Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Problemology - How to Describe a Problem?


I've just finished the Ericksonian Therapy Program last week. I like the program very much because I am not doing what most others do - teaching language patterns, metaphors, story-telling and even hypnosis. I tried to model Erickson at a "near source-code" level, i.e. how he decided what/how to do and what are happening behind what he did. I will talk about this "near source-code" level in my future postings.

During the class, one of the participants asked me how to help a client to describe his/her problem. A good question and it is very important. So even I did not planned to cover that, I talked about it on that day.

Clients come to you to solve his problem (no matter it is a therapy, coaching, facilitation or consultation session). If he/she can't describe the problem as near to reality as possible, it adds problems to the problem! It makes problem solving more difficult.

We all need to understand the Content of a Problem before we can help to recover the missing parts in the clients' description.

The Content of a Problem might include:

1. The Background of the problem, i.e. Time, People, Place.
2. The Unwanted Behaviour(s).
3. The Unwanted Feeling(s).
4. The Desired Outcome(s).

Helping your clients to comprehensively describe their problems is helping yourself for a smooth process.

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