It is not uncommon for clients to ask for advice or guidance to deal with a problem or situation. Handling these situations in a Solution Focused session can be tricky and that’s what this session is all about.

Hey everybody. Um, so I’m making this video from one of my favorite places in the world. Uh, Lake Arlington. It’s a lake near my house. I love water. I love visiting water. And I, I come here to kind of think and just kind of process information a bit. So here’s the, here’s the like, and uh, I wanted to talk about, uh, email I got from someone who was participating in one of my courses and they asked a really good question about solution focused brief therapy, which is how do you respond when a client asks you for advice to deal with a problem? And that’s, that’s such a good question. Right? And, and as I was answering the question to the person in the course, I was like, man, I want everybody to hear this answer. So, and it happens a lot when clients are like, so what do I do to help my depression?

Or can you, can you give me some tips to deal with my anxiety? You know, you’re the therapist, you’re the help or you’re the professional so that the client expects you to give some feedback, some information, some, some help to help them overcome those things. And um, but when you practicing solution focused brief therapy, our approach is based on client autonomy and the client finding their own answers and their own pathways towards, uh, accomplishing their goals. And we don’t want to do anything that we removed their autonomy. So I want to talk a bit about how I respond when clients say that, uh, because in a lot of ways how I respond is not really relevant. So let me give you an example. When I first started using solution focused brief therapy, uh, I was working at the time, uh, at an agency that mandated CBT and there was this therapist used CBT and he went on an extended leave and they asked me to cover his cases.

Now at this time we were doing in home therapy and I had just learned solution focused brief therapy. I was super excited and I was using it with my clients and this particular guy’s clients, his name was Lenny Ortiz by the way. Good friends who’s a friend of mine to this day, uh, linear Ortiz did CBT, really good CBT therapist. And I had to cover, uh, Lenny’s clients. So, um, let me look at this. All these really cool ducks. It’s one of my favorite things about coming out here. But anyway, so I’m covering Lynnese Lynnese clients and I went and visited his, this one woman and she was annoyed with my question. So I’m asking you so many folks questions and she’s annoyed with my questions and she said, I wish you would just tell me what to do like Lynnie does. And I paused for a minute and I said, suppose I said something that sounded to you like the type of advice Lenny would give you, what would you notice after I left that would give you a clue that it would work?

And she said, well, I would be really hopeful because when Lenny gives me good advice, I’m hopeful that it will work well. What difference does that hopefulness make? Well, it means that I’m more patient and it means that after I started implementing the advice, I start looking for signs that it works. And what would you notice that that would let you know that it worked? And we had this conversation where I never ended up giving her advice by the end of the session. She was super duper pleased. She said, thank you so much, I really appreciate it. She left. I went back and visited a next week and she said progress had happened. Like there’s profound progress had happened with a, the issue was between her and her teenage children. But the important thing was it wasn’t necessarily whether or not I answered her question and gave her advice or not.

The important thing is I did not remove autonomy and make the session about the advice. When you’re using solution focused brief therapy, the session has always got to be about the outcome. So I absolutely could have said to her, oh, so you like it when Lenny gives you advice. What was the last piece of advice Lenny gave you? Oh, he talked to me about, you know, having good boundaries with my children. Okay, so here’s some tips on having good boundaries with your children. What would you notice as you implemented these tips that would let you know that it was being effective and making a difference in your family? Because that always shifts the attention from the advice to the outcome and a solution focused session is always about the outcome and I think sometimes we get ourselves stuck when we think of a client ask us for information or for advice or for feedback.

We’re not supposed to give it. If a client asks you a question, you owe them the answer because that’s the, that’s the human thing to do. That’s the right thing to do. But because you’re practicing solution focused, brief therapy, you have to always be able to make the session about the outcome and not the content. Right? A solution focus session as always outcome driven and never content of the session driven. So try not to get tricked up on whether or not I should or should not answer the client’s question whether or not I should or should not give advice. Always stay focused on the outcome from the session because that’s where a one solution focused brief therapy is all about. So hope you liked this video. I’m going to take a little walk and have a thing out here at the lake. Thank you so much for watching. Please give me a like and a share. Subscribe to my channel on Youtube right down there. Click on that little bell. Make sure you get notified when I’m posting videos. I always have videos coming out and always forget. I’ll never ever forget that you were always just one question away from making a difference in someone’s life. I’ll see you in the next video.