It’s A Kind Of Magic


People often comment that there seems to be some magic in Solution Focused working; the client simply describes being a preferred version of themselves, then they seem to magically transform into that version!

Everything we regard as science was once thought of as magic. The technology at work in your mobile phone is all explainable scientifically, and yet seems like magic sometimes.

Science is providing possible answers as to why we observe the transformation we do in clients engaged with a Solution Focused process.

Basically, it appears that our brains are constantly constructing and reconstructing our perception of ourselves and the world around us, then sending instructions to every part of our body based on that perception. As a result, when we perceive ourselves to be happy, we smile, and when we identify ourselves as capable, we physically interact with our surroundings in a capable way.

Because there are so many perceivable changes in our internal and external environment happening all the time, we tend to be selective in what we pay attention to as a way to avoid becoming overwhelmed with too much information.

In reality (subjective and constructed though it is), we all experience every conceivable range of emotion in a kaleidoscope of varying intensity, duration and order from one second to the next. If, for whatever reason, we’re identifying in any particular moment as being, for example, a ‘depressed’ version of ourselves, we’re more likely to notice the emotions (or lack of intensity of emotions) that fit with that construct. This can reinforce it and influence our subsequent interactions with ourselves, other people and our environment. Conversely, when we identify as another version of ourselves; let’s say ‘fully functioning’, then we’ll be inclined to notice all the emotions, actions and thoughts that make sense to us in that context, in amongst everything else we might have noticed to a greater extent previously, and also as we notice all these little things we’re doing it’ll provide further evidence in support of the notion that we are a ‘fully functioning’ person, so that it then becomes our predominant construct of ourselves.

This phenomenon is now observable due to advances in technology used in brain scans, which can show in real time the electrical activity taking place within different parts of the brain in response to stimuli (including the delivery of solution focused questions). We can literally see the creative process in action.

By inviting clients to notice the evidence of the existence of their preferred self being present all along, albeit previously unnoticed, we can fuel this creative process with a fairly reliable outcome of the client and everyone they come into contact with consistently noticing the hoped for evidence, and therefore the constructed preferred version of them. It needs to be a polite, respectful and compelling invitation to be accepted by the client, which is where the skill of the practitioner comes in.

The outcome of engaging with a solution focused process can seem like a magical transformation, and effectively it is, because it has a scientific basis. It’s simply a constructive use of the technology we all have in our brains.


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