She Designed a Life She Loved

Dear reader,

I really like the thought that life doesn’t happen to us. It happens for us. I don’t mean it in a self-centred narcissistic way, but rather as an ongoing invitation for different experience life is and has to offer. Then it is of course up to you how you evaluate this experience, for instance bad, good, joyful, pleasant, rough, painful, exhilarating, etc.

Since I recovered and am able to fully walk again, I enjoy walks differently and do my best to go out for a walk every day. Sometimes with a purpose, like buying pineapple and sometimes without. As I was walking the streets of West London the other day, when we had a longer period of 20+ degree days over Easter, I accidentally ran across a painting.

Visual art has never been my cup of tea, it hasn’t touched me like music does, so it is quite obvious I am not a frequent or a passionate gallery visitor. I can appreciate the efforts of an artist, however am unable to tune into their channel of expression. Never did I think I’d buy any artwork for myself. Until recently.

On my purpose-less walk (or was it?) I was appreciating the sun, enjoying the warm breeze, my walking, friendly faces, colourful markets and playful unleashed dogs. And there it was, this painting. It put down to words what I was thinking, or better said, daydreaming. It said

She Designed a Life She Loved.

Art enriches and stretches our worlds, it puts to words and images the thoughts better than we’d manage without it. An artist offers you ways of thinking and being that are new to you or that speak to what is already there, seeking or provoking your response. Yes, this painting has been an answer to my deliberate creation to design a life I love. So now it is hanging in my London office to remind me every single day of my choices, to answer life’s invitations and translate it into experience that fits the life I would love.

Today I was supposed to fly back to Ljubljana, Slovenia. It was an early morning flight from a quite remote airport, so I decided to catch a late night film at 1am and then have a long walk to Marble Arch from where I’d catch a bus to the airport. All chilled, casual and quite relaxed. Until my bag came out of the security check. I got cold feet, realising I left my passport behind. So there I was, with two hours before my flight, without an ID document which of course, prohibited my boarding.

This is quite a stressful situation with obviously, many practical and emotional implications.

And in the middle of this contrast of having a good night which then escalated into an invitation to not be granted access to fly, I chose to feel good. Not because I would have evidence to justify feeling good or that this time life’s invitation sounded pleasant, no, far from it. Feel good because I want to deliberately embrace full experience life has to offer me and to keep designing the life I love. It all comes down to one single question, which is so important in Solution Focused Practice. If I did X …

what difference would that make for the rest of my day?

So I came back to my London house and not to mention that the entire house found my sudden return quite amusing, I had a good day. Imagine the difference this deliberate decision has made on the way how I thought about what to do next. Which airplane ticket to buy, how to get from the airport asap, how to tell people I promised to meet I am letting them down, etc. It makes a massive difference. So now I have a juicy story. And you have some (hopefully useful) blog.

Biba

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My clients love it. What do you think?

A Patient Cured is a Customer Lost (about ethics in therapy and coaching)

Dear reader,

This came across as I was sipping my morning coffee. In therapy and coaching, there are numerous examples of unethical practices and behaviours. One of them is surely keeping clients in therapy or coaching process longer than necessary and useful for them and sometimes these intentions might be profit driven.

When I deliver trainings in Solution Focused Practice for professionals around the EU and UK, I often tell them that if they want to become rich, they have to change to another modality. SF process is brief and if one is surviving on clients only, one might either become really good at constantly and frequently attracting new clients, or make their living elsewhere (or be unethical, which I will not consider at all atm).

Solution Focused Practice will invite you to think about your preferred future. It will help you describe new ways of living for yourself and might open up new possibilities of a future you consider worth living. It will not tell you what to do and will not provide an explanation of why you haven’t managed to get there yet (or reversed, why you have been in the situation you do not want to be in). The research across cultures, countries and settings shows to have lasting effects comparable to any other type of therapy or coaching, with the difference that you arrive at your desired outcome faster. So why do more, when you can do less? Why spend half of your life in therapy if there are other, faster and lighter options with the same outlooks?

And one more thing re below picture. Therapy and coaching in my modest opinion, are not business services. They should not correlate to one’s ability to pay or afford it. The practitioner should always strive to be brief – not do one session more than what is absolutely necessary. And the “necessity” should always be determined by the client, not your expert opinion. So when the patient feels well, they should not be given extra drugs “just in case” or when the client feels they are able to move on or live their life in the way that is right for them, they should not be imposed another session “just in case”. If they ask for it, that’s a different thing altogether.

