Solution Oriented therapy by Bill O’Hanlon

Solution Oriented therapy by Bill O’Hanlon

June 25, 2015 Psychotherapy 0

Do you remember the song you used to sing as a kid, “if you are happy and you know it clap your hands? If you’re happy and you know it and your face will surely show it…”

Even early on in life we realize that we just want to be happy. However, the challenge many of face as we grow up is that we don’t know how. Is it as simple as clapping our hands? Well, yes and no. No, just clapping your hands will not do the trick. However, the idea that you are solving your problems by focusing on a solution might.

That is the premise behind Bill O’Hanlon’s therapeutic technique. He devoted his entire life to helping people change through his Solution-Oriented Therapy (also known as Possibility Therapy).

The problem according to O’Hanlon is that we focus too much on THE PROBLEM.

Instead, he believes that by tapping our potential, people can become happier. Henceforth, if you think clapping will make you happier than by clapping you are effecting a solution and put a smile on your face.

How do we find a solution? Here are a few steps you need to take to make this philosophy work for you.

5 Steps to Solution-Oriented Therapy

positive feelingsAccept feelings– Before you start working on the solution, you must acknowledge your own feelings.

Feelings are a guide to what we are doing right and wrong in the world. Therefore, it is up to us to create the best feelings possible.

The more we can create a positive state, the more we can create positive solutions to our challenges.

Yes bad feelings come into play, but your job as a human is to make sure that you understand those feelings and to find the feelings that

Focus on what you want in the present and future- What we focus on grows larger.

Like anything in life, our focus determines our ability to either survive or thrive. Hanlon understood how this could help anyone with their recovery.

No matter what others do for you in life to help you solve your problems, it is only as effective as your focus on the solution.

That is why you need to focus on what you want in the present as well as in the future.

goalsCreate short-term, small goals- While we are on the topic of focus, please understand that few things focus the minds as much as clear, short-term goals.

A famous study of the 1979 Harvard MBA graduating class showed something remarkable.

Ten years after graduation, they did a survey of all the graduates.

Here is what they found.

84% had never thought about their goals.

13% had goals in their mind, but did not write them down.

3% had goals they wrote down on paper.

The graduates who had goals they did not write down had an average of 10x the income of those who had no goals.

The graduates who had written goals had 3x the income of those who had unwritten goals.

The power of a written goal is strong. Write down your goals for the week. Write down what you want to accomplish.

It will give you a direction and purpose you can use to solve your problems and feel peaceful with your accomplishments.

solutionsUnderstand that current solutions are the problem- Have you ever heard the line that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result?

Your current solutions might have helped you in the past. However, they need some tweaking today if you want a better tomorrow.

For example, when you were in college you might have been able to sleep until 10 AM, because your first class was at noon. However, when you start a job at 8, then your boss will not be happy when you regularly stroll in at 8:45. Can you their response when you tell them that you used to wake up two hours later?

As we grow, so to must our solutions grow with us.

Expand on what works- That being said, do not look for problems everywhere. If something works, keep doing it.

The key is to separate those things that work from those that do not. When you are able to separate them effectively, you can do more good for everyone around you.

Final Thoughts on Solution Oriented Therapy

Think about a time when you were completely happy in your life? What was going on around you? Were you focused on some solution or possibility?

Did you see the future better than the past? Were you striving to make that future a reality? Feel yourself in the moment, and understand that your solutions at the time made you feel happy.

It is time to get back to that state of being. Start with a small step, whether it be clapping your hands every day or by calling our office at 847-824-8366 to find a solution together. Solution oriented therapy helps you recover some of the drive that made you unique. Let us know how we can help you get that back in your life?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *