What Happens in a Solution Focused Therapy Session Part 2 - What's Been Good & the Miracle Question
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 1 of the series explains the breakthrough session while part 3 focuses on deep relaxation or hypnotherapy.
After our breakthrough session, you will have now come back to see me after considering all we discussed at our last session and having fallen asleep regularly to the recording. This will usually be about 1 week.
Remember, everything I do will be nuanced with Solution Focused techniques so I will begin by asking you what has been good about your week? Notice, I don't ask "How have you been this week?" I only want to hear what has been good about your week.
Now, understandably, this can prove very difficult if you're feeling anxious or depressed, but by doing this we are beginning our sessions in the positive, objective part of the brain and my aim is to keep you there. I don't for one minute deny that you will have had plenty of stresses and strains this week too, but I only want to hear about all the good things. This is all part of the 'brain-training' that we will continue to do from now on.
I will keep asking you "....and what else has been good about your week? ......and what else....and what else...." By continuing to do this we are keeping you away from the irrational, negative part of your brain, and even getting it a bit bored! I will give you lots of positive feedback to encourage you even more and I will keep you on track. I'm not looking for anything major at all...it's the little things that matter like; the sun was shining, I had a nice coffee with a friend and, my personal favourite, I saw a cute dog!
This is the reason why I'm known as 'a therapist that doesn't want to hear about your problems!' I only want to hear all about the good stuff.
A lot of my clients say that this experience is completely new to them - they've always been asked about their problems and go over them in detail, even when talking to friends and family, never mind a therapist, so they find this technique quite refreshing. This is where Solution Focused work is vastly different from other talking therapies and why I find it so enjoyable. Every session will begin like this so I can guarantee that after a few sessions you'll find it easier and more and more enjoyable. You will even find that you begin to note down the good things in your week so you can remember to tell me.
After doing some revision of our brain diagram, and adding to it with more details relevant to you, we move onto the 'Miracle Question.'
This is an exercise where I ask you to use your brilliant imagination to have a vision of what you would be doing tomorrow if you felt a little better. It needs to be realistic and yet it should be a little exciting and interesting too. Now, using your imagination in this way is really powerful. By doing this exercise you are focusing your thoughts on feeling better - your mind always focuses on what you think about so instead of anxiety or depression, let's focus on feeling calm, relaxed and happy instead.
I will guide you and help you, and once again, we're not looking for anything major but just something small that makes you feel good.
Let's use an example. Let's say that if you felt a bit better tomorrow you could imagine that you would wake up with a little more energy and an indication of that would be that you would have the motivation to go for a walk. I will ask you to give me some more detail here; what time would go for a walk, where exactly would you go, would anyone be with you or would you go on your own? The reason for this is that your subconscious loves details. Therefore you are giving the subconscious lots of details about things that make you feel good. You are beginning to literally re-programme your subconscious to move forward. Remember, its just an idea or suggestion, I'm not going to insist you actually go for walk.
Once you have a detailed 'picture' of an image that makes you feel good then, if we get the timing right, you will be ready for deep relaxation and that is where your subconscious truly gets to work. Leave it to me to help you, guide you, and decide when you are 'ready for the couch' - as by then you've done all the hard work and now your mind is ready to relax.
You can read more about that in Part 3: deep relaxation or hypnotherapy.
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