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What's the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 1
Solution Focus is the brain child of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. This positive approach to problem resolution is rooted in the tradition of Milton Erickson's brief therapy. It assumes that small modifications in the individual's cognitive and behavioral expressions can lead to significant life changes. It further assumes that how individuals perceive events is what gives meaning to those events; how one organize and reorganize those experiences in conversation with others, allows for a reality that is versatile, fluid, and capable of revision. This approach is based on the premise that all individuals and families have definite strengths, coping skills and unique problem solving abilities to create positive change. Solution Focus taps in to this strength, helps individuals/families build upon it and uses a variety of tools such as purposeful questions that are utilized to assist in the movement from problems to solutions.
Three of the biggest hindrances to helping others are the helper's tendency to: (1) be judgmental (2) begin with preconceived notions; (3) "know" what is best for the helpee. Professionals and non-professionals alike are notorious for thinking we know how to run other people's lives better than they do. In actuality, we do not have a clue! Thus enters Solution Focus. Solution Focus discards these roadblocks and begins from a position of Not Knowing. The helper is not the authority on the life of the helpee. The helpee is the expert of his/her own life. Solution Focus recognizes and respects this truth. "Not Knowing" is a term first coined by Anderson and Goolishian and supports the contention that helpers do not have a priori knowledge of the importance of the helpee's world of experiences and behaviors. Therefore, the helper must rely on the helpee's perception and explanations. The helper puts forth every effort to enter into the helpee's frame of reference. Helper's adopt a stance of curiosity, of not knowing, yet desiring to be informed by the helpee. This is not easy to do which is why so few actually do it. It is difficult primarily because helpers have an almost unconquerable tendency to believe they know what is best for others. It takes practice and commitment to allow others to be the experts of their own lives and to solve challenges within the framework of their own strengths. It is a continuous skill building process.
Useful Solution Focus Skills - Dynamic Listening
Good listening is an essential part of being a successful Solution Focus (referred to as SF) helper. You must be very aware of the feedback you are receiving from the people around you. It might be added that being a good listener is a skill important in many other settings. For example, being a good listener will enhance your social relationships of all types, marriage, dating, parties, work, etc. But, be warned, it is hard work.
Dynamic listening means listening actively and not just hearing the words being spoken. This is important to any communications and paramount to SF intervention. Dynamic listening involves sensitivity and the ability to perceive and listen to others as persons who are unique, have needs and emotions as well as strengths and skills. It is being able to listen from the client's perspective, experience, or point of view, rather than your own. This is difficult I agree, but not impossible. Anyone can improve their listening capacity through purposeful effort. Most people have what it takes to be a good listener. Good listening includes a package of skills, which requires knowledge of technique and practice very similar to good writing or good speaking. Many people believe that good listening skills are easy to learn or automatically part of every person's personality. Neither is correct. I am certain that you have experienced occasions when you have asked someone, "Are you listening to me?"
Poor listening habits are very common. Actually, poor listening skills are more common than poor speaking skills. Have you noticed situations when two or more people talking to each other at the same time? People cannot talk and be an effective listener simultaneously. There is shallow listening and deep listening. Shallow or superficial listening is all too common on the job and many other settings. Most of us have learned how to give the appearance of listening while not really listening. Even less obvious is when the message received is different from the one sent. We did not really understand the message. We listened, but we did not get the intended message. We heard, but we missed the context. Can you recall times when you knew the person supposedly listening to you, did not have a clue as to what you were really attempting to convey. Such failed communications are the consequences of poor speaking, poor listening and/or poor understanding.
Good listening skills will vary from one communications situation to the next. For example, what is effective feedback for one may be different for another. Some people to whom you are listening may need more feedback than other people. Listening skills can always be improved because perfection in listening, just as in other communications skills, does not really exist.
It cannot be emphasized too often that listening is vital to effective communication, yet we don't always do it well enough. Listening is more than just hearing until the other person has stopped making noise so we can share our thoughts or agenda with them! Joan Rivers made famous the cliché, Can we talk? This is what most people do. Talk. Talking is fine if that is all you want to do and all the other person expects from you. But if you are interested in learning and understanding and helping, dynamic listening skills are crucial. Active listening involves MUCH more than talk! To be effective in our SF communication, we really need to master the skills of "dynamic listening."
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Water: A Grief Healing Workbook, will be available soon.
Split Personality - A Myth or a Reality?
Why Does It Seem That There Are More Children With ADHD Than Ever Before?
