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,



Borrowed from Facebook.


Untrain yourself and start becoming friends with your body

Dear reader,

previous blog post “Were You Trained to Hate Your Body?” has prompted this. In my line of work, I have never met a woman or a man who would not have at least one issue, struggle or cause for embarrassment about the way how their body looked, behaved or their habits around it. And yet I believe, with some time and motivation, we can un-train ourselves and find a way forward to becoming at peace or even friends with our bodies. So I have created this online training programme for all of us who would like to break this cycle of self-hate and turn it into something worthwhile.

Your past does not have to mess up with your future. Your past failures can be made into your future successes.

This online training will consist of five separate online videos, which you will receive every week to your mailboxes. The videos will tackle different aspects of our being and performance and will also offer you exercises which you can do alone or together with someone you trust.

The second part of the training will be individual sessions. In these conversations we will be focusing on the outcomes specially tailored to you and your hopes. Each participant will have an opportunity for two individual sessions.


Anyone who can in some way relate to this blog post.


Whenever you feel ready to register and lasting for 5 weeks.


As much time as you want. The video sessions will be sent directly to your email address, after you register for this training. Then it is up to you how fast you go. There will be five slots, one per week. As for individual conversations, we will together look out for a time which suits us both and meet online, so you can enjoy our conversation from your own couch! The videos will be in English, as the training is designed for international audience. Individual sessions can be done in other languages of your preference (Slovenian or other Southern Slavic language, German or Spanish).


You can register through this online form. There is a symbolic participation fee of 50£, which includes all the videos, individual sessions and support through the training, so that really everybody can join. After registering you will receive an email with logistic and payment details.


Here for you to answer.

I created this training because I believe in its usefulness. And I believe in the importance of this topic. As it is not a part of Ribalon’s regular trainings, we’ll only take up to 10 people on a first come, first serve basis. 

I am so hopeful because you reacted. Together we can shape a better future, starting with ourselves.



La Dolce Vita. Why not?



Happy 2017: The Best Training You’ll Ever Attend

Dear reader,

2017 is going to be a delighted year, I can feel it in my bones!

It is such a pleasure to be able to announce that there will be ANOTHER Solution Focused Professional Training in Slovenia. I attended my first such training in March 2014 and had to go to England for it, because there were no such trainings in Slovenia. My life has changed upside down since, in ways I even daren’t dream of.

Before Solution Focused Practice entered my life, I was surrounded by toxic people, had bossy coworkers who could do pretty much anything with and to me, had partners who didn’t treat me right and most of all, I was really confused and not sure what I wanted to do with my life. Besides, my health was rather poor, I had some peculiar bad habits, not to mention that I found myself in conflicts more than often.

Now my life has a purpose. Since I started to learn Solution Focused Practice, my life has changed and I’ve become an almost completely different person:

I do what I love – I witness people creating their lives and themselves brand new. I am there with them to co-create rapid and long-lasting positive change they want to see for themselves and their significant others. This is such a privilege.

I travel. A LOT! I travelled round the Globe. Work and leisure is a synonym for me. Currently, I am stretched between the UK and home. I work a lot at the European level with international partners. I have clients from several EU countries and even clients from America and Canada. And this blog has almost 3000 followers. It didn’t happen overnight, but certainly I do perceive it as a miracle.

I am independent. My institute makes enough money to grant me a nice salary every month, so I can be my own boss and leader. I can choose who to work with and select my clients carefully.

My relationships have immensely improved. My marriage is firm and loving, my friends are my jewels and my work partners are the best team in the world.

I have changed personally as well. My way of thinking has changed. I allow myself to have a good life and allow myself to become the best I can possibly be in the fields I want to.

Those are only a few things. You can have it too. You can embrace and amplify the changes you want to see in your life. Solution Focused Practice will help you do just that in ways that you can’t even imagine at the moment.

