By Andrew Wong      11th Oct.  2006
Number Psychology and Energy Psychology  Articles Series

Solution Focus - a new tool, with what limitations?

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

SF (Solution Focus)

EP (Energy  Psychology)

NP(Number Psychology)





This is a discussion on the use of various tools in the helping people profession – particularly coaching. It is hoped that, with better clarification and understanding on the usage of tools, a more effective approach can be put in place to accomplish the objectives of the coaching services to clients.

For a start, the premise of helping people, referred to as coaching, is on choosing appropriate tools and techniques, through asking questions to the coachee, for him or her to find answers required. Hence a coach needs not be a subject-matter or content expert, but expert and skillful in carrying out a process while interacting with the coachee.

This discussion is on a new approach – Solution Focus, a promising and exciting new intervention, at the same time, this writer is advocating some limitations and makes suggestions to overcome the limitations.

For this discussion, a reference model is used, namely Robert Dilt’s Logical Level

·        Spiritual

·        Identity

·        Belief

·        Capability

·        Behavior

·        Environment

I wish to highlight two aspects of Capability, namely 1) related to the mental model, theories, ideas that can shape or influence the development of 2) know-how, doing and skills in a particular subject matter, e.g. high performance sport, music, business, investment etc.

As mentioned earlier, coaching does not deal on specific content or subject matter. Hence if a coach is not a specialist in, say, new business acquisition or investment, he or she cannot satisfy a coachee who wants to know how to carry out a new business acquisition or investment of spare $1 million fund. But a good coach may able to help what aspects of identity, belief, 1st part of capability, behavior and relationship with environment can have impact on the “how to” or “doing” on the subject matter.

Coming back now to Solution Focus, which ueses SIMPLE model :

·        Solutions not problems

·        Inbetween – the action is in the interaction

·        Make use of what’s there

·        Possibilities – past, present and future

·        Language – simply said

·        Every case is different

Limitations of Solution Focus

My advocacy on the limitations of Solution Focus is in reference to the Robert Dilt’s Logical Level Model.

What are missing in the Solution Focus SIMPLE elements are a) spiritual, b) identity, c) belief and d) 1st part of the capability (what I classify as the theories, mental models, hidden assumptions) of the coachee. SF does not adequately address or deliberating not addressing the very drivers that produce the unwanted outcome or behaviors.

There is actually a presupposition that the very spirituality, identity, belief (or limiting beliefs), values, mental models, theories or hidden assumptions of the coachee are intact and appropriate, what remains to be done is the state of mind on the future perfect, and how it affects the neurological expression of the coachee. This is well and fine, but not in all cases, as per “every case is different.”

I give an example in my investment mindset coaching work.

A coachee wants to be a successful investor, as he lost a lot of money all these years. In a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 as the highest competency he wants to have to make him financially free, he put a score of 3 as his present competency level in investing.

With miracle question, upgrading to a scale of 4 and check on the effect on his state of mind, neurology, imagination, visualization, … can or may only help him in his motivation level or perceived confidence. But SF coaching will not help to bring up his awareness of his limiting beliefs, investment theories, and assumptions, mental models that may actually bring about losses.

Hence “make use of what is there” when referring to his mental-make up on investment, can be disastrous. What the coachee needs maybe to remove the “maps” in his mind, which do not represent the “territory” i.e. the market reality and replace with “new maps”. 

In using the SF toolkit, “counters”, if current and past resources of the clients are used, more investment losses can occur. Even when referring to a few investment transactions that worked (made some money), the coach has to carefully elicit from the client whether those successes are purely due to good luck. If that is the case, the problems areas, i.e. majority losses transactions need to be investigated, with root causes directing at the theories, mental models, attitudes, discipline, sensory strategies used by the client. It is a problem-solving approach, but getting very quickly to the bottom of the iceberg in the belief and value system of the client. Similar to what Albert Einstein’s saying “It is impossible to solve a problem using the same thinking that originally caused the problem.”

Combining Solution Focus and NLP

With some of the limitations on the use of SF discussed, a powerful coaching approach can be carried out when SF is appropriately, with good timing, combined with NLP.

SF is a good tool to help to create Future Perfect with positive state of mind, with supporting sensory attributes and scaling, thereby increasing the client’s consciousness and future pacing in a desired state. 

NLP can be applied in the following scenarios, not addressed by SF:

Ø        Current and past resourcefulness of the client, “counters” are absent for the desired outcome, then awareness of new resources need to be installed.

Ø        If there are missing parts in the current “map” of the client’s territory, then NLP Meta-model should be used, to check for generalization, deletion or distortion.

Ø        Milton-model can also be useful when “making use of what is there” is actually not there.

Ø        Incorporating Timeline with Future Perfect in helping the client on orientation of time.

Ø        Although in some cases, ignoring the causes or drivers of the unwanted behavior can be beneficial, as SF is aiming at Future Perfect, Six-Step-Reframing may still be needed if there is in-congruency detected in the client at the Future Perfect state.

Ø        Detecting the Meta-programs from the languages used by the client can be useful clues to help the client, this aspect is not emphased in SF.

In the above, the limitations (as understood by this writer) can be overcome, or supplemented by using NLP. Then combining SF and NLP in coaching can produce wonderful and satisfactory results to the client.

EP Coach, Andrew

Introducing EP Coaching to Corporation

Energy Psychology Coaching Service for Corporation (6-8 months follow up services)

A new service is launched - "NP-Your Potentialities Report Writing Service"

Number Psychology training for the public  refer : “Number Psychology” (English), "數字心理學" (Chinese), with Participants feedback (English), 学员学习心得 (Chinese)

Energy Psychology training for the public  refer : “Energy Psychology (English), "能量心理學" (Chinese), with Cases  (English), 处理过的案例 (Chinese)

Or, your are welcome to communicate with your HR Director / manager to bring this training to your organization / corporation.

Numerology (Number Psychology, helps to get more information for effective coaching like the above. Unlike many profiling tools used by corporation / companies (more expensive too), it is a much simpler and effective tool, with revelation of more hidden messages.

Energy Psychology helps to balance the negative energies.


This coach is most grateful to the hundreds of clients (public and corporate) who provide greater learning for the coach in the coaching sessions, thus gaining more experience and insights on what and how coaching works. As a result, this coach is more ready to provide services to the public and corporation more effectively.

While the public continues to benefit from the one-to-one coaching carried out (refer Energy Psychology Coaching Service, and [Money Clinic] Coaching Service) , the corporation and organization can benefit from customized training on Mindset Emotion and Energy Psychology Training to develop internal skills as masterful coaches. (refer Specially for Organization / Corporation). Currently a long term contract is ongoing with a corporation on one to one coaching to the management, and developing them to be masterful internal coaches, thus creating a coaching culture.

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Training and Coaching Services to Corporation / Public  
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  Energy Psychology Coaching Service for Corporation (6-8 months follow up services)  
  Number Psychology Training (1-day)  
  Energy Psychology Training (1-day)  
  Unleashing Organizational Potentials (2-days)  
  Energy Psychology Coaching Service (one on one)    
  [Money Clinic] Coaching Service (one on one)
Number Psychology Report Writing Service

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