By asking “what are your best hopes?” we’re throwing a lifeline to a person caught in dangerous waters.
With each hope filled question we lovingly ask, we pull the lifeline taut.
Our belief in them gives us strength to keep it taut as we await their answer.
With each answer they pull themselves closer to safety.
2 thoughts on “The Solution Focused Lifeline”
What about clients who angrily insist that they have neither hope nor imagination and reject all questions that target their hope and imagination?
Good question Jeff.
I wouldn’t want to get into an argument with a client, so I’d start by acknowledging their hopelessness, then I’d probably be asking them about how they’ve managed to survive thus far in the face of it.
It’s also crucial that the worker holds on to hope and believes in the possibility of a better future for the client even when the client doesn’t seem to.
This is one of the things that makes SF difficult for many workers – it requires the worker to relentlessly, absolutely believe in their client, whilst communicating that in a pragmatic and sensitive manner. Through this dynamic the client inevitably becomes compelled to wonder what evidence might exist for any hope, and the collaborative search for it steers them towards safety.
More on this here: https://keepcalmandsolutionfocused.com/2018/07/27/a-matter-of-life-or-death/