The following types of techniques from solution-focused therapy show how we can discover more strengths and resources that Lauren may have:
1) Ask about the resilient qualities that have allowed Lauren to get to this point despite the pain she endured as a child and adolescent. What qualities does Lauren see in herself that allowed her to complete her education?
2) Ask coping questions such as: “You have really been through a lot. How were you able to cope when you were living with your family?” “How did you cope if things got rough in college?”
3) Ask about previous accomplishments: “What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?” “What allowed you to (accomplish X) when you were dealing with depression at the same time?”
4) Exception finding questions: Try to find a time when things were better. “What was different then?” “Were there times you have felt better than you feel now?” “What was different then?” “Were you doing anything different then to manage your situation?”
5) Externalizing: Make a linguistic difference between the person and the disorder. “What is different about the times you have been able to control the compulsions?”
6) Help envision the future: “Lauren, what will your life look like when you are feeling better?” “What will you be doing and saying?” “What will other people be saying to you?”