostic group with which they believe belong to, what are the cultural group with which they belong to, I want you to think about like I’m doing therapy with Steve, Chris, Stephanie, Bethany, Laura, Sarah, Michael. You’re doing therapy with the individual, not the problem or the group with which they belong to solution focused. Brief therapy is a highly tailored linguistic way of doing therapy. So try very much to think about the work I’m doing with this individual because it’s this individual is going to teach me how to do therapy with him. It’s this individual that we’re co-constructing that therapy process with in every single session. So it’s not so much about how do I do solution focused brief therapy with.dot, dot group.

It’s how do I do therapy with the person that I’m sitting across from because that’s how I can connect with my client. That’s how I can allow my client can Coke to co-construct the language in the session. That will lead to the type of questions that the client will experience as helpful, meaningful, and be lead towards change. So it’s super duper important that we really, really pay attention and understand that it’s not about I’m doing therapy with a kind of belonging to a particular group. I’m doing therapy with an individual because when you connect with a person and when there’s true care between you and your client, that’s when the magic of solution focused brief therapies unlocked and it happens. That’s when everything changes. That’s why we say like you can actually do solution focused brief therapy with any client with any problem.

Pretty soon I’m going to be teaching an online workshop with my colleague Chris Iveson, Evan George and Adam Froerer and we, and we always tell them like you can do this approach with any client with any problem. And the reason why is because we don’t think about clients from the perspective of their problem. We think about the magic that happens when one person connects with another person. The techniques of solution focused brief therapy are valuable. We have to be able to ask scaling questions, miracle question, exception finding, but they have to happen within the context of an effective relationship. So think about that for a minute. It’s not about I’m doing therapy with a person who belongs to a particular group. I’m doing therapy with a person and it’s my job to treat that person like a person in therapy. Right? So look, it’s late and tired. I’ve been driving all day.

I’m going to go into, um, I don’t even know where I am. I think I’m in college park, which is right outside of DC on my way here. I got to see the beautiful skyline of DC and the monuments and it’s been wonderful. So I’m super excited about tomorrow, but I really wanted to share this message and let you understand you’re doing this approach with a person, never let solution focused brief therapy techniques or any psychotherapy techniques, Trump your ability to care and understand the power that lies within that. So thank you for watching this video. Please like, subscribe, give me a share and leave me a comment. Let me know what you think about the video. Cause I think this is one of the most important messages I can share with you. So right now I’m going to go to sleep. I’m going to get some rest and get ready to kill it tomorrow. So fist bump people.