rossman rossman

Listening to your symptoms

Becoming the Image

For many people a useful and powerful next step is to ask them to imagine that they are becoming the image. "Explore what it's like to be the be that part of yourself. What do things look like as you look out through these eyes? What does it feel like to be that image?"

Symptom People with back pain may feel very constricted when I ask them to see themselves through the eyes of the image. One back pain patient I worked with responded, "He's so busy he's forgotten about me. He does all this work for everybody else but he doesn't pay any attention to me or care for me. Even though I'm crying and I'm in pain, he just gets angry with me. He just wants me to be quiet and take medicines, but he really doesn't hear me."

And the guy starts to get a sense that there is something alive going on with this image, with this pain. He begins to develop some empathy for that part of himself. This feeling of empathy often arises when they actually become the image.

After they've experienced the perspective of being the image, I ask them to become themselves again and look at the image again. "Does it look the same or is it different?" Very often it will look different. Feelings may be a little softer. I'll ask them if they've learned anything about it that they didn't know before? Most of the time they have.

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