Even though the percentage of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is likely the same as in the past, there are three likely reasons why it seems that "there is more ADHD" than ever before:
Intro to Being an ADHD Parent
In my fifteen years of private practice working with children with ADHD, one of the common concerns that I observed by parents was the fear that they had done something, or failed to do something, that caused their child's ADHD. I guess it is normal to blame yourself when your child is having problems.
How Big of a Problem is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - "ADD" or "ADHD" - affects between five to ten percent (5% - 10%) of all children in the United States, and three to six percent (3% - 6%) of adults. About 35% of all children referred to mental health clinics are referred for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, making it one of the most prevalent of all childhood psychiatric disorders.
What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences? Part 2: Cultural Influence
Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences developed as he worked with brain injured adults and autistic children. He identified distinct portions of the brain that control specific human abilities or talents like analysis, classification, speech, self-awareness, etc. He has identified eight distinct abilities that he refers to as "intelligences": verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and the naturalist. In addition to the biological basis for these intelligences, Gardner also places great emphasis on cultural influences that may impact the development of each intelligence.
Subconscious Drives Make You Unhappy
Feelings and emotions are nerve impulses.
Rediscovering the Mind
From the viewpoint of a modern microbiologist, we hear the call for integration and common sense in sciences that are all too often devising separate stakes and battlements to pontificate from, on high. The 'experts' thus proving their ignorance because the result inevitably is specious ego and puffery. Truth did not divide herself up for prissy 'nerds' to prevail upon, with their massive convolutions and devious attempts to practice buffoonery upon her.
The Offspring of Aeolus - On the Incest Taboo
Incest is not such a clear-cut matter as it has been made out to be over millennia of taboos. Many participants claim to have enjoyed the act and its physical and emotional consequences. It is often the result of seduction. In some cases, two consenting and fully informed adults are involved. Many types of relationships, which are defined as incestuous, are between genetically unrelated parties (a stepfather and a daughter), or between fictive kin or between classificatory kin (that belong to the same matriline or patriline). In certain societies (the American Indians or the Chinese) it is sufficient to carry the same family name (=to belong to the same clan) and marriage is forbidden. Some incest prohibitions relate to sexual acts - other to marriage. In some societies, incest is mandatory or prohibited, according to the social class (Bali). In others, the Royal House started a tradition of incestuous marriages, which were imitated by lower classes (Ancient Egypt). The list is long and it serves to demonstrate the diversity of this most universal taboo. Generally put, we can say that a prohibition to have sex with or marry a related person should be classified as an incest prohibition, no matter the nature of the relationship.
The Special Secret of Intuition
The limbic system
The following good work from a person engaged in trying to free people from cultish programming is far better than most. It demonstrates the person is aware of mind control techniques employed in influencing people. Having said that I will now try to show how this piece is in fact an evidence of SPIN or influence that the person engaged in doing it might not even personally realize. For example Catholic exorcists are taught incantations and rituals to use that they may not or usually will not understand either the derivation or history thereof.
What is Narcissism?
A pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition.
The Joan of Arc Complex
Sometimes I think that I have a mental health problem and that at any minute the pharmaceutical companies are going to develop a cute little green star-shaped pill to cure me of my ailment. I call it my Joan of Arc Complex. You see, I hear voices that I'm pretty sure aren't mine and they tell me to go out and do these stupid save the world projects. I call them THEY or THEM because they refuse to give me a more accurate name to call them. So, I must be crazy.
Traumas as Social Interactions
("He" in this text - to mean "He" or "She").
Ever felt urged to steal a piece of bubblegum from the grocery store and given in? Then you are likely training to become either a kleptomaniac or an addictive compulsive thief. Do not despair ? you're not alone. Not a threat. And there is a way out.
Why Other Children are Rejecting Your Child
Anti-Social Behaviors and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Anti-social behaviors are common with ADHD individuals. About 60% of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids are also oppositional or defiant. Some are even getting in trouble with the law.
Even though hypnosis has been around officially since the 1700s (Franz Anton Mesmer), there are still questions as to its validity and benefits. For the most part, these questions stem from fear and ignorance. Regarding this subject, it is generally assumed that what you don't know can hurt you. People's viewpoints on hypnosis vary according to what their experiences have been and what they've heard.
The Iron Mask - The Common Sources of Personality Disorders
Do all personality disorders have a common psychodynamic source?
Emotional Intelligence: The Basics
There's so much talk about emotional intelligence and how it can promote personal and business success. What is it really? What are its basic tenets?
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