I saw a client, a highly educated woman who had a problem with her daughter.
This lady, a doctor, had asked me to work with her daughter, as she said the daughter was getting into bad company, she was doing things that were wrong.
From experience, I know that there are two sides to every story and more, and having had studied the works of Virginia Satir, it is often the case that the person who has the finger pointing at them, is not at fault or having a problem, it is the person pointing the finger that has the problem. With this in mind, it is one of the new radical ways Virginia Satir would work with clients, she saw the problem as a family problem a whole unit.
I needed to work with all the parties, the mother and daughter.
Now as I sit here alone, the music of Peter and the Wolf (click here to see blog) going through my head, the story flowing in vivid pictures in my mind, I can, imagine now, the tree in the yard, with the cat and Peter sitting on the branch overhanging the meadow.
What do you see in you mind?
What sort of tree is it?
What is the colour of the cat?
Just think about it for a while.
Is it an oak tree, a fir tree, a weeping willow tree?
Is the cat a black cat, a white cat, orange cat?
Whatever you saw in your mind, and yes you must have, for to process the information, people make pictures in their head, you were wrong. Very wrong. Because, my tree is a strange Russian tree devoid of leaves even though it is in summer, and the cat is a panther, black shining muscular body, and big black eyes.
Whenever we are given any information to process, and that means everything we have happen to us, we have to go back into our previous experiences or learnings to make sense of what is happening. This is called a transderivational search. The resultant understanding becomes the truth of the situation, our own understanding. If the only cat you have ever experienced is seeing an orange cat, that is what you would see in your minds eye, your imagination, if you had only experienced a black cat with three legs, that is how all cats would be to you, until you had other examples of cats.
We see our life from our previous experiences, we learn from our experiences.
So were you correct in the view of what you saw in your mind of the cat in the tree, or was I correct. We both were, but we were both wrong, as the next person will see and understand something different.
How often do you argue, have misunderstandings with a loved one, a colleague, a friend?
Did you stop and see the situation from the perspective of the other person? Did you put their shoes on?
Step outside your world for a second, and see things as others would see things. perhaps you were seeing things in the past from only your point of view.
Through a simple NLP exercise, I worked with both the mother and daughter, and brought them together, now they are like sisters. I will explain in a later blog.
A good film to watch on this subject is What The Bleep Do We know. Watch it a couple of times to get a real understanding of what is being taught.
Do you allow your cat to stray onto other peoples land and climb their trees?
Keep your cat out of other peoples trees.