What To Do In Solution Focused Approaches? (SFBT)

On the surface the video below is about what to do in second session when you are using solution focused brief therapy. However, it is also about strategies to use in solutions focused therapy in general and that you can use in hypnotic and other types of interventions as well. Would love to have your take on it. Please leave a comment below after you watch the video

Here is a recap of some of the video's highlights from my point of view:

"What Are Your Best Hopes?

What are your best hopes for this session? This is a question to start sessions and find out what your client wants. It helps establish a positive outcome and positive direction. If you client says something like, "I do not want to be afraid anymore, or "I do not want to be depressed," you could say something like. "Ok, you do not want that. What do you want instead? (Keep if positive and outcome oriented).

Reviewing Signs Of Progress

Elliot talks about using the question, "What has gotten better?" to start off the second session. I want to also point out that he and other brief therapists may often use this question during the first session by saying, "What has gotten better since you first scheduled the appointment?"

If your client says, "Nothing has gotten better," you can still focus on solutions by asking questions such as, "Ok, great, thanks for telling me that. What did you do to stop it from getting worse?" or "Things did not get better, but you came back for another session. What did you do to hold on to just enough hope and resilience to come back for more?"

How Did That Progress Happen?: "What has gotten better?"

Whatever signs of progress that the client mentions: "What did you do to help those things get better?" "What role did you play in the progress that is happening?" "How did you do that?"

Scaling Question

"Thinking of that progress that has taken place, where would you say you are on a scale of 0 to 10?"

And again, best hopes

"What are your best hopes for the session we are doing right now?"

Future Focused Questions

"Suppose after this session your best hopes (insert what they want) have been realized, what would that look like? What would be different?" Or - "What would it take to bring your scale up a little bit more so that things will keep improving?"

Thanks for reading and watching! Again, would love to get your feedback. Just leave a comment in the box below. - Ryan

The 2 Most Important Words In Brief Therapy?

“And what would you like to do instead?”

“Suppose you were able to do that…what would be different?

What are the most important words in those two sentences? And how can they help you be a better therapist and your clients get better outcomes? Watch the short video below to find out…

When you are done watching the video, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below? Do you agree that they are the most important words in brief therapy or do you have a different take on it?

cheers! - Ryan Nagy

Dr. Carolyn Daitch: Anxiety With Co-Morbid ADHD

Or download: Dr. Carolyn Daitch: Anxiety With Co-Morbid ADHD

Dr. Carolyn Daitch
This workshop, which you can listen to free (and also download) by clicking the link above, is from one of our first online conferences. The topic was - as you might have guessed - Solutions For Anxiety.

In this session, Dr. Daitch presents a comprehensive treatment model that you can use starting from your very first session with an anxious client. And it provides you with techniques you can teach your clients to reduce the cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms present with comorbid ADHD and anxiety disorders.

You will learn the similarities and differences of anxiety disorders and ADHD and gain a set of treatment goals for comorbid anxiety and ADHD that you can put to use immediately. You will be able to explore the value of using hypnosis as an adjunctive therapeutic modality in the treatment of anxiety and ADHD and learn a simple, effective hypnotic protocol that is easy to learn, easy to tech and that will help make life better for your clients. Enjoy!

You can visit Dr Daich online here: http://carolyndaitchphd.com/

Book Give Away

For those of you reading this before April 25th, 2017. To celebrate the one year anniversary of Carolyn's most recent book's publication, W.W. Norton is holding a book giveaway. Now through April 25th, you can enter to win a FREE copy of The Road to Calm Workbook. The workbook offers quick, practical solutions to help manage runaway emotions, and even comes with an audio CD of interventions recorded by Dr. Daitch. Click here https://confirmsubscription.com/h/y/AA442AA9EA33FCB6 to fill out the online contest submission form today.

iPhone Apps for Anxiety?

It looks as if the academic community is starting to take note of the ever-rising use of iPhones and iPhone apps for people who report symptoms such as feelings of anxiety and depression. Though the research is still in its infancy, I thought it would be useful to cite some online resources here. Kertz, MacLaren- Kelly and Stevens recently reviewed iPhone apps for anxiety to see if the apps included evidenced-based CBT interventions. They found that most (perhaps not surprisingly) did not. There are treatments for anxiety, such as hypnosis. It would be quite interesting to see if any of the apps included self-hypnosis or other hypnotic strategies for anxiety.

The Psychology Department of the University of Stocholm recently wrote about an app for Social Anxiety Disorder. But I was unable to find the app nor download it. I did find an app developed in conjunction with the Psychology Dept of UWE Bristol (United Kingdom). It looks promising, but it kept crashing my very old iPhone 4 and I was not able to test it.

I would be interested to hear from any practitioners who are using or integrating smartphone apps or other technology into their therapy and who have ideas on the topic.


