Often, in attempt to accelerate change, the therapist is expressing empathy to the client and not moving counter him. For example, when a therapist meets a depressed person, at first session he listens to him patiently throughout the meeting. Then asks him for more information. Then, at the next step he might say to the client: “actually, it’s a wonder how, in such circumstances, you continue to cope with your problems since you have many reasons to be depressed”. Such a remark usually is accepted by the person, with relief. He often responds by saying: “Finally someone listens to me.”
This works well if the therapist can add that: “I have no intention to oppress you more, but I think you can be a bit optimistic.” At this point the therapist can specify the ways in which the situation could be worse. In many cases a client intervenes in protest, such as: “hold on, the situation is not so bad
This introduces three fundamental aspects of the approach: 1. The therapist accepts what the client presents and even intensify it. 2. The therapist reacts the opposite way, or gives opposite “feedback” than the client receives from others. 3. The brief-therapy, solution-focused approach, “thinks small” by focusing on the symptom. Such an action is accepted by the client less frightening specially when he is asked to make the smallest change he can. The feedback from a small change usually triggers a sense of inner accomplishment. The founders of the approach believe that the longest journey begins with a single step.