My BRIEF training


Following working with one of the most inspirational CAMHS people in the world ever, I was left to close that gap when she left our Paediatric practice. I knew now how important the psychological aspects in most (or even all) cases were. I even had an inkling what to do.

I researched (not fully I admit) therapy modalities thinking CBT would be the way to go. I understood that (or at least thought I did). But something else kept popping up – Solution Focused Therapy. It was relatively easy to learn which made it achievable, but most of all it avoided the problems (or at least their exploration). It was largely positive and confidence-building. The success rates (63-83%) and the brevity (4-5 sessions) also were large selling points.

So where to learn? It could only be @ BRIEF – who rightly boast they are Europe’s largest provider of SFT training.To start with I just wanted a few tips…..

Let’s see what actually happened…..

I went along and felt like a fraud. There were folk who were experts, folk who were newbies (like me) but they all had therapy or coaching backgrounds. It turned out in a way so did I – I just couldn’t see it. There was a multitude of therapists, teachers,social workers, an international business life coach and others. The group was like many of these – a loud one, a very loud one, a quiet one and an ‘alternative’ one (or two). But unlike many groups it was hugely supportive and cohesive. The work drew us closely together – possibly helped by the pre-Christmas mulled wine and pies in the pub across from Bart’s round the corner.

I’ve never experienced anything like it. I was a therapist and a subject. I think I got the most out of the subject parts. The biggest thing I got from being a subject was that I knew beyond any doubt it worked – & it worked on sceptics (even those reluctant to let go in front of strangers). I thought I was pretty normal – I am, but with issues just like everyone else.

The positive exercises before starting each session were life-changing. I got so much confidence and realised why I already do most of what I do. The structure and ambiance of my clinics has always been different, but now it all made sense. Asking about the couple of things you are most proud of in the last week sounds a bit ‘twee’. It maybe is, but just describing something aloud makes it real, makes it sit right at the front of your consciousness, & to affect everything else you do. It’s actually HUGE.

I rapidly picked up the approach, hesitantly like a toddler learning to walk and not fall, but with confidence making great strides. The 4 day introductory course is ideal for this. Long enough to gel, to get the approach cemented into the psyche and even practice enough to gain confidence. Longer would have lost focus.

My first day back I used the new skills, & the day after,& the day after that…..

It’s opened up a whole new world. It was separate world, but now it’s part of my whole world. I could someday do this without the medicine part – how cool is that?



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