There is no such thing as a difficult client: a taster of “Biba SF” in the UK!

Dear reader,

Now that I am free of my PhD, I am delighted to announce, that, together with Lifeways Charity, I can offer you a taste of Solution Focused Training. Not just any training, but an energetic, highly practical and playful one.

Here it is!

“There is no such thing as a difficult client”-

a Solution Focused Approach to useful and effective conversations with your clients

Workshop on January 19-20th with A. Biba Rebolj

“It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away” (Bee Gees)

Creative power of words: when words perform their magic they bring into the world what until that moment had not existed. They create new worlds. It is into these new worlds that Solution Focused Practitioners invite their clients to step.

In this workshop I will teach you how to make words work for your client whoever your client is. You will never have to turn your client away. You will be able to work with every possible problem imaginable. More than twenty years of outcome studies show that no problem is outside the range of a Solution Focused approach. This workshop will therefore be as useful to therapists as it is to coaches, in fact, it will be invaluable for anyone whose job is to help people get the best from life – at work, at home, at school or wherever fulfilment and success are important.

SOLUTION FOCUSED PRACTICE

This course will give you a way of thinking as well as a set of powerful, flexible and adaptable tools which will develop your practice and enhance your effectiveness. Solution Focused Practice has a set of conversational skills based on the principles of social construction theory and the creative power of words. You will learn how to interview in order to identify and maximise the skills your clients and colleagues bring to work. The workshop will be highly practical and it is expected that you will be able to use your new skills immediately.

PROGRAMME

The programme will provide explanations and chances to observe and practice each of the solution focused techniques. These will include:

  • Collaborative contracting
  • Envisioning successful futures
  • Discovering the best histories
  • Charting progress
  • Discovering hidden strengths
  • The power of appreciation
  • Generating co-operation
  • Single session live coaching
  • Five-minute coaching for busy clinicians, practitioners and managers
  • Resolving conflict
  • Converting stress to energy
  • Looking forward to the day

ABOUT ME

I was trained in Solution Focused Brief Therapy at BRIEF in London and am known as the Solution Focused Queen of Slovenia. My work is spread internationally across different EU countries as a Salto, Erasmus+ and EU Commission trainer a well as a clinician in a private practice in Slovenia and, recently, the UK. I have delivered numerous international training events, masterclasses and conference keynotes on Solution Focused practice, always in a playful, energetic and charismatic training style which has over the past couple of years, become my signature.

WHERE & WHEN?

19th and 20th January (2-days)

Day 1 (Saturday): 12:00-19:00

Day 2 (Sunday): 10:00-17:00

Lifeways Complementary Health Centre
30 Albany Road
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6PG

TICKETS

As this is my first independent training, I am giving it to you for a special price. The cost of the workshop is only £100, which covers both days incl. handouts and refreshments during breaks.

To book a place, please drop me an email at biba@ribalon.org. There are limited spaces available and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

lifeways

cropped-logo-mali1.png

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There is no such thing as a difficult client: a taster of “Biba SF” in the UK!

Dear reader,

Now that I am free of my PhD, I am delighted to announce, that, together with Lifeways Charity, I can offer you a taste of Solution Focused Training. Not just any training, but an energetic, highly practical and playful one.

Here it is!

“There is no such thing as a difficult client”-

a Solution Focused Approach to useful and effective conversations with your clients

Workshop on January 19-20th with A. Biba Rebolj

“It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away” (Bee Gees)

Creative power of words: when words perform their magic they bring into the world what until that moment had not existed. They create new worlds. It is into these new worlds that Solution Focused Practitioners invite their clients to step.

In this workshop I will teach you how to make words work for your client whoever your client is. You will never have to turn your client away. You will be able to work with every possible problem imaginable. More than twenty years of outcome studies show that no problem is outside the range of a Solution Focused approach. This workshop will therefore be as useful to therapists as it is to coaches, in fact, it will be invaluable for anyone whose job is to help people get the best from life – at work, at home, at school or wherever fulfilment and success are important.

SOLUTION FOCUSED PRACTICE

This course will give you a way of thinking as well as a set of powerful, flexible and adaptable tools which will develop your practice and enhance your effectiveness. Solution Focused Practice has a set of conversational skills based on the principles of social construction theory and the creative power of words. You will learn how to interview in order to identify and maximise the skills your clients and colleagues bring to work. The workshop will be highly practical and it is expected that you will be able to use your new skills immediately.

