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Healing Infidelity - Session Two

the Man Who Couldn't Feel Guilty

He Realizes He's Afraid of Squinting Women

Healing Infidelity - Session 1 Heling Infidelity - Session 3

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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 two.]

This session focused on the process of "integration."

Integration is the part of the "P" Curve process in which people visually explore what has emerged in a "P" Curve. This allows explorers to find a way to talk about what they have discovered and to see how the threads which have emerged have affected other areas of their life.

The goal here then is to help the explorer to find words for what they have discovered, and to see the true scope of what had previously been blocked.

In a sense, we could say that one of the main things explorers do here is that they find a way to later reference these experiences, by assigning what I call, "captions" to these scenes. These captions then allow explorers to more fully utilize and carry out into the real world what they have discovered, especially when they tell others what they have discovered.

Finally, although this particular session does not use a "P" Curve per se, documenting what was said became a vital part of the ongoing "P" Curve process. This, then, is what you see on the paper I've placed above, something I call, an "integration" page.

the Issue Statement [layer 2]:
"not seeing women as people" was not even a concern before the first "P" Curve.

As I've just mentioned, what you see above is an "Integration" page. Please note that what you see on this page is actually just a written version of the main Emergence Therapy technique; "Visual Dialogue."

What made me do this? To be honest, I don't know. In fact, I rarely process "P" Curves this way. Why do it here then?

As best as I can tell in hindsight, I knew Joe to be a very skeptical man. Intuitively then, I must have felt that Joe would be able to move forward more easily if he had written evidence of his healing process.

Clearly, these feelings were more based on my intuitive sense of what Joe needed than on any request Joe himself had made. This raises an important point.

When does a guide know to use his or her own inner thoughts or pictures rather than to follow the explorer's?

About this question, I can only say, I believe this skill emerges only after practicing many hours of the primary style of Emergence Therapy; "Visual Dialogue." Other than this, I can not offer a simple guideline for how to develop this skill.

What I can add, though, is that guides are best erring on the side of being less involved than more. Thus, should you feel doubt as to whether you should introduce an outside thread, then reserve your judgment until more evidence emerges. Even then, it is always best to allow the process to be guided by the explorer's own process.

In Joe's case, I can say, I simply felt this issue was a "big one" for him and that he would need and benefit from having some "hard" evidence. And as I've said, knowing Joe was a very skeptical man added to this intuitive sense, as skeptical people frequently benefit from what appears to be "hard" evidence.

Then too, there was the idea that even I was overwhelmed by how many threads had emerged in just that first session. Thus, I, too, felt I'd benefit from writing on paper what we had uncovered.

Even so, my allowing the process to unfold naturally here enabled Joe to have more connections emerge.

What emerged?

Documenting the Visual Dialogue

Once again, what you see written above is essentially the highlights of a visual dialogue, a guided conversation wherein an Emergence Guide repeatedly asks an explorer to "tell me what you see."

What did Joe see?

Right away, he went to seeing his current wife "squinting." (This is Joe's second wife.)

What led him to see this?

Our issue statement; "not seeing women as people."

What emerged then was a scene in which Joe was not seeing his current wife as a person. Significant was the idea that Joe, for the first time, noticed that he did not see squinting women as "people."

Exploring this idea further, Joe realized he did not trust his current wife when she "squinted," and this then lead to yet another emergence, that Joe's mother had always squinted before she hit him.

This "squinting" thread then continued as Joe spontaneously jumped to a scene, early in his current relationship, wherein his wife hit him.

Now if we follow the emergence sequence, what we see is that Joe obviously had been experiencing this later scene as a continuation of his early childhood scenes, the scenes wherein his mother hit him.

What is not so obvious though is that up to this point, Joe had never consciously witnessed this scene with his wife as having happened in his adulthood.

What did this mean?

It meant that Joe had been experiencing this scene in his adulthood as if it was actually happening in his childhood. He felt, in fact, no different than he felt in those early childhood scenes, especially with regard to his ability to defend himself.

This raises yet another important thing to know about injury. How do people lose their adult life skills when they relive wounding events?

How Reliving an Injury Diminishes Your Life Skills

How do people, even healthy people, act so immaturely when they relive an injury?

This happens because, whenever people relive their wounding scenes, they relive them with the same life skills they had at the time the event occurred. This means, if you get a wound at age four and then later relive this injury, when you relive it, you will relive it as if you are four now.

Now consider, for a moment, what this means.

It means that, even if you have worked very hard to become healthy and even if you have gained many life skills in your adulthood, because you are human, you will relive your childhood injuries with the same level of life skills you had at the time you were injured. And no more.

This means you could be the healthiest person on Earth and still, you will lose access to most of your adult life skills whenever you relive an injury.

Certainly, you will lose access to the most of the life skills you need to see past this injury.

Where are these life skills?

In essence, they are blocked. In other words, they are not gone nor lost. They are simply inaccessible.

Can this access be regained?

Yes. In fact, one of the more important things which emerges during healing is peoples' sense of their actual adult age, without which, they can but relive the injury as if they were still children.

This, then, is what people actually lose when they "lose it." They lose their sense of being an adult and with this, their adult life skills.

So what do people normally do when this happens?

They vow to do better and to try again. How? By promising they will do better the next time, or that they will not do the behavior any more, or that they will be more caring in the future.

All these promises are sincere at the time. However, because all injury blocks life skills past the original wounding age, these promises are promises which people can never hope to keep, as they will lose access to the life skill they need to keep these promises each time they relive of their injury.

Again, my point is, healing is the only way for peoples' adult life skills to emerge. Only then will they have the ability to keep these otherwise sincere promises.

Joe's Sequence of Mistrust

What did we do next?

What we did next was to try to document the life script of his losing his trust for a woman.

Quickly, what emerged was the three part sequence which I've written in the lower portion of the page. That sequence is:

[1] He falls in love and sees the woman as a person.

[2] He sees this woman whom he loves squint at him, and because he relives the original wounding scene, experiences her as having hit him even if she hasn't.

[3] His trust for this woman ends, and he can no longer see this woman as trust worthy.

Now at this point, before we could even begin to explore this sequence, Joe had another "eureka" moment.

He spontaneously pictured himself as a baby looking up at his mother, and with a surprised look on his face, he told me he was "seeing her as a person."

What Was the Significance of What Had Emerged?

What was the significance of what had just emerged in Joe?

Prior to this point, whenever Joe had referred to his mother, he had referred to her as if she was someone else's mother. Translation. He had been speaking about her from a distance and with much detachment, and as an "object" rather than as a "person."

How common is it to see people as "objects?"

Very common. In fact, the head-with-feet therapy theorists often refer to relationships as "object relations," in essence, a rather cold view of how people interact.

So can this change?

Absolutely. In fact, this is one of the main things which changed for Joe as a result of doing this session. He began to see his mother as a person.

Further, although I did not realize it at the time we did this session, by beginning to reclaim this ability to see women as people including his mother, Joe had begun the process of reclaiming his ability to feel bad about having been unfaithful. Very much so in fact.

This focus continued in the next session in fact, wherein Joe and I used a "P" Curve to explore other times wherein women did something to break his trust.

Healing Infidelity - Session 1 Heling Infidelity - Session 3

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