How Do I Not Give Up On My Clients When Sessions Get Really Difficult?

Posted by Elliott Connie - May 22, 2020 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

I recently had a moment during a webinar that really hit me in the heart. Part of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is a stance and a human’s ability to use hope to overcome any challenge. One question from a participant was, “How do I not give up on clients when it gets really hard in the session?” In this video, I expand up that answer.


Have you ever had a moment that just shockingly unexpectedly like hits you right in your heart and causes you to think about things in an unexpected way in an unexpected moment? Well that happened to me the other day, I was teaching a webinar and it was an amazing event, right. It was an amazing webinar.

We had about 1400 people sign up for this webinar from all over the world, bunch of people really excited and enthused to learn about Solution Focused Brief Therapy and I was talking to them about how important it is that you like study academically, right. And you understand that the academic component of Solution Focused Brief Therapy you know, like, the theory and the content and the techniques and the questions and the process.But it’s also important that you understand that part of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is a stance, right? It’s a stubborn belief in a human beings capabilities and in the human beings ability to use home to overcome any challenge that they experienced in their life. And I was talking to them about some of the work that I’ve done with my clients and one of the participants asked me,

how do I not give up on my clients in session when it gets really hard? And even sometimes you’re tempted to give up. And like I answered the question as best I could in the moment, but I want to expand upon this answer cause I’ve actually been thinking about it ever since. And my answer was, and is, the way that I maintain my stance and what I do when I’m tempted to give up,

to ensure I don’t give up, is I honestly, I think about how unlikely it is that my life has gotten to where it has from where it started. I think about the people throughout my journey of life that believed in me when they almost had no reason to believe in me, that refuse to give up on me, and that will help me go further in life than I ever thought I would be able to get.

I think about my best friend’s dad, mr Crandall. Mr Crandall, I’ve known my best friend Kyle for like almost my entire childhood. And he was there, his family was there when I was going through the hardest time of my life and not making the greatest decisions and not being a person that I wanted to be.

And his dad always believed in me and always let me know that he saw good in the person I could be. And it touched me, it touched me deeply to know that someone could look at me at my lowest, darkest, deepest moment and still see good. I think about Dr. Marilyn Pugh. Dr Marilyn Pugh is so important in my journey to become an academic.

Because when I got to college, man, I was full of anxiety and depression, absolutely low self esteem, did not believe in myself. And Dr Marilyn ugh used to tell me that she thinks I could be a good Psychotherapist. And I remember like thinking, what! I don’t even know what a psychotherapist was. I was 20 years old when she said it and she said that she sees potential in me and at the time she didn’t know it,

but I was actually thinking really dark, deep, really rough thoughts. And Dr. Pugh saw something beautiful in the darkness. Dr Pugh saw potential and not problems. And I think about people like that and I just think when a client walks into my office, it’s my opportunity to be their Mr Crandall. To be their Dr Marilyn Pugh. It’s my opportunity to convey to that person I see potential and not problems.

Even when you don’t. One of the secret ingredients of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is you’ve got to believe in the person you’re seeing. If you don’t believe in that person anymore, then it’s really hard to be their change agent. It’s really hard to be the person who could help them create a new and different life. And really honestly, that’s what this is about.

I’m telling you, I would not be here if not for Mr Crandall, if not for Dr Marilyn Pugh and a thousand other people in my life along the journey who decided that no matter what stupid things Elliott was doing, no matter what poor choices Elliott was making, we are going to attend to his potential. One of my favorite memories in life. One of my favorite memories of life.

So I’ve written several books and one of my books is called Solution Building in Couples therapy. And if you look at the dedication page in that book, one of the dedications is to Steve and Marie Crandall. I was able to dedicate my second book to them and to see their faces when they saw that. It was like seeing their investment in me

come true and come to fruition. I will never forget the look on their faces when I was able to tell them that I had done that and then deliver them that book. It is a, to this day, one of the most touching moments of my life. And I’m telling you, like people who always wonder, like, how does Solution Focused Brief Therapy work

in just one session or two sessions, three sessions or whatever. It’s because you can inspire someone in an instant. You can be that thing in someone’s life. And when a client walks into your office, it gives you the opportunity to do so. Now, look, the academic stuff is important. You’ve got to know the theory and you’ve got to study and you’ve got to do all that

kind of stuff. But that’s not enough. You also have to believe in people, and in some cases you have to see potential in them, even when they don’t see potential in themselves. It could change their life. Thank you so much for watching that video. I really appreciate you guys listening to me share my thoughts and ideas about Solution Focused

Brief Therapy and as I try to make you the very best Solution Focused Brief Therapiist that you could possibly be. If you could please help me share the word. ‘Like’, ‘share’ and ‘subscribe’ to my YouTube channel. Help me spread the word of this amazing Approach. Hit the bell on my YouTube channel so you get notifications when I post new content.

Head on over to www.elliottconnie.com where I post all kinds of free content, free training materials and updates on my courses and events. And I hope to see you in the next video. Thank you.

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