The Retreat Centre – Newsletter of David Grove
produced by Cei Davies
Metaphors, Symbols and Related Concepts:
Figurative Language Examined by Cei Davis
You Have No Name
A Twisted Tale:
A Childhood Memory Revisited by Cheryl Claypoole Beall
The Retreat Centre
was established in the
Autumn of 1991. Its location was chosen for several reasons. Firstly, the
state of Missouri being central, provides most people with the opportunity
of making a pilgrimage to embark on a healing journey. The Centre is secluded
in a grove of trees by a lake, away from the city, and far from the everyday
routines of work and industry.
Nestled in a grove of trees, the setting is rural and rustic although
the accommodation is elegant and comfortable, providing a safe and pleasing
surround for resolving traumatic memories and exploring personal maps.
Who attends the Retreats?
The Age of Enlightenment
Any symptoms or pathologies that do not resolve when working in the
here and now, or have no known causation, may have their roots in previous
generations. These behaviours or feelings that are inexplicable, could
be passed on from generation to generation. For example, a feeling or behaviour
that is demonstrated repeatedly, such as depression or anger, or by words
such as family sayings and values that are sometimes not recognized or
challenged, but are 'lived' out.
The aim of the retreat would be to discover where certain things we
say, do or feel, that inhibit our lifestyles, come from. Once this has
been established, the areas of experience that were previously occupied
with negative or old information, can be mapped, cleared and prepared in
order to allow more contemporary data to take its place. The removal of
injurious intropsychic elements subsequently, directly influence our relationships,
work and personal experience. What we place on our children by reenacting
these feelings and behaviours are directly affected by this enlightenment,
and stops the archaic patterns from recapitulating.
Archaic: The Oxford English Dictionary defines this word as;
1 antiquated, no longer in ordinary use, though retained for special purposes.
2 primitive 3 of an early period, art or culture. All these definitions
reflect the nature of what occurs when we inherit feelings or behaviours
that have at one time served a special purpose for our ancestors. The inherited
element is frequently unravelled from something as primitive as a cough,
a sigh or a gesture such as a tapping of the foot or a glance toward a
certain direction. Because the inheritor may no longer live in the culture
or country of ancestral origin, the inherited feelings or behaviour has
little or no significance in the present.
The Retreat Centre has an eighteen acre lake, garden, woods and pastures
to enhance relaxation and recreation time. Horseback riding and boating
on the lake are also available. All meals are nutritious and have a European
flare. Specific diets are catered for with prior notice. Although the main
meals are provided, the kitchen is open and fresh fruit and snacks including
hot and cold drinks are available at all times.
The nature of the work people bring to the retreat varies from a definite
knowing of the material to be worked on to the client having no knowledge
of what it is they will explore only that there are symptoms and feelings
that are not wanted or understood. A personal map is developed, announcing
the important, unknown aspects of the client's life and evolves as the
week progresses until reflections of healing are visible both in the client
and on the map. The map essentially becomes the co-therapist, providing
a round and place for previously burdensome information that has been carried
around, perhaps for generations.
The week long retreats are designed for a maximum of eight people so
work is very individuals and intense. Each participant works with David
and although sessions can be private, vicarious benefits can be obtained
from observing others work.
Registration fee: $1,250 [includes full board]
More personal information, retreat dates and registration can be obtained
by calling the Retreat Centre.
METAPHORS, SYMBOLS AND RELATED CONCEPTS:
Figurative Language Examined
written and edited by Cei Davis
Metaphors, symbols, metonymy, simile, emblems, images, analogies and icons
are to name but a few of the elements incorporate in the syntax construction
clients use to describe cognition and affect. What difference does it make
for the therapist to recognise these variations?
Here are some definitions and a chance to recover the original definitions
and reintroduce the reader to the special variances of figurative language.
The aim is to clarify the words clients choose during a therapy session.
