In the past week, I’ve started reading the new book by Elliott Connie and Adam Froerer; ‘The Solution Focused Brief Therapy Diamond: A New Approach to SFBT That Will Empower Both Practitioner and Client to Achieve the Best Outcomes’, and I’ve seen the film ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves’.
The book is aimed primarily at practitioners, although I think it has a lot of value for anyone wondering what to expect if they book with a practitioner. The film is aimed at everyone in the whole world!
Both have central themes of love and belief. The film centres on a father’s love for his daughter, the book is more broadly about love for other people, and how this is central to the Solution Focused approach.
Both deal with the phenomenon we’re all familiar with, whereby belief in someone else’s ability bolsters their own self-belief, which unlocks the key to overcoming adversity and achieving what is hoped for.
As the great American film critic, Roger Ebart put it; ‘the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us. And that, to me, is the most noble thing that good movies can do and it’s a reason to encourage them and to support them and to go to them.’
I like this idea of films generating empathy, and I think working in any field concerned with helping other people in some way similarly helps us to develop a sense of what it might be like to be another person, become invested in their journey and see life from another perspective, drawing inspiration from the process. Something that adds a little extra ‘cherry on the cake’, which may be unique to the Solution Focused approach, is that through describing the version of themselves they hope to be going forward, clients also develop a strong sense of empathy, experiencing investment and inspiration, with the delightful twist (spoiler alert!) that they are then able to recognise that the person they are identifying with and being inspired by is themselves all along!
Both the film and the book are very successful at presenting us with familiar, human (or at least humanoid!) experiences, albeit in unfamiliar settings and contexts, which inspire us to entertain ideas that despite the fact that there are always lots of obstacles in the way of hopes becoming realities, we have very good reasons to believe that we can achieve even the seemingly impossible, especially when the catalysts of love and belief come into play, and often this is achieved in a way we didn’t anticipate at the outset.
‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves’ is on general release in cinemas now. ‘The Solution Focused Brief Therapy Diamond: A New Approach to SFBT That Will Empower Both Practitioner and Client to Achieve the Best Outcomes’ by Elliott E. Connie and Adam S. Froerer is available now from booksellers. I highly recommend both!