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What if you woke up tomorrow and your biggest problems were miraculously…gone?
I know what you’re thinking: “yeah, right that’d be the day. Why even bother fantasizing about something that won’t happen?”
And I would have to agree with you. It’s pretty unreasonable to expect life’s issues (especially mental health issues) to just go *poof.* So yeah, I get why you wouldn’t even want to bother entertaining it.
But what if I told you that imagining a future without problems is exactly what you need to do in order to solve them? Hear me out because today we’re talking about The Miracle Question.
What is The Miracle Question?
Well, if you’re familiar with psychology or counseling techniques you’ll know this one already. If not, let me introduce this amazing strategy to put in your mental health toolkit.
The Miracle Question is a Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) technique. SFT is a series of guided questions employed by counselors to get clients to look past their present issues towards a more positive future.
The Miracle Question itself is just one of those questions. (You can find the rest of them by checking out the SFT Wikipedia entry here).
How Does The Miracle Question Work?
In a typical SFT session, the counselor would start by positing: “what would happen if you woke up and your biggest problem was magically solved?”
Then they would help the client dig deeper by asking things like: what would this new world look like? How would people react to you if X problem didn’t exist? What would you be able to achieve? And so on.
This line of questioning helps in a variety of ways. First off, it gets you to see ahead to a brighter future. It lends hope even when the present seems bleak.
Second, it helps you begin to problem solve. Of course it’s not realistic to have your problems just evaporate. BUT, you can use that as a starting point and work backwards towards a reasonable solution you can enact in the present.
Asking the question what has changed will help you see what you need to work on in order to solve your present issue.
A Real Life Example
If you’re still not sure about the power of the Miracle Question, I have a real life example to share that might help.
My husband and I had a really difficult first year of marriage due to A LOT of different factors. We were pretty broke, even though I was working three jobs. The problem was, my husband couldn’t find a job because of limitations due to immigration status. We also were terrified of immigration issues tearing us apart. I had a stressful day job and two side gigs that were causing me to run all around the state just to make ends meet.
It seemed like everything that could go wrong was going wrong. We were both stressed, depressed, and feeling pretty hopeless.
That’s when we sat down and asked ourselves the Miracle Question. What did we have to lose at that point?
What We Discovered
Of all the problems we had, my husband said if he woke up and suddenly had a job so many of our other problems would be fixed. I was inclined to agree. I could stop over working myself and he could feel good about contributing to our family. And we’d both be able to handle our mental health issues a lot better without all the extra stress.
We knew finding a job wasn’t realistically going to happen overnight. But it did give us a target to work backwards from. So we focused all our energy on finding him a job.
We got the right paperwork filed for his work permit (immigration). We also figured out what kind of taxes he would need to do as a self employed subcontractor. With that all in place, he took a risk and went to Home Depot one day in hopes to get picked up by a contractor looking for help.
Now here’s the real miracle – the first time he stood out there, a contractor picked him up, paid him $100 for the day, and asked him to come back the next day. And the next, and the next. A year later, they work together 6 days a week and are fast friends.
And like a miracle, this partnership changed our lives financially and emotionally. We’re in a much better place now all because we asked ourselves the Miracle Question.
How Can You Use The Miracle Question and SFT To Change Your Life?
As always, I’d encourage you to find a counselor that’s trained in SFT. That’s because they can help you dig deep by using follow up questions and reading your body language. You can find an SFT counselor in your area by using Psychology Today’s “Find a Therapist Tool” and specifying Solution Focused Therapy in the search terms.
If you’re not able to work with a therapist, you can also practice some aspects of this skill at home. Here are some excellent resources from around the web that might help you out:
- Miracle Question Demo on YouTube
- Understanding The Butterfly Effect on Problem Solving
- List of Questions and Follow Up Questions
- Check out our amazing (and free) Layman’s Guide and Worksheet: Solution Focused Therapy for Goal Setting (See Below)
You (yes, YOU) CAN achieve your Miracle Future.
And it starts with one simple Miracle Question. But remember, even though the question is simple, the work is hard and must be continuous. I hope this guide will help you through the hard parts of life change and that it keeps you on track.
At MSB, we really believe in you so don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our website https://mysoulbalm.blog or on our Facebook page (@mysoulbalmblog). You can also find support on MSB’s online support page: Wonder Women: A Mental Health Support Group
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