So whenever you meet a therapist or coach who will tell you in advance how many sessions it will take, walk away. They have no ways of knowing and their theories are merely theories – they help us think, but not always act.

Some Monday, huh? Wish you a good week ahead,

Biba

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Borrowed from Facebook.

 

Not interested in therapy anymore. I never was.

Dear reader,

It doesn’t interest me if you’ll read this post. What matters is, if it might add to your day so that you can be in alignment with who you are and want to be.

It is not my ambition to collect likes and followers. What really matters to me, is whether we will get to the point of being true to each other and be well off together, or separately.

It hasn’t been of my concern of whether this world will be a better place because of me. As long as it is not worse.

Why do we post on social media? To impact? Impress? Sell? Inform? Show off? Justify our existence? Please don’t, the world is already overly cluttered. What I want is to share with you simple, casual, everyday images and thoughts, no photo filters or editing, not in order to shock or impress or inspire, but simply to share authenticity and an image of real life, not camera-ready or social media cropped. And I am interested in seeing you, for who you are and how you are, not just when things go right but when they go everywhere.

Life is so much better when lived and enjoyed together. So I do care about each and every one of you, whether we have met yet or not, whether we will find a common language, or not.

I just hope that every living being feels comfortable in their shoes/bodies and is brave enough to share their life story as it is, not as the mass media, pressure and competition think it should be. And that every being is left alone, not pressed to be different. We are not competing, we are travelling, changing, expanding. If I can do it, you can do it, everyone can do it. There is nothing special about me or my life. It’s just that I along the way, decided not to strive to be exceptional or an achiever. I allowed to be every-day average and enjoying it. And life unfolded in front of my eyes in ways I could have never imagined, I am thriving and my work calendar is full until July.

Change is constant and inevitable, this is one of the core assumptions in Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Therapy, traditionally, has been viewed as trying to fix what has been broken or to bring people onto the “right” path (again or for the first time). People are not broken. We have had different life experiences which have been offering us lessons over and over again. Sometimes we learn and sometimes we don’t and that’s learning too. But we are never broken, just undone. And once we are done, we’ll probably leave this place and go somewhere else.

So may I be undone with you, haven’t shaved legs or done my nails for weeks and yet I am not sure what I might lack this very moment. Things are changing. And so are we. In this world, sometimes together, sometimes separately, but we are all sharing this Planet so … I care about you. Living being, be it a stone, a river, a fly, cat or dear reader.

With love,

Biba

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There is a fine line between genius and crazy. I like to use that line as a jump rope. Photo D. Hogan, Frankfurt SF Trainers Conference 2019

High Performance Requires High Maintenance

Dear reader,

In the past month I have worked in four different countries on four totally different projects. Not bad, right? So the moment I’ve woken up in my London bed, finally back and with a lazy weekend ahead, I felt the toll – a headache and sore throat. Such differences in temperature, lack of sleep and being overly-adrenaline, sounded like my thing at the time and as it ended, so has my resilience.

It is Women’s Day today. Celebration of femininity for me, which can reside in any kind of body, be it male, female or other gender. It is not about the gender per se, it is much more about the energy, the feminine energy. Feeling, instead of understanding, touching, instead of knowing. There’s nothing more feminine than knowing you deserve to be admired, helped, and adored. So my recent high performance requires high maintenance and lots of gentle, loving female energy. And I am more than happy to step out of male competition for a while.

As such, today I am having a day off. And went to a little place down the road in Shepherd’s Bush in London, to give myself a little treat. Sitting there, I noticed a remarkable link between the woman who was working hard for me and the work I do when I am seeing my clients in therapy or coaching. Both of us are professionals and experts in the processes we do. And both place the expertise on the content of what is desired to the person we are working with.

So here it is, I couldn’t resist making a vlog out of it as the inspiration came, even though I am not camera ready. Hope you enjoy it and wish you all a good, loving weekend ahead!

Biba

The Key to My Heart

Dear reader,

no matter the weather, there will always be a place on Earth with plenty of sunshine. Or thunderstorms, depending on your preference or perspective. Whatever you think of things and events that are happening around you, you are right in version of your own truth.