With Solution Focused Practice you can

  • Learn to ask the right questions at right times, i.e. questions that put hope into your conversations and build rapid and long-lasting change.
  • Forget about burnout at work and toxic relationships. Personal or professional.
  • Become the best person/partner/CEO/coach/therapist/trainer/parent, etc. (whatever your current life role) you can possibly be.
  • Influence others in subtle ways, leaving an impact with no trace and assist them in making their lives and work a better place.
  • Change your career and find your true passion in life.

And many more ways, how Solution Focused Practice touches lives and moves them in a direction that is right for you.

Last year (2016) I was so happy to bring the first professional training to Slovenia, since as far as I know, there was no such training available. There are very few people who are familiar with Solution Focused Practice, and even they are practising the first model from the 1980’s when it had first developed. The model has changed of course, as there are new research findings that underpin different kind of practice.

So I wanted to offer Slovenian public a kind of training that changed my life. A highly pragmatic training in alignment with current trends and practice in the world. And it came true. Last year we got the first generation of Slovenian SF practitioners (about 25 people, with whom we meet every now and then and pursue SF in Slovenia). Because the experience was great and the feedback excellent, we (with my English partners) decided to repeat the training in 2017 as well, yet not in the same way. We made it even better, longer and with more contents. There will be even more exercises and you will see cases with real clients, therefore experience first hand the effectiveness and impact of SF.

You can be a part of this too. You are the second generation! You can be the next Slovenian star in the Solution Focused sky. You can become a part of a community that will support you and will foster your personal and professional development. I will surely appreciate more skilled people in the future, because I have many projects going on, where I would like to see Slovenian people engaged and thriving.

Want to learn Solution Focused Practice and thus invite change into your life in completely new ways? Simply click here and read about the programme, dates and apply through online form.

Not from Slovenia or can’t speak Slovenian? No problem! In the last chapter of our training, we’ll have a special guest coming over to Ljubljana. Chris Iveson, one of the best Solution Focused Therapists in the world, will deliver a two-day workshop in English in May (one day on coaching and another day on therapy). Chris is a co-founder of BRIEF, the largest Solution Focused Training organisation in the world (also the organisation where I was trained). Click for more info for Day 1 (coaching) or Day 2 (therapy).

That’s not even half of what I want to say. I could go on for days. Instead, let me invite you for a free intro workshop on January 6th, where you can hear it first hand and talk to me about your experience, questions and expectations.

Can’t wait to see Slovenia benefit from good practices that have been around in the world for a long time!!!



Our first generation. We are delighted to welcome you on board!


London Calling! And an Open Call to experience SFBT conversations

Dear reader,

Tomorrow I’m partly moving back to London (UK) for one year. It’s actually huge news, as I’ll be attending a Diploma in Solution Focused Practice, hence becoming a Solution Focused Brief Therapist. I’m burning enthusiasm and energy! But I need your help.

You see, what practitioners say is not the same to what practitioners do. Talking about therapy or coaching is nowhere near to doing either of it. One cannot learn how to facilitate useful conversations from books alone. It takes a lot of practice.

So I’m moving to London for this particular reason. I reached a certain point in my life where I am proud of my work as a trainer and a coach and I trust my clients to have all the resorces necessary to make a change they want to see. So when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, they say. Ribalon’s second season is slowly closing, as is 2016. This year we launched the first Slovenian professional training in Solution Focused Practice and we splendidly coordinated and carried out our first European international project Coaching for Change. Both promising projects give me confidence that there’s a bright future for Ribalon and for Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) in Slovenia. Like at the very beginning, I still very much believe SFBT is radically different to any other approach to coaching and therapy. And I want people to experience it, make use of it and learn how to benefit from it. So it’s only natural to return back to practice and sharpen my skills so I carry out my mission the best I can, to do SFBT justice.

I will be surrounded by many people in London, who are eager to see me succeed, perform well and who will assist me in my professional development. Meaning, they will closely monitor my work with clients. And I cannot do any work without my clients. My clients are my best teachers and the only true stakeholders to assess whether our work has been useful. I can’t create opportunities alone. Nor can I make a positive difference to anybody, without clients.

This is a call and an invitation for you, who are following this blog and for those you know, who are looking for opportunity to make a difference in their own, or their significant others lives. I’m inviting you to join this journey as a client and to experience the magic of SFBT yourself and contribute to its spread.

Simply click on the link below (a document with more detailed information) and apply. I would be honoured, if you would forward this Call to anybody whom you wish the best and would like to see them discover or find what they are looking for.

OPEN CALL for participants to be engaged in SFBT conversations

Many thanks and – see you soon!



It’s not a goodbye. It’s a new hello!

European Breakthrough: Coaching for Change completed

Dear reader,

It’s a week since we have finished our 10-day intense international training course in Solution Focused Coaching for youth workers working with disadvantaged young people.

Already a week passed and I’m still not catching up with what has just happened.

The training course brought alltogether 31 people from 11 different EU countries. I’ve worked with many groups before and have had many trainings behind me, however this group was something special. It was pure heaven.

The outline of our training was quite daring and demanding – not everyone is able to spend 10 or more days out in the wild, without shops, sleeping in a barn with about 25 other complete strangers, without a drop of alcohol and with an agenda of working whole day long from 7.30AM until 18.30PM. Further, we designed the training programme in a way that our participants first experience Solution Focused in action, before actually giving it a name and explanation. This has caused some frustration and confusion at first, as the group was shaken and irritated. But we did not want to provide the answers up front. We wanted them to discover it themselves. However we could not anticipate the story would unfold like this.

We were lucky. The group managed splendidly. They learned. Fast, incredibly fast. The level of energy did not drop throughout the whole training. They wanted more and they self organized in order to get more from us. It was a huge privilege to work with such a group and to see it’s caterpillars turning into butterflies, one by one.

At the end of the course I was extremely proud. Proud to have created an atmosphere for such intense learning. Proud to have been able to witness the group and individual’s progress. And grateful for this opportunity to bring Solution Focused training to the target group that would otherwise never experience it.

I think this training course is an important milestone. I learned so much. About the group’s dynamics, about Solution Focused Approach, about myself as a trainer and myself as a coordinator. The project isn’t over yet, just it’s main activity has ended. We have much more work to do to track and monitor progress and to prepare a short video about it. Since it’s start back in December 2015, the project has changed a lot. Also the crew has changed. We kicked off with seven facilitators and now we are three in the end. And those three will take the project further. It was a huge gamble and risk bringing together new people, new partners as well as a new training design. However for some reason, not many things went wrong. There were some lessons, as I learned to choose people to work with really carefully and we learned more about what works and what doesn’t. But the bottom line was that the only complaint we received was that people were getting fat. A justified complaint I should say, so compliments to our cooks!

I also learned so much from my colleague trainers and from our dear participants, and am really looking forward to our future projects. Not sure yet what they might be. Maybe Coaching for Change 2?

Dear Betül, Mounir, Natalie, Gaya, Moonika, Madli, Bori, Bence, David, Anna, Pompei, Foued, Sofia, Dejvi, Lauma, Giovanni, Tim, Kamila, Paulina, Maja, Tina, Tinka, Denis, Aixa, Silvia,  Ella, thank you so much for being able to get to know you better and to be a small part of your learning journey!

Naomi, Giulia, Raúl, Bea, Hannes, Finn, thank you for your support throughout the project and for your future ideas and inputs!

Matjaž, Mojca, Jana, Romana thank you for your logistic and tehcnical support!

Leah and Árpi, thank you for making this training excellent, outstanding and what it was – a miracle in action! I’m honoured to be your co-trainer and am looking forward to more!



Click here for more pictures.

Coaching for Change – our dream came true!