As this subject matter is enormous the points that will be addressed
here are those considered useful for the therapist to recognize and value
when working with a client's metaphors and symbols. The clinical implication
notes relate to the work with the four quadrants. All associated concepts
have been replaced under a category of figurative speech.
metaphor definition: An implied
analogy in which one thing is compared or identified with another dissimilar
thing. For example, a feeling that is described in terms of "butterflies
in the stomach", a "heart beating like a drum", or "just going blank".
clinical implication: The emotive metaphor is generally an extended
one. That is to say when a feeling is transformed into its metaphorical
equivalent, it is sustained throughout the work and functions as a controlling
image. Metaphors are 'vertical' in nature. They deepen the information.
Time is frozen while the information is developed. The questions used to
develop a metaphor develop space not time. A metaphor awakens the conceptions
with more force and grace than 'everyday' language. An epistemological
metaphor is personal and unique, translating a feeling or thought into
a form that can travel through time to its original. Quadrant two and three
questions develop metaphors.
symbol definition: A symbol
signifies or stands for something else. Usually that something is concrete.
It is not common for a thought or feeling to develop into a symbol as symbols
are universal and represent cultures, traditions and religions of family
of origin. Examples of symbols include a crucifix or a menorah, a stop
sign or a door knocker. Symbols direct and organize, record and communicate
large amounts of information in a quick way. Cultures rely on them to maintain
order, discipline and moral ethics.
clinical implication: Symbols will occur more frequently when
the client's information is referencing ancestral information. Symbols
do not transform as readily as metaphors as they represent generations
of use. Unlike the intimacy of metaphors, symbols are universal. They are
represented and supported by generations of use. Symbols tend to maintain
their form and therefore must be relocated to the time and space of origin.
When a symbol is back in its original context, required qualities must
be collected and brought forward to the present, where they can then be
owned by the client. Symbols, unlike metaphors which usually have a definitive
explanation derived from the experience, have so many interpretations and
generations of use the it is impossible for them to be understood entirely.
This is why it is necessary to place symbols in their effective context.
Symbolism can also be found in attitude and posture. For example, the postures
of supplication or mudras, the gestures and attitudes incorporated
in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Similar gestures are familiar in Christian
traditions. An example of working with this kind of symbolism: the client
sits with her hands held together as if in prayer, but rather than a feeling
of accord with her hands, the client experiences discomfort or confusion.
The clasped hands will have an embedded doctrine the is not conformable
with the client. An intervention will involve pulling the hands back in
time to the original owner. This will provide the context such as an ancestor
who prayed for forgiveness for a misdemeanour and whose guilt continues
to be passed down generations until the guilt was felt but the origin of
it is long forgotten, and no longer relevant. so in essence it is the guilt
that needs to be placed back in its original context, the hands in prayer
have been the symbol. The aim becomes; placing the hands back in time to
free the hands of the client to either be held in more congruent prayer
or to be otherwise occupied.
imagery definition: A representation
of the external form of an object. For example, a statue. [OED]
clinical implication: Imagery refers to something that can be
perceived through more than one of the senses. It is not exclusively eidectic
in nature. This implies that there is a body present to perceive the information.
It is possible there is an observing ego which may be a fragment of the
body, for example, just eyes that watch and see, a nose that can smell
the burning of a cigarette, or a pair of ears that hear footsteps. Although
the experience can exist as a landscape within the body's boundary, some
experiences are senses located outside the body, where the information
is located. Questions that pertain to quadrant three are asked to develop
and distance the experience from the client so that more new information
can enter the "picture". The use of personal pronouns provides clues for
this shift, for example from "I" to "she", "they", or "it". This also announces
the shift in juxtaposition of the client to the image. Such a change alters
the infrastructure of the image thereby freeing the client from a direct
'cause and affect'.
metonymy definition: A figure
of speech that substantiates the name of a related object, person or idea
for the subject. For example, crown , for monarchy or Shakespeare
for the Works of Shakespeare .
