NEW BEGINNINGS THERAPY




  Creativity and safe places in therapy


 


One of the most basic rule in psychotherapy, specifically employed when practicing breathing exercises and mindfulness with our patients/clients, it’s that of not offering content for imaginary exploration; we are, however, enabling, guiding and holding a safe confidential place where clients can develop and examine their inner worlds and imaginary safe places. It must be with wonder as to how that is achieved and yet, it is achieved: every time and with every instance.


 Breathing exercises and mindfulness in therapy are very much part of a client’s inner dialogue that then is canvased onto a dialogue and communication with their therapist – the client/patient has a very challenging task in that of creating such images with their mind, exploring their aims and creating a safe place that can be reached when feeling overwhelmed and or distressed one way or another or for one reason or another.


My decision to write about mindfulness in therapeutic experiences was prompted by recent therapeutic interactions and professional realisations as to how our sense of being aligned and connected with the world all around can feel very much challenged not only by recent trying times, but also by past experiences. I had to revisit many of moments in the therapy room with several clients when mindfulness was engaged and practiced together - a process of creation that has at its core at minimum trust, dedication and a type of motivation for wanting to make things better, searching for answers and learning about soothing strategies and ways to relax and be peaceful. 


Mind and body alignment and or emotional connectedness - it may sound as most encountered phrases for describing desired states of being, certainly some of the most sought after in therapeutic encounters as aims and yet, when patients/clients are asked to describe what they envisage to achieve, things start becoming more about what it is not desired rather than what it is desired or sought after. Restlessness, mind racing - described as an inability to stop worrying - , an overall sense of being tired of being tired, starting to worry about the very state of restlessness that only increases the chances of experiencing exactly that, an acute sense that no one else can understand what it’s happening, everything that might have been thought of as potential support or rescue factor it may feel, at times, mostly ineffective -  those are only few of the examples as to how a mind and body disconnection are reported as symptoms of an emotional disconnection. 


What is less visible to the patients/clients describing such unbearable restlessness are the signs of desperation in their eyes, the luminous glimmer of hope being reduced to a state of sadness and or lethargic acceptance that potentially what it's experienced it is a never ending way of being. In such occasions, the empathic stance of a therapist it’s at its very limits, because empathy is not only formally described as the ability of your therapist to see the world through her/his patient’s/ client’s eyes - and in such circumstances what it's seen is a type of acceptance on part of the client that is not the “acceptance” that for your therapist and our profession we mostly refer to.

Acceptance is not for things that can be changed, but for things that cannot be changed - we cannot cure*, but we can alleviate, address, enable, empower, live in, gain insight and all with the eyes of compassion and healing. There are things that should not even be attempted to cure* but only to reveal/explore and heal wounds. There are states of being that form part of who we are and in such states, restlessness and or a racing mind are the very ways of being that then need negotiating and peacefully asserted and guided to ways of coexisting with requirements of realities of our lives – basic needs.


I've decided on mindfulness as a topic for October page and then I had to decide on a background image and what came to mind was a sky full of stars. Night time = a time of rest and peacefulness with absorbance of energy and recharge for a new day, a new beginning in one’s life. The trees are emblematic of nature and testimony to human being and breathing – a cyclical transformation much needed in our existence – planted on grounded reality of our planet, our lives - it may be seen as symbolic or not: navy blue, white, brown and green.





Colour and choice of colours are essential in breathing exercises and various forms of meditation and in therapy clients are encouraged to describe their emotional understanding of different colours and attach their own personal meanings. However that is not to say that colours in emotional terms are universal because that is really not the case but what matters most is whether or not there is harmony, connectedness and creating that emotional content whatever that may be.

Recent research on emotions and colours presents interesting findings and cross cultural differences (geographical proximity and linguistics); if anyone is curious about this topic an interesting read can be found here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797620948810































































Colour and choice of colours are essential in breathing exercises and various forms of meditation and in therapy clients are encouraged to describe their emotional understanding of different colours and attach their own personal meanings. However that is not to say that colours in emotional terms are universal because that is really not the case but what matters most is whether or not there is harmony, connectedness and creating that emotional content whatever that may be.

Recent research on emotions and colours presents interesting findings and cross cultural differences (geographical proximity and linguistics) if anyone is curious about this topic an interesting read can be found here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797620948810