A Counseling Technique to Help You Feel Better

Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem (In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful)

“…If you count the blessings of Allah, you will never be able to count (all of) them…” (The Holy Quran 14:34).

If you are ever feeling down about a situation, here is a simple yet effective counseling technique that is called “The Solutions Focus,” which is mentioned in Marci Shimoff’s book, “Happy for No Reason” and used with the permission of authors Paul Jackson and Mark McKergow.

Basically, what you do is first identify the specific situation that is bringing you down. It could be a relationship or any type of circumstance in your life. Then, you rate this situation on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the absolute worst to 10 being perfect (or “I am the most satisfied with this situation”). If your rating is greater than 1, you list all of the reasons that you rated it better than a 1. For example, let us say that you are having relationship problems. You might give your current relationship a “4”. Rather than focusing on why it’s just a four, you focus on all the reasons that it is not a 1. You would say to yourself, I rated it a 4 because of certain positive qualities of the other person or of the relationship in general (for example, the other person is helpful, or you agree on certain issues, etc.). You must keep trying to list all possible reasons that your rating is not a “1”. Just by doing this exercise, you feel more grateful (and better) about your life.

If you do rate your situation a “1”, then you simply list all of the signs that the situation would show if it is moving towards a “2”. Take your time to carefully think of your answers. The final step is to think of small actions that you can take the next day to improve your situation.

In the words of Marci Shimoff, “The Solutions Focus keeps you focused on what’s working, so that you can stop using your energy to complain and start creating more happiness in your life.”

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