PROGRAMME

The programme will provide explanations and chances to observe and practice each of the solution focused techniques. These will include:

  • Collaborative contracting
  • Envisioning successful futures
  • Discovering the best histories
  • Charting progress
  • Discovering hidden strengths
  • The power of appreciation
  • Generating co-operation
  • Single session live coaching
  • Five-minute coaching for busy clinicians, practitioners and managers
  • Resolving conflict
  • Converting stress to energy
  • Looking forward to the day

ABOUT ME

I was trained in Solution Focused Brief Therapy at BRIEF in London and am known as the Solution Focused Queen of Slovenia. My work is spread internationally across different EU countries as a Salto, Erasmus+ and EU Commission trainer a well as a clinician in a private practice in Slovenia and, recently, the UK. I have delivered numerous international training events, masterclasses and conference keynotes on Solution Focused practice, always in a playful, energetic and charismatic training style which has over the past couple of years, become my signature.

WHERE & WHEN?

19th and 20th January (2-days)

Day 1 (Saturday): 12:00-19:00

Day 2 (Sunday): 10:00-17:00

Lifeways Complementary Health Centre
30 Albany Road
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6PG

TICKETS

As this is my first independent training, I am giving it to you for a special price. The cost of the workshop is only £100, which covers both days incl. handouts and refreshments during breaks.

To book a place, please drop me an email at biba@ribalon.org. There are limited spaces available and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

lifeways

cropped-logo-mali1.png

What makes Solution Focused Practice so special?

Dear reader,

today is such a special day for me. I am officially finished with my PhD. Today my husband is submitting it on my behalf and the thesis is ready to be defended in a couple of months and then I’ll be a doctor. This has been on my mind for the past 6 months at least and all of a sudden I cannot believe it’s over.

Now I am fully up and present to move on, no rest. Doing one SF training in Wales in a couple of days, then another one in early January in Brighton and by the end of January, another one in Stratford upon Avon. Teaching people and agencies how to use Solution Focused Brief Therapy in their line of work, is an enjoyable experience, especially when working with experienced professionals who are looking for techniques and models to enhance their practice.

A legit question that often arises from such professionals is:

Why should I attend a training in SF? What benefits will it have for my practice? What makes SF special?

A shortest answer I can offer is, that what makes SF so special is, that there is nothing grand about it. SF is very simple. One can learn it as quickly as four days of intensive training. One can use it immediately in wide variety of settings – therapy, coaching, training, groupwork, counselling, etc. There is absolutely nothing special about it. No grand theories, explanations, revelations. Only small questions, which have over time with extensive research been proven to lead to rapid change. SF was born “bottom – up” – from empirical need to do something that works, especially in crisis situations. This was more than 30 years ago. Since the first model of Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg and their colleagues, it has spread and developed across the world differently. The model that I personally value most, has taken it to the core of minimalism, following the principle of “less is more” and Occam’s razor which has been developed by BRIEF in London.

Let me share a personal story. 10 years ago, I used to work at the university as a coordinator of supporting services for disabled students. In doing so, I had to manage a couple of tutors and was often in contact with students themselves. We have received basic training in various approaches, including CBT, NLP, transactional analysis, as well as various motivational techniques. Then we had lots of inputs on psychological theories about different human conditions, with special focus on mental health issues. So I was “well equipped” and have also done lots of research and reading myself. Yet somehow, it all came to an end, when I was sitting together with a student, feeling hopeless because we were both trying really hard and no or very little progress. I “understood” everything the student was going through and came up with brilliant advice, still nothing. I listened to their stories, often heartbreaking and I couldn’t sleep at night because I cared too much and seemed not to have found something that would work for the student to have a better future. Not to be misunderstood – we still delivered good service, but it was a long, often painful process with lots of tasks and assessments.

Then coincidentally, I ran across SF. I did not know about it as in my home country it was widely unknown. It happened on my research visit abroad and the first time I saw it, I couldn’t believe it. It was exactly what I was looking for – it was brief, simple, future focused and (here comes the best part) it wasn’t at all about explanation. All of a sudden it was not me, who had to come up with an idea of what a student should/might do. All of a sudden I could let go and do away with all the explanations about why something’s happened, what that means and where it would lead to. Nothing. And yet, it seemed to work. So I stayed with this clinic and got extensive training in SF. Soon I could not do it any other way and my students loved it, but university did not, so I left and started on my own. Ever since, I have continued to be interested in new approaches, yet it all comes back to SF and I’ve not yet met any other approach who would view and work with clients in the same way. Not even appreciative inquiry, as one of SF closest relatives.

In order to fully see what SF has to offer, one has to see it in practice. In therapy. Real work. When we say, that in therapy our clients are the experts, we really mean it. And this is not easy. SF may be simple, but is far from easy. You know, it is easy to write a 370 pages of a dissertation, but explain what it is about in a couple of sentences, that’s something else. That’s why I would always strive towards showing my work with real clients in my trainings. People I’ve worked with have often had longterm problems, addictions or mental health conditions, yet our sessions are full of laughter, hope, joy and most important, our work ends soon as the client achieves what they want quicker. Yet still seems to have long lasting results. So different to my old practice which never felt quite right, yet I did not know any better.

