We’re nearly half way through the planned sessions of group therapy; last night was eight of the 20 we have allocated. It was also the first where there was something of a confrontation. Interestingly, it was the therapists that precipitated it.
It went something like this. There is one woman, let’s call her Jane, that has often done most of the talking, usually about one specific relationship that she’s been struggling with. This has frequently served as the basis for the other three of us to talk; perhaps we see in Jane’s relationship what we’ve seen in some of our own, perhaps we understand why she struggles as she does. Whatever, it doesn’t really matter – the main point is that she’s brought it up a lot, and that to use the parlance of the one bloke in the group (John, let’s say), the other three “bat off her.”
This is the second post in a series I am writing exploring the use of guided affective imagery as a psychotherapeutic device. Each post is/will be, broadly speaking, a free-writing exercise based on my experiences of this technique in my own therapy sessions. The first post in the series can be found here.
The door is open, and I can now see inside the house. There is a corridor – well, a hall I suppose, but it feels more like a corridor, as it’s not particularly homely – stretching out in front of me. It’s a musty brown in colour, though it feels as if I am looking at it through a lens of grey. It doesn’t feel frightening as such, but there is something about it that urges caution in me.
What leads off from it? the voice enquires.
The following is the first of a series I intend to write on guided imagery – also known as guided affective therapy or katathym imaginative therapy – as a psychotherapeutic device. Although punctuated and (hopefully!) free from any major grammatical errors, it’s essentially a free-writing recollection of my therapy sessions in which this technique was used.
I am told there is a house on a hill. Can I see it in my mind?
Close eyes, lean back head, breathe deeply. But eventually…yes. Yes, I can.
And am I willing to agree to a guide taking me around the house, but let my own mind decide the specifics of the house’s aesthetics?
I draw breath, and close my eyes briefly in contemplation. But yes. Yes, I am.