The Hidden 7 Percent

Posted by Elliott Connie - January 20, 2019 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

When using the Solution Focused Approach, the questions matter but even more important is the language in the questions. And, as such so too does the way you view the client. I learned this lesson this in a very touching way and share that story in this video.


Because the solution focused approach is so much about
language and the way that we talked to our clients. It also means that it’s
very much about the way we view our clients because the way you view someone is
going to have a significant impact on the way that you talk to them and when
the place. I learned that lesson probably the most profound place I learned
that lesson. It wasn’t from a professor. It wasn’t from a mentor or another
colleague or at a conference where the workshop really have that. It was from a
person that I met at a church and it was many, many years ago. At the very,
very beginning of my career. Someone asked me to attend a grief group at a
church. His local church. They facilitate a group for people who have lost a
loved one and they asked me if I would come and sit in on this group just
because they knew what I did by professors wanted me to watch you for whatever
reason and I was available.

So I said, sure, I’ll go and I’ll sit down on the group
and I will never forget. I mean, I walked away with one of the most profound
lessons because this one gentleman shared a story at this group and basically
he said that he and his wife, years prior had lost his teenage son and he said
that one day his teenage son was going to go sleep over a friend’s house and he
comes downstairs to go jumping a car to go to his friend’s house. And, uh, the
father says to the son, don’t forget the blockbuster movie. You have to return
it. Those of you old enough to remember, we used to rent blockbuster movies,
that if you kept it too long, they would give you a fine per day. The Dad
didn’t want that to happen. So he told the son that run upstairs and grab the
movie that he had rented.

So on his way to the sleep over, he could drop the movie
off. And so the sun kind of graphs a little bit, runs upstairs, grabs the
blockbuster movie, and then runs out the front door, gets in a friend’s car.
And they started heading to the sleepover and they were hit by a mack truck and
died instantly. The father says he heard the crash and he said, I instantly
knew my life would never be the same. Uh, he runs down the road a discovers
that it’s a son in an accident, a ambulance and hospitals, all kinds of things.
And of course, the son had passed away, uh, so the next day, uh, he and his
wife were sitting in the house and, uh, hadn’t slept the night before because
of all of the things that have gone on. And he said people were coming to the
house, dropping off a flowers and bringing them food.

And eventually he was sitting on a couch and his wife was
laid across his life. I’ll never forget this. His life was laid across his lap
and I had fallen asleep just from exhaustion and they both just fell asleep.
And he said he woke up and discovered his wife was still laying across him asleep.
And uh, people had brought all kinds of things. And one of the things that
someone had brought was a pamphlet about grief. So he’s sitting on this couch,
wife across them, and he said, I didn’t want to move too much and wake my wife
up and write where I could reach. It was this pamphlet about grief. So he opens
the pamphlet and he starts reading and one of the things he reads is 93 percent
of people who lose a child. Ninety percent of people, Ninety three percent of
people married.

People who lose a child, ended up in divorce and he turned
to his wife. He woke her up and he said, honey, honey, people actually make it
through this. He said, no matter what happens, let’s make sure we’re in that 70
percent and I will never forget sitting and listening to that story and
thinking to myself, how on earth did this person read that statistic? Ninety
three percent of people who lose a child ended up in divorce. How did he hear
that statistic? As good news? It blew me away. I ran up to him when this was
over and I said, first of all, I’m a lecturer and would you mind if I tell them
if I share this story? And he gave me permission to do so, and I said, um, how
did you do that and what do you think the impact of that was?

And he said, once I knew that seven percent of people made
it through that, it made me live my life as one of the seven percent. It made
me talk to my wife as we were going to be in the seven percent. It made her
talk to me as if we were going to be in at seven percent and we lived this life
to ensure we were in the seven percent. And I realized that in order to do the
type of work that we do in this profession, sometimes we have to see the seven
percent. Sometimes we have to see what other people don’t see. Sometimes we
have to see beyond the problem, beyond the diagnosis, beyond the symptom, the
on the pattern and see the person and who they are and what they’re capable of
and talk to them from that framework. Now, the questions of solution focused
brief therapy and the techniques of solution focused brief therapy are very,
very important.

But none of it matters if you can’t see beauty and
eloquence and hope and change possibilities in your client because it doesn’t
sound like you’re talking to the right part of them. So it’s so important when
you use this approach that you train your brain to see the 70 percent. It’s so
important that you train your brain to see the presence of hope, no matter how
much it tries to hide from him, because once you do, that’s going to guide the
way you talk and then the fluency of the solution focused questions falls right
in line. Much more so I decided to share this story because I hope it touches
you and impacts you in the same way it touches me because it’s been years well
over a decade and I still have not forgotten that and I hope you won’t forget
it either. And I also never want you to forget that you are one question away
from making a difference in someone’s life. You just have to make sure you see
that seven percent. So thank you for watching this video. If you liked it,
please like it, share it, leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think. I’d
love to hear the way this message impacted you and I’ll see you in the next
video.

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