clinical implication: Unlike metaphor, metonymy has a "horizontal"
motif of moving across time. [Jakobson[ Metonymy is rather like a hologram,
a part of something represents the whole. When working with metonymy, a
large expanse of time needs to be considered. For example: a client's experience
of depression is experienced in terms of a black cloud .. If there
is a predisposing family history of depression, instead of deepening the
black cloud , as the therapist would in quadrant two, this black
cloud belongs to previous generations of depression and will be addressed
by asking quadrant four questions. Quadrant four questions pull the information,
the black cloud, back in time to the first owner of the cloud and the original
situation that caused it. The original situation is then healed of imposing
the cloud on subsequent generations.
icon definition: A sign that
has characteristics in common with the thing it signified. [[OED] From
the Greek, 'eikon'. Used to create a boundary between the sacred and the
clinical implication: A client experiences a negative reaction
that is triggered by a certain stimulus, for example, any tall man with
a beard becomes the representation for what is "bad" or "frightening" in
men. This type of man will assume greater proportions of power and influence
over the client based on her initial experience of his form. a dramatic
physiological reaction follows every occasion she sees someone who is tall
and bearded. Two main interventions can be brought about. The first is
a quadrant two intervention in which the man is further developed until
the information is differentiated and pertains only to that man
who traumatised the client. The second intervention involves quadrant four
where the information is pulled back to before the man had a beard and
was "bad". Which quadrant to enter may not be clear until the questions
are asked. If the man does not individualize in quadrant two, then the
therapist can proceed to ask quadrant four questions. There may be, in
this instance, deeper roots to the "bad" and the "frightening" carried
in the details about the man.
YOU have no name.
We have wrestled with you all
day, and now night approaches,
the darkness from which we emerged
seeking; and anonymous
you withdraw, leaving us nursing
our bruises, our dislocations.
- R.S. Thomas -
A Twisted Tale
Cheryl Claypoole Beall
In my family they tell a tale of how, when I was three, I tried to kill
my baby sister. They laugh, because to them it's just another childhood
prank, no more significant or less amusing than the time I came home crying
and clutching my second grade report card, convinced I'd failed because
of the "F" in the box labeled "Sex." They don't seem to notice I'm not
Paula, the sister who survived my scheme, tells the tale with a different
twist: it was a suicide pact: Thelma and Louise in diapers. She laughs,
too, but her eyes turn sad as they peer into the dark waters of a past
to deep to fathom.
I often resented Paula when she was two. She stole and broke my toys,
kicked and screamed when cross, and muscled into the parental limelight
that had once been mine alone. Despite all this, she was my companion,
my only playmate. I can't remember ever wanting to kill her.
Born during the Depression, my parents craved security like plants crave
water and sunlight. Fresh from college, Dad nabbed a job with the federal
government and crisscrossed the nation soliciting promotion. His path brought
our growing family to a tiny apartment in Maryland. While he entered the
brave new world of computer programming at the nearby capital, Mom carried
their third child heavy in her body and mind.
Mom slept late most mornings; so we had to be quiet so as not to wake
her or, later in the day, not to give her a headache. She cried a lot,
too, so I became her little helper, keeping Paula amused with songs and
stories, toys and games, watching "Lassie" and "The Lone Ranger" with the
sound turned low.
On that summer morning the sunrise poured into our room through its
single window. I woke and went to the bathroom, where the medicine cabinet
shone suddenly silver beneath the fluorescent light. I remember it held
candy, magical orange pills that made me feel better when I was sick.
I can't remember being warned to stay away from the cabinet. Perhaps
they thought it safely out of reach, I merely clambered onto the toilet
tank, stepped into the sink, and opened the treasure trove of bright bottles.
Arms full, I climbed down and carried all the bottles into our room,
where Paula was standing i her crib. "Candy!" I cried. She stuck her cupped
palm through the bars.
The orange pills tasted as I remembered, sweet-tart on my tongue. Milky
liquid in a heavy blue bottle smelled like the pale mints my mother served
at her card parties, the mints that were always off-limits. When I took
a swig though, it tasted like bitter chalk. As for the ret, the brown footballs,
tiny blue dots, yellow ovals: I'd had better mud pies. I spit them out.
