SLO: Certifikat iz k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa + prva novica o novih strokovnih usposabljanjih v Sloveniji

All the international readers, I hope you do forgive me for offering a post in my mother tongue – I am so proud to announce a very fresh set of Solution Focused trainings in Slovenia as well as a very first certificate process for Slovenian professionals who would like to take their Solution Practice further, to a certified level. Ribalon Institute has been bringing Solution Focused practice to Slovenia since 2014 and has every year organised trainings for Slo audiences. After I left the country, there was a slight risk those trainings would stop, however I promised to myself to give my best and stay true to my roots by continuing to spread the SF word, skills and knowledge in my country. And so, for this autumn we have something special prepared. Whilst Slo friends are invited to read further, the rest of you may take a break and have a good and long summer! Thank you all!

Spoštovana Slovenija,

vsi, ki ste z nami že opravili usposabljanja in uporabljate pristop, za vas smo z ekipo iz UK pripravili program, ki vam bo omogočil večjo prepoznavnost in odraz vaših veščin. Certifikat, pridobljen z usposabljanjem in izkazom veščin k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa je prva stopnja kvalifikacij, ki jamči, da prejemnik:

  • Pozna osnove k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa
  • Zna ustrezno, kompetentno in etično uporabljati pristop pri svojem delu
  • Skrbi za lasten profesionalni razvoj in refleksijo svoje prakse.

Certifikat se podeli posamezniku/-ci (v nadaljevanju »kandidat«) na podlagi opravljenih strokovnih usposabljanj in izkazane kompetentnosti pri uporabi veščin in orodij k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa.

Pogoji za vstop v proces certificiranja ter pridobitev certifikata

Kandidati za vstop v proces certificiranja opravijo najmanj 8-dnevno usposabljanje iz k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa, ki ga izvaja Ribalon v Sloveniji oz. njegovi partnerji v tujini (BRIEF ali SFP) in obvezno vključuje opravljeno osnovno usposabljanje. Udeležba na delavnicah, ki niso usposabljanje ali predstavitvah na konferencah za proces certificiranja ne šteje, šteje pa opravljeno usposabljanje znotraj drugih organizacij, v izvedbi Ribalona ali partnerskih izvajalcev.

Vloga za certificiranje

Kandidati, ki dosegajo zahtevane pogoje so vabljeni k oddaji pisne vloge, s katero izkazujejo razumevanje k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa.

Vloga naj obsega do 10 strani (brez virov in literature) in zajema naslednja poglavja:

  1. Opis kandidatovega trenutnega delovnega mesta, znotraj katerega uporablja k rešitvam usmerjen pristop
  2. Opis opravljenih usposabljanj
  3. Razumevanje in opis k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa in modela
  4. Opis uporabe k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa in predpostavk pri kandidatovem delu
  5. Študija primera: podroben opis in dokumentacija konkretnega primera
  6. Skrb za profesionalni razvoj (supervizija, strokovno izpopolnjevanje)
  7. Viri in navedena literatura, kjer je to potrebno

Vlogo pošljete dr. A. Bibi Rebolj na elektronski naslov biba@ribalon.org z referenco “certifikat iz SF”. Po oddani vlogi boste prejeli povratno informacijo o odobrenem certifikatu ter podelitvi, ali morebitnih dopolnitvah ter dodatnih pojasnilih, v primeru, da vloga še ne dosega standardov za podelitev certifikata. Ocenjevalci so dr. A. Biba Rebolj, Ben Scott, Greg Oberbeck in po potrebi, svetovalno telo inštituta Ribalon.

Ob uspešni in pozitivno ocenjeni vlogi, boste Certifikat prejeli v fizični obliki, povabljeni pa boste tudi, da postanete eden izmed Ribalonovih priporočenih praktikov.

Navodila za pripravo vloge

Pri pripravi vloge sledite spodnjim navodilom ter obsegu. Vloga naj bo v MsWord, poljubne pisave, velikost 12.

