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My Clients Teach Me So Much: Random Reflections

C.G. Jung, one of the founders of depth psychology, believed strongly that effective therapy was indicated by the transformation of both the patient and therapist.

My approach to working with clients begins with the humble knowledge that I am presented with the people and situations that when explored ensure mutual transformation. I am more of a witness than a guide. I allow my own Self, which is the bridge to the transcendent (God, nature, quantum realm, etc.), to guide the session, which is a container or a vessel for an alchemical process.


The only agenda is to resist the temptation to stay in the mind, and instead move quickly to exploring images (impressions) offered by dreams or other means the unconscious uses to communicate.


As usual, a recent walk on a sunny day prompted some new ideas about how to share some of what my clients and I have learned together on our journeys.

You can also listen to me read this post on Dose of Depth podcast.


Enjoy some recent realizations and consider scheduling a FREE 30 minute exploratory chat to launch your Indiana Jones adventure of self discovery.


The Spiritual Meaning of Body Issues


One of the ways our unconscious speaks to us and sometimes screams to get our attention is through physical challenges. Science is certainly affirming the intuitive knowledge that there is always a psychological/spiritual component to physical suffering. Using a depth psychology lens, we seek out the symbol and the metaphor and find it in our lives.


A Client Story.

During one session with a client who had been suffering from debilitating seizures over a two-year period, I randomly decided to Google the spiritual meaning of seizures. As a complement to the medical treatment she was receiving, she needed some relief from the anxiety, fear, and depression.


As serious as my client’s condition was at the time, we both appreciated the affirmation that seizures seem to represent an overloaded system. When I suggested to my client that she was short circuiting, she got it immediately. This realization guided our sessions, and we explored the root of her manic nature, which was meant to protect her from past trauma.


I started doing this with all my clients. From arthritis to skin rashes, to migraines, to sinus issues, a simple Google search about the spiritual meaning of the disorder and exploring the metaphor that resonated and/or the symbol that emerged during active imagination, led to ah-ha moments that would have taken much longer to realize if we had just stayed on the hamster wheel that the mind keeps us on.


My Turn.

Last week, my right eye was twitching, so I gave it a shot. I couldn’t believe how I was able to connect what I read with a few other things happening in my life that ultimately led to affirmation about some decisions I had made.

Apparently, the right eye is connected to the right hemisphere of the brain, which has to do with creativity, intuition, and spirituality. My eyes opened wide as I read about the potential spiritual meanings: heightened intuition, moving from a material-based to a spiritual-based life, going through a period of transformation, getting confirmation from a gifted advisor, receiving confusing messages from the Divine, and more.


What is the point of doing this? Well, science confirms that the root of disease is dis-ease, stress, as well as inflammation and those little critters in our gut. The metaphors helped me connect some dots, which led to feeling affirmed in a big decision I had made, which then allowed me to jump in confidently rather than allow those unconscious negative thoughts to limit the results of my new plan.  


Try it for yourself!

You might even want to explore further. I’m here as your partner with an expertise in the language of the unconscious, so I can accelerate the process of your finding meaning. Click here to get to my services page and schedule a FREE 30-minute exploratory chat.


Changing Up the Story to Release Shame


Dealing with trauma is so tricky. Surviving it is one thing, but then sometimes there's guilt about why you got to survive and someone else didn't, or even shame about how you survived.

A Client Story.

Another client, who was attending a three-month outpatient trauma program sought me out to explore her discomfort with choosing herself in any circumstance. The only time she felt free to choose herself was when she was riding her bike alone. When she told me she had named two of her three bikes Freedom and Liberty, we both laughed at the metaphor right away.

She was making her way through the trauma program and through her work with me, learning to grow the capacity little by little to advocate for herself in her marriage. She discovered she was holding onto shame about the way she had survived a prior sexual assault. She educated me about another way we react to trauma besides fight, flight, and freeze. It’s called fawning, which means displaying exaggerated flattery or affection. She felt such disgust at herself for sucking up to her perpetrator.

“Let’s sort through this super complicated idea,” I suggested. We slowed it down and walked through where these automatic reactions came from. We know they’re old ways humans reacted to physically dangerous situations thousands of years ago.

Together, we wondered back then the different strategies that would work for escaping a wild boar versus a huge rattle snake, versus a lion. We started to imagine that fight would work with one kind of dangerous animal but with another might get us killed.

After walking through these scenarios, I suggested that fawning was my client’s brilliant intuition that chose for her because she didn’t have time to choose for herself. Thinking about it this way immediately and completely dismantled her story about how she had survived sexual assault.


My Turn.

Last week, I wondered about how I might react to an attempted sexual assault. I'm one of the lucky few who hasn't experienced that most devastating and soul killing experience. I remembered that in my twenties, one night I woke up cold and uncovered. I could sense the man standing at the bottom of my bed. Later, I saw where he had crawled in through the window.

I pretended to be asleep, but he saw that I was awake and started to run out of the apartment. I got up and chased him. I didn’t know what I would do if I caught up to him, but my natural response was to run after him. Then I recalled around the same time that I had gone on a couple dates with a man who surprised me by grabbing my wrist when I told him I wasn’t interested in dating anymore. I think I told him to fuck off and I turned and walked into my house, closing the door behind me.

Sorting through these memories was useful because I felt affirmed in my own intuition. I came away believing that our unconscious knows how to protect us and rather than feel shame for how we survived a situation, we should feel brilliant that we trusted our intuition to get us out of the situation.


Try it for yourself!

Take time to reflect about which automatic reactions you’ve experienced in the past when facing scary situations. Was there consistency or did your intuition shake it up for different situations? What does that tell you about your intuitive nature?

In the trauma, in the wound, in the suffering, are answers and affirmations about your true nature and your purpose. You are an expert in your unique experience as a human being, and your experiences are also archetypal. When you find the deeper meaning, it contributes to your consciousness raising and understanding of your purpose, which automatically contributes to the collective.


If you’re looking for a way to find deeper meaning in past trauma and wondering what it has to do with who you’re becoming or meant to become, I’d love to be your partner to explore. Click here to get to my services page and schedule a FREE 30-minute exploratory chat.


Stay Tuned!

I’ve got a couple more reflections, but I think I’ll save them for next time. If you found these reflections helpful, let me know, and please share them with others who are struggling and need some resources.

I'll be sharing this on Dose of Depth Podcast too. If you appreciate my free content and would like to support me as a creator, a great way to do that is to become a $5 monthly supporter of Dose of Depth podcast. Click here to become a member.

More Resources

Want to learn more about the language of your unconscious?

That should be enough to get you started. Enjoy getting to know yourself at a deeper level!

Thank you for being a self-reflecting human!

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