While our focus is “fresh views”, today there is nothing “fresh” about the air in northern California or the views in the sky. The devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, CA is beyond words. We felt compelled to share our thoughts since this fire is so close to home for @DebGreenwood.
How can survivors of this fire living with diabetes or other chronic conditions even think about their next steps (never mind taking medication or counting carbohydrates)? The Apple Watch is a reminder every day that the air quality is unhealthy for all, and certainly not suitable for outdoor exercise. So we began to ponder, how can solutions focused brief therapy (SFBT) help those who find themselves in this situation and devastation to move one small step forward, and create hope and possibilities? Admittedly, this is really challenging and we’re struggling to find a way to think through this problem.
SFBT is all about asking questions and helping a person recognize their strengths. A recent blog post by Dr. Anne Bodmer Lutz, A Language of Hope: Top 10 Solution Focused Translations, helps us think about opportunities to support individuals to be future-focused when faced with challenges.
So, one question might be “Who are the most important people in your life and what do you most appreciate about them?” The answer may help one recognize that he or she has a support system around them, and that these important individuals can be a source of strength.
A second question may be “What do you know?” This question focuses on competence. For instance, for a parent of a child with diabetes living under a stressful situation, one might ask, “What do you know about your child that tells you he is going to be okay?”
Another question is the “indirect compliment” where one asks “How did you do it? Or “How did you manage to remember to take your insulin?” By recognizing what has been accomplished and past success, one can feel a sense of empowerment.
One thing learned from Dr. Anne Bodmer Lutz is that “cope” is just one letter away from “hope”.
Those of us at A Fresh POV for You are wishing everyone impacted by these California wildfires all of the possibilities and opportunities for your future.