Somehow I like to believe that clients don’t need answers.
They rather long for the right question to be asked.
When that happens, they themselves get the opportunity to come up with the answers they were looking for, realizing that what was missing was already there, with them. Feels like this way of inviting solutions to happen is a more sustainable way of creating hope and self-confidence with clients.
In Solution Focused Brief Therapy we tend not to try to ‘get to the right question’ since we rather lead from behind. By gentle probing we invite the client to take us with them and we devise questions along the way. Well, at least we try to.
We do have our set of basic questions (What changed before coming to this session? How did you do that? What else? The Miracle Question, …) of course and most of the times they will work fine.
But since we’re also considering the client to be a co-expert, why not asking our clients to devise their own questions?
“I’ve asked you lots of questions. Now, can you think a little about this. It may seem like a strange question at first. Is it ok if I ask you? Here it is: What question would you like to be asked?”
Last Friday, my friend Anton Stellamans challenged me to answer it myself. At first, it was hard. Finally I was able to say: “I’d like to be asked what it was my little daughter did yesterday that made me proud.”
So here’s a deal. From today on, I’ll be asking myself a question I’d like to be asked. Just a question, no answer. See what happens. If you like, feel free to join me and share your thoughts.
Question 1: “How did you allow this morning’s pleasant conversation to happen?”