For the past few years I have noticed that a lot of people get stuck in their sessions when using the Solution Focused Approach. I am constantly asked “how to not get stuck”. Well, the good news is, it’s actually quite simple to do. The bad news is, it requires you to make a bit of shift in your thinking. This video explains it in detail and you’ll likely never be stuck again!
yo, what’s up? So, um, look, I’m here. I’m at the JFK airport on my way to Moscow. Um, and I’ve got something on my mind that I wanted to talk to you about before I got on this plane. I’m going to go teach for a few days in Moscow, Russia. And um, what I was thinking about is like I’ve been traveling a lot recently and I’ve been talking to people literally all over the world, right in, in England and in the United States. And the one thing that people keep asking me, it’s like, Elliott, how do I apply solution focused brief therapy with, you know, this particular group of people, this particular situation and not get stuck in session. And to be truthful, like everybody wants to know how do I use solution focused brief therapy and not get stuck in session because getting stuck in session, it’s such a difficult experience.
It’s like no one wants to look incompetent. No one wants to have that really anxious feeling when you’re doing therapy and really frustrated that you can’t find the words to ask a question would be helpful. And in order to do that I need to make a point. I need to explain something to you that I think is really important. The most important thing to understand about solution focused brief therapy is simple, is not synonymous with easy. So I think the biggest mistake people make, I’m like, I’ve got to say this from the bottom of my heart. The biggest mistake people make is because solution focused brief therapy is theoretically simple. Thus it is easy to understand. People miss an they like confuse that simplicity and that ease and the fact that they understand the approach with the idea that they know how to do the approach like just because you understand a thing does not mean you know how to apply with skill.
The craft of that thing, and I think the biggest mistake people make is they think because I understand solution focused brief therapy that I don’t need further training, that I don’t need to access more work, that I don’t need to practice because I won’t gain further understanding. Now that might be true. You might not gain further understanding though. I think you actually would, but what actually you would gain is like craftmanship. Most people pursue training and they pursue understanding and because solution focused brief therapy is so simple, you kind of start from understanding. It’s not very difficult, not very confusing stuff, your complicated, but what you have to do is build your craftmanship and in this field we don’t spend enough time building our craftsmanship. People start, they get offered an opportunity to learn more about solution focused brief therapy to practice or get training and their brains tell them, well, no, I don’t need it because I already have understanding, but don’t go after understanding.
Go after craftmanship. Some of the most brilliant solution brief therapists I know Chris Iveson, Evan George, Jacqui von Cziffra-Bergs Alesya Courtnage, all of these people, they solution focused. Brief therapy is a craft and they can do things with language and questions that the average clinician can’t do. Why? Because they spent a lot of time practicing and building that skill and I see it, I see it all the time. Like every time I travel and I offer courses and I teach things online, people let let their own thinking get in the way of building the craftsmanship because they don’t pursue learning opportunities because they feel like I already have understanding. So what’s the point of getting more learning opportunities? Well, I’m here to tell you the point is increased in craftsmanship because that’s actually what your clients need. Guys. Like when you are sitting with a client who is struggling with a real problem and life is really knocking them down, they don’t need a professional who has high levels of understanding.
They need someone who’s a high level of skill of helpfulness and connectivity and the ability to turn their words into questions that could transform people’s lives. And you don’t learn that theoretically. That is not something to understand. That is a skill to build. So I am here begging you, do not let your own thinking get in the way of you building your skill. Do not let that old default thinking of why do I need more training since I already understand it? You need more training. You can always, always sharpen your knife. I’m going to end this by telling you one quick story. I believe Chris Iveson is the best solution book brief therapists I’ve ever seen. I admire the man. I love the man. He is absolutely amazing. When I went to England to do a training, I’d been doing solution focused brief therapy for about five years.
At that time he’d been doing it for 25 years and I’d been teaching and writing about solution focused brief therapy for only a couple of years and I go to England to do an event and Chris Iveson sat in the very first row and for two days was completely locked in attending to every word I said as a lecturer and I was so blown away by this. Here’s this guy with an unbelievable high level of skill and he is sitting in the first row of my lecture paying unbelievable level of attention. Every time I made a point he would take a note and every time I said get in the groups, he would get in groups and he would do these practice exercises. He’s written multiple books. He has been world renowned for more than a quarter of an of a, of a century. And here he is sitting in my lecture in front row paying attention the whole way.
At the end of the event I walked up to him and I said, Hey, I thank you for coming. I’m really glad you came. How come you were able to sit there the entire time and pay the level of attention? Did you pay? And he said, because you can always learn more. And I wanted to see what I could pick up. That is the mentality that you have to have if you want to master the solution focused approach, become a craftsman, not a theorist. So thank you for watching this video. I hope it encourages you. I want you to get out of your own way so you can make a difference in clients’ lives because seriously y’all, like you are always just one question away from making a difference in someone’s life. So please like this video, share this video. Head on over to YouTube and subscribe to my channel. Hit the little bells. You get notifications. Head on over to my website, elliottconnie.com or I’ve got loads of videos and other training opportunities. Like, I love y’all, man. That’s why I gotta tell you this. Like your clients need you to be a craftsman. Your clients need you to be helpful. They need something more than theory, so please build it. Get get trained and keep getting trained. Learn the lesson from Chris Iveson. You are master, you’ve been doing this forever, but keep going. People need you fist bump.