Solution-Focused Counselling is different from the non-directive counselling that many clients have previously experienced, in which the counsellor listens but says little. Solution-focused counselling focuses on problem-solving in the here-and-now, rather than digging into the past. Focusing intensively on bad experiences in the past can increase unhappiness without improving present-day behaviour and reactions. In any case we cannot be sure that our memories are accurate.
Solution-focused counsellors do not tell clients how to run their lives. Most clients can make wise decisions for themselves, if they can think clearly. But all of us would find problem solving difficult if our minds are flooded with powerful emotions, reducing our thinking to a basic level. Even the most highly intelligent people cannot make intelligent decisions when their minds are in emotional turmoil. Therefore, my first priority is to teach the client more control over their emotional reactions.
When clients have gained more control over their emotional reactions, turning them down to a manageable level, the “thinking space” in their mind is opened up- they can imagine a wider range of possibilities, and believe that they are able to achieve them.
Many clients are also helped by imagining their problems in different ways, which enables them to find more creative solutions from within themselves, almost like in a guided dream.
Again- my job as a solution-focused counsellor is to help the client find their own solution, not to tell them what to do. However, if a client is about to embark upon a course of action which I believe (based on my experience and common sense) to be potentially disastrous, then I would certainly tell them.