B is for Beginning and H is for Hope

I have been thinking about where to begin this first mini blog for Re-find Your Way. I hope that by providing information on how Solution Focused sessions begin, this will help to increase your understanding of the approach.  

For me, inspiration can come from many things: books, nature, music, art, people and places. A recent inspiring read was the book, Coaching A-Z, The Extraordinary Use of Ordinary Words by Haesun Moon. It’s a slim, quick and highly recommended read for anyone who engages in conversations. I also wrote a review on this book which is published on the UK Association of Solution Focused Practice website. (https://ukasfp.site-ym.com/page/reviewhmoon).The book is comprised of 26 chapters, each starting with a word beginning with a letter of the alphabet. Following in that style I have chosen B for beginning and H for hope.

Sessions do not begin with questions such as:  

“How can I help you?” 

         “I want to know how to deal with a narcissist”


“What brings you here today?” 

         “My wife tells me I drink too much and am a workaholic”

The first of these questions infers that I am the expert and can fix you. The second question is most likely to elicit a description of the problem that you are facing, rather than what you would like to change or where you would like your life to be. Whilst some people wish to talk about their personal situation during sessions, others do not. 

Although this might sound incredible, a Solution Focused practitioner does not need to know anything about a client’s problem, to have a conversation that is helpful for that person. This can be very reassuring to people who do not wish to disclose information that is deeply personal, traumatic or confidential. 

So, how do SF sessions Begin?

Solution Focused sessions begin in a different way. Whether by phone, video, text or face to face the beginning questions seek to establish how a client would know that the sessions will have been useful to them. Solution Focused conversations start by working out where someone would like to get to – their ‘endpoint’. Solution Focused practitioners begin by asking a person what they are hoping to be different, seeking to change or wishing to improve in their life. This sets the direction of the work between practitioner and client. 

“What are your hopes from our talking?”

         “To feel more confident when I’m talking with my ex’”

“How would you know our conversation was helpful?” 

         “I’d be doing more than working and have some of my life back”

With your hoped for endpoint identified the conversation can begin.