Solution Focused Approaches to Working with Youth: You may only get one Shot Leslie G. Kelly, MA, LPCC UNM Center for Rural & Community Health UNM Health Sciences Center State Behavioral Telehealth Coordinator
What is a solution focused approach? • The focus is on building a solution • The focus in on what the client wants now or wants in the future • All individuals have at least one useful • Client and clinician work on constructing solutions together • Works well as a brief intervention
Solution Focused Brief Therapy helps clients develop a desired vision of the future wherein the problem is solved, and explore and amplify related client exceptions, strengths and resources to co-contract a client specific pathway to making the vision a reality. The client takes the lead in defining goals, strategies, strengths, and resources (Corey, 1985).
Solution-focused Process • It’s a process of change • It uses a language of change • This process of listening, absorbing and connecting • This process is described as creating new common ground between practitioner and client in which questions that contain embedded assumptions of client competence and expertise set in motion conversation(McGee,DelVento and Bavelas 2005).
How can you accomplish all this in brief therapy? Three main ingredients for conversations: 1. Overall Topics 2. The therapeutic process of co-constructing altered or new meanings in clients QUESTIONS QUESTIONS QUESTIONS !
BUT WHAT IF……..? (Clinician) Help!! Now What? If a client has difficulty articulating any goal at all after your listening and questioning, you can ask THE MIRACLE QUESTION! (Client) “I don’t know” “I guess” “maybe” “huh?” “what time is it ?”
WHY THE “MIRACLE” QUESTION? The purpose of the miracle question is to provide a way to ask for the clients goal(s) in a respectful way that acknowledges the immensity of the problem yet allows the client to come up with smaller more manageable goals.
“I am going to ask you a strange question, so hang in there with me, the question is this: When we are done talking here you will go back to your class, your home and will do whatever you need to do the rest of the day, doing homework, taking care of your little sister, helping with dinner etc. It will become time to go to bed and when that happens every one in your house is quiet and relaxed and your are sleeping in peace. In the middle of the night a miracle happens and the problem that brought you here to talk to me today is solved/gone! You don’t have any way of knowing it was solved because the miracle happened when you were asleep. So, when you get up tomorrow morning , what might be the small change that will make you say to yourself, “Wow, something must have happened overnight – the problem is gone!”
RESOURCES Solution Focused Therapy Treatment Manual for Working with Individuals Research Committee of the Solution- Focused Therapy with Children: Harnessing Family Strengths for Systemic Change (Paperback) Matthew D. Selekmansolution Focused Brief Therapy Association Trepper, McCollum, DeJong, Korman, Gingerich, Franklin. Becoming Solution-Focused In Brief Therapy (Hardcover)~ John L. WalterJohn L. Walter (Author) ›Visit Amazon's John L. Walter Page The Therapists Notebook on Strengths and Solution-Based Therapies: Homework, by Bob Bertolino Interviewing for Solutions (Paperback) Peter De Jong Peter De Jong (Author)