RESOURCE The Three Choices


When a client is faced with the situation where there do not appear to be any options at all, this gentle reframe of the situation can reveal a very definite plan of action (or inaction) that is open to the client. Although from the wording used it may appear to be a negative plan (which we know to be rather ineffective), it is not. It concerns the power to choose to do one’s best, the power to be careful in a difficult situation.

The choice “not to make things worse” can be important in relationships especially in the more complex relationships of an entire family.

1. I can choose to make things better!

Sometimes our problem here is that we simply do not know what to do to make things better. Talking to a friend or counsellor can help but there may still be situations where there is no obvious “solution”.

2. I can choose to make things worse!

Most of the time we know what to do if we really wanted to make the situation worse. Right now we could choose this … but do we want to?

3. I can choose not to make things worse!

In many many situations the best we can do is decide not to make things any worse than they are. This can take care and courage! It’s something we can choose while we wait for better ideas!


I do have a secret wish that all politicians might be required to give a guarantee “not to make things worse”!!

Author: Brian Lennon


Translate »