The World Turned Upside Down
“If summer were spring and the other way around, the world would be turned upside down”. Apparently those lyrics come from an English folk song describing the feelings some had at the way that their world had changed during their Civil War.
Sometimes we can all feel that our world has been “turned upside”. It can be the turmoil of a large, sometimes unexpected, change in our lives, perhaps a death, career change or relationship breakdown. Others sometimes experience the way the (or their) world has changed has been slow and gradual, they had not noticed the changes, but suddenly everything has changed.
The metaphorical “boiling frog” story describes how a frog that if a frog is placed straight in boiling pot of water, it will react and hop out, but if it is placed in cold slowly heated water, it will not perceive the danger and will be broiled to death. It is a metaphor for the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually. Presumably the first frog will also have been traumatised, suggesting that neither is preferable!
But either way, those of us with human experience will have at least witnessed other if not directly experienced ourselves both kinds of life changing, upside down turning events. We often need help to make sense out of them.
In making that sense, like the metaphor above, clients tend to like easily understood models to explain what is happening for and to them. Often by explaining from the psychobiological perspective, such as the Human Givens Psychotherapy Model, provides a quickly understood method of doing so.
This model will firstly help the clients understand the way in which the human central nervous system works; clients might often describe their instant responses (either jumping out of the pot or staying in it!) as their “brain”. That is understandable. It is the nature of the human, well honed biological nervous system, designed to work for us. Calming and adapting those biological responses is what a Human Givens (HG) therapist will immediately do with you
Secondly, the model will start to explain how our perceiving, information gathering and processing “mind” works through the concept of pattern matching, which is that we humans become superbly skilled at something by keeping on imagining it (called rehearsal), practicing it and then doing it. “Why does my mind keep doing that?” clients will often pose. “Because you keep doing it!” the therapist may retort. Then the gentle work will begin to help retrain those patterns (re-rehearsal maybe?) to create more positive ways of responding.
Thirdly, when we have been responding and reacting in ways that cause us to feel separated or divided from all or some of our relationships. These might be the relationships with work, money, people, our environment and very often we. The HG therapist will work with their client to understand and interact with their meaningful relationships, making them more effective.
The ways in which this work is done is many and varied. We are unique individuals with different needs and resources and deserve to have the work tailored to recognise that. None the less, these articles will begin to explain the various positive ways in which the HG practitioner successfully helps the client build and integrate the brain, mind and relationships.
A hymn frequently sung and maybe recalled from childhood exclaims:
“The world lives divided and apart
You draw men together and we start
In your body to see that in fellowship we
Can be turning the whole world upside down”.
The world can be turned upside down, be better made sense of and integrated into a whole new way, in fellowship with ourselves.
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Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
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