an "ubiquitous therapeutic agent," meaning it facilitates psychotherapy
(and dart throwing!). Maybe. It can't be proven. It would be easier to
prove a connection between conscious fantasies and improved
performance or feelings. And, maybe, the results would by more
powerful, more dependable, more useful.
Perhaps "Mommy and I are one" presented for 4 milliseconds, i.e.
unconsciously, is the only way to arouse symbiotic fantasies...but I
doubt it. Perhaps the conscious mind can prompt an unconscious
fantasy as well as a too-brief-to-see stimulus. Perhaps the symbiotic
fantasy doesn't have to be unconscious. Perhaps a pleasant fantasy of
being held and stroked or bathed and fed or nursed and loved would
work just as well. Why not try it and see? Scientists: get busy!
Straighten this out!
Feedback from others
It hardly needs to be said that friends, family, co-workers,
supervisors, counselors, therapists and others can give you insight into
behaviors and attitudes you are not aware of. In chapter 13, there is a
method for checking out interpersonal hunches (just ask!). This
method will also reveal the impressions you are unknowingly making
on others (if others will tell you). Feedback from others may be
particularly helpful if they have observed you extensively, e.g. let
them read your diary or listen to daily recordings you have made
about your problems.
My personal belief is that an open, frank, and constructively
confrontive group, like a good encounter group, a psychodrama (see
role-playing in chapter 13), or a mutually helping group, is one of the
best ways to get useful feedback. Groups of friends or social groups
have to live with you; thus, they will usually avoid telling you the
truth, especially the negative feedback.
The meaning we attach to any event depends on how we see it. If
we get a scholarship to MIT, it may mean a wonderful opportunity or
that we have to leave our boy/girlfriend. If you over-eat, it may be
seen as a bad habit or as a way of reducing anxiety. Many therapies
try to change how we think about things. Chapter 14 covers several
such conscious methods (also frequently called reframing). This
section suggests a way of gaining the help of the internal part of you
(perhaps your Child or Parent) which unconsciously causes you to do
something you don't want to do or prevents you from doing something
you want to do. Bandler and Grinder (1982) called this "reframing;"
Mann (1987) called it a "Power Generator;" Virginia Satir, Carl
Whitaker and others refer to a related process as "relabeling." This is
Have in mind the behavior you desire. Then, attempt to get in
touch with the part of you that is responsible for the unwanted