Far and Wide
Our interests are encouraged to be more far wide ranging than ever. We are exposed to so much content on a daily basis. We have constant access to information on an enormous number of topics. But only to such a superficial level. The breaking news, notifications about activities, applauding of acquaintances achievements, the latest research in our field, the funniest TikTok video. Any time we engage on social media we are bombarded with a dazzling array of points of interest that would not have entered our field otherwise. We can be infinitely fascinated by an endlessly broad horizon of data dalliances. What did I come into the kitchen for?
Down and Deep
We have lost depth. We don’t know how to stay with something. To funnel energy and attention downwards. In my role as a therapist, this is one of my most consistent tasks with the people I sit with. To invite them to stay longer, to deepen their experience with something, to resonate with the repercussions of an episode through their life, to allow the sensations, feelings, images and stories that resound with that particular encounter to arise, until they recognise the power of this event within themselves. Ah-ha. Yes. Therapy invites us into the archaeological layers of our own self.
Process and Experiments
In Gestalt therapy one of the main pillars of how we work is called experiment. This orientation of our therapeutic work has become a bit of cliché, with a few hackneyed pre-packaged experiments frequently cited as well-known Gestalt methods. This really misses the intentionality of our craft and the subtlety of how Gestalt is practiced.
How I view Gestalt methodology regarding interventions and experimentation, and I am possibly one of a dwindling number, is that within the therapeutic hour, it is important to move into process. To move beyond how our conscious mind organises our experience into familiar patterns with a hierarchy of attention led most familiarly by our thoughts and cognitive analysis.
Seeing in the Dark
Just as the day ends in twilight and moves into night, so it is to shift our awareness down into the dark of our unknowing and let that change how we see. We say night falls. I invite my clients to fall down and in, into the wise sentience of their pre-cognitive awareness. It is a falling awake, it is dreaming, right brained, multi-dimensional experiencing. To see beyond reality, and enter the arhythmic, illogical realms of deeper experience. We alter our state of consciousness. To explore the atmospheric, imagistic, vibratory resonances.
Often times when we first wake from sleep we have realisations that alluded us when we were seeking them with our conscious mind. They arrive, unbidden, just offered from our sleeping darkness without effort. This can happen in process work too, as we shape and grade our experiments with creativity, care and attunement. That process allows things to assemble differently, out of order, out of time, into a non-chronological, non-narrative, juxtaposed view.
Spreading into the wide, anchored in the deep
I wonder if the far, wide spreading of our attention could be like water seeping out into pools and ponds. Water collects, sometimes flowing into channels shaped by its own action, but always coming from the source. I wonder if the far, wide spreading of our attention could be like our weight when we fully surrender to gravity, yielding and falling into our width, being without edges, wide, open, free, yet anchored and held by the earth.
All of us are full of mystery darker than the numinous night and all of our lives expand out to vast reaches. The stories of our lives have mythological dimensions. If you want to dive down into your life experience and sense the echoes of who you are in your being, come to therapy with me. Or check out when my next Moving Stories workshop is happening.
If you are interested to extend your creative experimentation as a clinician, to safely engage in and safely integrate altered states of consciousness processing in your therapy practice, come to supervision with me or join one of my Clinical Practice Conversations groups.