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Healing Infidelity - Session One

Helping a Man Who Couldn't Feel Guilty

Discovering the Green Man


Healing Infidelity - Session 2

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healing infidelity emergence psychotherapy


[This story is about Joe, a man who had been unfaithful but felt no guilt. What emerged was his ability to see the beauty in his "being faithful." The process involved four sessions. This session was session one.]

What you see written on the pad paper above is a "P" Curve, this one hand drawn as we did it before I had finished designing the "P" Curve forms.

When I started this session, our general goal was to explore Joe's difficulty with "trusting woman." However, as with all "P" Curves, I began this one by narrowing down the explorer's generalized "issue" to an emergence issue statement.

What is an "issue statement?"

An "issue statement" is a more focused and personal form of the general issue derived directly from the person's own words. More over, this statement must be potent enough to actually get the explorer to react internally just by saying or hearing it.

The issue statement with which Joe and I began this "P" Curve definitely caused such a reaction in him. He would get stirred up just hearing it.

The statement was, "I have trouble seeing women as people."

Please realize that at the point Joe and I did this "P" curve, we had no idea where this issue statement would lead, let alone that it would lead to him healing his lack of guilt about his infidelity. In fact, prior to this session, we had barely addressed Joe's infidelity.

Please note, this openness to where the process may lead; in effect, allowing that the healing which may occur will be continuously open ended, is, in fact, one of the more important aspects of doing "P" Curves. Why? Because this openness to where the process may lead often allows an initial "P" Curve to lead to several, even deeper layers of healing.

We call this unfolding, "deepening."

Does "deepening" always happen?

No, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes a BLock is so complex that it takes several sessions to even begin to process what emerges and even then, there is much left to explore. Even so, allowing that deepening may happen is often what makes it happen. This, in fact, is what happened over the course of this series of "P" curves and over time, the "P" Curve we are about to discuss then led to several additional layers of related healing.

Ultimately, it even led to Joe's healing his inability to experience his own infidelity.

As we begin then, my two main points about doing "P" Curves are:

  • [1] The best place to begin a "P" Curve is with a concise "issue statement" taken directly from the person's own words and which, in and of itself, begins the person's internal process.
  • [2] Allowing that "P" Curves may lead to multi-layered healing is one of the more important features of guiding "P" Curves. This becomes even more likely when the guide allows the process to be guided mainly by the person's own responses. In other words, allowing the explorer's own unfolding experiences to guide the "P" Curve process insures the deepest healing. Conversely, presuming ahead of time where the process will lead, no matter how grounded and logical these guesses may seem to be, most times, impairs the healing process by short circuiting the deepening.

the Issue Statement [layer 1]: "seeing women as people."

The First Scene Request:
"Go to a time when you did not trust women. Now tell me what you see."

This scene request is where we began.

Very quickly, Joe reported seeing a scene from when he was 8.

In this scene, he was laying on an orange carpet watching TV with his paternal grandmother, a woman I knew him to have been terribly afraid of.

As always, my only goal here was to help Joe to stay as conscious as possible while he witnessed this scene. Why? To help him to heal whatever fear he had felt in this scene.

To my surprise, Joe reached this goal very quickly and in fact, within minutes, he was able to recognize how much he had "loved the four season room," the room in which he had been watching TV with the "terrifying grandmother."

Please notice that I have noted this event (Joe's first emergence; that he loved the four season room) in the upper right quadrant of this "P" Curve. I have also both circled it with a black pen and marked with yellow pen.

Why the yellow pen? Because this yellow mark visually represents the single quality which identifies all emergences; that the person's realization was prefaced by a pleasant surprise.

Please also note that in the top left column, I documented that Joe also mentioned that he saw his grandmother smiling. In a moment, you will see how this element became a thread which led Joe to the next scene.

Before going on, though, please note that both seeing his "terrifying grandmother" smiling and Joe's feelings of "love" for being in the four season room directly contradicted his initial experiences; that he was afraid to be alone with his grandmother.

Again, what shows me that these things had just emerged was the fact that as Joe told me these things, his face clearly looked pleasantly surprised.

At this point, Joe spontaneously began to describe a second scene. In this scene, he was 36 and was at this maternal grandmother's funeral.

At first, when I asked him what he was seeing, he told me he could not go near the coffin to look.

Clearly, he was very vividly reliving this experience.

Then, as I gently requested he show me more details, and as I reminded him that I was there with him and would not leave him, Joe was able to fill in several details, including that his grandmother had a "little smile" on her face.

Note again how Joe, with surprise, noticed something positive in what had been a painful scene, in this case, his grandmother's "smile." Here again, the pleasant surprise in the midst of a painful scene is what denotes his having had an emergence.

At this point, Joe had yet another emergence: the carpet in the funeral parlor was green... and then another..., the same color green as the carpet in my other grandmother's house.

What has emerged here?

One of the most significant things which can emerge; a "thread of similarity."

Here, the thread of similarity connects the color of the funeral parlor carpet in his maternal grandmother's funeral to the color of the carpet in his paternal grandmother's house.

What makes this seemingly insignificant detail so important?

To see, you'll have to read through all four sessions. I can only say at this point that this detail; the color "green," ends up being the thread which leads us to healing Joe's inability to feel guilt about his infidelity.

Now before moving on to our second scene request, please note, I have written both these emergences in the right column and have both circled them with black pen and have marked them with a yellow mark.

