Tips to co-construct antidote (2) via exception (#30)

Aim or sub-task         

Guiding questions

Formulate a hypothetical solution

Imagine this issue of (e.g., ‘giving in’) solved out, what would be different? (e.g., “I’d be able to resist violence in a safe way”). Supposed that happened, what would you see different? What would you think/feel different? What would you hear different? How would you respond or do different? What would others do different?

Identify critical factors in hypothetical solution


What might have you done in this hypothetical scenario that helped you manage these threats/attacks more constructively? When the problem was resolved, how do you think you would respond? When you responded like this, what effect do you imagine it would have on the other?

Identify an exception to the problem

When have you been able to (e.g., effectively and safely resist violence; set boundaries; demand respect)? Have you ever been able to resist the impulse to ‘give in’ in a non-violent way?  Have you ever been able to (help them) express their need without harming/threatening/demanding? Have you ever been able to stop the “escalation”? 

What did you do different on that occasion?

What else did you notice when you did? What was different?


Amplify exception in the present


How did you did that (exceptional response)?

How else did you empower yourself to ‘stay put’, hold your ground, and didn’t let fear manage/drive you?   

How did you manage not to surrender to the anxiety that came up for you when you saw your child was…?

Where did you learn that?

What did you do to get ready or prepare to make that step in that occasion?

What other personal resources did you rely on to make this step?


What did you notice different in the relationship with your child when you did that (exceptional response)?

What did you notice different in yourself?

What did other members of your family noticed?

Who was the first in noticing the difference? Who was the second? Third?

How did others respond?

How did you feel when they did that?

How did the rest of your day go after this happened?

What did you notice later?

Co-create a new future

When you act upon these ideas/exceptional experiences, what difference will it make for you? What difference will it make about how you feel about the episode? About yourself?

When you feel like that, what will be easier to do from that mindset/mood/state of mind/stance etc.?

How will this orient you towards a new direction in your life?

While you continue going in this preferred direction, how will your new future be different from your old future?

Formulate a step by step plan

Would you be interested in working (with your parents) to figure out new ways to (expand exceptions/resist problems)?

Who else could we recruit as part of your supporting team?

How could they help with this? What could their contributions be?


What difference does it make for your next steps knowing that you were capable of resisting the immediate impulse on that occasion?

What ideas does this success give you about what your next step could be?

How will you know that your next step was successful?

How else would you like to restrict the power that “threats” may have in your family?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *