Are We Really Being “Curious”?

Posted by Elliott Connie - March 10, 2019 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

For many years I have heard people refer to Solution Focused professionals as being very “curious” in session. In fact, I have even used this word to describe this approach myself. These days I am really struggling with that word. I actually don’t think it accurately describes what we are doing in session and in this video I express exactly why. Also, I mention a FREE video series I am about to release, here is the link for to sign up if you are interested:  http://www.sfbtgameplan.com/signup


For the past week or so, I’ve been working really, really
hard, uh, doing a lot of writing, a lot of exploring and thinking about my
ideas related to solution focused brief therapy because I’m about to release a
video training series. And, um, one of the things that dawns on me, cause I’m
starting to struggle with the word curiosity as it relates to solution focused
practice. No, I’ve had conversations recently with with some pretty well known
people. Uh, some, some solution focus thinkers that I respect quite a bit. Uh,
Evan George, Alicia Courtnage, Adam Froerer and a few others. And one of the
things that we’re all starting to, to think and agree on is the word curiosity
doesn’t really fit for what we’re doing in solution focused brief therapy. And
I’d like to explain a bit as to why. So in normal situations, if I ask a
question, uh, based on curiosity that I’m asking that question because I want
to learn something and want to understand something, but there’s a, there’s a
like an intrinsic purpose to me asking a question.

Um, and when you do solution focused brief therapy, it’s,
it’s very, very different. I’m not asking questions to educate myself. I’m not
asking questions to gather information. Uh, I’m not asking questions for any of
those purposes. In fact, the reason that I’m asking questions is to give myself
more opportunities to ask more questions with the end game. The end result
being that the client will be able to articulate their own thoughts in relation
to their desired outcome, preferred future and things related to the changes
that the client is hoping to making their life. It actually isn’t about me at
all. I’m not trying to gain, gather or learn anything necessarily, but I want
to ask questions that give me continued opportunities to ask further questions.
So why is this so important? Because I think we struggle a bit sometimes when
we ask clients questions and we get an answer that we perceive as being not a
good answer or right answer and it leads to us getting stuck.

But I want to challenge that thinking. I want to impact
your thinking. You get stuck when you ask a question looking for something and
you don’t get that something I want to change your thinking. I want you to ask
a question with the understanding that I just need continued opportunities to
ask more questions and as long as the client is sitting in front of you with a
willingness to engage with you, even in the middle, minimal way, as long as
you’re in front of you and with a willingness to talk to you, you have an
opportunity to ask. One more question and I think that’s a really important
distinction because I’m not, I’m not asking questions to the purpose of
learning or educating your understanding, asking questions that the client can
learn and the client can experience themselves through the experience of
responding to our questions, which means all I need is more opportunities to
ask more questions.

So in essence there is no wrong answer to my questions.
Short of the client getting up out of their seat and walking out of the room.
Anything other than that is a reasonable response we’re in and I have another
opportunity to ask a question and that really is such a huge distinction and
shift that I want you guys to understand because that’s really the purpose of
the solution focused approach is to ask questions with a client can experience
themselves answering questions, responding to things in a way that gets them
closer to their desired outcome. So I want you to think about that for a
moment. Any answer the client gives you, whether it’s, I don’t know or or
whatever it is that is not the client getting up and walking around the room is
an appropriate response because we still have another opportunity to ask.

One more question. If you come to any of my trainings,
like I, I, I will show you the video examples. I do live demonstrations and
sometimes I’ll even say I can only do the live demonstration. Make it as hard
on me as you possibly can because one of the things I believe very strongly,
there’s no wrong answer. The client can give me other than getting up and
walking out of the room. So if I can hang in there and asked one more question,
has one more question, I have one more question, then you really understand
what I mean when I say you’re always one question away from, from making a
difference in a client’s life because they’re always one response away from
hearing themselves say something that’ll clearly completely transform their
life. And that’s really, uh, what this approach is all about. So I want to
challenge that idea that this approach is based on curiosity because curiosity
means I’m asking questions for purposes about me.

Uh, I think solution brief therapy is very different as
we’re asking questions for purposes about them. So hope you liked this video.
And um, by the way, in the link below, since I mentioned, uh, you know, I’m
getting ready to release a video series, uh, below below this video, I’m going
to put the link where you can sign up for that free. It’s going to be epic is
going to be awesome. I’m so excited to share it. I’ve never, I’ve never really
shared so much like what’s going on in my head before I meet with a client. And
then during the session, and then this video series a, that’s exactly what I’m
gonna be talking about. So I’m going to put it below in the description of this
video. So hope you liked it. Please like, comment, share a sign up for the, for
the new video series. I think you’re gonna love it. And, um, thank you so much
for listening to my thoughts, and you’re like excited and always, never forget
that you one question away for making a difference in someone’s life. Um, and I
think there’s nothing more magical than that.

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