Since the Solution Focused Approach is driven by the client’s hopes for outcome, it’s relevant to understand what to do once you know what that is. However, I’m not sure we have spent a significant amount of time teaching this point. That’s what this video is about.
Since the solution focused approach is an approach based on the client’s hoped for outcome and we get to that hope or outcome by asking about what are your best hopes from the therapy. I think it’s an appropriate question to ask. So what do we do once we know what the client’s outcome is? So I want to try to address that cause I know that it’s such an important question. So many people over the years have emailed and have asked me at events. So Elliott, once I know the client’s desired outcome, what do I do? So I’m going to give you two examples. So I was working with a client recently and I said, what are your best hopes from our talking? And the client was really emotional, they were in a really difficult space and they said, what I’d really like is to be happy. So I said, so suppose you woke up tomorrow
And you were happy, what would you notice? And we did a real detailed description of the presence of the client’s happiness. And because solution focused brief therapy, it’s about description. It’s about details, but it’s about the presence of what is hoped for. But let me throw a little wrinkle at you. I was working with another client and I said, what are you best hopes from our talking? And the client said, I just don’t want this anxiety anymore. Like I used to feel like I could conquer the world. I want to get back to that. So I said, if I’d met you time in your life when you had that, like I could conquer the world feeling of what would I have noticed. And we did a detailed description of the presence of that conquer the world feeling going in the past. The interesting thing is when both clients came back a couple of weeks later, both clients re re reported huge progress, both kinds of reported that their lives had moved in that direction towards their hope or outcome.
So why is this important? Because I think people go into solution focused sessions wondering like, what’s the formula? What’s the, what’s the plan? What’s the progress? You know, are you, I was originally trained to do cognitive behavioral therapy. And one of the things I used to love about cognitive behavioral sessions is I used to go into every session with a plan. But what I want you to understand, it is your job to know this approach so thoroughly and so well that could do it going backwards. You can do it going forward. I want you to understand that it doesn’t really matter whether you go backwards, you go forward. If I asked the client what are you best hopes from our talking, And they say you want to be happy, I could certainly say, tell me about a time in your life when that happiness was the most present.
Uh, what was going on in your life. And you can get all kinds of details about the happiness in the present. Or I could say, suppose you woke up on a day when the happiness was back in. You’re like, what did you notice? And you can get all kinds of details of the happiness in the hope for future. But what’s important is that you get details that are connected to the presence of what the client is hoping for. Like that’s what we do in solution focused brief therapy like I used to love, I didn’t have any anxiety whatsoever. I’ve gone into my sessions when I did cognitive behavioral therapy and I would just know what my plan was. I had met with my, my team, I’d met with my supervisor. They gave me an idea about what intervention to design for the client and then they would go off.
I would go off into the session and and try to impose that intervention on the client. The crazy thing is they often didn’t work. The client often didn’t remember them and they didn’t make a difference in a client’s life. In a solution focused conversation, I go in just knowing, I’m going to ask about what the hope for outcome is and then after that we’re going to build the session based upon what happens next and I think what I’m asking, in fact what I’m begging you to do is master this process is such a degree that you can do it. Looking forward or looking backwards, and you can just build the conversation based upon what the client says and you remember the always connect your questions to the hoped for outcome. So I hope you liked this video. I hope this addressed the question for you. Please leave a comment below like this video, share this video. If you’re watching on my YouTube channel, hit subscribe and click the bell to make sure you get all notifications and head on over to elliottconnie.com for all my free videos and resources and I will see you next time. Fist bump.