This is Part 2 of Finding the Language of the True Self. In this video I’m going to be talking about how to find the language of the true self in your work with clients. This is not something that they teach in graduate school. Unless you’re in my class, however, it is an essential lesson. If you want to empower your clients to stand in their sovereignty, and to honor the sacred boundary as you do.
Before I do that, I want to let you know that I wrote a book for you, Align: Living and Loving from the True Self. Align is a comprehensive map of how to come back home to the truth of who you are and how to live in love from this deeply sacred place within you. I also created these self-guided Alignment Cards. There are 48 cards in a deck, and each card has a wisdom teaching and a sentence stem to support you in living and loving from your true self.
When I was first out of graduate school, it was two weeks post-graduation, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Twenty days later she died, and I was devastated, and I moved to Colorado. In that time, I started looking for a therapist. I was overwhelmed with grief and I felt like the ground had just been pulled out from underneath me. I was so lost and I wanted to learn how to be with my grief in a really sacred way. So I started shopping for a therapist and I found somebody who was trained in Gestalt by a university that I highly respect. I’m also a Gestalt clinician and I teach Gestalt. I think it is an extremely powerful therapy model, and so I was feeling hopeful that this person, that this therapist was going to be able to support me in moving through my grief in a way where I could come back to myself and honor my relationship with my mom and heal in the way that I was desperately needing.
I went to my first session, and it was about ten minutes in. I was telling her about my grief and I said to her, I am so anxious all the time and my dog is so anxious, because I had just gotten this new dog. I said, I can’t leave him, I bring him with me everywhere, and I’m so scared to leave him. She looked at me and she said, “You’re not going to be able to do that forever”, and everything in my system contracted. I did not feel safe, I did not feel seen, I didn’t feel held, and I didn’t feel understood. I ultimately left that session before we completed, because this therapist was not honoring me as a sovereign being. She was telling me about myself, telling me what I would be able to do, what I wouldn’t be able to do, without really hearing me and honoring where I was in my stage of grief and in my grieving.
This example is not uncommon. I have gone shopping for therapists many times since. This was 18 years ago and it’s not uncommon for therapists to project onto their clients, to tell them about themselves, to tell them what to do without honoring that they are a sovereign being. And so the language of the true self, and the language of sovereignty, is essential in creating a sacred container and honoring the sacred boundary between yourself and your clients.
One of the ways to do this, as I spoke about in part one of this video, is owning your experience. If you’re projecting onto your client, you’re disrupting contact with them. When you own your experience, you can be certain that you’re not projecting onto them because you’re owning it as yours. If you think you’re getting something about a client, share that as yours, “I think that I’m starting to get something about you”, and share that with compassion and curiosity and hold what you’re getting loosely. I have found that it’s not about being right in what we see or what we say, it’s really about honoring that we are here as a clear mirror of reflection for our clients and that we are seeing them through our unique lens. We can honor that we’re seeing them through our own lens, and they can see for themselves if that fits for them, if what we’re seeing in them resonates with them, and we can be in relationship around that, from that place. Therapeutic surrender and therapeutic movement and alchemy happen so much more fluidly and magically and lovingly.
I want to share with you that I have a new course that I am offering. It is a signature course that covers the full range of Guiding Spiritual Alignment with your sessions. This one piece of communication is just a small essence piece of how to do that but the whole theory and technique and practices in Guiding Spiritual Alignment is in this course, and that will be in the comments here. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, I would love to answer them for you.