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Solution Focus Process: Solution Talk vs. Problem Talk Pt 2
It is crucial that interviewing with helpee progress toward solutions. In addition to Exceptions and Miracle questions, Coping and Scaling questions are also useful and effective methods of moving helpees from problem talk to solution talk.
Coping Questions. Regardless of how problematic a situation may appear, it can always be worse. People do not always recognize or appreciate the constructive behaviors being exhibited during problematic times. When the miracle question and exceptions are unproductive, coping questions is another strategy for moving people from problem talk to solution talk. These questions help to identify and highlight important coping mechanisms already at work but ignored. Using the example above (it is obvious that the mother/daughter situation could be worse if it escalated into physical assaults), coping questions would ask: "What are you and your daughter doing to keep things from getting worse? How are those things helpful? What needs to happen for those things to continue? "How motivated are you to continue those things" or "How hopeful are you that those things will continue?"
Scaling Questions. Usually used when goals are more abstract. Scaling questions asks the helpee to make assessments regarding their hopefulness in problem solutions, self-esteem, confidence, relationships, etc. These questions are useful in concretizing what often are very complex ideas. In using the questions, it is important to specify time limits such as "today," "tomorrow," For example, using the same example above, the mother and daughter could be asked, "On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 meaning you have every confidence the problem will be solved and 1 meaning no confidence at all, where would you put yourself today?" Mom may respond, 4 and daughter 2. The question may then be asked, "What would need to happen to move from 4 to 5 (Mom) 2 to 3 (daughter)? What will tell you that you moved up to number 5 (Mom) 3 (daughter)? On the same scale, how much would you say you are willing to work to solve this problem?"
Keep in mind that when using these questions, the helper wants to explore for the helpee's perception of what will be different when the miracle happens or the problem is solved. Remember also that change is hard work for the helpee ? be patient and persistent in asking the interviewing questions.
SIDEBAR HELPS FOR DEALING WITH RESISTANCE:
I don't know
Some people say "I don't know" quite frequently. It may be helpful for them if the helper responds: "So, how would your life be different if you did know?" or "How would your life be better if you did know?" "Suppose you did know, what would you say?" (or) "What would you do?" Or, go to significant other questions. For example, "If I were to ask your husband, what do you think he would say?"
If helpee is resistent to miracle questions
Some people will not engage in miracle exploration. In these cases, the helper responds with questions along the lines: "When the problem is solved, what will you be doing differently? How do you know this problem can be solved?"
If helpee is unrealistic
Some individuals make outrageous statements. In these situations, the helper agrees with them by saying: "That would be great! What do you think are the chances of that happening? What tells you that it could happen in your life?"
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 Waters: A Grief Healing Workbook, will be available soon.
What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 2
Again, many of us think we listen, yet we don't always "attend" to the person who is speaking to us. We are too busy doing other things! We are not being 100% attentive. The following attributes of good listening are suggestive of the skills needed. There is some overlap between the various attributes, but each suggests something different.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Nightmare After The Ordeal
Sarah is a 28 y/o accountant who had a traumatic past that she kept to herself. At age 15, she was grabbed by a masked man while she was jogging in a park. The man threatened to kill her with a knife and brutally raped her. She screamed but nobody seemed to have heard her.
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.
Human Psychological Issues in the Recruitment of Suicide Bombers
Swedish Scientists did a study and found that young men with low intelligence scores were more likely to commit suicide.
Are All Dementias Alzheimer?s?
I'm surprised when some patients and caregivers confuse dementia and Alzheimer's as one and the same. Each time a family member is suffering from memory loss, the conclusion is always Alzheimer's. Is it reasonable to label all dementias as Alzheimer's?
Achieving an Ambidextrous Mindset
History lends us an ideal of ambidexterity: Leonardo da Vinci, Harry Truman and James Garfield were all known to be physically ambidextrous, but to what does that translate? In modern times, ambidexterity isn't a hot topic, but in fact, we are all - to a degree - ambidextrous.
Metaphors of the Mind (Part I)
The brain (and, by implication, the Mind) has been compared to the latest technological innovation in every generation. The computer metaphor is now in vogue. Computer hardware metaphors were replaced by software metaphors and, lately, by (neuronal) network metaphors. Such attempts to understand by comparison are common in every field of human knowledge. Architects and mathematicians have lately come up with the structural concept of "tensegrity" to explain the phenomenon of life. The tendency of humans to see patterns and structures everywhere (even where there are none) is well documented and probably has its survival value added.
