In the Landscape Beyond the Wall
A client of Marian Way, Apricot Island
, describes her experience after a 90 minute Symbolic Modelling Session.
I wanted to thank you and let you know how much the recent CL session helped me, and how much I value it as a turning point after 2 months of horribleness in my life/head/self. I didn't email you straight away because, altho I felt much better immediately, I wanted to make sure the beneficial effects were lasting - and they have been.
One thing I was particularly struck by in the session was having a real internal experience that I felt in my body - when I moved my right hand near to my stomach, to 'measure' the event/thing in my hand against my thermometer-measuring thing inside me... Later, I tried it out with nice things as well as nasty/difficult things, and got a really nice warm feeling when I put (in my hand and moved it near to me) the thought of my stepson soon coming to stay for the weekend. I don't think I've ever really noticed feeling things inside me before - good or bad, so that was an unexpected bonus. Now I can do it just by imagining the thing (nice or nasty) on my hand and I get the appropriate good/bad feeling straight away in my stomach. This is a really good way of by-passing my head/rationality/old script which all say 'oh its nothing' - because now I've got 'physical' evidence inside me that whatever bad thing I'm thinking about ISN'T nothing!
I do think its amazing how you and CL, in 90 minutes, can do more than months of counselling (which I'm not keen on anyway) could achieve. And I've thought of another reason why I like CL - its because it is totally non-judgemental - ie by repeating back my own words to me, using my tone etc, you didn't bring in any element of your reaction to anything I said - which counsellors etc always manage to do, even if they think they don't - usually in their tone, eyebrow raising or in wrongly summarising/paraphrasing things. So I felt extremely comfortable all through the session, knowing that (whatever you might have been thinking) I didn't have to see/hear/deal with your thoughts or reactions to anything I was saying!
I also realised at the end how much you had been echoing my voice tone... I hadn't thought about my own tone at all until yours changed back to 'normal you' at the very end in the goodbye bit - and I realised with hindsight that you must have been exactly matching mine without my noticing, because it was obviously done very naturally and completely in rapport. At that point, and only by comparison to your 'normal voice', I realised mine must have been very flat and lacking in 'affect' as psychiatrists would say - which was a good reflection of how I had been feeling.
I'm pleased to say that I have been feeling consistently fine ever since that session - it didn't just give me a lift on the day, but is still going. Although I wrote it all down straight away, I haven't actually thought much about brick walls since - which is really nice, as I'd thought about nothing else for ages whilst that metaphor was evolving inside me. Did I tell you that I had even turned on a tape in the car at a random place and it was the beginning of a song about 'all I can see is a wall...' ?! (this was a couple of days before our session). The universe was obviously trying to drum the message into my head via every means possible, and I laughed so much that I cheered up considerably and felt very looked after by hidden/invisible sources.
I feel that not thinking about walls any more shows I've moved on from the whole set of issues & problems I was dealing & struggling with for 2 months - but I also know that they could come back if I let them, don't look after myself or try to go through them again - so I'm not complacent or taking anything for granted. Just relieved they're gone from my mind and my metaphor landscape. I can see them behind me, as a reminder, and that's OK. Also, the struggle with the issue of brick walls had only been going a couple of months consciously, but I have spent a whole 40-something years going through walls without noticing it - so I do believe I have challenged and now changed a 4-decade pattern, using metaphor on my own firstly to develop my understanding of the issue, then your CL session as the final seeing-off of it.
Thinking about how I feel now (and have done ever since our session), I think I'm in the landscape beyond the wall - which was pleasant, open and varied (and did have some tiny horse-jumps in too - but nothing wall-like). I shall work on staying in that landscape and adding nice things to it - or noticing new things that are nice in it.
Finally, I think that CL session marked the end of a particular growth/development phase, and now I'm having a rest from challenges/developments for a bit. That in itself is an unusual thing for me to say - normally I like challenge and development, but I'm pleased to feel this particular episode is behind me (like the walls) and I'm now in a nice place where I can relax. (relax is another unusual word/concept for me!)
So thank you very much for having facilitated all that for/with me. You are one of the nice things in my landscape! I really valued your help - as I'm sure you can tell from this long email.
Please feel free to use or quote things from that session or this feedback anonymously if you wish to in training, in writing or generally with others any time.