Saturday, September 15, 2007

Employing Resilience

"The power of reslience resides within each of us. Whether we choose to use it or not is something we must decide on our own..".....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Claire is a member of the Workshop, but asked to see me privately about a personal matter that she doesn't want to share with the group. I ask her to come to my office at 9 in the morning, so we will have a full hour before the Workshop begins.

Claire arrives ten minutes late, smelling heavily of alcohol & nicotine. I now know her secret, but I still need her to tell me why she is here. It's her responsibility to come clean. I'm to assume nothing. I do know that she is in her 40's & is a health-care worker. It's important for me to remain open about this, because unless I do, she might close down. I work to stay free of judgment & my annoyance with her need to communicate with me in this very negative way.

Of course she must know that working in health-care & practicing alcoholism are incongruent, despite the fact that addictions of all sorts, including alcohol, are highly prevelent in the health-care workers.

Claire sits straight up in the recliner, then asking me for a blanket. The room temperature is perfectly fine, but her body & her mind are under the influence of alcohol. I hand her the blanket, noticing that it helps her to become a baby of sorts. It's the way she carefully wraps herself, then going into a modified fetal position. Once her centering ritual is accomplished, she begins her story.

I've come because of the Life University program. As I relaxed into the images, the Professor in my goal center told me to speak to you privately, because I need some addictional direction. I've been an alcoholic since I was a teen & have been to rehab several times, but the longest I've ever been sober is one month. I don't know why I can't stop. I do want to.

I'm happy to hear that Claire's own subconscious mind was fully engaged with the Life University mp3, bringing her into the open where she could request additional help. Through my interview I find out quite a bit more. The more I know, the easier it will be for me to design working metaphors for her.

Claire connects drinking with being free. Unfortunately it is just the opposite. The more one drinks, the heavier the bars on the jail cell. She's had two major losses in her life in the past year, those being her father & brother, both dying from cancer of the lung. I now understand why she came to the Workshop. She is driven by fear, but in Claire's case, the fear has brought forth her child-SELF & not her mature-SELF. This is unfortunate, but it doesn't mean that she can't be helped.

Claire is completely undisciplined in regard to her drinking. Other areas of her life are also in disarray, but I've located two areas that are fairly well defined in relation to discipline, one being her work, but only when she is sober. The other is in relation to her significant other who is not a practicing alcoholic. These areas of self-discipline will be used as hooks in order to build much needed discipline in her darker areas.

Like many addicts, Claire is totally submerged. Everything revolves around her drinking & now it has entered her working life. She drinks between client assignments & has even engaged in drinking with her clients. Because her drink of choice is wine, she has come decided to believe that this is fine. This is just one example of her level of denial.

I can't stop thinking about wanting to drink & wanting to smoke. The thoughts are making me crazy. How can I choose goals in areas of my life IF I can't clear my thoughts? I don't even know where to begin.

I tell Claire that she has already begun & so she doesn't have to worry about beginning. She is in process. This idea takes her by surprise & she laughs. "Well, that was easy." Since this idea has caught her attention in a positive way, I decide to milk it a bit further. I tell her that she didn't "just begin", but she is already on her journey to recovery.

I give her the suggestion to look back down the path, so she can see how far she has already traveled. Now, I have the opportunity to introduce her to a part of her resilience collection. I have many choices to build this metaphor, but I've decided on stones & rocks. Perhaps I'll throw in a boulder or two..... those representing the deaths of her father & brother. To date, she has seen these only in a negative light, but I want to utilize the fact that she "survived" these losses & built resilience that she can now utilize to manage her alcohol addiction.

Claire is deep into the images. Hot images or those connected to highly emotional experiences are very useful & can be transmuted into valuable assets. Since she doesn't have much going for her in the area of living discipline, it's going to be necessary to find strengths in her past. I've just met her & so I don't have much to go on, but I will engage her in this area of stone & rock collecting & see what she comes up with.

Once Claire has gathered some mental strength, we'll go back to the Life University & try on some goals. We will have moved from a failure mind-state, to one of higher self-esteem & personal power. Affirmations will also be useful here.

The past issues of this blog can be found below. Other segments are stored in the following separate blog. For those of you who would like to practice Interactive Self-Hypnosis, there is always a complimentary mp3 sitting on my website. The program that is there presently is a full session called The Life University. This is part of a 2-CD/mp3 program for re-structuring goals & implementing them in all parts of life. I'm sure you will join others who have enjoyed working with this program. I'll be changing this in a few days, so you might want to take advantage of it while it is still posted. The next program will be on goal achievement.