There are those who know they need to change or fix something and are more or less ready to get on with it.

  1. The second way of thinking is that that they recognise that something needs changing or fixing, and they expect someone else to do something about it.
  2. Then there are those who don’t have a problem. They’re only seeking help because someone else told them to do it.
  3. This idea comes from the solution-focused thinking. One of the pioneers (Steve DeShazer), cleverrly classified these three ways as the customer, ‘visitor’, ‘complainant’ and ‘customer’ attitudes.

Unfortunately some therapists fall into the trap of using the idea to define people, rather than their attitudes. Since it’s easier to change an attitude that it is to change a person, those therapists can quickly run into problems themselves.

It seems to me that is a bit like what happens in real life, when we can’t distinguish between a person, and their attitudes or beliefs. To put it more bluntly, is it possible to respect someone without respecting all that they believe in?