Hello and welcome to episode four of Don’t Forget with Anna Francis. I’m Anna Francis, the CEO of the SFU, and a registered counselor in New Zealand.
This video series is all about sharing my thoughts, ideas, and reminders about things we so often and easily forget when we are practicing Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
In each segment I focus on one key thing that I hope helps you while you are on your learning journey, or keeping your Solution Focused skills sharp.
Back in episode three, I talked about what you need to leave at the therapy door to help you from getting stuck. So if you didn’t see it, scoot back and have a look. But in this episode, I’m gonna talk about which parts of ourselves we need to bring into the session to help your sessions flow.
When we are learning this approach, we soak up as much training as possible and watch as many therapy sessions as we can get our hands on, and then try and copy what we see. Which is a pretty normal way to learn how to do most things, right? The problem with Solution Focused Brief Therapy is that we can’t do therapy exactly like those that we learn from because we are not the same.
We’re all different. None of us can do Solution Focused Brief Therapy like Elliott, because we are not Elliott. And none of us can do Solution Focused Brief Therapy like Adam, because we’re not Adam. But when we see bits of ourselves, and how others use this approach, we do feel like we’re doing okay, which is why this reminder is so important.
So just like last month’s episode, we need to really take a look inwards and find out who we are in the session. The therapy fundamentals are the same, of course, but how we use language, and how our personality shows up, is also incredibly important.
When I first started learning Solution Focused Brief Therapy, I was trying so hard to use the Solution Focused Approach, just like I was learning from Elliot, Adam, Chris Iveson, and Evan George. But I really struggled. Elliot and Chris are so concise, and ‘down to business’ for lack of a better description. And Evan and Adam are so considerate and thoughtful and slow-paced in their approach, both extremes.
I’m neither, by personality. I’m super chatty, and I’m super wordy. I’m a quick processor, so I’m prone to respond quickly. And I’ve also been known to interrupt a time or a million. So it was a real challenge for me to figure out how to be comfortably me, and still be Solution Focused like them. And I think this is something many people really struggle with when we’re learning this approach. It’s hard to be confident in ourselves when it looks different from what we are learning.
I realized I was getting stuck because I was too busy trying to think about what the right thing was to do next, the right next question asked in the right way, and at the right pace, until I realized the right way for me was my way.
I know all the fundamental theories about this approach. I know what questions are, and are not, Solution Focused.
So I realized I needed to to focus, for a while, on what ‘my being me’ in this space looked like. I needed to allow the parts of me into the room that created the most comfortable space. I’m a wordy person, and that’s okay. I’m a lighthearted and bubbly person, and that’s okay. I’m a humorous person, and that’s okay. And I’m a deeply caring and nurturing person, and that’s okay too.
Getting okay with who I am when I’m in the therapy room was a game changer. Trusting my own ability to use this approach when it looks like me allowed me to trust the process and trust my clients.
So if this isn’t something that you’ve yet considered as you’re learning this approach, give it some thought, and see what are some wonderful things about you that make your sessions unique, and what your style is. And if ‘you being uniquely you’ was part of the secret to being the best Solution Focused clinician you can be, what difference would it make to your confidence and comfort level in your sessions?
Please comment below because I would love to hear your thoughts on that. And if you’re someone who’s already discovered who you are uniquely in your session, I would love to hear what difference it made when you realized that that was who you are.
Building your skill level requires building confidence. And building confidence requires self-awareness and clear direction of where to put your learning energy. Taking the risk to step out of your comfort zone is often where the best learning happens and the discovery to step into yourself.
Thank you so much for joining me for this Solution Focused snippet. And I really hope that this reminder helps you as you continue to grow your skills and confidence.
If you’ve enjoyed this video, please like and share with your colleagues, and leave a comment below, because I really do love to interact with you.
Don’t forget to subscribe for our Youtube channel, and click on the bell so you get notifications for our other amazing videos, all about using Solution Focused Brief Therapy with your clients.
So until then, keep being you.