Saturday, February 25, 2006

witnessing.

an interesting practice that i find useful when i`m working with painful emotions is to look at myself from a third person viewpoint.
find a quiet spot and breathe into relaxation and open a screen in your mind.
on this screen see yourself as if you are another person. see yourself having the experiences of those feelings and memories. see yourself reacting and having emotions.
now move your viewpoint of yourself and change the light source, brightness etc. until you get different feelings from what you are observing.
see yourself accepting the situation you are in and smiling calmly and deciding to unattach from the situation.
now quickly see the image of yourself recede and vanish.
when you return to the room you are in notice how your feelings regarding the feelings you were experiencing have altered. notice how they have changed and realise that you have done this yourself by deciding to in a specific way.
this practice can be repeated as you need to.
a note from a psychological point of view; the state that we experience in this practice is known in clinical terms as dissociation. there are people who, for whatever reason, have found themselves in this state unconsciously, for various periods of time upto and including permenantly. generally this state is achieved unconsciously as a reaction to trauma. it is a natural way to avoid pain. when we choose to do this practice consciously we own the control over it. we recognise how to begin the state and to end it.
it is very effective in treating phobias, anxiety and grief. it is a safe way to visit pain. much like working on the computer bios in safe mode. nothing you do in this "safe mode" can harm the programming.

2 comments:

anu said...

Wouldnt this be running away or rejecting our feelings of pain?
Arnt we to acknowledge and accept all kinds of feelings and that includes even pain and dissapointment.

Pardon me, but arnt we deliberately manipulating ourselves out of it. What if the pain still remains deep down inside us and all we did through this method was bury it so that we can never see it on the surface. But like a volcano, it is bubbling inside and some day the lava might burst through the crust of our heart.

I hope i do not annoy you with my constant qs and comments Dr.

dr.alistair said...

there is no need to suffer through this. you did nothing wrong. witnessing is a means to get through periods of intense pain and finding new ways to accept the truth in it.
to allow the pain to continue to send the signal long after you have recognised it would be punishing yourself.
that`s not what this is about.
let it go.