Moment Centred Therapy
Here we are addressing the 'moment' aspect of IMCT©. This includes the ways you might employ the skills, in the moment, that are in the Skill Kit.
People who have read books by Krishnamurti, Tolle, Almaas, Gurdieff, (see Gen. Bibliography) are familiar with Mindfulness or other approaches in this genre will have come across terms like being, presence and moment centred.
Basically, one is free of the ego. One is, as Almaas (2008), eloquently states "aware of the presence that is present to the moment". This is, as he says, your—'True Nature'.
How do you know? If you are thinking, worrying, model-bound, time conscious or out-come driven, you have missed the boat!
If you are client-centred and not worrying about your techniques, skills etc then you have a good chance of being present. Just being relaxed helps. Sure you're a therapist—no one forgets that—but within that 'be yourself'. Then try to increase your awareness of the following:
- Client language, (see Language Skills)
- Body language in conjunction with language
- Client excursions and wandering
- Fast speech, flatness, some sense that they are not present themselves
- Your own body, feelings and mental presence (are you irritated, distracted, worried)
Sound hard? Well it is, especially for a trainee. You have so many worries and concerns, which includes, of course, trying to pass your placement or impress your supervisor or client!
...But let's look at the metaphor of driving. Do you remember when they said you needed to pay attention to the brake pedal, the clutch, the accelerator, adjust the mirrors, put on your seat belt, remember the rules of the road, put your indicator on when you move out into the traffic, (traffic OMG!), use your judgement (OMG!) and apparently steer straight as well. Oh yeah, and start the engine... I always forgot that bit! So IMCT? Piece of cake! Just takes practice.
The key word above all is awareness. For example, if I'm aware that I'm feeling overwhelmed by a fast talking client and becoming irritated, this I allow into my full awareness as therapy material. I would say, "I'm feeling flustered by your volume of words. Are you aware that you are talking so fast? Can you tune into what you are really feeling in your body, right now?" (This usually takes several passes before they realize you mean their actual body and actually right now!!) You are part of the moment, as is your client and even a student/partner/child if they are in the room. Think of it as a totality.
Hence suspending your expectations is handy. Like what happened last week, or what you planned this week, don't expect it will go as you plan. Try to 'surf the unexpected.' Look for the unplanned and the quirky, the irrelevant, the chitchat, the accidental, the slip of the tongue, the sabotage—anything is part of the moment and is relevant potentially to therapy. Right now!
So how does the particular skill enter into the moment process?
- Remember awareness? Uneasiness will come to you that this is rambling. You will feel you need to focus. You might start to feel (possibly even unconsciously) that you would like to ask a solution-focused question. You might feel that time is up! Suddenly, you think, "so where do I want this to go"?
- What of the skills? The same process. You start thinking this would suit LOCT SKILLS, for example. You might find yourself saying to yourself "yes, but what skill should I use here"? That will prompt your mind to come back with something. Sometimes I ask my trainee, "what would you do here"? Sometimes I know, sometimes I've got no idea. Once I even said to a client, "I've got no idea what to do here!" We both laughed and of course therapy went well soon after that.
- From here you might like to go to: WHAT SKILL FOR WHEN?
- How does this come together without contradictions? Jung once said to his trainees: "Learn all you can about technique, symbol, mythology, dream interpretation etc but when you are with a patient, forget all about it". In other words, clear your mind of clutter; you will know what to do much better then and of course 'then' is in the moment.