Creating Connections with Clients Regardless of Time

Posted by Elliott Connie - March 27, 2020 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

I was actually afraid that I would not have an inspired idea for this week’s video, a problem I have never had before. But, then I talked to a colleague and was on fire again! Enjoy this video and the message about doing SFBT when you just have a few minutes.


As we approach 200 videos in my SFBT moments weekly series. I finally find myself almost in a state of, like, not being inspired. People would ask me all the time, “How do you do this every single week, week in and week out, delivering a message related to Solution Focused Brief Therapy?” And my answer is always the same, man. Like, I stay inspired, and I stay connected, and I just share what’s on my mind and what’s in my heart on that given day, And now,

man, these times have gotten so weird. It’s just a challenge for me these days. And then something happened this morning where I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a counselor in Canada. And I was talking to her about the work that she’s doing, and she told me about a recent conversation she had with one of her clients that just last 15 minutes. And she was like, “Can I do a Solution Focused conversation in 15 minutes?”. It was such a cool conversation to have, like, so side note

right, this social distancing that we call, which is really physical distancing, for people like me, I really get energy from people, and I love to hug people, and I love to be connected to people and being trapped in my home for as long as I have,

it’s kind of dampened my energy a little bit. So now I’m talking to this person and I’m super excited and we’re having this really deep,

wonderful conversation about the Solution Focused approach. And as we start talking about it as we get into it, she shares with me this work that she’s doing and how

she was working with this young person, and she just had 15 minutes to do it. And she’s like, “Can

you really do a Solution Focused session 15 minutes?”. And we have this conversation about, like, the brilliance of Solution Focused

Brief Therapy is that each question has the potential to make a tremendous difference in a client’s life. As I always say,

“You’re never more than one question away from making a difference in the client’s life.” And people really heal not by the techniques we use.

They heal by the connection that we have with them. Think about the people in your life that you’re connected to,

maybe it’s a young child, and the young child’s really nervous and anxious and sad or whatever. Maybe it’s a young kid who was afraid of the dark,

just warm embrace from a Mom or a warm embrace from a Dad. They just feel better from that connection that happens in an instant.

And it’s very common thing that you could ask a question and it makes a difference in the child’s life.

It makes a difference in the client’s life in the way that they live, and the way they go about things. So I’ll tell you really quick story.

I had a client one time sitting in my office. The appointment’s gonna be at five o’clock or whatever time,

and they don’t show up. I walked about at 5:15 they’re not there, by 5:30 they’re not there, 5:40 client shows up, “Super sorry I’m late

I was stuck in traffic.” And he said, “Should we reschedule”. And I said, “Sure”,

and I brought him back into my office. We were going to reschedule, and the man started to weep. He

broke down and started to cry, and I asked him if he was okay. And he said, “Yeah, I just really needed this talk man, I’m just going through some things that, I’m just really,

really so bummed that I had to miss it. Now I have to wait another week to come back for therapy.”

and I looked at the clock. It’s now probably about 15 minutes, 17 minutes to the top of the hour and my next

client’s gonna come. And I said, “Man, have a seat. So what are your best hopes for talking?” And he said,

“I just really, really need to deal with what’s going on in my relationship. I think my wife is unhappy.

I’m unhappy and I just, I just don’t want to be unhappy any more and I don’t want her to be unhappy”.

“I know we just have a few minutes, but what would you rather be instead of unhappy?” And he smiled and said,

“I’d really like to be happy.” And I said to him, “When do you remember you and your wife being the most happy?” And

he described times in the past where they were the most happy and that’s what we did for the rest

of the session. We just talked about the clients past and the happiness that he and his wife used to experience in the past, and I said,

“Well, we’re out of time.” Again, it only took about 15, 17 minutes. “So we’re about out of time,

would you mind just going back and look for bits of evidence that you and your wife are still those people capable of the happiness you once achieved?” And still quite emotional,

he said, “Yes, no problem.” And he went and he went back and went to his home. Now we had another appointment scheduled for a week later.

He called me and he said he didn’t think he needed to keep that appointment cause things have been much better.

I said, no problem. And he’s schedule another appointment for in the future because he thought he need to come back to check in.

And he called me later, didn’t need the appointment and never needed it again because that one brief conversation made the difference.

It shifted his focus, and it changed the way he was interacting with his wife. Now that was some years ago.

In years later, I got a Christmas card from he and his wife. It was just a wonderful reminder that it’s like we’re not using techniques on these people.

It’s not like the techniques make a difference, because logically, that would make sense. The more techniques you use the more good.

So the longer the session, the bigger the impact. But that’s not true. People respond to the connection that they have with us,

and you can do that in an instance. So now as we live in this world, where a lot of people are moving their sessions online,

and they’re super concerned. I have a bunch of emails and phone calls from people super concerned about how this is going to impact their work and the difference

it makes, and all that sort of thing. But look, you can be connected with someone via computer, the phone, the same

way we can face to face. And that’s the thing that makes the difference. So don’t get bogged down on how long the session is

or if the sessions on the phone or via email or via whatever it is, you can make a difference in your

client’s life. Just keep asking them questions that are connected to their desired outcome happening in their life and then watch out.

Because it’s a brilliant, magical, wonderful thing. So thank you so much for watching this video. Hit the ‘like’ button.

Please share this video. Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Hit the ‘bell’ so you get notifications. Head on over to my website.

www.elliottconnie.com where I have loads of videos. You can even search, there’s a search function on my website.

You can search for the content. Like if you want to know about SFBT with couples or desired outcome or the miracle question. Just put those search terms in the video in the search field,

and you will be able to pull out the videos where I’ve talked about those things and until next time I will see you in the next video.

But always remember you are never more than one question away from make a difference in your client’s life. Elbow boom!

Social Distancing.

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