Leading With Care and Your Instincts
A special thought came to me when I was whale watching in Sydney, Australia. I get so many questions about what questions to ask for clients facing specific problems. There is no formulaic answer, which is why it’s important to lead the session with care and why you should use your instincts to ask the next question.
As a result of my traveling around the world, teaching people to do Solution Focused Therapy, I’ve had some amazing, amazing experiences that taught me lessons that have impacted my life and my practice. For example, one time I was in Sydney, Australia, and I had just landed in Sydney and it was like in the middle of the day,
uh, actually was like mid morning. And I thought, man, I’m going to go for a walk. And I went for a walk and I find myself at the Sydney Harbor, which is beautiful. The Sydney opera house. There’s really cool shopping and restaurants and all this stuff. And I see this sign that says whale watch at 1:00PM.
And I look at my watch and it’s like two hours from now. I am dog tired, but if anybody knows me, they know I love the ocean and I love marine life. So it says whale watch 1:00PM. And I’m like, holy cow I’m tired, but I got to do this. Like, this is something I absolutely have to do.
So I go shopping, get something to eat, relax, chill out. And then 1:00PM comes and I get on this whale watch. And so, it’s cool. In Australia it’s the migration path of the humpback whales. So the humpback whales swim to the south to birth their children. And then they swim back north to a feeding area where they feed their children.
And this whale watch takes place with the boat just sit in the migration path and they watched the humpback whales. Now, it was really cool because you would see these whales and oftentimes there would be two whales side by side, and you’d see two spouts coming out of blow holes. So I asked the captain of the boat,
like, what are those? And the captain told me, that’s usually when you see the two whales, it’s usually the mother whale and the baby whale that she has just birthed swimming side-by-side going to the feeding grounds. And it was just amazing. Like some of the whales, you know, you could see them more clearly and others not, but I mean,
it was just amazing beyond the water and see these whales. So, um, but every now and then there would be one whale and one blowhole. So I said to the captain of the boat, I said, is that a mother with no child? Or is that like a male whale? And the captain said,
no, no, no. When you see one blow hole that usually the baby, the mother is underneath the baby, holding the baby at the surface because this is a long swim and the baby does not have the stamina to make the entire swim. So the mother will swim underneath the baby and hold the baby at the surface so the baby can breathe. And I couldn’t help it.
I sat there for a minute and I just thought what an incredible thing for mother humpback whale to do. And where did the humpback whale mother learned to do such a thing? Like there’s obviously, there’s no like, humpback whale swimming classes. There’s no humpback whale coaching programs. There’s no humpback whale parenting classes. The whale just knew how to provide care for the child.,
And I sat back and I thought about like the rest of the day, I thought about like, how instinctual care is. And the reason it’s relevant to me as someone who teaches Solution Focused Brief Therapy is we spend, I get so many questions, and we spend so much time addressing people who are looking for the intervention to help the client. Like people ask me questions.
Like, so what do I ask a couple who has had a trauma background? What do I ask a child who has ADHD? What do I ask an individual who has an addiction? And I can’t answer those questions because there is no formulaic answer. There is no, this is the question we use with couples. When there’s a trauma background, this is the question we use with people who struggle with addiction.
This is with people who, we use for those children who have ADHD. There are no black and white ‘here are the questions we use’. The questions come from our care in the moment with our clients. So when you go into a session using Solution Focused Brief Therapy, I don’t want you to try to be like a question robot
trying to figure out what question to match the client’s problem. Instead, I want you to be someone led by care. I want you to be like that humpback whale mother, that led by your instincts that’s led by your care. And your questions will come from that. Now it’s really important that we learned thr Solution Focused questions. It’s really important that we learn the language of Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
But it’s even more important that we not forget that this stems from care. That is what Solution Focused Brief Therapy. And in fact, that is what all psychotherapy. That is what all helping professions is all about. Care. And it took me going to Sydney, Australia, and watching a humpback whale care for her baby in migration to truly see that care is universal.
It is instinctual. And you need to bring it into your sessions. Hey, 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 very best Solution Focused Brief Therapist that you could possibly be. If you could please help me share the word.
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