Paula, nicknamed "garbage-gut" because she'd eat anything, munched contentedly
on all that I gave her.
It was not quite 7:00 on a Saturday morning. Paula and I played patty-cake.
Our parents slept on.
I might have become the child who killed her sister but for a neighbor.
Propelled by an emergency of her own, she knocked on our door to use the
telephone. I ran to wake my parents. They smelled the milk of magnesia
on my breath. We rushed to the hospital.
The emergency room felt frigid and smelled of rubbing alcohol. The doctors
snaked a tube into my nose that burned down my throat. My tummy cramped
as they used the tube to suck out the medicine. Paula twisted on the gurney
next to me, screaming and kicking, as they did the same to her.
Afterwards the nurse gave us some real candy - bright cherry suckers
with twisted paper handles. I felt better until she took us back to our
parents, sitting pale and rumpled in the waiting room. Mom scooped Paula
up into her arms while Dad scowled at me. He said the tube up my nose was
punishment enough, so he didn't spank me for once. They both scolded me
about nearly killing the baby. They said that if she'd died it would have
been my fault.
Later that year someone shot the president. Mom made us sit with her
before the television when the horses carried his coffin on parade. She
cried with the new baby in her lap as the president's little son saluted
his father's casket. I wondered if this somehow was my fault, too.
In another family this might have become the story of how they almost
lost their children because of an unlocked medicine cabinet, a cautionary
tale about childhood safety. In my family the tale was twisted, turning
a child into a murderer so she could absorb the blame.
More than 30 years have passed before I learned what the doctors had
missed when they snaked out my stomach.
I went to see a psychologist., complaining that my feelings felt bottled
up inside. "And what kind of bottle is a bottle that keeps feelings bottled
up? he asked in a soothing sing-song. "A blue one."
He asked me to draw the bottle. I drew it with a little girl trapped
inside, emotions swirling around her like colored smoke. That's when I
discovered the blue bottle lodged just beneath my heart, the blue bottle
that saved me, that protected me, and that finally imprisoned me.
If I had not drunk from the blue bottle, my parents would not have detected
the medicine on my breath. They might not have found the gaping medicine
chest, the scattered pills and bottles, in time for the doctors to save
Paula and me.
In the hospital, I held onto the bottle to contain the fear, guilt and
shame that threatened to engulf me. Over the years, it became my armor,
protecting me from a reality that grew too harsh as my mother sank deeper
into depression and my father disappeared into a long-necked brown bottle
Though it started as a repository of negative emotion, over time the
bottle snagged and hid both the angry, shameful feelings I feared and the
bright, happy emotions I felt I didn't deserve. Seen though the blue bottle,
my life became a dull grey landscape. I followed my mother down the sinkhole
of depression, cut off from the vital little girl who had crawled into
a bottle for protection and forgotten the way out. My quest to escape the
grey landscape led to the psychologist, and finally to the blue bottle.
When I was done telling my story that bottle left me. On a hunch, I
sought it on the shelves of a Missouri antique shop. The only blue bottle
in sight was an old fashioned soda bottle, so I asked the proprietor if
he had a blue medicine bottle tucked about somewhere. He paused, thought,
rummaged in the back of a crowded cupboard, and finally pulled out a blue
milk of magnesia bottle, mine to own gain for a mere $3.50.
When I hold it up to the light I can see the opalescent residue of the
emotion it once stored. I can take the cap off, shake it whiff the mingled
remnants of misery and medicine. I can stick it in the window with a rose
rising from its cobalt mouth. I am free of it.
I am free of the bottle because I understand it, just as I know the
truth of the twisted tale: I was three. I wanted some candy. And I wanted
to share with my sister.
Cheryl Claypoole Beall is a writer who lives in Columbus,
Ohio with her son, Ben. She is completing a master's degree in journalism.