The Miracle Question
The latest induction that I have added to the site owes a great debt to Milton Erickson. It was as my training partner and I were discussing how a wider knowledge of Erickson’s work could help some of his Social Work trainees, that we first came up with this induction – based in part on the Miracle Question.
I’m sure you’re probably aware, the Miracle Question invites clients to view things from a completely different perspective… from the perspective that their problem has been resolved.
And part of that is to see the impact of the removal of the problem, to really understand how life – the whole of life – would look without the problem.
That’s why many versions of the question, invite clients to walk through their day, from the moment they wake-up. And this is important. HUGLEY important. You don’t just focus on the problem. Or even the removal of the problem. But on the change that it would make – what it would look like – in the whole of one’s day, if the problem was resolved.
So, you can look at the problem – or actually the resolution, of the problem – from various angles, various temporal points throughout the day, OR you can look at it from various physical perspectives.
Now, this can get really interesting, because in one sense, these are less real – as we’ll see with the fly on the windscreen in a moment – but in another, they can feel more real because a client may never have imagined what a day with them in a good mood looks like to their kids – because that currently seems impossible. Yet, they can “IMAGINE” what that might look like from the side, or up in the corner, and so on.
Asking the Question
The usual miracle question – at least in the US – is to ask:
I have a rather strange question to ask you… Suppose tonight, while you slept, a miracle occurred. And the miracle was that the problem that brought you here today is resolved. But you’re asleep, so you don’t know that a miracle has happened. So, when you wake-up, what would you notice that would tell you a miracle has happened?
But that’s not the only way to ask the question, or the only group of questions to ask following the question.
Instead, you might ask, in a slightly more Ericksonian (and potentially hypnotic) way:
If I met you in six months and this was not a problem for you any more, how would I know? What would I notice?
Or, even just something as wonderfully simple as:
What would it look like if you were having a good day tomorrow? How could you tell it was a good day?
And then you can follow-up by asking spatial questions as well as, or instead of temporal questions.
And that’s a very VERY long-winded way to introduce the Perspective Induction!
Feel free to check it out and then let us know your thoughts, over in our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/howtodoinductions