  1. Opis trenutnega delovnega mesta, znotraj katerega kandidat uporablja k rešitvam usmerjen pristop – do 150 besed
  1. Opis opravljenih strokovnih usposabljanj: navedba kraja, datumov, izvajalcev, trajanje posameznega modula ter skupno število dni (ur).
  1. Razumevanje in opis k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa in modela – do 600 besed

K rešitvam usmerjen pristop lahko opišemo na različne načine, bodisi kot nabor orodij in tehnik, bodisi skozi predpostavke, bodisi skozi razmišljanje o tem, kako pristop dojema spremembo, kliente, načine dela, ipd. V opisu nas zanimata kandidatova interpretacija in razumevanje pristopa in v tem smislu ne zahtevamo opisa zgodovine in razvoja pristopa, pozdravljamo pa sklicevanje na relevantno literaturo.

  1. Opis načina uporabe k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa in njegovih predpostavk pri kandidatovem delu – do 1300 besed

V tem delu kandidat izkazuje sposobnosti uporabe k rešitvam usmerjenih predpostavk in tehnik v različnih kontekstih, znotraj katerih deluje, npr. pri delu s klienti, morda pri poučevanju, izvajanju skupinskih srečanj, pri svetovanju, vodenju sestankov, ipd.

  1. Študija primera: podroben opis in dokumentacija konkretnega nedavnega primera, kjer je uporabljen k rešitvam usmerjen pristop – do 2500 besed

V tem segmentu kandidat izkazuje kompetentno uporabo k rešitvam usmerjenih veščin v praksi. Kandidat izbere primer iz prakse, kjer je uporabil k rešitvam usmerjen pristop in tehnike:

  • Izbran primer naj bo odraz nedavnega dela in ne starejši od 6 mesecev od prijave za Certifikat.
  • Primer naj bo samostojno delo, ne npr. delo v paru z drugim k rešitvam usmerjenim praktikom ali soizvajalcem
  • Pri opisu naj se kandidat osredotoča na uporabo SF veščin in ne na opis primera. Ne opisuje se zgodovine primera in podrobnih okoliščin klienta, temveč se izkazuje kompetentno uporabo k rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa. Posebej dobrodošli so transkripti dejanskih pogovorov.
  • V študiji primera se lahko opiše eno ali več srečanj s klientom ter celotno sodelovanje skozi daljše časovno obdobje. V kolikor obstajajo informacije, se opiše tudi učinke po tem, ko je bilo delo zaključeno.
  • V opisu primera kandidat jasno opiše kako je vzpostavil dogovor oz. sporazum s klientom in kaj je ta vseboval.
  • Nato opiše kako je potekal opis željene prihodnosti, pri čemer demonstrira kako se je v vprašanjih osredotočal na znamenja, ne na korake ali cilje – poudarki pri opisu željene prihodnosti so na znamenjih, ne akcijskem načrtu.
  • V kolikor so bile uporabljene lestvice, kandidat navede kako jih je zastavil (kaj je bila 10, kaj je bila 0), kakšna so bila nadaljnja vprašanja in čemu je dal največji poudarek.
  • Ob koncu napiše svojo refleksijo o tem, kaj je po lastnem mnenju naredil dobro ter kaj bi si želel, da bi naredil drugače (ter kako, v kolikor bi imel še eno možnost).
  • Kandidat navede tudi kako je poskrbel za ustrezno varnost in zaščito klienta in/ali njegovih bližnjih, v primerih, kjer je bilo to potrebno.
  1. Skrb za lasten profesionalni razvoj (supervizija, strokovno izpopolnjevanje)

K rešitvam usmerjenega pristopa se hitro naučimo, vendar je potrebno veliko nadaljnjega razvoja za dosego nivoja kompetentnosti. Kandidat v tej rubriki navede kako ohranja stik s prakso ter skrbi za etično in kakovostno izvajanje svojega dela.

  1. Viri in navedena literatura

Za citiranje se uporabi APA standard, kjer se sklicuje na reference.

Želimo vam veliko uspeha pri pripravi vloge. Veselimo se vaših vlog in vas pozdravljamo med kompetentne in razmišljujoče praktike!

Hhrati vas z veseljem obveščamo, da so objavljeni novi datumi za jesenska usposabljanja, ki jih najdete tukaj.

dr A. Biba Rebolj, 2019 za Ribalon in SFP ©

Slovenian Certificate in Solution Focused Practice

So now you’re a Doctor. What next?

Dear reader,

we have a new Doctor in the house. Not a medical one, but a PhD. Last Wednesday I passed the last formality and am now officially Dr Biba (which is strange, because my bibliography will say I obtained it in 2018 but here we go – done and finished!). I couldn’t have wished for a nicer ceremony and my farewell to the academia. Lovely memories, lots of gratitude, appreciation and a huge relief.

