The more and more that I pay attention to my own work with clients as well as get the opportunity to watch the work of the pioneers of the Solution Focused perspective, the more one idea continues to stand out to me. Something that I believe is the secret to effectively using this approach in therapy. This “secret” is something very hard to teach, in fact, it is often not mentioned in training courses and texts (as I sit here writing this, I can’t even remember if I mentioned in the two books I have written thus far). This simple is idea is in fact so simple, I think we forget to highlight it’s importance.
The idea is belief in your questioning. On my recent trip to Amsterdam one of the attendees to the course I was teaching reminded me of the importance of this when she commented at the end of the two day course that this was the new piece of information that she gained from attending the course. If there is one thing I hope people would gain from attending my lectures or reading my books, that would be it.
The SF Approach is difficult to master both because of it’s simplicity and also because you have to have a high amount of belief; belief in the client, the questions being asked and belief in the overall process. So for me, belief is the secret because that is the idea that is most infrequently talked about but is clearly a critical component to effectively using the SF Approach. This belief is often a difficult phenomenon to cultivate due to the fact that we live in such a problem focused world and usually receive training and education in problem focused thinking along our path to becoming a clinician.
So, let’s all ensure we are bringing belief into our sessions!
Elliott, I agree with what you were reminded of. If you do not believe in what you do, the questions you ask, the curiousity of what we do then we lose. We lose any type of process. If we do not believe then we have nothing. I believe that the idea of belief is just as important of empathy & genuine in the our field. The belief for change.
Elliott, I agree as well. When I was a student counselor and asked a great question I can remember one of my professors telling me to ask the question and be quiet. I was not believing in the power of the question. I can still hear those words and when I give my clients a chance to answer the question I give them the opportunity to show me their solutions.