Dear reader,
our dream came true. Remember the post about our EU project? It’s become a reality. We managed to be successful in the second round and got top scores! Soooo, we’re launching the
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS – international training course Coaching for Change
We are more than pleased to announce the invitation to participate in our first EU project, where Ribalon acts as the project coordinator.
Coaching for Change is an international Solution Focused EU project, bringing together 11 EU countries, starting on August 1st and lasting for 9 months.
The main activity, Training Course, will bring together 25 people and 4 professional facilitators and will take place from Aug 25th until Sept 3rd in Slovenia.
Most of our participants have already been recruited during the project application and preparation stage, yet we’d still like to offer an OPPORTUNITY FOR ONE PARTICIPANT from Slovenia to participate and apply.
Please find attached the project info pack where you can find out more about the project contents and practical arrangements.
Also, do forward this call and news and spread it round your channels 🙂 We’re here for you to answer any of your questions.
So happy for this incredible success and amazing opportunity to put Solution Focused in action!
Biba together with project partners

Sky – definitely not the limit today!

In our world, nobody needs a coach. Nobody needs to think either.

Dear reader,

sometimes I get the question of whether what we do in coaching is really necessary. The answer is of course it’s not. In many cases, coaching is a tool that empowers and helps move forward the ones that are already doing somewhat well. It is not a life essential. But so isn’t a job you like, holidays at sea or organic food.

The only thing necessary in life is, that we all have to die and will die eventually. The rest is secondary. Hence, there is a difference between what you need and what you want. There is a difference between life worth existing and life worth living. Coaching, if done together with an experienced coach, helps unlock your inner potential to the fullest, so that you can grow into the best version you can possibly be. It is exclusive, an absolute luxury and meaningless if compared to basic needs like appropriate housing, social security, reasonable health, occupation, connectedness to others.

Throughout the history there have been examples of the “chosen ones” – the distinguished people who were privileged, who were standing out for their brilliance, talent or pedigree. Then there are those who are privileged to have the access to the best knowledge, best mentors, tutors, teachers, so that they could develop and become distinguished. Then there is the majority of us, the crowd, who are doing fine by going to work every day, watching series, having families, going on holidays once a year, getting drunk every other weekend and complaining about politics, weather and system. And the last are those on the edges, who depend upon the social justice system or welfare.

Coaching is for the chosen ones. But not necessarily the chosen ones from upper societal strata. Chosen ones who deliberately decide they want to live, not merely exist and who value their time, energy and potential. They know, they can manage to come very far alone. But they also know, that they can come way further if going together. A coach in this case is an excellent companion.

Yesterday I had a workshop for students and young graduates and we did bits of team coaching on the topic of preparing for their next job interview. Some participants were really standing out and I have high hopes they will come very far in their life. Among many exercises, we watched a short video as an intro into the coaching process. And I’d like to share it with you.

You surely don’t need a coach. Just like you don’t need the best relationship in the world, the most satisfying job or the best good looking posture. But you might be among the few selected ones who deserve the best and who take action in order to reach it.


New Start, New Services

Dear reader,

it is said that the darkest hour is right before the sunrise. Yesterday I told you about my “Blues” and ways forward. Today is a brand new day.

For quite some time now, I’m noticing I’ve come a long way from being a beginner in Solution Focused Approach. My supervisors also agree that I’ve reached a point where I can really pursue meaningful and useful conversations that create a context within which the clients are quickly able to find their own solutions that last.

Since I’ve grown from voluntary services and community work, it took me a long time to acknowledge I am not a volunteer anymore who helps others because she likes to do it and it’s the right thing to do. After more than 8 years of such work, my identity has changed. I’m now an established skilled professional who has made a lot of efforts to build up the knowledge, develop the right skills and enjoy the privilege to have such a strong international background. My work is not just pleasure. It brings results. Having said that, of course it makes a difference. I’m getting more and more requests to do Solution Focused work and lately, I’m also working within business settings with organizations. I’m beginning to receive more requests than I am able to process, so I had to make a choice: whether to go broad and do more quantitative work, or narrow my target group and do more qualitative work. I chose the latter.

