You Have To Ask

Posted by Elliott Connie - December 6, 2019 - Solution Focused Therapy - No Comments

This has been a challenging year for me, one filled with many hard lessons for me. One such lesson is featured in this video and one that I’m certain will make you a better Solution Focused worker. Enjoy!

As we get to the end of, uh, 2019, uh, I sit back and I
reflect on all the lessons I’ve learned during this year and the impactful
things that have occurred to me. And I think what I’m going to do is for the
rest of this year, uh, the videos that I’m going to make, I’m going to share
the lessons, uh, that I think are related to Solution Focused Brief Therapy,
um, that, that 2019 has taught me. And the first one is this, what I’m going to
refer to is like, ‘you’ve got to ask’. Uh, so let me explain what I mean when I
say ‘you’ve got to ask’. Earlier this year I was teaching a course in, uh,
Orlando, Florida with my colleague and best friend, a guy named Adam Froerer.
And uh, Adam was going to get a phone call that would dramatically impact his
life. His wife was going to see a doctor and, um, it was a phone call where
completely unexpectedly, um, he was notified that his wife had breast cancer.

And I’ll never forget Adam coming back into the room and
he sat next to me and he had this look in his eyes and I knew he was going to
step out and take this phone call. So I looked at him and kinda thumbs up and
uh, he shook his head in response to thumbs down. And that started a seven
month, one day journey of treatment for uh, his wife and whole family really. And
um, in that, in that time I watched his wife Becca, demonstrate a level of
dignity, strength, love and integrity. Uh, like I’d never seen before. Like
I’ve never seen someone so strong, so remarkable and so amazing. Like the
things she did, not only to deal with the discomfort and uncomfort that comes
along with chemotherapy and radiation and all that kind of stuff, but the way
she was there for her friends and family and loved ones and the way she went
about being Becca, going through this treatment was one of the most remarkable
things I’d ever seen.

This past weekend I was with the Froerer family for her
last treatment and got to watch her ring the bell, which you do when you are
officially done with cancer treatment. And um, it was an amazing thing to watch.
And it got me to thinking about the work that we do in Solution Focused Brief
Therapy because Becca is one of the most humble people that I know. And though
I think she’s also one of the strongest people that I know, she would never
tell you that. So let’s say like 10 years from now, Becca ends up in a
therapist’s office because she’s struggling with anxiety or some problem has
popped up in her life or, or whatever. I have to remember to ask about times in
her life when her incredible strength has shown up because she’s not just gonna
outright tell you about that time

way back when, when I demonstrated my incredible level of
strength when I went through cancer treatment. She’s not going to talk about
the way she loved her family. She’s not going to talk about the way she
welcomed Elliott into her family. She’s not going to talk about the way that
she, uh, made dresses for her sister’s wedding, even though she was going
through chemotherapy. She’s not going to talk about the way she was there for
her husband, even though she wasn’t feeling her best. She won’t talk about
those things. You have to remember to ask and in asking, you have to assume
that there is evidence in her past of her incredible abilities. That really is
the trick of using Solution Focus Therapy is you have to make the assumption
that somewhere in your client’s past is evidence of how remarkable that person

Now, I can tell you, I watched her over the course of this
seven months and one day, I watched how remarkable this person is and I came
away knowing what true strength and integrity and dignity and effort and love
looks like, and I will forever be in debt and grateful to Becca for allowing me
to see that part of her because it touched me and it changed me and it, it has
impacted the way that I want to live my life. But it also makes me want to
remind you guys that like clients won’t walk into your office and say,
“Hi, my name’s Becca and I’m the strongest person you’ve ever met.”
It’s your job to assume it and then remember to ask questions that highlight
your client’s amazing and remarkable strength. So the very first lesson I’m
going to share as we wrap up 2019, the very first lesson that I’m going to
share that, uh, 2019 has brought to me.

And I mean even though we have a few weeks left, I am
certainly convinced 2019 and not done with me and there’s plenty of lessons to
be learned and to be had and to put in action. But for now I want to remind
you, ‘you have to ask’, your clients aren’t going to tell you. And in order, in
that process of remembering to ask is you have to remember to believe. And that
really is, uh, one of the key components of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. So
thank you for watching this video everybody. I really appreciate it. Please
give me a like, give me a share, head on over to and
check out everything I have there. And in the meantime, stay well, fist bump.