Friday, February 10, 2012

How does story therapy work?

The essence behind the concept of story therapy is that emotional information is recorded in our bodies as sensation.

Images trigger emotions. Our emotions are made of a combination of sensations. It is possible to take an image that is personally significant to us and be aware of the emotion that this image triggers. And then it is possible to take that emotion and be aware of the 'programmed sensations' in our body that trigger that emotion.

How do you do that? (First read all the instructions below before doing it. To do it properly your eyes need to be closed through the whole process.)

First make sure you are in a quiet place where you won't be disturbed by anyone. Close your eyes. Reach back to your childhood and pick a particularly happy memory. Now reach back further to your earliest memories and pick an even poignant memory. Be aware of the emotion that this particular memory triggers in your body. Where do you feel it in your body? Is near your chest? Near your belly? On your neck? Where? Pinpoint the place where you feel the emotion. 

Be very aware of the sensation the emotion of that happy memory in the particular location in your body where you feel it. And now, look at that particular location in your body. Remember there is no right or wrong answer. This is going to be unique to you. 

What color is that emotion? 
Is it blue, yellow, red or a different color? 

What shape is that emotion?
Circle? Triangle? Square? Rectangle? Octagonal?

Smell that emotion. What kind of scent is it? 
Does it smell like oranges? tea? cake? ocean? Or does it have a different scent to it?

Taste the emotion. How does it taste?
Sweet? Sour? Bitter? Does it taste like sugarcane? Or does it have another taste to it?

How does it feel (tactile)?
Is it hot? cold? warm? sharp? soft? solid? liquid?

Listen to the emotion. How does it sound? 
Is it a sharp sound? Does it sound like music? The ocean? Your mother's voice? 

Now take all the answers for each of those questions and write it down. And then, close your eyes and visualize an object that is formed in your mind when you take each of those answers and combine it in your mind. 
So basically take the color, shape, sound, tactile sense, scent, taste answer that you gave, and combine it all and make it into an object.

In doing this exercise with thousands of people, I have found that they can always come up with an object. This object is programmed in your body as a sensation. There are many many objects of this kind programmed in our body. And these objects have formed a relationship with each other. They have their own logic and meaning to each other. These objects and their interactions and their inner hidden meaning is programmed in our body as our personal myth. This is our personal home video or our personal reality. Our personal beliefs about ourselves and existence are made from this language.

In asking the kind of questions that I did above and eliciting answers, it is possible to slowly identify objects. And then, by continuing to do the same thing, it is possible to identify more objects. By asking the individual questions about the relation of the objects to each other, it is possible to see what relation the different objects have with each other in their personal world. Elaborate stories that has personal meaning to that particular individual starts to come together. This is that individual's personal myth.