What Happens in a Solution Focused Therapy Session Part 1 - The Breakthrough Session
Updated: Mar 31
In this 3 part series, I aim to show you exactly what is involved in Solution Focused Therapy sessions with me. Part 2 of the series explains the review & miracle question while part 3 focuses on deep relaxation or hypnotherapy.
This series begins with assuming we have already had some initial conversations about your issues and you have made the decision to go forward.
The breakthrough session is designed for me to gather more information from you and allow you to ask any more questions that you may have. By the end of this session, you will have a very clear idea of what we are going to do in our sessions going forward and you will immediately begin to feel more in control of your thoughts and feelings.
And this session is exactly what I have titled it - we really do make a breakthrough straight away into understanding how your mind works and where the issues you have described to me come from. We still do a lot of work in this session, although you may not realise it at first, each and every step going forward is now nuanced with Solution Focused techniques so we begin to create change quickly and easily.
I will begin by clarifying and summarising what exactly we are dealing with and your goals to move forward from here. You will have the opportunity to tell me a lot more about your issues if you wish, although to keep it Solution Focused there is no need to go into great detail. I have, in fact, had a few clients that have not been able to disclose everything to me but have still made great improvements in their well-being. The reason this works is that I always want you to remember that it is your mind we are dealing with here. Subconsciously you know you want to feel better and so that is really what we need to focus on - not the assumed causes or reasons for your issues.
I will then ask you about any other 'anxiety markers' which you may not have identified yourself, things like do you bite your nails or grind your teeth? Do you experience migraines or have IBS symptoms? All these things can be signs of anxiety or stress and they will be things that I also work towards relieving. Once your issues begin to resolve you will also find a lot of these symptoms disappear also.
We will then discuss your sleep quality in detail. This will give me an idea of how your mind is currently trying to empty your 'stress bucket.' Even if you feel that you aren't sleeping at all - I know that I will be able to help you with that, in fact, it is the first thing I will be able to help you with.
Next, I will explain how the brain works and where these issues that you've described to me arise from. I believe that knowledge is power and once you understand exactly how you've got to the point you are now then you will feel back in control once more. I have often had clients sigh with relief at this point, to finally understand that what they are experiencing is normal and it becomes clear to them that this is a temporary issue that can be resolved. I use diagrams here, and I keep it quite low tech with pen and paper. This diagram then provides the basis for all our sessions going forward, we go over this and add to it at every session. I will expand on it by adding further science-backed examples of how the brain works and tailor-make it to you, to explain in more detail your current issues and anything else you would like to deal with.
We will finish this session with some deep relaxation techniques, more detail in part 3. At this stage, as you have had a lot to take in during this session, this is used just to give you an experience of lying on the couch and gives me some baseline results into where we are beginning.
You will leave with a copy of our brain diagram and a 20-minute recording of the relaxation. You access this via an app on your phone. Your 'homework' will be to fall asleep to that recording every night.
And that concludes the Breakthrough session. I really have done most of the work in this session, but from now on you'll be doing all the talking.......see part 2: the review & miracle question to find out what happens next.
Gin Lalli firstname.lastname@example.org
Gin Lalli is a Solution Focused Therapist specialising in anxiety, depression, stress and sleep. She is based in Edinburgh, Scotland