At this point, I decided to take Joe deeper into his issue statement, by asking him to explore what had just emerged; his sense of his maternal grandmother.

The Second Scene Request:
"Go to a time when you were at that grandmother's house. Now tell me what you see."

At this point, I asked Joe if would go to a scene in which he was in this second grandmother's house. Again, the details he sees emerge as threads.

[1] Joe is again watching TV with a grandmother. Note also, that [2] the color green repeats, this time the color of the chair his grandmother is in. Also, [3] this second grandmother is also smiling, in fact, laughing, at what she saw on TV, a scene from a campy horror movie in which a woman's head falls off.

At this point, Joe has another emergence. He spontaneously remembers that the movie was "Bride of Frankenstein" and that this was the first movie that had scared him.

This then leads Joe to relive yet another scene.

In this scene, he is very young and sitting watching the "bull's eye" on TV while his father is asleep in a chair. Note the "TV" thread has led him to another scene.

Finally, Joe arrives at what, for this session, was the pivotal scene. In this scene, Joe remembered being scared of "Charlie," whom he tells me was a "little green man" of whom he frequently felt afraid.

Note that the color "green" repeats yet again.

At this point, I intuited that Joe had regressed into a very significant life event, so important in fact, that I somehow knew to ask him to draw the physical layout of this scene.

Joe did this drawing on the bottom left side of the "P" Curve.

As he began, I asked him to draw the entire layout of the room, including the door into this room, his bed and where he was on it, and the closet where he feared he would see the green man's eyes.

I even suggested he draw his line of sight to clearly mark where he expected to see the green man.

I now asked Joe to give me more details as to what the green man looked like.

At first Joe was completely unable to do this, as his ability to internally envision the green man was so thoroughly BLocked.

Finally though, the green man's face did emerge, and with a surprised look, Joe told me, the green man was smiling!

Then yet another realization emerges: "That was a long time ago!"

Clearly, at this point, Joe was, for the first time in his life, experiencing these events as having happened in his past. More important, he was finally realizing that these events had ended a long time ago.

This raises yet another important aspect of what may emerge during healing; the person's "clock" restarts. By this, I mean, we Emergence Practitioners has a saying about wounds and time. We say, "A BLock stops the clock."

What this refers to is the idea that whenever a person gets wounded, one of the primary symptoms is that the person relives this event as if time froze. When and if the person heals the event, this healing unfreezes the person's sense of time with regard to this event.

What does this do?

Two things. First, it allows the person to consciously witness that event ended. Second, it places the event somewhere on a personal historical time-line, which then allows the person to connect this event to other, similar events.

Both things are in evidence throughout this session, and in fact, the connections which emerge can be literally amazing at times, and this was the case here as well. Thus, Joe, in his final emergence of this series, connected the little green man to the person he feared most in his childhood; his mother, when he told me, "The eyes in the closet were my mother's eyes!"

Aftermath and Conclusions

Not long after this session, Joe's wife, teary eyed, remarked to me how she was finally getting to be with the Joe that she loved so much; the open, vulnerable man.

Joe, himself, agreed.

Prior to this "P" Curve, then, Joe had been unable to feel open and safe with women. Ironically, one the things which had been preventing his trust was something which in truth, meant they liked him and were worth trusting; their smiles. In other words, prior to this session, Joe had also been unable to see that when women smiled at him, it meant they cared for him.

Again, please note the irony here. What had in essence been a loving thing; a woman's smile; had been scaring Joe.

Now please take a moment to note how these things emerged. What I mean by this is, please note that none of the changes Joe experienced were the result of new logic or better will power. They all had resulted from Joe's consciously witnessing scenes in which he had felt only fear.

Also note how the "P" Curve process is literally filled with threads of similarity, threads which connect seemingly unrelated life stories. I find that watching these threads emerge still amazes me, more so how each thread spontaneously leads to yet another scene or scenes.

These threads, in fact, are what make allowing the process to unfold on its own so important. Also note how these threads emerge primarily from the explorer's intuition rather than from the guide's training.

In almost all cases, then, the explorer will intuitively follow these threads far better than the guide's logical mind ever could. Case in point. If I were to have asked you to predict where the first scene request would have led, would you have guessed that it would have led to Joe's "Charlie, the green man?" Or that seeing Charlie would lead Joe to the very place where he needed to go to begin healing his trust issues with women; to his mother's eyes?

Finally, please make a mental note of the layout Joe drew on the bottom left quadrant of this "P" Curve. Surprisingly, even this layout is a thread which will later repeat, albeit not until the fourth and final "P" Curve of this sequence.

Also note that had I not asked Joe to draw this layout, in all likelihood, Joe would never have, so directly and completely, healed his BLock regarding fidelity. This layout, then, was the key to Joe's healing.

So can you now guess how this room layout, the layout wherein Joe saw Charlie, the green man, was connected to his wound about infidelity?

Please now use this opportunity to practice the second element of doing "P" Curves. Allow the process I'm documenting here to unfold on its own.

This means I'm asking you to set aside any logical or intuitive guesses you may be forming as to where this process is heading. In doing so, you, yourself, will also be allowing what emerges to come from this explorer's own mind and heart.

Surely, this "allowing the process to unfold on its own" is one of the most courageous and loving acts a guide can ever do for an explorer; the act of witnessing the suffering of another without judgment.

Healing Infidelity - Session 2

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