How To Solve Your Problem

Think of a problem you have. O.k, now imagine that you go to bed tonight, and while you are sleeping soundly, a miracle happens (this is called the "Miracle Question" in solutions-focused therapy) that resolves your problem. When you wake up in the morning, what is the first small sign you'd see that would make you think the problem was gone?

Be specific. What are the tangible signs that this miracle took place? How do you feel? What will you do instead of what you usually do? How would your day be different? How do you interact differently? Where do you go? These are signs of progress toward solving your problem.

Say you're having problems in your marriage. If the problem was solved, would you wake up and kiss your husband? Smile?

Say you don't like your job. If a miracle happened, would you feel excited to get dressed? Would you greet everyone as you walked through the door?

Now, ask yourself the Exception Question: When was the last time you saw a piece of the miracle, even for just a few minutes or an hour? What's fascinating is that you prove that, not only are you capable of solving your problem, but  you've actually already solved it, at least for a short time or in some circumstances. Analyze the heck out of these these bright spots. What was working? What did you do? Where were you?  What were you thinking? What were you wearing (you never know)?

Were you looking at photos of your kids? Did you tell a joke? Were you on vacation? Were you feeling relaxed? Were you sitting next to each other instead of standing across?

Were you using your strengths at work? Were you outside? Did you get to be an expert?

What worked and how can you copy it?

What, exactly, do you need to do differently?

Now you have a workable solution.

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