As craniosacral practitioners or perhaps as therapists of any kind (or maybe just as people that work with people every day!) there's certain things we think but never say. Right? There's certain things we see and feel that we immediately just know is better kept inside.
But my question is, how do we know?
Well, maybe we feel it. Maybe it's too outrageous to actually say out loud. Maybe it's downright hurtful or judgemental. Maybe we are so impeccably attuned to our client's needs that we just know what we can and can't say to facilitate their highest good.
And so we learn. We learn patterns and frameworks internally without realising we are learning what is in some ways, a sophisticated practice of self censorship. We learn how to calibrate our internal voice in order to present ourselves to our clients in a way that we feel is in their best interest. But how do we actually know that it is?
We learn patterns and frameworks internally without realising we are learning what is in some ways, a sophisticated practice of self censorship.
We don't. We don't know anything. We are just employing our inner compass. And people use a compasses when they don't want to get lost. When they want to navigate. So we use our inner compass to navigate ourselves and the unfolding client relationship. That's fair right? Of course, I hear you say. Otherwise there would be CHAOS! And that would be DANGEROUS.
So here we are holding danger and chaos in one hand and sensitive navigation in the other. And within those two extremes we are making a choice. More often than not, we choose not to be lost with our clients, we choose to navigate and to know. What opens then is a field of knowing yet we are at the same time, expecting our client to explore their unknown with us. We have a well calibrated and sophisticated inner compass whilst the client sits in front of us feeling like their equipment consists of a broken torch, a frozen google map and soggy walking boots.
We have a well calibrated and sophisticated inner compass whilst the client sits in front of us feeling like their equipment consists of a broken torch, a frozen google map and soggy walking boots.
Doesn't feel like such an even playing field. So what do we do? Answer all together now: We help them find their inner compass! That's an easy answer though. That's what you'll find written on most counselor and therapist website before you've even met them. 'Perhaps you're struggling with [insert crisis event] right now, if so, therapy could be helpful'
Everyone wants a compass when they're lost. It's logical and it's responsible to help them find one. What are we doing differently though? Not everybody (perhaps nobody really) wants to sit in a shit storm of internal chaos. Because it feels, well, like a shit storm. But I wonder (outloud, perhaps irresponsibly, but who really cares or reads these posts anyway hopefully not the CSTA oopsie) if actually there is something that happens when we join our client in the storm. When we stand in the tornado with them as hail batters down on our faces and we can't for the life of us, see a single thing. I wonder if rather than helping clients to search their backpacks and pockets and black-hole-tote bags for their internal compass, we could just turn around and say 'Well, it's very windy here and this shit stinks!'
I wonder if rather than helping clients to search their backpacks and pockets and black-hole-tote bags for their internal compass, we could just turn around and say 'Well, it's very windy here and this shit stinks!'
Would that make us unethical? Would it trigger our inner criminal? Or could it be something that makes something possible. What's that something? I have absolutely no idea. Nor do I advocate this approach with clients. Nor would I necessarily repeat anything i've said below ever again. But something happened. Inside the something there was...something. A feeling. A realness. An unspeakable shifting of ground.
So here's my blog series of 10 things that I've said to a client that I probably shouldn't have, and what happened after. Each client example gets its own blog post.
'If you don't want to go inside your own womb, why would you expect your foetus to?'
What happened: Client had gone through several unsuccessful rounds of IVF. Through the process what emerges is a solid rock inside her womb. The client's body starts to move and her spine flexes. She says that it's painful but emotionally she remains an observer, unable to go inside the pain.
What I probably should have said: I can hear how painful this is for you, keep breathing nice and deeply through it
What I actually said: 'Yes it IS painful. It's very painful and it hurts. It hurts like hell in there. And you don't want to go there. So if you don't want to go inside your own womb, why would you expect your foetus to?
'It's really painful'
'Yes it is painful...'
'I can't do this. I feel so hopeless'
'Hopeless and too terrified to go inside your own womb but you expect it to be a safe home for a baby? It doesn't feel like a safe home for an adult'
'I don't know what to do'
'What do you want?'
'To have my baby inside me'
'Then go inside yourself and visit the home that you're inviting your baby into'
'It's so painful in here!'
'And this is where your role as a mother begins. Prepare your home for the miracle that you want to birth'
What happened: The client began to let herself feel her womb and all the physical and emotional pain and memories that began to flood through her body. Her womb began to unwind and the solid lump dissolved. Eventually her whole system entered a peaceful rhythm.
What the outcome was: The client understood for the first time that her womb is actually a home and that the home must be prepared well if it is to host a very important guest - a baby. Through this work she connected on a real level to her womb, understanding that it had its own intelligence and needs and pains which she had been previously oblivious to. At the same time, she received a deeper connection to her spiritual roots after feeling for some time like something was missing in her life and in her journey to becoming a mother. We discussed that trying to conceive by only focusing on the material realm was part of her journey towards unfolding her emotional and spiritual depths. In order to bring in the next generation of life, her ancestral line commanded that they be brought in with spirit and with love and awareness.
The work with this client continues as she prepares for another round of IVF treatment in a hope to conceive her beautiful baby.