So what SF has to offer for experienced professionals who are already doing a good job, is on one hand simple tools, techniques and powerful questions one can add to their current ways of working, especially, if one is looking for ways how to become even more efficient and considerably briefer. Or it can totally transform your professional life because when embracing SF mindset and truly let the clients expertise shine, one cannot (and I’ve done my own research on that among EU youth trainers), really, cannot burn out.

To sum up – if “newer” approaches, that are more focused towards the future, instead of the past or are making shift from problems towards solutions are of interest to you, then I would wholeheartedly recommend giving SF a go. I only wish I knew about it years ago, however that does not change my gratitude and pleasure I am having now in my clinical and training practice.

Happy December 3rd!

Biba

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I sincerely hope you think I am nuts and that it cannot be that simple. That’s exactly how I felt when I first read about SF. Then I saw it. And that made all the difference.

All you need is a cup of coffee …

Dear reader,

As I haven’t settled in London yet, I’m undergoing through a process of learning how to live out on nothing but essentials. Being kind of sympathetic minimalist, I was looking forward to the idea of living out of a suitcase and found it immensely fun packing nothing but essentials. So now I have one suitcase (medium size), one rucksack (medium size) and a big handbag. This is currently my “everything”.

The places I’m currently staying at, have no common room, not even kitchen. So I actually need very little toiletries, a night dress and flip flops, travel towel and a place with stable wifi. Oh, and a power bank, always a power bank if you are working online.

Why am I telling you this? Because it relates to the belief, that we need a lot in order to feel the way we want to feel. For instance, “I need to have a steady job which will pay £3,000 pcm, before I could finally be independent”. Or “I need to lose 10 lbs before I can start feeling pretty”. Or “I need to buy this new superfood, before I can start feeling good”. There is always something, before something else can happen. You get the picture.

Living out of a suitcase is a nice way to remind you this is not true. Even though I have only three bags, there is about half of the clothes I haven’t even worn yet. And doubt I will. So in case I will not, I will donate it. Yet however, I catch myself buying little things on the way, be it a cute shampoo bottle I don’t need, or a pack of cashews I won’t eat. Just “in case”. Or “for later”.

This comes from feeling like there’s something missing. Like I’m not enough already. That I need to compensate. Secure things. Take care, save, plan for the future. Yet life doesn’t seem to work that way. It is unpredictable. Yet it always somehow works out.

Now that I don’t have my own place to work, I spend much time outside in places where the main criteria is stable wifi. And today my roommate, a beautiful Greek girl, invited me over to a place she’s currently working at. I went there and she brought me a gigantic mug of coffee. She’s given it for free and it was one of the best coffee I ever had. Not because I’d usually have bad coffee, but because she provided it with care. And because I let her. So she took care of my comfort, warmth and wellbeing, while I was on Skype with Bulgarian organisation, for which as a part of their international project, I’ll come and deliver a 2-day training and a public lecture on Solution Focused Practice in April in 2019. So this will be my contribution to make this world a nicer place. And it partly happened, because I let my roommate took care of me.

It is nice to know we are looking after each other. With small acts of kindness. We are in this together. And not being imbued with thinking what else I need to buy, accomplish, secure, protect, carry with, it allows freedom I have never imagined. However it is not easy let others take care of us. At least it wasn’t to me, enjoyable as it is.

Insecurity is a freedom with a high price.

So here goes, with much love,

Biba

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London Mona Lisa?

Where do we go from here?

Dear reader,

as I am writing this, I am sitting in a beautiful garden behind one of English lovely cake-like houses and wondering whether it is too early to have a glass of wine. It has been a long, fruitful day and I am happy, watching busy squirrels in a big tree, getting ready for winter.

I am in London now. Set my foot in. Since my radical decision to move here, it has been a long and hard journey, sorting out all the paperwork, dealing with trouble at home, rushing, meeting deadlines and as is usually the case, of course everything that could possible go wrong, has done so. But I am here now. And as I’ve just began to lose the inner gut positive feeling with all the hassle, I got it back now. I feel this is the right place for me to be. I belong here. This is my home. People in the streets are smiling at me. People are sending good wishes. Even banks like me to send me a free credit card 🙂

Home? I’ve no ideas where I am going to live. I’ve no contract or employer waiting. All I have is one suitcase, one backpack and a handbag, handful of clothes, a laptop, phone and various chargers with adaptors. Yet I am not sure what more I need at this stage. There are people here I love. People who want me to be here. People whom I want to be with. People whom I want to help. Communities I want to be a part of. And that’s enough for now.

How am I going to survive? I am not sure. Not worried either. I know I am a passionate person, who loves a lot and has got much to give. So I trust to meet likeminded people who will take what I’ve got to offer and will make it useful for their own thriving and wellbeing.

