chapter  7
Solution Building and Language Games: A Conversation with Steve de Shazer (and Some After Words with lnsoo Kim Berg)
Pages 26

Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson [1967] put down the rules quite nicely in The Pragmatics of Human Communication. That was the most evolved version of it, I think. I don't think there's been any refinements of it after that. Hoyt: When you're trying to start something rather than stop something, will we still encounter what is sometimes called "resistance"? The client doesn't want to start? de Shazer: Well, if I were to use the word resistance-! wouldn't, but if I were-it would translate in my vocabulary as therapist's error. That would mean to me that the therapist wasn't listening, and therefore he told the client to do something the client didn't want to do. That means he wasn't listening during the interview. Most of our stuff is based on the fact of something they told us about, that they did such and such and it worked in some situation, so it's just a matter of transferring that from situation A to situation B. So there's nothing new. Most of our interventions are nothing new for them. Hoyt: It's, as the title of that Zen book has it, Selling Water by the River [Kennett, 1972]. de Shazer: Yes. Or selling water to the river. Hoyt: It's selling them themselves, in a sense. Something that's felt good before, so why resist it? de Shazer: So we don't have that kind of difficulty ("resistance") very often, but if we do we know why. It means we weren't listening. We may have gotten ourselves into an Erickson mode. Hoyt: Where we were trying to maneuver them into something they weren't ready for or wanting. de Shazer: Right. Hoyt: Can you give an example that brought home to you "the death of resistance" [de Shazer, 1984], where it could have been done one way but you did it another way and then you had to deal with resistanceyou created resistance? de Shazer: I haven't thought about "resistance" in so many years, it's hard. I don't think I can come up with anything. Hoyt: It's not a very solution-focused question. de Shazer: I don't have any idea how to answer that question. I can't remember. Hoyt: I think another advantage, then, to a solution-focused approach is that it doesn't stimulate noncompliance because there's nothing they have to noncomply with. It makes it more user-friendly for both the therapist and for the client. It's less likely to drive clients away.