BLOG | 17 MAR 2023
WHICH IS YOUR THERAPIST?
To set the stage we spent our three day yearly retreat together in sharing, reflection and appreciation. At each of our retreats we start with reflection on our values- are they still relevant, are they a part of our clients journey and do we refer to them enough? Are there values we need to spend more time bringing into the company?
Connections are founded on shared values and hence why we begin our retreats here. Many companies write values and speak value terms but do very little to live it. To live it you must be authentic, and to be authentic you must be connected.
Mostly connectedness is understood and experienced from a focus on the outside world and how something external shapes our ego, perceptions, and personality. The inside world is neglected. Which results in a lack of processes of differentiation, and usually the time and mentoring in focused reflection practice to learn them.
One way to build your inner awareness is to practice being still. Truly being still and taking time to build awareness through introspection, by spending time witnessing yourself in safety.
Having awareness of yourself nurtures growth and gives greater capacity for authentic connections that provide support.
The more you surround yourself with people who prioritize a similar ethos (values) the more likely you are to feel a sense of belonging and be willing to take a deep dive into getting to know yourself. Awareness allows us the differentiation required for clarity. And clarity gives us empowerment.
Use of symbols (archetypes) to understand our inner worlds represented through well known fairytales, religion, mythology, and philosophy are ancient. For example, Indigenous tribal lore is concerned with archetypes that have been modified in a special way to bring representations of the inside world into consciousness. They are given a specific stamp and handed down through a long period of time. Jung also reflected in wonder the only way human bodies could express the multifaceted concepts of its core was through dreams, metaphors and images.
In sandplay therapy client’s select figures to place in the sandbox. The figures are representative of archetypes and are given its own flavor by the person for which it appears. The archetype is a representation of something in our unconscious calling us to listen to and bring our awareness to what it represents for us. The client, therapist and sandplay work together to understand the mirror the figure represents. In the Jungian approach to sandplay the work is done in the box and the pace of the work is determined by the client. It is our job as therapists to hold the tension and be witnesses with clients. It is a way to see your inner world without judgment.
Today we did that for each other.
Each of us selected a figurine that represented how we were feeling today and placed it in the box. Can you guess which one is your therapist?
**Sandplay is universal and can be used with anyone. It is a sensory play meaning it helps to heal the body through the bottom up approach. An approach that prioritizes the senses and heart over the brain and thoughts.
By JANINE LORD