Soon I will register my private company here in the UK. Open my private practice where people, especially young people, who want to find hope, joy, passion, love, freedom, confidence, happiness or anything else they wish for, can do so. I am not interested in mental health issues. I am interested in mental health boosters. So let’s explore and travel through this experience called life together.

There’s London behind me in the picture. The future is ahead. And this present moment is good.

With much love,

Biba

Beautiful sunny London

Beautiful sunny London

New Generation of Solution Focused professionals has arrived!

Dear reader,

just got from Bulgaria, Sofia, where we celebrated 25 years of EBTA (European Brief Therapy Association) in a form of annual international conference. Solution Focused Brief Therapy has evolved massively since its beginnings in the early 1980’s. Today it is widely used not only in therapy and social work, but also in counselling, coaching, consulting, management, HR, education, even sport. Basically wherever there’s a need or a desire to build (or discover) rapid change towards a better future.

I am not very young anymore, yet still, a millennial. And have been practising Solution Focused practice for four years. That might not seem like a long time, but it is long enough to embrace the responsibility and even duty to take the approach further. Since SFBT is not mainstream, as has radially different outlook on therapy, relationship with clients and change, it has not been very good at politically establishing itself like positive psychology has done for instance. And that means that it might be widely unknown. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is also a pity, because people like me might not know about it. I can speak for myself, that I was somewhat desperately in need for such an approach while I was working with students with mental health problems at university. But I was simply unaware of SFBT’s existence. Accidental discovery has made such a difference to me personally, professionally, that I decided to dedicate my entire career to it. And hence “only” four years and I am already an international presenter and speaker. Because I am so passionate about it. And I feel the duty to tell as many people I can that there is another way in doing therapy, coaching or whatever the setting in working with people. So EBTA has been truly supportive and welcoming. And I am taking it further – together with emerging new generation, new “kids” on the block, who come from different countries and who will hopefully be brave enough to trust, love and work in the way that will do our ancestors Steve and Insoo and others, justice.

So much for now. I’m training the third generation of Slovenian professionals this upcoming days – four day professional training in Solution Focused practice. And this is my little contribution before leaving Slovenia. And now let me feed my cat 🙂

Biba

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Mind the Gap Please and Keep Calm … yeah right

My dearest, dear readers,

I often say life never goes according to our plans, does it. As I am writing this, I am having Pret decaf coffee at the Luton airport, returning back home from BRIEF Summer School 2018. This international summer school is one of the most magical solution focused brief therapy trainings, where experienced practitioners together with new stars across the world meet, learn and work together. This year I was so privileged and blessed to contribute to and co-shape its program with bits and pieces of group work and warming up activities, so needless to say it has had a special meaning for me.

It might seem to be the right time to tell you about the upcoming big changes, mentioned in the previous post.

For the past four years, I have been engaged in quite an unusual relationship. On-off, distance one, beautiful, fierce, loving, growing, totally unpredictable. And so life’s decided, this relationship is here to stay. Not only stay, we are heading towards a serious commitment, which shows in moving in together. In other more accurate words, I am moving to London, am in the middle of the process of becoming a UK resident and am  not only physically but also formally leaving Slovenia. I say formally, because Slovenia will always remain my home and a big part of my life is staying there, even though my Slovenian passport now has UK address in it. But professional development is leading me to the UK and my inner gut feeling says it’s right.

Don’t ask me what I’ll do or where I’ll stay. I don’t know. All I know is that life is short, I don’t want to have a plan B and I want to wake up every morning with the feeling that this is what I should be doing and this is where I need to be doing it right now. I will for sure continue with developing my Solution Focused Practice, partly because by now I don’t know how to work in any other way (nor do I want to) and partly because I love it more and more every year. So who knows what life will bring, thank each and every one of you who have been massively supportive when I first started thinking about this decision in June, thanks to all of my UK friends who have welcomed me so warmly when I first came back in 2014. Thank all of you, who have been thrilled when I told you that this time I am staying. Thank you my Slovenian friends for all we’ve accomplished together, I will hopefully be coming back as a regular visitor and we’ll have many chances to catch up. I am doing one more professional solution focused training in Slovenia as my final farewell and if you can, join in and take all I have to offer.

Lastly, thanks for all of the opportunities I wasn’t offered in Slovenia and all the rejections. I am beyond happy not to be engaged in a bonding contract and deeply grateful for being kind of pushed to start on my own and develop my own company. So I did. And now I am doing it again, but far from being alone. I am so so so much looking forward to new projects, new experience, new collaborations. I can’t tell you how warm it feels when you know you are going somewhere you are welcome, people want you and can’t wait for you to come.

So here I am.

Biba

can-t-keep-calm-because-i-m-moving-to-london

Thrilled, excited and beyond words!!!