Accidental Counselling Tip – What Creates Change?

I’ve returned home to Sydney from Victoria where I presented the Accidental Counsellor to a wonderful group of school staff in Frankston. One of the cool themes of the Accidental Counsellor Training was based around Solution Focused Brief Therapy which is a strong component in the training.

One of the key principles of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is that we don’t really need to analyse or understand the cores of the problem to try to create change in a behaviour. What’s really more important is to construct a vision of a solution or a future possibility. When we’re working as Accidental Counsellors with our clients, it’s important to have the client experience some of the change and also recognising when the client has already acted differently.

Accidental Counselling Tip There’s a whole range of different questioning techniques, all of them are aimed to do justice and that is to help the client to construct a picture, a vision, a future possibility or a solution, recognising times when they’ve done that and also experiencing those times. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Rather than asking the client, “Why did you do that?”, or “Why did you think you felt that way or did this?” A lot of the times, those sorts of questions bring the focus back to the problem behaviour.

We need to listen empathetically and then help pivot the client to that future possibility.

Here’s an example of a question that would do that; how would you like things to be. Here are the two questions.

“Why did you do that?” which brings the focus into the past and into the old behaviour.

“How would you like things to be?” which would open up the client to consider future possibilities on how they would like to be.

If you think about it, it’s obvious isn’t it? And that is, how can you possibly make any future change if we don’t know what that would be?

Helping the client focus on the future change with a range of different questioning techniques is one of the core principles of Solution Focused Brief Therapy which is what we teach in the Accidental Counsellor Training.

I hope that this has been a great reminder for those of you who were in Frankston with me and for people who have not attended the Accidental Counsellor Training or you’d like to know more, just go to and you’ll find a lot more about the venues and the training, and I look forward to seeing you at one of those.

Here are testimonials from attendees at the Accidental Counsellor Training in Frankston 2013

Click here to find out more about the Accidental Counsellor Training and register online

I find the Accidental Counsellor Training useful because it was very informative with excellent framework and application of processes and skills.

Rachel Angel, Erasmus School

Rocky’s style of delivery in the Accidental Counsellor Training was extremely empowering as he explained very sensible and logical approaches to counselling. The booklet provided will be very valuable particularly as a reference back to what we have covered over the two days.


The Accidental Counsellor Training gave me lots of good ideas on communicating with students.

Christos Siamas, Victoria University Secondary College

Loved the practical aspects in the Accidental Counsellor Training


The two days in the Accidental Counsellor Training were spent consolidating, affirming and learning practices to do with relationships, communication and counselling. It was not only professionally rewarding – it was about personal development as well. Thanks.

Mary Moore, Rolling Hills Primary School

The Accidental Counsellor Training had very practical strategies that I know I’ll use. What a brilliant PD! I’m really excited to put these ideas into practice, very informative and helpful.

Alexandra Saffigna, Mater Christi College

The Accidental Counsellor Training gave me lots of ideas about how to speak to students, validate their experiences and start to move towards solutions.

Dianne Howard, Victoria University Secondary College, Deer Park Campus

Thank you Rocky for giving me the inspiration to continue with my future in the well-being career path. The session in the Accidental Counsellor Training has been realistic and extremely helpful for my future with students, staff and parents. Thank you!

Mary-claire Boudreau, Gleneagles Secondary College

A very rewarding workshop because the material and technique in the Accidental Counsellor Training are practical, manageable and realistic. Thank you!

Susan Smith, Erasmus School

The Accidental Counsellor Training was one of the best PD’s I’ve attended. I always judge whether a PD has engaged me by the number of times I look at my watch. I’m happy to say that I did not look at the time once! The 2 days (including the afternoons) were full of clear, practical and engaging ideas and strategies which I will definitely use when I’m back at school. Can’t wait to see the results!

Maryse Manix, Fountain Gate Primary School

I acquired very useful information in the Accidental Counsellor Training. Now I will be able to help the students better.

Maria Chicas, Maranatha Christian School

Great, useful information. Highly relevant to schools. All teachers (in a well-being role or not) should attend the Accidental Counsellor Training.

Alana Singh, Mordialloc College

This experience in the Accidental Counsellor Training was an eye opener seeing how well some basic ideas can change a perspective.

Carolanne O’Brien, Rosebud Secondary College

I find the Accidental Counsellor Training useful especially the role plays and real examples.

Pauline Rahilly, Xavier College

The Accidental Counsellor Training was useful because I will be able to assist my students.

George Jolly, Frankston High School

What a wonderful opportunity to be part of a great PD. Thank you Rocky for your wisdom, enthusiasm and guidance in the Accidental Counsellor Training. I look forward to applying this back in the school setting.

Anne Phyland, Bacchus March Primary School

Attendees from the following schools joined the Accidental Counsellor Training in Frankston

  • Frankston High School
  • Mater Christi College
  • Hampton Park Secondary College
  • Fountain Gate Primary School
  • Rolling Hills Primary School
  • Gleneagles Primary School
  • Maranatha Christian School
  • Mordialloc College
  • Monterey Secondary College
  • Erasmus School
  • Xavier College
  • Victoria University Secondary College
  • Rosebud Secondary College
  • Melton Christian College
  • Bacchus March Primary
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