Letting Go of the Plan

Posted by Elliott Connie - November 10, 2018 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

If you were like me, you probably were concerned about keeping a session going for an hour when you started working as a psychotherapist or coach. Most of mitigate that concern by developing a habit of planning the session. In this video I share how to overcome this habit and simply trust the process.


So this weekend I’m teaching an intensive about using solution focused brief therapy with couples. Then me and the group got into an interesting conversation that, that led to me having a few thoughts that I wanted to share with you in this video. So solution focused brief therapy. It’s really, really simple and in your ability to learn it and understand it, but it’s actually very challenging to apply in the work. And one of the reasons why it’s so challenging is it’s, it’s, it’s simple but not easy. That’s what we like to describe it. Simple but not easy. And to do the work requires you to do something that’s Kinda kinda counterproductive to us and that, that thing that we kind of highlighted this weekend is going into the therapy session without a plan. But you go into the therapy session with belief in your client and belief in your ability to come up with another question.

Like I remember way back, you know, years ago when I was first entering into this field and I would bring the kind of transition to using solution focused brief therapy versus um, uh, what I was trained to do originally, which is cbt. And I was doing group therapy at the time and I remember at this agency each night, there were several groups, like a group for Teenagers Group for Teenage Girls Group for parents. Uh, there was, uh, a drug treatment group. There are all these different groups and I showed up and everybody preparing for the groups are all running to the copy machines and they’re all going into the resource closet to get the therapeutic games is going to play with their clients and do all these things to come up with a plan of what they’re gonna do for the group. And I would just sit in the corner and wait because I knew that I’m going to start off my group by saying what are your best hopes from this group?

And then build the group experience one question at a time. And that’s actually how you do solution focused. Brief therapy is you just trust that the client can answer the question and you trust your skill of asking one question at a time that’s actually at the heart and the root of solution focused. Brief therapy is the ability to build a session, one question at a time, but it means we have to kind of separate ourselves from that need to have a plan for the session and just trust that you have a skill and your client come up with an answer. When you do that. It makes the biggest difference in the world. And that is my challenge to you is to practice going into the session and let go of the idea of plans and let go of the idea that I. I have to be able to fill 50 minutes and just know that I can ask one question at a time for 50 minutes and that might seem like a subtle difference. But once you grasp that, then your ability to do solution focused brief therapy will go through the roof.

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