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Engage Your Clients in Positive,
Praise-Saturated Talk

As mental health professionals, we know traumatized families often are stuck in negative thinking:

  • It’s not me (parent or caregiver). Just fix my child.
  • Critical, problem-focused accusations.
  • Explosive, reactionary discipline.

Our job is to disrupt the destructive behavior patterns and re-focus children and their caregivers on moving forward. At the Family Trauma Institute, we train mental health professionals to begin the shift from problem-saturated to solution-saturated talk by starting therapy with the FST Motivational Call technique.

If you think of therapy as both content and process. Content is the technique. Process are the tools with which the therapist uses to move clients forward.

In this video clip, you will hear one technique/content (Question #3 of the Motivational Call script) and three tools/process (fanning the flames of hope, utilization and praise communication) that move Jennifer, the mom, from a bunny trail of negativity to praise of her daughter Lucy.

Take particular note of when Jennifer describes Lucy as “very strong-willed.” I don’t take the bait and quietly listen for an opportunity to fan the flames of hope.

Once Jennifer states that Lucy is creative, I ask: “When you say she is creative, does that make you proud of her?” I further the praise communication with utilization when I ask: “Give me an example of her creative side.”

If you’d like to learn more about the FST | Family Systems Trauma approach to working with traumatized clients, request to join our private Facebook group here.

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