I get literally a hundred emails every single day from people asking me questions about Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Like, is it evidence based? And, and where can I get trained? And people asking me all kinds of questions. But I wanna tell you the number one question that drives me nuts. It’s actually becoming more and more of like a pet peeve, irritant as the days go on. And the question is, does Solution Focused Brief Therapy work with and then insert client population?
I’m not as annoyed when people ask, does it work with a particular problem? But, but when people ask me, does Solution Focused Brief Therapy work with like a certain group of people? It it’s almost hurtful. And I want to tell you why.
I’ve had people ask me like, how do you, how do you adjust Solution Focused Brief therapy to work with women? I’ve had people ask me, how do you adjust Solution Focused Brief Therapy to work with the L G B T population? I’ve had people ask me, how do you adjust Solution Focused Brief Therapy to work with African-American or African-American adolescents?
And it really irritates me because the question I’ve never had, like no one has ever literally a hundred emails every single day. That is no exaggeration. People ask me all the time questions. They’ve never once, not one time said, how does Solution Focused Brief Therapy work with cisgender white men? Never happens.
And the reason no one asks is because we recognize that as the norm or like as the default. And I find myself thinking like, why would treating someone who is African American be any different than treating someone who is a cisgender white male? Like what is the difference? Why do we think we have to adjust it? What you should be asking is how can I be so confident that no matter what population comes into my office,
no matter what population wants me to serve them, I can stay confident and deliver the service? That’s actually the question, because what you’re actually telling me is when people show up that are different or have differences, your angst goes up, your confidence goes down, and you start wondering, so how do I make adjustments to this approach which fits this person?
And that is not the way to think about people. And that’s not the way to think about Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Now, it’s true. An African American probably has a very different lived experience than a cisgender white male. It’s true, someone who is of the L G B T community probably has a different lived experience than cisgender white male.
But your job, when you’re using Solution Focused Brief Therapy, is to make sure your questions draw out the client’s desired outcome, and then connect the session to that outcome regardless of what clinical population we’re talking about or regardless of what human population we’re talking about. So try to think about this in a different way. Try to think about people in a different way and understand that the beginning parts of equity are how we view the people that come into our office.
And what makes us the same is far more important than what makes us different. So get training so that you become more confident in what you’re doing and recognize the way you view people will impact how you talk to them. So don’t ask that question anymore, like, how does this work with a particular client population? Just be more confident, more skilled, and work with people as if they are the same.