May I Present to You …

A Certified Solution Focused Practitioner! I recently came back from England and brought an important paper in my pocket. My first part of solution focused training is behind me and I’m now officially fully qualified to pursue Solution Focused Practice.

The difference for me is rather minor, but it makes huge difference when I present my work and qualification to others. Clients usually don’t mind as well, they are more interested in the outcomes. However other practitioners of all kinds are VERY interested. And I think this is a good sign, they should be, because it does matter where you’ve been trained, by whom, how long and what the structure of your training was. You don’t want to be coached by someone who has only pursued a brief training on a weekend seminar, do you?

So for you dear fellow workers, who are in the helping professions and others who are interested, here’s what my training so far looked like:

Prior to entering the Solution Focused training, I was already engaged in working with students. Counselling and help has been offered through the university tutor system and I was the head of tutors for students with disabilities. I’ve been doing it for 8 years and have been granted two faculty awards for my work.

As I’ve told you in a past post, a miracle has happened and SF found me. My training at BRIEF (London, United Kingdom) has lasted from March 2014 until April 2015. Though I haven’t been in London the whole time, meanwhile I’ve participated in European Brief Therapy Association Conference 2014 in the Netherlands, Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association of America’s 2014 conference and additional training (not included in my primary training at BRIEF) and SOL CEE Conference 2015 in Hungary. And I was at home, working with my clients.

In total, so far I’ve experienced more than 150 hours of intensive training in Solution Focused Practice, about 30 hours of supervision and more than 120 hours with clients (only individual clients are included in the number, not the workshops). I’ve been really lucky to be trained or coached by the world’s famous Solution Focused Therapists and Coaches: Chris Iveson (my number one consultant and supervisor), Harvey Ratner, Evan George, dr. Peter De Jong, dr. Heather Fiske, dr. Harry Korman, dr. Janet Beavin Bavelas, Katalin Hankovszky Christiansen, Marco Matera, dr. Susanne Burgstaller, Hannes Couvreur and have sought consultation and guidance from dr. John Wheeler, dr. Mark Beyebach, Randa Fent, dr. Alasdair J. MacDonald, dr. Lance Taylor and Anne-Marie Wulf. I’m omitting the official titles other than PhD’s, because there are so many and I will probably make a mistake listing all of it. And because they made a difference to my life as people, not as doctors and specialists. What’s consisted a huge amount of my professional development was the EBTA, SFBTA and SOL World Community’s support. I had constant access to resources and immediate feedback from Solution Focused Practitioners whenever I needed one. My work has been recognized as meaningful, so the communities have enabled me to participate in training and conference in the US and in Hungary. I cannot find the right gratitude words to express what difference this has made to my professional standing, so I didn’t say it in words, but have showed it in action by opening the Ribalon Institute. All the above named and unnamed people have contributed to it.

What is coming next, is another year of extensive training for a Solution Focused Therapist and attendance in other Solution Focused events that currently I can’t tell how many will be. Anyhow, I believe I’ll be learning for life and in the end, my best teachers will be my clients. If things continue this way, you’ll be able to read about it as it happens.

It has been a long and arduous time and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

So my dear readers, proudly to present a marvellous journey that has escalated in a certificate paper. In case you’d ask.

porridge

Good and lasting results don’t come overnight. It takes time to be able to perform and produce something meaningful. Like a good porridge for example.

What’s in it for me? (what to expect in a SF session?)

This is said to be one of the most important sentences for an individual when engaging someone in collaboration, a dialogue or a new relationship (either personal or professional). Although I do not completely agree with this, as I still believe that some things just do not have selfish or self-centred aims, it looks like a suitable starting point for this post. So dear reader,

If you are interested in Brief Therapy or Coaching with me, here’s what to expect in a Solution Focused session.

I believe, you have a good reason to come. You want some kind of a change. However you don’t have to know it in detail, a wish or a thought will do. Many people don’t know exactly what or why, they just know or sense they want to see some changes or something different. As mentioned in previous posts, any kind of issues or challenges might be addressed within this approach. So whatever is on your mind that you want to discuss, change, resolve, observe, think about or share, you are welcome. What we will do is that we will think through it in a solution focused way, us both being on the same site. Although I’m about to be a future licensed therapist, I’m not acting as an expert, but rather as a facilitator even though I have knowledge and expertise. This means that our relationship is based upon not-knowing. I don’t know what the best is for you so I will not tell you what you could or should do. You and only you are the expert of your life.

There are two simple rules in our conversation: I’m 100 percent responsible for asking questions that produce useful answers. And you take 100 percent credit for each useful answer. It is that simple to understand, however not so easy to perform (this is why I’m in the learning process, because if this were to be easy, no one would have to learn and practise it!).

Prior to the session you already might notice some differences. This is often the case, as a therapeutic or coaching process already starts when considering booking a session. We might talk about this. Prior to the session you might be interested in issues concerning privacy and other professional settings. I’m committed to EBTA Code of ethics (http://blog.ebta.nu/the-solution-focused-modell) and am subject to supervision in order to constantly improve myself as a therapist trainee. Therefore I’ll ask you for your permission to record the session for my supervisors. You may decline, of course. However my supervisors are not interested in content, but in my work (what my focus was on and what kind of questions I used, hence what I could do better and what I did well).

Usually the session lasts approximately one hour. About the following sessions, I rely on you to know when to stop meeting. As it is brief therapy, it is not meant to be a long term process, but I can’t tell at the moment the average number of sessions, because I don’t have enough sessions behind me to gather a proper sample from which reliable conclusions would be possible.

The effects may be immediate or shortly after the session. You’ll see it for yourself. At the end of a session I might give you some appreciative feedback about what I’ve noticed during the session. There will be no advice or goals, therefore you cannot “fail” or disappoint anyone (not yourself nor me, as there is no “homework”). I trust you will find your way and I’ll help you discover it.

How does that sound?

sunset

This photo was taken somewhere above France, as I was flying home from Barcelona conference and had first thought about this post.