Being Aware of Your Own Experience of Doubt

Posted by Elliott Connie - February 15, 2020 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

There is one thing that could kill any therapy session. It’s not the nature of the problem or even the client’s level of motivation. It’s doubt. And in the video I share how to ensure you don’t let doubt kill your sessions.


If there’s one thing in a Solution Focused conversation that a professional needs to learned how to control, be aware of and attend to. It’s actually it’s not like the client problem. It’s not, You know, the client’s level of motivation, to be very honest with you. It’s not even like the outcome from the therapy session, though clearly that’s important as Solution Focused Therapist. The actual thing that you need to be aware of. The number one thing that can tank all of your Solution Focused sessions.

The number one thing you need to be totally, totally tune in to is your own experience with doubt. Now listen. I’ve said it 1000 times Solution Focused questions live in the ‘Forest of Hope’,

not in the ‘Desert of Doubt’, and people email me all the time and they say, Elliott, “how do you use Solution

Focused Brief Therapy with a young teenager who doesn’t love school and can’t answer your questions.” Do you see the doubt in that question?

When you say, if you let it creep in your head while you’re talking to a client that they cannot answer your questions,

then you are not going to be good at asking them questions because you’ve let doubt override your capacity to believe that this client can change.

People ask me all the time. “But Elliott, what about those client’s who’ve had trauma and thus they’re incapable of experiencing hope.”

The moment I start experiencing a client is incapable of having hope is the moment I lose my ability to

ask my client about what they hope to achieve from therapy. So it’s really important guys that you study Solution Focused Therapy and that you learn the questions to ask your clients and you

say the right things at the right time and you know how to build questions. All that stuff is important,

but it all grows from the way that you experience your client. And the easiest way to ensure that you’re looking to your client to the lens of capacity is to make sure you’re not allowing doubt to creep into your mind.

We have to truly, with stubbornness, hold on to the belief that the client can achieve the outcome they’re

seeking from therapy whether they have a traumatic background, whether they’re a stroppy teenager, whether they’re really dealing with a grief and loss issue.

If you allow your thoughts to start thinking what the client wants is impossible for them to have because of their life experience,

then you are going to not be able to effectively ask them questions. So, like, for me,

the real toxic dynamic in a Solution Focused session has nothing to do with the client problem, has nothing to do with the client motivation.

It has to do with my own confidence level. It has to do with my own ability to make sure I am not allowing doubt to creep into my mind set,

because the moment I do I’m not asking questions. Now you might be thinking like, “So do you think every single client can get better?”

Of course they can. Of course. I think that, of course, I think every single can get better.

And if there are clients who can’t get better at the time of the session, I have no way of knowing whether they’re in the group that can get better or that can’t.

So it behooves me. It is in my best interest and the best interest of the client that I talk to them as if they’re in the group that can get better because you know what?

I have been surprised more times than I can count. I’ve said all of the time I have been unbelievably lucky.

I’ve had some of the best teachers in the world in Solution Focused Brief Therapy. The person who introduced me to

this approach is Dr Linda Metcalf, and I’ve spent years studying with Dr Adam Froerer and I have had mentorship and tutelage from Chris Iveson,

Harvey Ratner and Evan George. But what I had most, my best and most amazing teachers have been my clients because they have continued to surprise me.

They have continued to demonstrate to me that my confidence in them is not unfounded. They continue to demonstrate to me that when you believe in somebody, change is not only possible,

but it is likely. They have continued to transform their lives when they come from the deepest, darkest pits of despair.

I’ve seen clients literally going through a divorce, and the relationship end up healthy and happy. I’ve seen clients go through the most awful experiences of tragedy,

trauma and grief, and yet they somehow able to gather themselves and live a life as their best selves. And I want you to remember that your clients can change.

And it’s your ability to believe in those clients and not allowed doubt to creep in and overrun your sessions.

So go off and be confident. And make sure you don’t let doubt get into your sessions. Remember,

you have to look for your questions in the ‘Forest of Hope’ and not in the ‘Desert of Despair’, not in the ‘Desert of Doubt’.

And with that, I will see you later. Yo, please give me a like. Give me a share.

Head on over to my website at www.elliottconnie.com, if you’re not already over there. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @Elliottspeaks

and I will see you later. Fist bump.

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