ernest frost
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Thoughts From My Couch
 
Following the trail of Anger...
One of the many things that I find fascinating in this Universe we live in, is that a client's presenting problem is sometimes not the 'problem' to work with. It is often just the beginning of a trail which needs to be followed to the real problem. In her book, 'Why Good People do Bad Things', Debbie Ford states that the mask (in this case anger) always has the opposite feeling residing underneath. More often than not, it is fear.
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 One of the many things that I find fascinating in this Universe we live in, is that a client’s presenting problem is sometimes not the ‘problem’ to work with. It is often just the beginning of a trail which needs to be followed to the real problem. In her book, ‘Why Good People do Bad Things’, Debbie Ford states that the mask (in this case anger) always has the opposite feeling residing underneath. More often than not, it is fear. Recently, one of my clients - a young university student – presented her problem as becoming angry too quickly. Having angry outbursts at home was the specific problem she had. What I instinctively knew was that whatever the ‘problem’ was, it meant she could also do the non-problem, the opposite of the problem. And this is true for any problem under the sun. Whatever the problem you have, it also means that you are also already doing the non-problem, usually in a different context. And this was also true for her. She was doing the opposite of anger with her friends, always acting mild and calm and “sweet” as she said. The Universe is always in perfect balance. Whatever feelings she could not show or act out with her friends will be compensated for in some way and balanced out; in her case with angry outbursts with her immediate family.

While it was possible to work with the ‘anger’ problem, I knew to investigate further. The presenting behaviour also has a positive intention for the person doing it (this is one of the most important presuppositions of NLP). Because she did not have conscious control over this, we assume that it was a part of her unconscious mind doing it with a positive intention for her. So instead of following the anger, I focused on the “sweet” and “calm” behaviour with her friends, which she felt was not authentic. In a very light trance I asked her to welcome the part which was doing this calm and ‘pleasing’ behaviour. The positive intention was one of connection and belonging. This was also her highest life value. So, by doing the right behaviour with friends it meant that she could have a feeling of belonging.

The highest values we have, the things which are most important to us, are often also the values which were not demonstrated to us when we were young and where the wounding lies. Deep down was a terrible fear of rejection. Her inner child was wounded by her father who left the family when she was 6 years old. And the ‘part’ was born, the part which will always step in and make sure that she will not be rejected again, especially not by friends or anyone important in her life. That was why she had to behave in a ‘perfect’ calm way. She could not take the risk of speaking her mind because it could mean that she could be rejected again, like she felt she was rejected and betrayed by her father. And that was where the real ‘problem’ was. A 6year old girl with a wounding was still alive in her mind and acting out the pain. The real issue here was not the anger; this was only a secondary manifestation. The actual presenting problem was a deep seated fear of rejection by a wounded inner child, looking for love and acceptance. The calm and sweet behaviour was her unconscious mind’s attempt to get this for her, and make sure that she was never rejected again. The anger (mask) was a way of regaining her power; however it was always acted out in a ‘safe’ environment. In her case, she acted out the anger with her family (mother and sister) where she knew that they would never reject her; or with strangers, who did not play an important role in her life.  

I decided to use Time Line Therapy and Energy Resourcing, a technique which everyone in any healing discipline can benefit from. The next 3 day course where this technique will be taught will be held from is advertised on the website.

And from the ‘miracle’ couch, all the best till next time.
Ernest


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