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Focusing During Therapy

The "Stairs Metaphor": a Healer's Tool

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Finding a Starting Point: "the Stairs Metaphor"

What you see above is yet another "metaphor," another picture which represents something which can not be pictured; in other words, an idea or experience too large or too small to actually be seen, even in our imaginations. Here, the metaphor represents the range of human experience which CAN be pictured, and the cloudy experiences beyond this range.

What kinds of things fall into these last two categories, the cloudy experiences which lie beyond a human being's ability to picture? In the "too large" category, things like codependency," God, the word "always," and phrases like, "he'll never stop drinking." In the "too small" category, things like "photons," the "only" time he..., and "the speed of light." And in the conscious experience in between? Things like "I feel compelled to stop my father's Thursday night binges" and "I am amazed that a twenty-six year old patent clerk (Albert Einstein) discovered so much about light and how it works.

What purpose does the "Stairs Metaphor" serve in Emergence as a Therapy? For one thing, a guide who grasps its meaning can use it to gain a good sense of where to begin a session. More important, though, a guide can also use it to know where the best place to heal lies; where to focus the work AND what direction to take to get there. Finally, any guides who personally integrate this metaphor into their works will feel more confidence in and around directing explorers' journeys. How? They will know exactly how to get into the range in which all people must be in order to heal: the range in the very center of the stairs.

What follows, now, will be a short series of steps, which, taken in sequence, can be used by guides to "guide" their work. Please remember this, though: people have been healing for a long time now without using having used this metaphor. Thus, my motive here is simply to improve on this process, in a sense, to put into words what the more "intuitive" therapists have been doing by nature.

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