One of my Committee members, a professor, said it’s easy to obtain a PhD, but after, the person holding it must prove every single day they’re worth it. With such a title comes responsibility, as does with talents. Talents are not only gifts, they are duties as well. The holder’s got duty to use them for the benefit of not only pleasing themselves, whatever the talent may be – art, science, children upbringing, cooking, craft, etc.

My professional path has taken many unexpected turns and I’ve no ambition to stay in the academia for now. But if it wasn’t for my university, my supervisors, extracurricular activities as well as setbacks, I would have probably never left Slovenia and discovered the field I am so passionate about at the moment. Time for the next step. My ambition is the world. My passion is Solution Focused Practice.

So here comes some bits of news I have been looking forward to telling you for a while: I am not alone in this. About a year ago, a fortunate coincidence crossed paths of three people: Ben Scott, Greg Oberbeck and myself.

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A thought that brought us together concerns the future of SF and how to spread its brilliance to the next wave of practitioners. All of us have been training others in SF and recently, we formed a trio called SF Possibilities (SFP). We have noticed there are many frontline workers, practitioners and enthusiasts worldwide, who are keen and curious about SF and haven’t got access (geographical or financial) to high quality training. We want to respond by providing international Solution Focused Training with up to date observations from our own frontline practice.

What is uniting us is our wish to keep the SF approach simple, minimalistic and straightforward. The core of our ethos is continuing to follow the guiding principles our teachers at BRIEF have been inspired by for 30 years. Innovation, observing and presenting our own work as well as staying humble is something that brings us together, in spite of our personal differences and training styles which we see as beneficial and enriching.

So this is where I am going from here. It has become a “we”. We are “coming out” at the UKASFP Conference this July in Bath and before that, if you’ve ambition, you can join us in a 3-day training course in Solution Focused Practice in Bedford, UK. The invitations will go out soon, as will our web presence. Meanwhile, you are welcome to have a look at this page. We’d love to have you with us!

Dr. Biba, SFP

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#Succinct #Minimalistic #Straightforward

 

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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How did my butt get so big??

Dear reader,

funny story, this will make you laugh. Easter holidays and people are having days off, meaning shopping malls to be crowded, heavy traffic and loads of food. Perfect. I managed to break my husbands teapot and a big water jug, but hey, I’ve always been quite clumsy. Promised him to get him a new one and so there we were, today in the morning, putting our rain-boots on and getting ready to conquer the mall.

As I was putting my coat on, I looked at myself in the mirror. I was wearing pants not very flattering for my body shape, and as I looked at myself from behind, I went:

Omg since when’s my butt become so big?

My husband replied with: “No wonder it’s been big, you’re sitting 24/7, that’s what you’ve been doing.”

Now every woman ever will know that he screwed up big time. So there I was, my turn to react (or not). I could think of at least 246 choices. Here are a few:

  • I could have been devastated and could have spent another 2 hours examining my look from behind from every angle and trying to figure out whether he was right.
  • I could have bursted into tears for him being so rude and for telling the truth.
  • I could have felt really really bad, humiliated, ugly and unattractive and might have started thinking about dieting or exercising (but that’s not possible at the moment, because I can’t even walk).
  • I could have fallen into despair.
  • I could have tried to defend myself by shouting at him.
  • Or pretend to be an ostrich and not deal with the whole thing at all.
  • I could have killed my husband for being an idiot.
  • Or send someone to do that for me.

Now, before you send someone round to shoot my husband, please note that he’s never been very good with verbal expressions. Not that I am defending him or anything.

I know so many women to whom an event like that would spoil their entire day or week. And in a millisecond before starting to shout at him, I played several scenarios and how that might impact my day, I decided to do some assessment and pick the most useful response. Not for him, but for me.

  • My husband made a rude remark, which I will ignore and will not let it impact any of my thoughts or actions, except for writing this blog.
  • He is well aware it was rude. I’ll leave it up to him to deal with it. His laundry is none of my business.
  • It’s true that I’m sitting a lot lately. But it’s not because I would chose to do so, it’s because I am currently in too much pain to do any exercise or walk.
  • It’s the time of the month when my body’s doing its best to hold a possible baby. So consequently I might be a bit bloated. My breasts are bigger (and welcomed), so why would my butt not be allowed to be as well?
  • If my butt indeed has become bigger, so what. It is still my butt, I love it, it is serving me very well and I’ll keep loving it.
  • Big butts are very sexy.
  • If it will indeed bother me or will become uncomfortable, I will do something about it. But at the moment I am totally okay with it.
  • I am actually looking forward to having a big butt. In the upcoming months I will be sitting a lot and it is better to sit on a soft cushion than sit on a bony footstool.

