The key to a solution focused session is that we’re looking to the future. We can’t change the past, but we can change our relationship with it, encourage acceptance and take that first step to moving forward.
First, we want to know what has brought you to our door. We have no idea why someone has chosen to come and chat to us but we assume:
- They’re hoping for something to change
- The change will move them to a place that is better than where they are now
- They’re the expert and know what is best for them
“If our sessions were successful, what is it you’re hoping will be different?”
Answers may be “I want to be more confident”, “I want to feel better” or “I want to cope with my anxiety better”. We can then ask what these hopes might look like, what would be different about their lives and how they might start to make those first small steps.
Using confidence as an example:
“Supposing you were more confident, what would be the first thing you’d notice about yourself?”
This question invites someone to think about what they really want and what that would look like and SFBT expert Elliott explains more. We try to mine as much detail as possible to build a realistic picture and we might ask questions like:
“What would you be doing differently?” (and a helpful link to more questions).
Once we have built an image of that future, we can explore times when change is already happening. There are two ways we can do this:
- Exceptions “Are there any times that you do feel more confident?”
We want to know when someone has been able to achieve their hope. Again, think about what was different about those times, what they were doing, where they were etc. Hopefully, they realise that there are already glimpses of this change in their life.
- Scaling questions to see how far someone is on the journey to change.
“On a scale of 0 to 10 where 10 is your most confident and 0 is nowhere near, where would you put yourself?”
The most common answer is a 3 and we ask “what is getting you as high as 3 and not lower?” Detail is key, so we might ask “what else?” as a prompt for more. Then, we want to think about small changes that would move them up the scale to their wanted goal.
“Supposing you were moving up the scale to maybe a 3.5, what would you be doing differently?”
Finally, encouraging small steps leads to big changes and this question asks people to think about all the small changes they could make. What is your first step, perhaps it is just getting in touch for more info