Going to see a psychotherapist can be like going to see the Wizard of Oz. Though there can be great expectation and belief in the power of the wizard, the reality is that therapeutic success rests on the client’s efforts. Good brief therapists realize that they are “very bad wizards” and would rather believe in the wizardry of their clients who have already come so far and achieved so much. As the Wizard of Oz points out to the Lion, he has already shown
great courage in overcoming the many obstacles and dangers on his journey. Good brief therapists also value and appreciate the many ways their clients have already managed (and even solved in the past) the problems that bring them to therapy. It is these steps that clients have already taken (albeit unnoticed, undervalued, or unappreciated) towards solutions that are the subject of this chapter. Put simply, good brief therapists are interested in appreciating just how far their clients have already come.