The business of doing healing work is gratifying, no matter how it is that we get to engage in it. As Wellness graduates know, though, there is a power that groups have. Groups amplify and accelerate the process of evolving into our best selves. Why does this happen, and how can you create group experiences that help people through their healing processes? And, what does the promise of conducting group experiences do to increase your own abundance?
Wellness Institute Blog
What are shadow parts? How do I know if I have any, or how to recognize them?
Shadow parts are like the blind spots in our rear view mirror. One moment we look out of the mirror and it looks as if we have clear sailing, no cars in sight. Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a car appears dangerously close to us! Where did that come from?
Similarly in our lives, we may be having a discussion with our partner, co-worker or friend and suddenly a shadow part is triggered, reacts to something said, and jumps out, seemingly without your permission or even awareness! The reaction might be sudden rage or jealousy, sadness or fear. Now we have a mess to clean up that was completely out of our control, like getting side-swiped by an unseen car trying to pass on the highway.
Many people find themselves in situations where they do not want to put elderly or disabled parents into nursing homes, or where they do not or cannot afford to get outside care for special needs children or family members.
“Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.” - Marshall McLuhan
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” - Henry Winkler
Assumptions negatively affect our relationships in several important ways. We unconsciously make assumptions and judgments about (1) other people’s behavior, (2) other people’s intentions behind their behavior, and (3) our own behavior and intentions.
For example, a husband goes to the store to get something for dinner. He knows his wife will be hungry and tries to find out what she would like. He calls her from the store, but to no avail. Then he tries to decide what she may want. He had asked her in the morning but she didn’t know what she might want 10 hours later. When she gets home in the evening, he prepared what he likes and says, “I didn’t know what you wanted, so I didn’t get anything.”
Knitted sweaters often consist of repeated patterns throughout. The more intricate the pattern, the more difficult and time consuming it is to do the knitting. It requires a great deal of concentration, co-ordination and determination to complete. We can choose to just purchase a machine-made sweater from a store or we can develop the skills to knit the most beautiful one-of-a-kind sweaters that really suit our own individual needs.
Authority issues arise in two distinct situations: when a person or institution has power and authority over another, and/or when I am the person with authority. In general, modern psychology has struggled to effectively deal with this pervasive issue. And yet, it is at the bottom of most relationship conflicts in our society. In psychotherapy situations, couples often come in stating that they have power struggles or that their partner is a control freak! For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on this aspect of authority as it relates to working with couples.
Many couples or individuals come into therapy with frustrating patterns that they can’t seem to break through. Many have tried all different types of therapies, taken courses and read books. In general, if these endeavors have mostly engaged the conscious mind, then the couple has only used 10% of their overall mental resources and thus have spent a large amount of their resources. The majority of people believe that if they could just figure things out, which will solve the problem. This is certainly true in mathematics, science and technology. However, the human brain is much more complex than that.
The human brain is composed of two basic parts: the conscious mind, which is about 10% of our capabilities and the subconscious mind, which engages the other 90% (we discuss this more in one of our more popular blog articles discussing the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy). So when a client goes to a talk therapist, cognitive behaviorist or any of the other “thinking type” therapies, they are only paying to treat 10% of their mind, i.e., the conscious part.
The Conscious and the Subconscious Mind
Traditional Marriage and Family Therapy trains counselors to always see the couple together, never individually. The reason for this is to prevent the counselor from "taking sides" with one or the other. The problem, however, is that often in marital therapy, the individuals do not tell the real truth in the presence of their partner. The next and even deeper flaw in this traditional method is that it involves only engaging the conscious mind (10%) of each individual.