See the difference? The trick is you can always, ALWAYS chose how certain events might affect you. Today I was in a good vibration, so I managed to do it elegantly and in only a second. And you got a witty story 🙂

Here’s to our butts,

Biba

Happy National Kissing Day!

Eating disorders are wasting your time

Dear reader,

This is a very personal post and I have never written about this subject so openly.

For some reason, I remembered some of my teen idols. I was so in love with a French dancing figure skating pair, Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, especially with their performance of “Esmeralda” and “Time to Say Goodbye” in the early 2000’s. Watching them skate again today, brought many memories of my early, young, fragile age, so I decided to go on with my orange-reddish hairstyle 🙂

Another recent idol has been Yulia Lipnitskaya, a young Russian figure skater, who, at the age of only 15 won the gold medal (well deserved!). I was wondering what she might be up to today, 4 years later, and found out that she’s retired from sport, due to severe anorexia.

I couldn’t believe it. It made me so so sad. She is far from lonely case. I dedicated my whole life to classical ballet, up to the age of 21. For years I was suffering from eating disorders. It started as I was getting ready for Ballet Nationals and my teacher made some crude remarks about my weight. At the age of 16, I wanted to do my best to “fit in”, succeed, meet the standards, regardless of how inhumane or devastating they were. I forced my body to do things most people couldn’t even imagine was possible. I pushed it beyond every limit and won the second place, dancing with a torn calf muscle. I could go on not eating for days, or bring every single meal out whenever I wanted. Still, no signs of fatigue or lost strength or physical ability. I had complete control over it. It was my absolute slave.

I made my best friend my slave. And as most things I was up to, I succeeded 100%.

It all got worse at about the same time, when I was almost expelled from school for anonymously publishing an article about certain practices and behaviours at our school. What I’d written was nothing but truth, but the reaction I got from my teacher was awful. I was excluded, humiliated, yelled at so that the entire school could hear and after that I learned to keep quiet, swallow all the injustices and simply pretend everything was fine. Pretend I was okay. Suppress all the emotions, desires, hopes. Just work, work, work. At the age of 16 my wings were broken. Crushed. I thought it was my fault. Everybody was pointing at me, confirming it was my fault. People watching me go down the road of slowly getting more and more exhausted, bystanders not knowing what to do, friends disappearing.

Eating disorders are lethal. They are one of the most damaging addictions. Vicious things, lurking in the back, taking over your life slowly, while you are fooling yourself believing you are in control.

I was so sad to read about Yulia. Such talents, such beautiful souls carried away by this disease. Many professionals are claiming, one cannot escape this circle. That the victim will always stay trapped in the cold hands of anorexia or bulimia. I say they are wrong.

I managed to recover myself. It happened as everyone else gave up. Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, all sort of professionals. They gave up because they failed to ask me one single question:

What are your best hopes?

All of them were focused on ways how the disease was messing up with my life, or worse, how it’s become my life. None of them bothered to ask me about my other sides, my passions or hopes, probably because they assumed I had none. I believed that too. But it was not true. It was only that my wings were broken, but that doesn’t have to mean that I would not be able to grow new ones. Being kept in an environment where everybody was constantly reminding me that I have “screwed up”, “will not make it again” and “can’t do it myself” has been more damaging than the wounds I cut myself.

So at one point, after years of suffering, I decided that I won’t let my 16-year old down. I’ll never hide again and will never bow, even if and when my mouth will get me in trouble. I’ll never stand people for having the wrong energy, because I learned to be protective of myself and of people around me. People who are affected by eating disorders have several wonderful traits – they take it all on them, which makes them very pleasant company. They are incredibly talented, intelligent and resilient. But they simply don’t know that yet or don’t believe it. Eating disorders are a way of withdrawing, distracting from pain, focusing the punishment onto yourself, even when someone else is guilty. But in the cold light of dawn, eating disorders are a waste of your time. And a terrible waste of your potential.