Easy Hypnosis: A Fail Safe Method

A very short and gentle experience of Ericksonian hynosis by Rob McNeilly one of Milton H. Erickson's direct students. Enjoy!

Click To Download

Rob has created a system for demystifying and simplifying hypnosis so that you can integrate it into your practice and use it with your clients. The session above offers the idea that we can ask a client to continue doing whatever they are doing - then become more focused and absorbed - then ratify the observable changes and define the experience as hypnotic and useful. When you do this, the question of whether someone is “hypnotizable” or not becomes irrelevant. You simply focus on what they are already able to and since they are already doing it, it is fail safe.

That being said, not everyone will find that useful (your mileage may vary) but Rob invites you to play with it as a way of getting used to the experience of being unconcerned about any person's ability to be hypnotised, and focus instead on enhancing any aspect of their experience which will be helpful to them.

Here is the link if you want to learn more about Rob's Easy Hypnosis Program:


Hypnosis In The News

For many of us here who use hypnosis and hypnotic techniques the findings below will not be new. But they are a great reminder for the public and could be good tools to use on your websites, Facebook business pages and the like. Enjoy! - Ryan


Consumer Reports is a well-respected publication in the United States. They give reviews on everything from cars to lawnmowers and health insurance. And while the article is not quite as strong as it could be in talking about the benefits of hypnosis, it is a very good start. It includes a brief sypnosis of some areas where the reasearch supports using a hypnotic intervention: Consumer Reports: Hypnotherapy is More Than Hype.

Hypnosis With Children (Live Science)

The article below notes that hypnosis can be good for stomach pain or anxiety in children and that, what many of us know already:

"It is much easier to get kids into a hypnotic state — to bring them away from the here and now and give them therapeutic suggestion — than it is with adults," - Olafur Palsson, clinical psychologist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Scientists Identify Brain Areas Altered During Hypnosis

I do not have much to say about this article as my knowledge on the brain sciences is years out of date (and then add ten years to that). But I thought I would include it as I think such articles have the potential to demystify hypnosis and firmly put it for the public in the realm of scientific, explainable, phenomena. Some people like that, anyhow.

"If hypnosis is a kind of brain activity that has some special potential to help us deal with problems like pain and anxiety and stress, I think this study provides us with evidence that, indeed, there is." - David Spiegel, MD

If the link below does not work, please click here to view a pdf of the article.

The Road To Calm: Life-Changing Tools To Stop Runaway Emotions

Ryan_RTCSeveral weeks ago, I received an advance copy of a new book, The Road to Calm Workbook: Life-Changing Tools to Stop Runaway Emotions by Carolyn Daitch and Lissah Lorberbaum and I have been working my way through the book and its material day-by-day. In actuality, the book is not just a "book" but also an audio program, as it comes with 36 recordings of Dr. Daitch's exercises that you can use yourself or with your clients. The short sessions (sample at the bottom of the page) can be used to help reduce anxiety and emotional flooding and also work other areas such as dealing with criticism, hopelessness, explosive anger and many other issues that we and our clients experience.

I have to admit that when I first started reading the book, my first thought was, "Who would actually take the time to not only buy but also read the material and DO the exercises?" It would seem like a big task for many people. But my mind immediately went back to a time, years ago, when I bought a similar book, "Breaking The Patterns of Depression" by Michael Yapko, and out of a sense of desperation, read the book, did many of the exercises and began bringing myself back into wholeness and action and later found a good therapist to help me further. I think The Road To Calm will be a similar resource to many people: Something that gets them moving in a positive direction, shows them that change is possible, gives them hope, and that will make it easier for them to contact and work with a psychotherapist or other "people helper" if needed.

There are two big strengths to the book. The first is the audio sessions which will give people a chance to experience and work with exercises while hearing Carol's voice. That is a huge plus for people who want help. They can listen and experience a change in their symptoms and later do the exercises on their own. The second strength is the way the book helps readers make connections between their symptoms and behaviors in a way that is simultaneously non-threatening and empowering. There are a lot of complex and confusing ways of talking about "diagnoses" in the culture today. "Anxiety", "Depression", "Trauma" and the like can seem like big scary black boxes. But the Road to Calm talks about the phenomena in ways that makes it clear to a reader that there is hope and that they can change. That, to me, is a major part of the battle - giving people hope and then showing them a way out of the pain.

The Road To Calm is a book for the public, but therapists can learn a great deal from it and it would be a great adjunct to therapy. Both as a way to assign homework and have self-care options for clients and as a way for therapists to learn effective new tools that they can use with their clients.

Audio Sample: "Self-Statements To Support Practice"

Here is the audio sample I promised. It is one of 36 sessions (!!) included with the book- If you buy the book in physical form it will come with a CD with the audio sessions. If you buy it on iTunes or Amazon Kindle it will come with a link to download the audio sessions.

Click here to download the exercise.


Ryan Nagy,
writing from Mérida, Mexico in the state of Yucatan.