Possibility Therapy: You Are What You Do

Jan 24, 2013

In April, 2013, Bill O’Hanlon will be kicking off the MAGentix Spring Conference Series. Renowned psychotherapist, author, speaker and coach, O’Hanlon is a founder of Possibility Therapy.

Possibility Therapy is a brief, solution-oriented therapy model that stresses respect and collaboration with the client. It combines the validation techniques of Carl Rogers, the directive approaches of Milton Erikson and the flexibility and client-as-expert focus of Solution-Focused Therapy. Possibility Therapy offers a flexible and fluid method of acknowledging the value and importance of the client’s own experiences. The main push of Possibility Therapy is to help the client develop their own answers, find their own inner resources and abilities and discover the exceptions to their worries and concerns.

Key Principles for Effective Possibility Therapy

A Possibility Therapist follows the three key principles in order to develop the course of treatment that will best benefit the client:

  1. The therapist acknowledges and gives validity to the client’s circumstances and experiences.
  2. The therapist encourages the client to gain new perspective and to examine things from a different viewpoint, including emotions, behaviors, and feelings.
  3. The therapist delves into the client’s own inner resources and draws upon them to help the client realize solutions. Together the client and therapist work in a collaborative effort to design the best strategy for achieving lasting results.

The New Normal

In Possibility Therapy, virtually any issue can be addressed. Many people initially seek treatment because they believe that their feelings or behaviors are wrong or not socially acceptable. Possibility Therapy generally avoids the common beliefs about what is “normal” behaviour as the idea of “normal” is extremely subjective and often greatly impacted by the client’s own thoughts, beliefs and values.The therapist, then, helps the client understand what the normative model is for them in each particular situation that presents itself.

As the client shares his or her primary concerns to the therapist, the therapist deconstructs the situation to find the unhealthy associations that are negatively impacting the client’s functioning. Once the ineffective and unhealthy associations are identified, the therapist will help guide the client in creating multiple possibilities for alternative scenarios to the original situation. This allows the client to explore all of the “what ifs” before deciding on which course of action to pursue.

All Things are Possible

Possibility Therapy can effectively be used with a wide range of people and problems. Since it focuses on clients’ problems, it can be used whether your problem is hearing voices, asking your boss for a raise, sexual problems with your spouse or a past trauma. As there are a wide variety of ways to help people find solutions, it is possible to work with a wide variety of problems. Some problems are solved in one session and others take years. Some people experience big changes; others small successes.

Possibility Therapy is about doing rather than talking. It’s about identifying what you desire to accomplish in your life and finding the tools within yourself to get there as quickly, effectively, and joyously as possible. With Possibility Therapy, all things are possible.



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