From Exceptions to Exceptional

Posted by Elliott Connie - December 23, 2018 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

The Solution Focused Approach has always had a focus on exceptions (times when the problem is either not happening or happening less) but in this video I take this idea a step further. I also express why this is so important for anyone using the Solution Focused Approach. 

From the very inception of this approach, one of the key
ideas is this idea of exceptions and exceptions are times when the problem
either is not happening or is happening less and it gives you the opportunity
to ask your client about what’s happening instead of the problem. That to help
kind of articulate and find a more roads towards solutions and accomplishing
the desired outcome. But I want to encourage you to think about it even in
another level. Think about it a little bit further is if we can view our
clients as exceptional, then we become more likely to ask them questions to
help move their lives forward. And so often when I’m teaching and training and
getting emails from people, they asked me questions like, what about those
clients who can’t become happy? Or those clients who can’t accomplish something
such a goal? Or what about those clients who don’t have any exceptions?

And it always makes me think like you’re forgetting to
view your client as exceptional. And one of the things we’ve got to do is
remember the person we’re talking about is exceptional and challenge ourselves
to continue to believe that. So let me tell you a really quick story and why I
think this is so important and what I mean by this, because I think every
single person is exceptional. And uh, my evidence of that I’m gonna give you
two pieces of evidence to prove this. Point. Number one is I can remember being
in high school and I had a crush on this girl. And I remember sitting in
Spanish class. I was like a sophomore in high school or early in high school. I
had a crush on this girl. And I remember looking at her. She was in my Spanish
class with me. I remember turning my seat and looking at her and thinking she’s

She’s absolutely pretty and smart. How could not? How
could anyone look at this person and not see anything other than perfection? No
matter what she did, I viewed it through the lens of my perfection. I had a
crush on her for God knows how long I’ll never ended up dating. She dated and
married someone else and life goes on. But through my eyes, this person was
perfect in everything she did. I, I perceived through the lens of that
perfection. And even now, I mean, of course I’m an adult now. I’m crazy in love
with someone and that person is the love of my life. And recently we were
having a conversation and uh, I was jokingly like, I’m going to make fun of
you. And I realize that same phenomenon is in place in my life now. Like I look
at this person and I think she’s perfect.

There’s, there’s a, there’s a perfection there. Now I’m
not, I’m aware that she’s not perfect. I’m aware that there are flaws, but I’m
also aware because of my positive desires and thoughts, I look at her and
filter her through the lens that perfection. So most of the way that she
doesn’t see herself that way, she shouldn’t get herself as perfect in like a
real way. But to me she’s perfect and it filters through the lens of
perfection. And because of that I talked to her a certain way. I treat her a
certain way. I have certain expectations of her, so on and so on, so when
you’re working with clients, even when you’re struggling to remember that your
client is exceptional, I want you to remember that someone in their life views
them through the lens of that perfection and that person you’re talking
through, though they might be riddled with flaws, they are perfect for someone
in their life and thus you can view them as such and ask them questions that
help them build upon that because you know it’s easy.

I mean, I honestly I could teach you to ask solution
focused questions and I can teach you the techniques, but if you don’t
understand that your thoughts about your client impact the way that you ask
questions and how you do this work, then you’re not going to be any good with
the techniques. So if you want to be good with solution focused brief therapy,
then I want it to work to make sure you’re treating your clients like the
exceptional person and beings that they are. So thank you for watching this
video. I hope that you enjoyed it. Never, ever forget that you were one
question away from making a difference in someone’s life, and please leave a
comment below. I would love to hear what you think about this because really
this idea is central to solution focused brief therapy, maybe the most
important video that I’m ever going to do that all we ever released. Uh, so
leave a comment below, please like, and share this video. Thank you for
watching and I’ll see you in the next video.

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