I’m right in the middle of hosting my annual conference, the 2023 SFU conference and we’ve had some amazing experiences during these few days. We’ve, we’ve been visited by Tiffany Haddish. We’ve been visited by a woman by the name of Mim Eichler Rivas. And in a minute we’re about to hear from a man named Antwone Fisher. And as I’ve been sitting here, been thinking about like, what things are standing out to me, what’s going to impact my work going forward? And Mim said something yesterday that is profound.
Like, if you don’t know that name, she co-authored a book with a man named Christopher Gardner that was called The Pursuit of Happiness, turned into a movie of the same name. She’s worked with Barry Gordy, she’s worked, she’s just worked with a lot of stars and helped them tell their stories. And I think therapy re-stories a client’s life. All therapy, not just Narrative Therapy, which we think about when we hear a story, but like all therapy will re-story and reorganize someone’s life. And Mim was talking about the art of storytelling.
And she said this really profound thing,which was the empty page is scary. And I was like, oh my gosh. Like so many people send me questions and reach out to me asking what to do when the client is hesitant and doesn’t want to participate and is scared. And like, how do you handle it when the client is having a hard time changing? And for me, think about a future that is unknown as an empty page.
Like that’s scary. When a client is being impacted by life or trauma has happened, or difficulty at work, difficulty in a relationship, or a relationship is ending or beginning, that makes the future unknown. And that blank page becomes scary and that makes therapy about moving forward scary. And that’s why clients become hesitant. That’s why therapy is such a challenge. And that’s why we should never think the client can’t change.
We should never think the client doesn’t want to be there. We should never think the client doesn’t want to participate. We have to honor that what they’re doing, what we’re asking them to do is very, very difficult. So always remember that. I’m probably gonna make another video after I hear from Antwone, because I’m sure he’s gonna say something that touches me.
But for now, I want you to have that lesson. I want you to remember that. When you’re practicing Solution Focused Brief Therapy and it seems like the client is struggling, having a hard time, remember you’re asking them to do something scary and be patient and give them grace. And that’s a good thing.