Methods of working with the human body and psyche can be placed on a scale, the degree of “interference” in the processes of the body and psyche. Let the left be the methods that use intention, manipulation, the introduction of ideas or active influence on the human system without considering the needs or preferences (or taking into account, but this is not a priority), and on the right, methods that involve complete non-intervention. Both will work.
Biodynamics and SIM are very close to the right side of the scale and for this they are valuable to me not only because of the principle of non-violence and free will, but also because of their purity, beauty and efficiency. How does it become possible for the body or mind to find solutions if there is no active intervention or assistance from the therapist?
I use the mirror metaphor to explain. The therapist is a kind of mirror that reflects the client’s “problems”. Suppose you walked, worked with your hands all day, and in the evening, you looked in the mirror and saw that there was dirt on your forehead, what would you do? If you care if you are clean or not, then just go and wash off the dirt.
How does this work in the case of biodynamics? The therapist has sufficient sensitivity to observe what is happening with the client’s system at the level of tissues, fluids, mobility, innervation, etc. At the same time, the therapist and the client are in Contact in their work. The Phenomenon of Contact (I am writing with a capital letter, and this is a topic for a separate conversation) is used in biodynamics, SIM, gestalt therapy and other approaches. Contact is when 2 or more “points” (people, organizations, any scale) are in mutual visibility, mutual recognition, mutual exchange, Contact forms one system and the Contact – is a third “force” in the process. Speaking of biodynamics, it is said that during a session, one biological system works, consisting of the biology of two people – two nervous systems, two cardiovascular systems and everything else – work as one whole and there is a Contact “in between”. Under these conditions, the client’s experience, bodily sensations become “available” for the therapist to perceive as part of the common system (this is fully applicable to psychology, SIM, since work in Contact makes perception both at the bodily level and at field level). And then the therapist can either a) show an active position – start something to “rule” in the client’s system (more of osteopathy in it’s beginning), or b) just “say” – “Look, I see this in you.” In the first case, the therapist shows an intention to correct and from experience this is sometimes effective, and sometimes the client’s system loses confidence, closes, Contact breaks down, the session moves to a much less effective level (if the process continues at all). In the second case, just the effect of the “Mirror” occurs. The client’s system sees its reflection in the therapist’s feelings and then it simply begins the process of changes towards integrity and balance. At this moment, access to “polarity”, “inherited treatment plan”, the opportunity to see the solution to the problem in the problem itself is included. And it is precisely the second option of conducting a session of biodynamics that I came and try to demonstrate this approach to those who are interested in studying at the school of biodynamics.
In the case of psychology, in the SIM approach, in my opinion, exactly the same thing happens. The therapist does not try to tell the person what is going on with him and what he needs to do (for this will be an interpretation through the prism of my experience and “bringing in material”), but through being in Contact, through directing the client’s attention to what is happening in him, in his psychological field, helps him to simply see reality, as in a mirror. Further, the normal function of psychological health, simply “leaves” unnecessary, because consciousness clearly sees the imbalance through some “curves” of decisions and habits, etc., and the function of the whole seeks to restore balance in a purer form, without “decision curves and crutches” – direct return of control of a previously displaced or “forbidden” resourceful state.
Several interesting nuances emerge from this metaphor of “mirror”. If I am a mirror, what kind of mirror am I? What kind of mirror should it be to be as useful as possible? Based on sound logic, there are several points:
- The mirror should be “flat/plain” – in the sense that the plain mirror reflects the picture “as it is”, without distortion (remember the opposite – a false/crooked mirror)
- The mirror should be of sufficient size and resolution (by analogy with a monitor – the number of pixels per inch) to include the entire client and the space around him – this is about the volume of the therapist’s attention, the resolution and the ability to see details, and about the ability to hold all these details in attention
- The mirror must be clean – in the sense that if the mirror is heavily stained, then some of the details will simply be impossible to see and there is a risk that the “spot on the forehead” will remain unnoticed
- The mirror should be clean – in the sense that if it is even without heavy contamination, but in dust or cloudy – then the image clarity is lost, it becomes difficult to see the details and it is easy to miss the “thin string” on which the whole structure and the entire observation process are held becomes highly complex or ineffective
- The mirror can be passive or active – sometimes a person just needs to notice a “flaw” to just leave it, how to brush a speck of dust off clothes. Sometimes a person seeing a speck of dust, and most likely a “big spot”, can simply turn away from it (this often happens). In this case, we have the opportunity – to ask the person whether we are still needed as a mirror, and, if yes, sometimes we have to “hold” the mirror opposite the spot, also turn on the light around the mirror, highlighting a little, so that the person has the opportunity to better see “Stain” and clean it.
- The mirror can be multi-dimensional – and reflect the client from all sides to create a complete picture
- The mirror can be multi-layered – in order to be able to see the reflection on any layer from the very depth to “skin and clothes”
- The mirror can be extended in time so that you can look at the reflection in the past and at the continuation of the reflection in the future
Metaphors and analogies – there can be many here!
It’s important that, even in the active position, the Mirror does not do the work for the client. This is not a mirror that “stimulates” the client as in a fairy tale: “There is one in this world, the one that is dearer to you!” We remember what this “stimulation” resulted in :).
Of course, there are situations when “surgical intervention” is required, but this is an exception. And even in this case, in biodynamics or SIM, surgical intervention is the inclusion of an additional “lamp”, with the help of which the client can see that he has enough resources and strength to allow him to “raise his hand and brush away the dust or wash away the stain” can show, how it is done (attention, words), but the client does the job.
There are many “advantages” to this approach – the result becomes the result of the client, what he sees is “not to be seen”, each session adds stability, integrity, the client’s internal reputation and the ability to rely on himself.
Perhaps you might have questions about the therapist’s “resilience” in this “one system of biology of two people” approach where the client’s experience becomes felt by the therapist, or questions about the “purity” of the mirror – how to stay stable when dealing with traumatic experiences, how to become clean?
The thing that can support all the mirror attributes above – is neutral. Neutral is a wide term of state of therapist’s mind and whole system, his presence in reality, in still moment. It’s like the still water of the lake that is totally clean, quiet and you can see the whole picture of mountains, forest, and sky full of stars in it as with your eyes. And getting neutral – is a therapeutic habit, is a practice, it is kind of spiritual path that can take years to become really neutral to reflect the finest details and processes.
I like my wife’s joke on this topic: “To do biodynamics, you need to be enlightened and not have psychological debts.” For me to the point!
Your own therapy, your own efforts to “polish” your mirror, or, finally, enlightenment (a bit of a joke) – that’s what helps here. I think this is not news for psychologists and specialists in the field of bodily practitioners, but it worth to bring it once again to the level of attention.