No other question holds more weight than this one: Will Solution-Focused Therapy work for me?
Of course, all therapy requires a leap of faith. But I also screen potential clients to make sure solution-focused therapy is suitable for them. It’s the reason my success rate is so high.
If you are wondering if Solution-Focused Therapy is an option for you, read on to find out about the personality traits that my hugely successful clients have in common.
1. You want to look to the future
The relief I see on people’s faces when I say that I won’t be asking you to go over your past is a surefire sign they will take to solution-focused work like a duck to water.
Often people are put off therapy because they just do not want to talk about their history. Maybe they’ve done that with a past counsellor, or maybe they are just fed up with going over the problem.
I joke that I’m a therapist that doesn’t want to hear your problems, but there is a certain truth to it. If you haven’t come up with an answer by now it will not make much difference talking about it with me.
Even if you have a reason or cause, if it’s not positively moving you toward your goals, it’s useless. Solution-Focused Therapy is different in that you accept your present and create a positive future.
2. You like the science
In solution-focused work, we spend a lot of time looking at brain function and cover topics such as neuroplasticity, the default mode network, the evolution of the mind, and evidence-based theories on control and the subconscious.
Once you understand how the brain works you can see where your thoughts and feelings come from.
If you like to know these scientific reasons, then solution-focused work is for you. And don’t worry, you’re not going back to school. I use easy-to-understand language and metaphors to get my points across. That’s where the polar bear and caveman come from.
3. You can commit the time
Yes, it might sound obvious, but I look for clients that can commit about 1 hour per week for 8-10 weeks. Not everyone has the patience or endurance for that.
Although we work quite quickly in Solution-Focused Therapy, there is a time commitment to it. If you think you can’t commit to sessions because your life is too busy to fit them in, then I may advise against it until you can get that under control.
To be honest, the most successful of my clients have prioritised our sessions and have even given up time in other areas of their lives to make sessions with me their priority.
Remember it’s not forever. But if you struggle to be disciplined to attend you won’t see the results.
4. You’ve done your homework
I have strived to get as much information out about my approach as possible: There’s my blog, my podcast, my book and my online course. If something has resonated with you there, then it’s likely you’ll find solution-focused work easier.
I’ve recently had a few clients that had done so much ‘homework’ on me and Solution-Focused Therapy that they created change within the first session!
The results they achieved following that were life-changing. Check out this podcast episode to hear about one of those clients.
5. You meet the therapeutic threshold
When it comes to the question “Will Solution-Focused Therapy work for me?” it’s important to consider the therapeutic threshold.
The following statements can also apply to other therapies, but they are particularly relevant in Solution-Focused Therapy.
1) Something needs to change
If you are identifying with your problem so much that you believe it to be a part of you then Solution-Focused Therapy is not for you.
As a solution-focused therapist, I believe that you can change, you have the choice to change, and you can empower yourself to change. But you need to realise that something is wrong, and you want something better.
My job is to help you have the headspace to do this.
2) That change needs to be me
All too often you can blame other people or circumstances for the issues in your life. They may play some part, but you must take ownership of where you are right now and understand that only you can create the change you want.
It would be easy if everyone changed for you, but would that really solve your problem? And politics, the economic climate, and the culture that you live in are not going to change either, at least not quickly enough for you to feel better.
So, the change must come from within you, and it can.
3) That change needs to be now
If you’re not ready to make the commitment to change then it doesn’t hurt enough yet. This will sound harsh but it’s true.
Do you feel like you can continue to muddle through for a bit longer? Do you think you’re generally managing? Then there is no motivation to change, and you’ll find Solution-Focused Therapy challenging at best and a chore at worst.
Rest assured, if you ask me in our initial chat “Will Solution-Focused Therapy work for me?” then I will always be honest with you. If I think we’re not a good fit, I’ll say so.
And I won’t leave you in the lurch either. I’ll recommend another modality or another colleague of mine who may be a better fit.
It’s my job as a therapist to help you get the help you need, whether that’s from me or someone else, I don’t mind. I just want you to get better.
But I do hope that this article will help you to decide whether solution-focused therapy is a good fit for you. The results I see in my clients are phenomenal, but they have been ready and eager to take the leap. Are you?