Again, I was so sad to read the news about Yulia. And I know many girls like her, even some boys. I used to be one. And I can also show you that you, YOU ALONE, can manage to spread your wings again, fly, or grow whatever you need in order to lead the life you want. Yes, you can, without medication, painful questions and all sort of experts, who will pretend they care and will pretend they know better than you. No-one knows better than you.

Connect with me, if this sounds appealing and you might benefit from my experience. I was extremely lucky, that a couple of years after recovering, I accidentally bumped into Solution Focused Brief Therapy, which was exactly how I managed to restore my best version. The version that will never shut up and will never ever bend again. So naturally, I became a SFBT therapist and am now trying to make a difference with the approach and care, I needed, but was simply not there. With all my love and all my passion, both of which at some point I thought will never be on the menu of my feelings again. So I got lucky, but not because faith had it, but because I looked out for it.

With so much love to all the Yulias,

Biba

 

Pessimism & Negativity

Dear reader,

I was born in Slovenia. This country, beautiful as it is, is prone to negativity. I am very sad to say, that its people are very capable, well educated, talented, hard working … but essentially negative and overly pessimistic.

You won’t recognise it at first. But if you are living abroad and/or have had contacts with other nations and other cultures, you would spot this dangerous mindset instantly.

I used to be just alike – being born and raised there. And I’m not writing this to point fingers to anyone – everyone involved in my upbringing was doing the best they could, in their given circumstances and with given means.

I am writing this to show, that there are things that can be done to change this mindset. That things CAN be different.

First things first, some disclaimers. I do think pessimism is better than optimism. This is my internal belief. Why? Because research shows that pessimists are more right. That they see the truth and holistic picture as it is, not as they want it to be. However, and especially because of this, I had to LEARN optimism. Not to embrace it fully and look at the world through pink glasses (not my thing), but instead view it through pragmatical approach and recover fast from whatever challenges life brings me.

When I first left Slovenia in 2014, my self confidence and professional identity was quite low, I was quite shy and here’s why:

I was taught that “it can’t be done“. That “it’s a waste of time, because my idea won’t work out anyway“.

And if I managed to do it anyway, people were jealous, telling things behind my back or were in best case, cool towards my successes. Very few people were genuinely happy and those people today are all thriving somewhere, either in Slovenia, but many have moved abroad.

In 2014, when I first proposed one humble idea to my hosting organisation in the UK, I was expecting a response with arguments of why this idea might not work out. And list of things how it might not work out. So I was already prepared to give up. Instead, I got a helping hand, telling me it was a fabulous idea and they would like to develop and discuss it further with me. It blew away my mind, because it was a response I would expect the least.

It showed me, there IS a different way. There IS another approach. So I started learning Solution Focused Approach. It changed my life. And I had no idea how much, until I had my mother over for a visit the past weekend. She and my husband were engaged in a conversation, quite passionately sharing some of the views or arguing when not. Their whole conversation was imbued with negativity and moaning about and towards pretty much everything – the politics, weather, habits, news, neighbours, etc. Their suggestions were so negative. And I felt a huge weight on my chest, even though I was not engaged in the conversation and did not want to do so either. I felt 13 again. It felt like home, a known feeling, but not a good fit.

So they drew a picture in front of me, showing me not how they are, but how much I have changed. I have cultivated a whole new and different mindset, which got me to be an international trainer. And now I want to share some of that knowledge and skills I had to learn (sometimes the hard way), but for you, you can simply get it from me.

It doesn’t have to be all bad. We don’t have to live in such a negative world. You CAN learn to do it differently. And change your whole world.

If you are tired of this negativity too and if you are a Slovenian, I am organising a free online workshop for you to have a taster of the Solution Focused (SF) Approach. Sign up here and perhaps make a step towards the best part of your life. It was definitely the best one for me.

See you there,

Biba

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I finally did it – my big manifestation came true!!!

Dear reader,

Finally, the day has arrived, the day I’ve been working towards for the last 5 years. Today I finally submitted the theoretical part of my PhD. Not long now, before I’ll finally finish my studies and become Dr Biba 🙂

I can’t tell you what a relief this is. To be honest, I had quite some doubts along my journey of whether I am going to make it, whether I am good enough to be accomplishing such a demanding task as even thinking, let alone writing a PhD. There was a time where I almost gave up, because my life has turned to a very different direction, as those of you who’ve been following this blog for some time, know. In that moment, what was crucial was faith of my two PhD supervisors. As I was that close to tell them it is no use and I am wasting their time, they supported me and encouraged me to keep going. So I pulled myself together and decided to do two things:

  • Withdraw completely from whatever was interrupting my attention, including my training courses, seeing clients, teaching and any other activity connected to Ribalon
  • Manifest my desire to finish in due time.

