Here’s a quick summary of how some of the major therapies try to help us.
Sigmund Freud said that we are welded to the pleasure principle. We are chasing pleasure and running from pain. He also said that our instinct for sex and aggression were balanced by our conscience which is always trying to control us. Meanwhile, the ego (not in the everyday sense of the word) is trying to manage all of this.
Cognitive behaviour therapy says that our thinking creates our problems. Our fear and anxiety is created by our belief systems, change the beliefs and the problem disappears. Byron Katie says the same thing, but she works with it from a spiritual perspective.
Gestalt therapy says, own your disowned parts and get into the present moment.
Carl Jung says that we need to own our shadow, our dark side, know our archetypes, integrate and we will heal.
Client Centered therapy says that all we need to do is listen really carefully to our clients and this will enable healing to happen. Often it does.
These approaches are useful in multitudes of ways but few of them emphasise, or focusses specifically on is the issue of identity.
I recently completed my Level 2 Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT) training, created by a British man named Terence Watts, a genius with a huge heart.
Level I is an astounding method for dealing with grief, trauma, and sexual abuse. These issues are resolvable in one or two sessions. It is truly miraculous.
Level 2 is a 4 to 6 session process.
It addresses the question of identity.
Back To The Snowflake
We know that every snowflake is different and we know somehow that every human being is different but we seldom honour this difference. What and who we think we are is going to create or solve many of our problems.
To put it another way, if you resolve your issues with your mother and you stop hating her and resenting her and feeling the pain of her criticism and manipulation, this is very useful, but if as a result of these difficulties you believe you are a failure or a selfish bitch, this identity issue is likely to draw you back into all of your self-doubt and judgement because the identity issue isn’t addressed directly.
If you resolve your feelings of betrayal when your partner cheats on you and your identity before the betrayal is “I am not lovable” then if you don’t work with this issue of identity while working on the betrayal, it is likely to cause problems in the future. From another angle, if you resolve the betrayal issue and the “I’m not lovable” issue, your ability to deal with future problems of this nature is dramatically improved.
This is what Level 2 of BWRT does.
Leo Buschalia, nicknamed the love Professor, said something really beautiful.
“A banana can’t be a peach and a peach can’t be an apple. If you are a banana and you’re trying to be a peach you are going to feel like a fruit salad.”
He is addressing the issue of identity but I’m not sure he that he had a method for directly addressing this.
Our trauma and stress and pain and hurt and grief and loss, all affect our sense of identity profoundly. I have had so many clients over the years tell me that their faith in God has wavered after a significant trauma or loss. What they don’t usually say is how they now doubt themselves, how their sense of who they are and what they are in relation to life in general has been affected by this loss.
I’m Not Good Enough
“I’m not good enough,” the core of Self-Esteem issues, is talked about by psychologists.
Identity is explored in these models and perhaps this is one of the reasons I have been drawn to this work, apart from the fact that I never used to feel good enough myself.
What Level 2 of BWRT does in a really elegant way, is that it creates a very powerful focus around the Old Self and the New Self, moving back and forth between them in a very experiential way, freezing the Old Self and healing into the New Self, deepening the connection to a positive identity, while loosening the connection to the negative one.
So many of my clients come to me with relationship issues and anxiety and career problems. They have felt betrayed and wounded and abandoned and they can’t tolerate the stress and pain of life.
In essence they just don’t believe in themselves. They’ve spent their lives trying to be something other than who they are.
They want to be another snowflake.
But that’s impossible.
To really focus on realizing their true identity, to return to their true nature, is the liberation they have always been looking for.
If you would like to meet face to face or via Skype, drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org