Solution Focused Versioning

Posted by Elliott Connie - September 6, 2019 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

In the Solution Focused Approach how the professional enters into the session and what beliefs the professional has about client matters. In fact, I’m not sure anything matters more. In this video I share how focusing on the right “version” of the client can make all of the difference.


you know, it probably comes as no surprise to you that one
of my favorite things to do is talk about solution focused brief therapy with,
with people with whom I respect, uh, that have new ideas and innovative
thoughts. And some of my favorite people to do that with are Adam Froerer and
Alesya Courtnage and Evan George and Harvey Ratner and Chris Iveson and, um,
Paula Lange, I mean it’s just a list of people that I just love talk about
solution focused brief therapy with. And I had an experience this past weekend
of visiting Adam and his lovely family that, uh, I think it’s really important
on y that it highlights one of the ideas on why we need to focus on this idea.
So one of the things that I’ve been really focused on in the past few years,
uh, in my work is asking clients about the version of themselves that they
would like to be.

And I remember having a conversation about this with Evan
George at the brief summer school a couple of years ago. But I began to Kinda
introduce this idea into the solution focused world. And Evan and I were kinda
talking about like asking about this and, and he noticed that I was asking it
in sessions when I did a live demonstration. And it’s just been something that
we’ve been talking about ever since. Actually we talked about this last brief
summer school as well. And I want to, I want to share about why this is so
incredibly important because it hearkens back to the best part of your client
and their resources and their strengths. So I try to struggle with the idea of
a strength based approach because, um, to me it kind of, it misses it. The, let
me give you an example. So while I was staying with Adam and his lovely family
this past week, uh, his wife is very, very ill and going through uh,
chemotherapy and I learned some things about his wife as I was there.

Like number one, watching the way she’s living her life
and attending to her family and loving her children and being a great mom and
being a great wife and being a great sister and being a great daughter. Like
she’s just an amazingly wonderful person. Like I, I cannot overstate how
wonderful she is. And I watched her and the way that she lived her life. And
here’s the thing that’s like the best version of Becca is Becca is a very
talented clothing designer. Like she’s the type of woman I believe she went to
college to learn how to do this. She makes all of the uh, kids Halloween
costumes and people ask her to make wedding dresses and that sort of thing. And
Becca has a sister who’s getting married fairly soon and Becca agreed to design
her wedding dresses. Now this is going back a thousand years ago.

She agrees to design the wedding dresses and then she gets
stricken with this illness and in all likelihood wouldn’t be able to attend a
wedding. And she’s actually going through chemo when she’s not feeling very
well. And every month, only about like one week out of the month that she feel
well. So what does Baca do with her? One Week of feeling, well, a month she
works on her sister’s wedding dresses. And it was clear to me that like, this
isn’t out of obligation. This isn’t. So my sister won’t be mad at me. This
isn’t because I promised I would. This isn’t so my mom will be happy with me.
It is a genuine act of love and like that’s who Becca is. That’s the best
version of Becca. So if Becca were to come to therapy because she developed,
you know, depression or an anxiety issue and addiction, I have to talk to the
version of Becca that is capable of that kind of activity and capable of that
kind of action.

You know Chris Iveson always talked about the clients have
parallel stories. Like we have stories of the problem and stories of resource
and that is one of Becca stories of resource and we all have it. No one has all
strengths and no one has all problem. So as a therapist it’s my job to assume
there is a story of resource and then talk to the client about that story of
resource becoming more of a dominant voice in their life. So, for example, I
just told you Becca is an amazing woman and I, I cannot overstate how amazing
she is and the dedication and the strength and the all of the things she has
with her. Um, but you know, they don’t make movies about it. They haven’t
written any books about Becca. There arent any new documentaries about Becca.
If Becca came to therapy, I wouldn’t know it.

And Becca is a type of person that she would never tell
you how amazing she is as the professional. It’s my job to assume she’s amazing
and then talk to her as if that is true. Even if the details of that amazing
are being hidden by the problem or even by the client or by the story. Like I
cannot stress enough that I have never ever, ever been proven wrong when I
believe that a client had resources and that that version of them existed. So
then in a therapy session when someone tells you what their best hopes are, and
I asked him about the version of themselves that would accomplish that best
hope, it has never let me down, but it’s not about me finding that version.
It’s me believing that it’s there. Because usually when people come to therapy,
life has convinced them that that version is longer than that no longer there.

That story is no longer true. And therapy has got to
reawaken re hearken, ignite that part of them so they can get back to being the
version of themselves that they’re most pleased with and is most likely to
accomplish their goal. So as you start using solution focused brief therapy
introduced the word version into your work because I, once you start
introducing this idea, uh, it transforms the outcome that you will experience
in therapy. So, um, just as usual, thank you so much for watching this video. I
hope it made a difference for you. Please like this video, share this video
helping get the word out and mean the world to me. Uh, sh, uh, subscribe to my youtube
channel. Head on over to elliottconnie.com and take advantage of all the free
stuff, videos and pdf downloads I have on my website and I will see you on the
next video.

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