I manifested to submit the thesis on January 15th. How, was not important. Whether I will make it, was also out of question, because I knew manifestation worked and I trusted myself that I will be capable to do it.

It worked.

Since coming back from Frankfurt World SF Conference, I was hardly doing anything else but writing. I wasn’t very communicative. I have hardly done any trainings or clinical work (except some small workshops here and there just to get myself out a bit). For four months all I did was writing, from morning to evening. My health got worse. During those four months my will and abilities were tested to the ground. By the end I was somehow going nuts and yesterday I couldn’t even recognise the words on the screen anymore. But not even for a moment did I allow myself a thought that I will not make it. I ordered myself to do it and so here it is – CELEBRATION TIME!

In a couple of hours I’ll board onto a plane again and leave Europe for quite a while. Recharge, relax, do nothing but enjoy life for three whole weeks in Cuba. I know I deserve this, because I worked so hard. And now I also know that every task, regardless of how hard it seems at first, can be done in the following manner:

Taking only one small step at a time. That’s all you have to do.

As I stated in today’s vlog, if you want to kill your aspirations and manifestations, put an action plan on it. Action plans kill creativity, perseverance and passion. All you have to do instead is taking one small step at a time. You’ll always know what to do next.

So here I am today, proud as hell, packed and ready to go with my famous suitcase which is so worn out that I plan to leave it there. Best of luck to you and if you are in the middle or close to the end of something really important to you – learn to manifest! :). It will get you to your results faster and will enable you to do the work more efficiently.

Biba

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Wihihihihi on the road again – this time nothing but pleasure!

Coaching for Change finished: a difference that made a difference

Dear reader,

yesterday we submitted the final report for our international project Coaching for Change.

Sometimes people say “Yeah these international projects are fun and cool, but they do not really make any difference, nor do they have any lasting effects”. I suppose people having these thoughts speak from experience and I would not dare to argue with them. And I want to share with you that our project does not fit that basket.

It has been nearly 9 months since our Training Course in Frankolovo, Slovenia, where 28 people lived and worked closely together and by the end of the course, practiced Solution Focused Coaching conversations smoothly and independently. In these 9 months many things happened: people change locations, change jobs, change professions … move on with their lives. And for some reason, we stayed in touch with each and every one of our participants. I think the reason behind this has to do with us writing the project together.

As I was putting the contents together for our report for the National Agency and European Commission and as I was editing the videos we made during our sessions, I felt such gratitude. What we have done was much more than just another training course. What we started then, was a milestone: we started a new movement. Being a part of this makes me humble and emotional, as it is such a gem when one has a possibility to not only participate, but initiate something as big.

So I would like to share some of the feedback our participants shared. Let their voice speak on our behalf.

Many changes and news in my life. First of all after hard and stressful months I’ve tried the test for a very particular course at the university of Milan and I’m in. I still couldn’t believe it, only 80 seats it’s an economics course with service profile in collaboration with the tourism and social Chamber of Milan. I think in it I could express my passion for practice mathematics and at the same time my love to help the other… and after let’s see what the life is going to offer me. In those months I’ve used a lot what I learnt at the course especially for myself… I realised that so often my way of thinking and see the situation is completely changed with SF. I haven’t used it in professional field, I would not be able but with the kids I look after at the centre, or also in conversation with friends It’s helped me a lot. And I would like to go deeper with coaching because it’s something that I really feel in myself.

I’m writing a field diary with conclusions and reflections for my jobs and I’m having sparkling moments! Now I’m more aware of what we learnt thanks a lot for all., I’m more focused on adults and I do approach them with SF questions. SF training was really interesting and useful for me to improve as a professional and share the informations whit my job partners – those with whom I work more directly. I would really like to participate in an advanced training because it is useful for me as a career counsellor. and to share the knowledge with my team.

I have used the skills in situations, but i did not have intensive changing sessions, it was more used in taking steps to achieve some result. I would love to join an advanced course! I switched workplaces though. Im now working for an organisation supporting youth houses! I am using SF questions, but not in the way we learned it.. i recognise the fact that i implement the theory of solutions focused, but more in groups and not so much for changing behaviour, but changing views.