After consultation with my UK partners, we’ve shaped a selection of new services you can enjoy and benefit from. Also our prices have gone up, because we have limited the number of clients and we believe our work has a value that is supported by evidence as well as client’s testimonials (there is a nice proverb that says if you want cheap services, hire an amateur, but eventually you will see this is really expensive). Still we have kept our research programmes, that enable those who have it difficult paying, to join as well.

So once again, I have followed my integral principle that “less is more”. Meaning I want to do good quality work, tailored to clients preferences and driven by client’s contents. Solution Focused Approach has for decades been proven to be highly effective approach in complex situations that helps individuals, teams, groups or organizations move forward. But talking about Solution Focused is very different to doing Solution Focused. Having delivered an entire Solution Focused Training, loads of work with clients and my supervisor’s opinion has recently confirmed I’m really doing pure Solution Focused work and I’m doing it well. Which means my clients experience high quality service that enables them move forward in their lives.

If you consider making desired changes, let go of bad habits, or you have found yourself (or your team) in a situation that seems to be too demanding for your current capabilities (such as implementing or designing a new strategy, facing complex changes, having performance challenges, work overload, etc.) or you simply follow this blog and would like to learn how to ask yourself the right questions, you are very welcome to benefit from sessions and save your time, energy (and money). You can find the options how to participate, collaborate and engage on the renewed page here or in Slovenian language here. Also, if you are keen to learn how to do Solution Focused work yourself and are from Slovenia, check the training programmes here.

I’m very happy to assist you with methodology that works to enable you become the best version you can possibly be and to be there while you make progress.



I’ll never be good enough (Notes about the Simple Life Part 4)

Dear reader,

a terrible week is behind me. I was absolutely counter productive, procrastinated a whole lot, was upset with people, annoyed by company, yet I felt lonely. All of us experience “the blues” every now and then and it’s horrible.

There were times when I really missed that comforting hug from someone who would not just call when they need me and would simply say: “Hey good job, well done, you don’t have to try so hard. You are already enough.” Instead I started to notice doing myself a harmful thing: comparing to others.

It appeared others are having great times, they are successful, happy, in love, travelling, getting good deals, new opportunities … and all I did was feeling sorry and pity for me, because I wasn’t one of them, my life wasn’t as awesome as theirs.

Though I already knew everything about how useless it is comparing yourself to others, though I knew I am able to change and direct my thoughts, though I knew my achievements are above average and I could easily collect all the evidence needed to confirm this, it didn’t help. I started to question whether I would ever be good enough for me. And the answer was in favour towards no.

In Solution Focused conversations one of the postulates states that if something doesn’t work, do something different. If nothing works, do something COMPLETELY different. And since I was not able to change my state, I needed to do something completely different. Maybe I need to stop trying. Maybe I need to let go of my desire to fix things. Maybe I need to stop needing and stop wanting to want. Maybe I am asking myself a wrong question.

The question: “Will I ever be good enough?” was the wrong question.

Another trait of Solution Focused conversations is focusing on exceptions. When are the times I am not feeling this way or I’m feeling less this way? The answer for me is clear: when I’m with my clients or delivering training or a workshop. Then I’m my best version and I can do these things really well. The proof is, I am quite busy at the moment, because I have six new clients in invidual sessions. All of them are making splendid progress and are experiencing a considerable personal transformation. So to answer the question, I am feeling great when it is not about me.

I suppose when you focus too much on you, you get in trouble. The beauty of life isn’t about you or about me. If we focus too much on ourselves, we’ll either end up feeling too narcissistic and eventually build up false expectations and this will bring us further away from our true self-worth. During the reality check our whole system will collapse, because the foundations weren’t real. Or we’ll end up judging every little piece until despair and hopelessness. We’ll again build up false expectations that will disable and prevent all our future possibilities.