Christian Psychotherapy for Convicts?
Repeated research studies have revealed that secular efforts at rehabilitation have been unsuccessful in preventing recidivism. Not one of the various approaches to psychological counseling has been able to demonstrate success statistically in helping inmates rehabilitate. Among nearly 300,000 prisoners released in 15 states in 1994, 67.5% were re-arrested within 3-years. A study of 1983 releases estimated 62.5% (Langan and Levin, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2002).
Parapsychology: Maximizing Effectivity Of Targeted Controlled Remote Viewing Techniques
Individuals with a solid working knowledge of Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) have undoubtedly encountered the "plateaus" experienced at various levels throughout the ability's development.
Artificial Intelligence - What Have We Learned Through Natural Ignorance?
During the late '80s and early '90s, I had the opportunity to work with expert systems in real-time production environments. I found artificial intelligence, or AI, to be thoroughly intriguing. I even went so far as to write an expert system package, under Microsoft Windows, called WindExS. However, as I continued my work, and expanded into other areas of knowledge management and, eventually, remote viewing, I began to find some unusual inconsistencies in the AI world and the desires to create "truly intelligent" and "thinking" machines.
The Essence of Being Human
What does it mean to be Human? Well if you reflect on your thoughts and behaviors and those of the individuals around you on this planet since the beginning of our existence here I think you will likely come to the conclusion that to wear the label Human is not exactly endearing or desirable.
The Psychology of Torture
There is one place in which one's privacy, intimacy, integrity and inviolability are guaranteed - one's body, a unique temple and a familiar territory of sensa and personal history. The torturer invades, defiles and desecrates this shrine. He does so publicly, deliberately, repeatedly and, often, sadistically and sexually, with undisguised pleasure. Hence the all-pervasive, long-lasting, and, frequently, irreversible effects and outcomes of torture.
The Myth of Mental Illness
"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird? So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing ? that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."
The Cultural Narcissist - Lasch In An Age Of Diminishing Expectations
"The new narcissist is haunted not by guilt but by anxiety. He seeks not to inflict his own certainties on others but to find a meaning in life. Liberated from the superstitions of the past, he doubts even the reality of his own existence. Superficially relaxed and tolerant, he finds little use for dogmas of racial and ethnic purity but at the same time forfeits the security of group loyalties and regards everyone as a rival for the favors conferred by a paternalistic state. His sexual attitudes are permissive rather than puritanical, even though his emancipation from ancient taboos brings him no sexual peace. Fiercely competitive in his demand for approval and acclaim, he distrusts competition because he associates it unconsciously with an unbridled urge to destroy. Hence he repudiates the competitive ideologies that flourished at an earlier stage of capitalist development and distrusts even their limited expression in sports and games. He extols cooperation and teamwork while harboring deeply antisocial impulses. He praises respect for rules and regulations in the secret belief that they do not apply to himself. Acquisitive in the sense that his cravings have no limits, he does not accumulate goods and provisions against the future, in the manner of the acquisitive individualist of nineteenth-century political economy, but demands immediate gratification and lives in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire."
I?m Sorry! Blame-Game or Accountability?
A powerful tool for health as we approach the new year can be to focus on giving and/or receiving only real apologies when we want to heal a rift with a family member, friend, or co-worker. We hear apologies all the time, but I don't think many of them are sincere. An apology has to be real to heal.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1999 edition) defines empathy as:
Time Out of Mind
Let us first consider the role of time in our lives, then let us consider that role in terms of mental illness. Buddhists and Hindus, among others, propose that time does not actually exist. The Western world, however, with its dependence on clocks and deadlines, scoffs at such a notion, relying upon sayings such as "Time is money" and "Time is of the essence."
A Jungian Approach to Mental Illness
All of us suffer from some form of emotional distress at some stage. Some forms of distress can last longer than they should and may significantly impair our everyday functioning. If this persists, we may be suffering from a mental illness or mental disorder (like depression, or anxiety). We can better understand this by comparing a mental illness such as depression, with a case of the flu ? it pervades our daily life with painful symptoms.
Gay Men Psychology
Gay men are said to be usually third or further born from the same mother. You might wish to check it out sometime. I am first born therefore less likely to become gay; also both my parents and all grandparents first born as well. What is your birth order? Therefore the tendencies have next to no chance for me, which I can tell you is a good thing; because I love women.
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