Life is never easy. It is multifaceted, complex and unpredictable. Yet it doesn’t have to be unnecessarily complicated. I meet many people every day. They share their stories and wisdom. I am lucky to be blessed with a gift of being a wonderful and charismatic trainer/teacher and with the ability to make other people around me feel special. In that sense my work is a combination of what I am good at and passionate about. And sometimes I forget this and then my participants remind me of it. So today I’ll share some of their thoughts. It says a whole lot more about them than it does about me. So have a look at what kind of wonderful people I usually work with:

Biba is a very easy to follow and engage with teacher. I have learned a lot from her knowledge of the SF approach as well as her genuine passion. I think it would be useful for anyone (counsellor, parent, manager, etc.) to experience and practice at least once in their life like this. (Anna)

Working together will inspire, energise and change the way you work, live and think (Luke)

There is a lovely energy about you and an incredible inner strength. (Susana)

There is some mystery about how the process works, it seems. Perhaps that is a good thing as we humans are so hard wired to seek and enjoy mystery.  (Jane)

Thanks so much for this Biba and for the excellent sessions you ran here.  It was great to meet you and I have already tried putting some SF thinking into practice. (James)

I thoroughly enjoyed your energy! You are the real deal! (Chantal)

I like your relaxed, respectful and light-hearted way of being. Of course you will feel sometimes different, but there is always a joy around you. (Annemieke)

Those are not official testimonials, gathered for the purpose of promotion, far from it. They are little messages I got in the past three days alone. And I want to share them with you, because I want to emphasise that having a talent isn’t only a privilege. It is a responsibility and duty too – a duty to use it and give to community. Share your ideas. Share yourself. And then watch the magic happen when you get back to what you give tripled.

Yesterday my magic materialised as a very special key. I got my own pair of keys to BRIEF and I am now ready to start seeing my face to face clients (individuals or families) at BRIEF. Yesterday I saw a mother and her teenage son. So much love and care they have for each other and it was beautiful to watch it surface again. So come and join. Be a part of it. Use your talents. Welcome!

With much love and from life,

Biba

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The Keys to My Heart

My first course at BRIEF

Dear reader,

I like groups. Groups are powerful. Inspiring. Challenging. Tribal. Connecting. Caring.

Working with groups can be a delight. Working with groups applying Solution Focused Approach can be miraculous. If you are a practitioner (therapist, coach or consultant), trainer, counsellor, teacher or connector and would like to explore how to use Solution Focused Approach with groups, then this will be the course for you. Have a look here.

BRIEF is the world leading training centre in Solution Focused Practice. And this is my first course as its international trainer.

See you in London. This is an event we will never forget. And neither will you. So be with us when it happens, not to miss this opportunity when others will talk about it months or perhaps years after.

Biba and BRIEF

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
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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

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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

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Thrilled, excited and beyond words!!!

Do Not Help Others

Dear reader,

It is one of the most rewarding gestures and sensations when you can help another living being in need of help. More often than not, I meet people who share with me that they would like to contribute, to make a positive difference and help others. It has also been scientifically proven that getting presents for others gives you a much more rewarding feeling, than getting yourself one.

So all in all, helping each other is nice. It is also socially encouraged. Noble. Virtuous.

But in the long run, it has one downside. It is simply wrong.

Helping others makes the other one recipient. Sometimes even a helpless subject. Hence the power isn’t equal. This has been one of the main concerns of ethics of care. The care-giver and care-receiver relationship should be equal if you truly TRULY want to make a difference. They both should aim for caring for and caring about each other. Otherwise helping others has one huge disadvantage. It diminishes the brilliance and potential of the one receiving help.

I am not saying helping is wrong. It is still much better than not caring. But before helping you should make sure, that your help is wanted and the way how you want to help is indeed being helpful to the other. If you cannot confirm this, you are on the slippery road. Empathy is very wrong. It leaves you unbalanced, because people’s stories touch you too deeply if you are a sensitive soul. Compassion is much much better. And to be compassionate, you don’t have to help, but simply to be there for the other human or animal being. It is enough.

People have the potential to help themselves. If you are getting in the way by doing that for them, you are stealing their brilliance. With the purest and most honest intentions, yet you are still doing it.

If on the other hand you can inspire others so they can help themselvesyou have done enough and most you can do.

So think about it. Instead of looking after others and looking for ways how you can be helpful, turn inwards and do your best to help yourself. To take care of yourself, so that you can be your best version. It will create a vibration around you that people will find attractive, fascinating, and will because of it get inspired. And from there, they will take it their own ways, in the directions you would never have imagined. But this is none of your business. The one and only thing that is your business is taking care of your own wellbeing. And then the rest is a piece of cake. Abundance. Creating more abundance. I know that I do the best job as a therapist if I make sure, I am being my best version. What the client does after the session and whether it has been helpful for them, is entirely in their hands and none of my business. Also none of my interest.

So get out of people’s way and mind your own business. You might be surprised by its effect.

With love and no intention to be helpful at all,

Biba

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