Remove the “I”. It will make your life much simpler. When you remove the I, you begin to notice similarities between those around you. Everybody is afraid. Everybody struggles. There is no such thing as a perfect life. We don’t have it easy. Nobody has it easy. And we are in this together.

Seeing human misery awakens compassion. Those who are desperate to show how awesome their life is, are often the most miserable. Try catching the wind or try to classify clouds according to their shape. You’ll surely fail. However you can easily learn to enjoy the ride and view. But you can’t do that if you want to be in control.

Stop trying. Let go. Stop asking the wrong questions. Or go to coaching to learn how to ask the right ones 🙂



Original picture borrowed from Plant based on a budget.

How Solution Focused Approach Changed My Life

Dear reader,

just finished a Skype session with a rather long term client (seeing her over 2 years), who likes to check in once in a while to see whether she’s still “on track”. She is also interested to learn how to use Solution Focused Approach in her own line of work, but since she’s from another continent, she won’t be able to make it to our Slovenian Solution Focused Training. By the way – hurry, early bird registrations will close tomorrow, so make sure you’ve secured your place!

She stated that the main reason she wanted to learn SF (Solution Focused) was, because she had noticed how different my life became, since I encountered this approach. And she would like to make a similar difference in and for her life. I wouldn’t pay much attention to her words personally (of course professionally yes), if it weren’t that same morning, that a friend wrote to me on Facebook how much she appreciates my work and what an inspiration I am for others, especially younger ones, who are at the beginning of their professional career paths.

Maybe I can point out some benefits on how Solution Focused approach changed me, my life and those around me. I want nothing but the best for you, so maybe you might find this useful and can make Solution Focused approach work for you as well:

  • I’m not afraid. Action kills fear. If I’m unsure into something, I do it anyway. Before I was always scared what would happen if things go wrong. I had to make sure it was a “perfect moment”. Often that moment never came and I gave up before doing anything.
  • I travel. I’ve travelled round the Globe, but not as a tourist. I travel to learn, to explore, to expand, to increase tolerance and acceptance of diversity. See the post about a fierce journey for example.
  • I’m no longer setting goals. Goals don’t work. Instead I’m looking for signs. And since that changed, I managed to put together quite some pieces of work, like the Ribalon Institute, my first international scientific article and an EU project.
  • I’m not alone. I belong to a strong international network of professionals who help me grow. I’ve got the world’s best supervisors. Amazing partners, intervision coaches and worldwide friends. I’m not scared to ask for support. And I’m not reluctant to offer some if needed.
  • I’ve learned how to say NO. Managed to say goodbye to (fortunately very few) toxic people. I don’t tolerate disrespect and oppression. Also, I don’t tolerate gossip. Have much more important things to do.
  • I can change others. Until now, probably I’ve had like 500 workshops or trainings. Sometimes my contractors say I have to deal with a conflict/uncooperative/unmotivated group/individual. Never ever have I had a problem to inspire them.
  • My work matters. I see clients who say they’ve really messed up. I’ve worked with clients thinking about suicide, clients who were struggling with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, I’ve worked with parents who had “unbearable” teenagers. I worked with many many young people who were stuck and wanted to quit. Some might say I’m not qualified to solve their problems. They are right. I’m not quailfied – but the clients are! Also, I’m not solving their problems – they are!
  • I’m genuinely happy. It’s not a state of euphory that goes up and down. It’s a constant state of integrity, joy and passion to do what I like to do, what I’m good at and what matters to others. Plus, I am surrounded by people who take my energy and give it back.
  • I want to pay it forward. This was the main call that got us into organizing this very first SLOVEnian SF training. Because I want to offer an opportunity to others to have a possible life changing experience. Who knows – sometimes a word said at a right time, can change someone’s life forever. I hope I’m spreading good words.

Though Solution Focused approach might not be responsible or triggering all of the above, I know that if I wouldn’t come accross it, my life would be a life from someone I used to be and am not anymore. People change. Be the change you want to see, Gandhi said. Wise man.



Your life. Your choice.