One of my followers asked last month if I’d used the correct spelling in the post’s title. Most people say: “Bearing things in mind” – with an “e” – meaning holding things in mind.
True, but I just cannot resist putting a twist on things. I love a good pun. Besides, where my brain is concerned I am overwhelmed with multiple goings-on and meanings all in the one instance. I’m at once expressing I’m wanting to uncover the mind, put it on show AND let readers behold it.
As last month was all about our so-called lizard brain – that part of us that processes what we sense, this month, I thought I’d give a case study of a client unaware of his bodily senses. With his permission, I have changed his name to protect his confidentiality.
James was caught in a mix of family feuding, physical and emotional abuse. Though he requested anger management he came across as quite nervous.
James had no problem retelling all the incidents and background facts leading to his present situation. He had no problem getting excited about his ambitions. But when it came to recognising his excitement as he lived it, or what he was thinking in real time, he was speechless. He simply agreed with my tentative observations.
It was only after some silence in his second session he fixed eye-contact. He asked what thinking was. My description of what thinking is to me, satisfied him. He decided to give guided Focusing a go as something to do other than talk.
Guided Focusing is a series of directions that lead the focuser into and around their body starting at the toes. Sharing their experience is optional.
The idea seemed strange to James. To him, people existed in their head; their bodies just carried them around. So it was enough for him to at first do no more than note for himself his body’s physicality. And even this came hard to him. When not Focusing I introduced him to Stephen Karpman’s Drama Triangle.Studying it on my whiteboard was easier for him, with its systematic take on relationships. He saw himself in it.
James used his third session to separate out negatives in his past and positives in his present life.
He was happy to try Guided Focusing again. This time we combined it with the head-held, theory based, Drama Triangle. Focusing became more instrumental in this when he reported feeling ‘composed’. This was his label for his embodied experience and abstract understanding joined together. I re-worded my ‘guiding in’ script to suit.
‘Composure’ became the theme over the following weeks. James grew able to acknowledge and identify his changing emotions in relation to the different roles on the Triangle he felt himself to be as he told me about his week.
When I asked how his smirk was making him feel while he relayed what he’d like to do to get his own back on a particular person, his perception of himself switched from Victim to Persecutor. He called taking himself to his room and listening to music whenever ‘things invaded [his] head’ his Rescuer.
James struggled throughout with very hypothetical stuff. The whiteboard helped us both. Session 10 came. James decided he no longer needed to visit. He felt more confident at work (something also remarked on by his boss) less angry at home and more in control of his life.
That’s it for another month. But just before I go, to sum the Drama Triangle up, click here for a bit of “Penelope Pitstop”.
‘Who?’ some of you may ask. Don’t worry. I’m just showing my age. Best wishes to you all.