I am in my last year of my Master’s study, meaning I have been fully occupied writing the thesis. I noticed that during writing and talking to my other colleagues I used some of the SF questions we learned and I tried to break the complaining culture. My colleagues have noticed this and when I was not doing it they asked me to “ask some of your questions, because they are really useful!”. So I have in a way coached our entire class!

The project had a great impact on me and I believe also on what I do and on the people around me. Since the moment I came back I tend to focus on the positive things that happens to me and basically I feel like I am living a more fulfilling life. I truly believe that it s the point of view I had on the things and not the things themselves to make me sad sometimes. This thoughts I have are supported by some moments I lived during the course. When I think to them again I feel empowered and sometimes I find new elements of reflection. One of them is when we had to work in groups and write on a big piece of paper what was solution focused for us? When our group came up with that drawing with many lines with different colors… I don’t know if you remember, but it was extremely powerful for me. I used some of the questions with people around me and I had surprised reactions, like I was asking an unexpected question, but always interesting answers. I truly believe I helped some people tho see other sides of the same reality, myself first.

I tend not to give advice and to accept that the solution with which some people come up with can be a good one for them even if it doesn’t make any sense for me. Maybe there is no order in what I wrote, it was out of enthusiasm . By the way, when I come back I decided to change university and degree. Instead of going on with philosophy, after I graduated I took up a master degree in development and management of human resources and I find it great. I really hope you keep on doing what you are doing because that project was great for me. I will be organising a brainstorming afternoon for a group of 20 people and I would really like to have a process with them, before the brainstorming, to create an atmosphere of positivity/solution focus/no criticism and I want to teach them the SF mindset.

I am more self confident about myself. Training course was a moment to stop, reflect and make an inner turn. I would say I got more independent and self trusting myself in personal and professional life. It gave self confidence to develop constellation as an approach in my profession. The most useful moment was when we shared our future plans and our team members gave the feedback . Now when I look back almost one year ago, I have reached exactly what I wrote and the comments responds to way it happened. So it was a good bread for the road. As well it was my first meeting with Slovenia. A beautiful meeting to fall in love with this country.

I’m using the knowledge I gained thanks to you, almost every day. In my personal life I started to look for my resources in a more conscious way and focus on what I’m grateful for. In my work I started to give much more positive feedback and I use the SF questions in a lot of situation. For example when I start it finish a training or during debriefing an activity. It works really well. Thank you all!

No more words are needed, right?

So if you would like an insight into some of our sessions, have a peek into my YouTube channel and witness the brilliance of our participants.

Coaching for Change videos

Let us continue what we started. If you would like to join, let us know 🙂

Your trainer’s team

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Your trainer’s team

I’ve just had the best conversation of my life

Dear reader,

thank you for your patience. You had to wait quite a while for this post. I’ve got so much going on in so many different fields that I find it challenging to keep up with everything. I have been doing lots of clinical work. Had delivered Solution Focused training in Slovenia. Just finished a 5-day training for European Voluntary Service volunteers. Will be doing lots of facilitation of various small or large scale events in the upcoming week. And then back to London. Not to mention writing articles, doing research analysis, selecting coworkers for our upcoming 3-year project, etc. Sometimes I think it’s way too much for just one person.

Many people would say the most meaningful learning and AHA moments happen out of your comfort zone and are accompanied with stress, discomfort, perhaps even a crisis and pain. I’ve got no opinion on this, but I do have a very recent experience that I’d like to share with you.

I nearly experienced a crisis yesterday. Something happened that completely removed the ground from my feet and I found myself in a situation where I felt angry, hurt, crushed and above all, terribly disappointed in somebody. I was working, had been away from home for several days. The training had been successful and going well, though it required lots of energy, flexibility and trust. I am generally always good at maintaining balance while working. Not so much if something happens to me personally. That crisis had nothing to do with my work, but it happened while I was working, in the middle of the day. And it had to do with something somebody else had done or hadn’t and should have. At least in my opinion.

So we closed the day. Nobody noticed. I went up into my room. Hotel rooms (single ones) can be devastating. I had about 30 minutes of spare time before the final party. And I felt this extreme tension, caused by the action of this another person that triggered my crisis. I sat on the floor next to my phone charger and wrote a message to one of my most precious people with whom we were to meet in Skype on that day, but he sort of stood me up and hurt me some more. He did not respond, which added to my irritation and the sense of imbalance. I felt so abandoned. And lonely, even though I had been immensely successful and efficient at my work only an hour ago.

