Why You Should Look at People with Admiration
If you want to get good at Solution Focused Brief Therapy you have to put yourself in a position where you are easily amazed by people. You have to develop a mindset where you watch someone’s conduct, behavior and what stands out to you, isn’t their problem story, but their hero story. You have to watch people with admiration and recognize strength. And if you look around in the world, there’s loads of opportunity for us to do that. When you develop the ability to look at people with admiration, when you develop the ability to be easily amazed by people, you become much more positioned to do Solution Focused Brief Therapy well, and take a Solution Focused Brief Therapy stance.
You know, the other day I was watching the news, I was watching the news and, there was a man who was recently shot in the back seven times in Wisconsin. And I try, I’ll be honest with you, I try to avoid watching these videos because they are traumatic. They are triggering as a black man. They are scary and concerning. But this one, I was just scrolling through Facebook and it auto played.
And I saw this man walking to his car, police officer, pulling on his shirt and shooting him seven times in the back. And I learned that this man was breaking up a fight. I later learned this man was breaking up a fight. Someone called the police while he was breaking up the fight. And when the police officers arrived, this man was relieved because someone was going to come and take care of this fight. And when he walked back to his car, that’s when the encounter happened. And that’s when he got shot.
It blew me away. I mean, I’m still dealing with all the craziness that comes along with being a black man in America with events like this going on. But then yesterday I saw someone that amazed me, and it’s that person’s mother who was calling for people who are protesting to be peaceful. And to honor her son who is currently in the hospital, fighting the health concerns associated with being shot that many times. And I just thought to myself, I watched this woman speak eloquently and with grace and call for peace.
And I was amazed. I was amazed I thought to myself, if I were in the same situation where that had happened to my son, would I be able to be so graceful? Would I be able to be so eloquent? Would I be able to be so disciplined and ask people to be peaceful? And the honest to goodness answer is I’m not sure.
But I watched her with conviction, ask people to be peaceful and not disrespect her son, who at that moment was in the hospital, trying to heal from these gunshot wounds. And I was amazed. I was totally amazed. Now, as psychotherapists, like your client is going to come into your office and they’re going to come with problems, you know, I drink too much, smoke too much.
I use, I’m depressed a lot. I have anxiety. Whatever the problem is, your client’s going to come into your office with problems. But you have to also remember that they are, they are like amazing. Like if this woman came to my office with whatever problem she might have, she also brings with her that resiliency that allowed her to stand in front of a camera with the entire world watching and show strength and discipline that most people are not capable of.
I’m making this point for two reasons. Number one, if you’re going to do Solution Focused Brief Therapy well, you really have to develop this stance because this is an approach about competencies, not flaws. This is an approach about resiliencies, not problems. This is an approach that evokes the very best inside of your client, which means your very first responsibility is to believe that it’s in there.
But the second thing I believe is if we can change the way we view one another, not only do we become better clinicians, but the world becomes a better place. And it is very clear to me that we have some work to do to make this world a better place. And I think it starts with just looking at people with admiration and give them grace.
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