I went into the bathroom. There was nothing to do there. I searched my bags and found some food and snacks. Was just about to open that chocolate bar without any reflection or mindfulness. And for some reason I didn’t. Then I saw a bottle of wine I bought earlier in the day for our evening party. I went back to the bathroom and searched for a glass. I opened the bottle, poured myself a glass and sat on the floor again. It must have looked pretty miserable, being alone in a hotel room, sitting on the floor drinking wine in sorrow, listening to some pathetic music. No wonder people commit suicide in moments like this one.

After the second glug of wine I took a deep breath. And another one. Then I changed the music. And then something magical happened. My thoughts started leaving my head. One by one. Until there were no more thoughts. I’ve no idea how long this no-thought mode lasted, and what happened next was the best conversation I ever had. A conversation inside my head. For the first time, I spoke nothing but kindly to myself.

I opened my eyes. And I smiled. It was such a pure and natural thing to do. And then I realised:

I don’t need anybody. All I need is already here.

This has never happened to me before. It was a moment of supreme balance, imperfect perfection and beauty. I felt so strong. And for the first time, I realised that no matter what happens:

I will be fine.

I’m sure that wine glug made a contribution. But I was not drunk, far from it, my head was crystal clear and I felt at peace. So I got up, went into the bathroom, brushed my hair, left my room and joined the party in my brilliance. And had a very nice evening afterwards.

I am certain life will bring numerous situations where people will hurt me, deliberately or not. I am 100% positive that there will be challenges bigger than I will be able to handle. And from now on I also know that there is an enormous force and strength in me with which no matter what happens:

I will be fine.

Love, Biba

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Stronger. Together.

 

Everybody has problems. That is so not true

Dear reader,

I’m sure you disagree with the above title of today’s blog post. Sure there is not a single person on this planet, who would be completely without any problems. There is pain, hatred, misery, injustice, fraud, violence everywhere. It is impossible to not call that problems, sometimes even world’s problems. Trump and the like if you will.

I disagree to call these problems. Ahhhh. Let me explain (and no, I’m not a Trump fan).

Everybody experiences tough life situations. In fact, some of the most brilliant people have had it pretty tough. Yeah, shit happens to everyone. And some people make problems out of it. Others don’t. There is a profound difference between life situations and problematic situations. For example, I crash in a car accident and end up in a wheelchair. This a serious and difficult life situation. Now, there are (at least) two options:

  • I can cling onto this misery and expand it so that it will seriously damage and affect my relationships, my wellbeing, my job, even my explanatory style and cognition.
  • I can deal with it simply for what it is: shit that happened and cannot be undone or reversed. In this case with profound and lasting consequences. Yet this doesn’t have to mean that I’m having a problem and that my whole life will have to suffer because of it. My relationships might still be something worth living for. I might adjust to my job or change it if it can’t be adjusted. And about my wellbeing, there is no external factor that could influence it. It is my decision on which only I decide how to go about it.

Want to hear a secret? The choice which way to go, lies entirely within your hands. John Weakland, Steve de Shazer’s predecessor with whom the roots of the Solution Focused Approach first began, was such a wise man, for he said the following:

“Life is one thing after another, problems are the same damn thing over and over again”

When something unexpected and unpleasant happens, it becomes a problem if you handle it in a way that doesn’t work, namely by repeating or applying some of the strategies leading you nowhere, such as mourning, hiding, performing bad habits, blaming others or yourself, fighting, attacking, or else. You name it, you know exactly what you are doing that doesn’t work. Yet do you know what does work? Not in theory but in practice?

If your answer is no, here’s some good news: you can learn. People are not born with this, people develop these skills to reckon what is useful in a certain situation and what is not. There are myriads of resources available on the web and dozens of trainings where you can learn how to do it and discover it in a way that is right for you. I’m not saying it will be easy – it took me about 3 years and I’m still not where I feel I ought to be, but my life has dramatically changed ever since. And it hasn’t changed because the circumstances have changed. It has changed because I chose to take it into my own hands.

You’ve got all the power you need to be a person without problems. No matter what shitty situations life brings you.

Biba

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Picture borrowed. Can’t remember where from.