Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Therapy
This transcript was recorded during a
seminar in Poland by Martyn Carruthers about helping people
resolve deep conflict . A portion of this
transcript was cut and posted at
How children create complex conflict.
People suffering obsessions or compulsions often
find a predictable structure of underlying conflicts ... a sense of
cognitive dissonance and unaligned emotions. Here is an example of
coaching a person to explore a deep conflict.
Jan is a businessman about 45 years old.
Martyn agreed to explore a conflict about Jan's
Conflict Resolution Transcript Part 4
Part 5 becomes Conscious
Now we can explore the second level of integration and, who
knows, maybe we will find a fifth part that is not yet conscious. A fifth
part would become conscious by objecting to parts 3 and 4 cooperating.
The first conflict was about smoking versus not smoking, and the second conflict looks
like outer joy versus inner joy. Lets go back to Jan [turns to Jan and
observes him for a second].
[To Jan] Jan, can you imagine again that you can see the white birch and the
clown working together, so that you can have harmony and joy simultaneously
in your life. Of course, there is this side of you that says, "Hey, there
can be harmony and joy inside too, and not only in the world." Jan,
imagine what would happen if you find harmony and joy inside and outside
simultaneously. Imagine you can live life with internal harmony and joy and
external harmony and joy. What would that be like?
Jan: It looks like my main life goal.
Martyn: [To class] This conflict may lead to "What is the meaning of
my life?" I said earlier that a conscious conflict is rarely
so important: for example "Do I smoke - or do I not smoke?"
is a detail compared to "What is my main life goal?"
[To Jan] What does this side want to tell you about the your main life goal?
Jan: That it is important to live life in balance. Inside and outside
balance [part 5].
Martyn: I wonder what the birch and the clown working together would
say about the part of you that wants inside and outside balance simultaneously?
Jan: The birch says "There is health inside harmony",
and the clown adds, "And joy!"
Martyn: Imagine you can live your life with harmony and joy
inside, and with harmony and joy in the outside world. Fantastic! Perhaps
you begin to realize what your purpose in life is: to live life,
harmoniously and joyfully inside and outside. Nothing else is so important.
Wonderful - yes?
Part 6 becomes Conscious
[At first, Jan shows signs of exaltation, then surprise,
then doubt, after a few moments his posture drops; and then he shows an
expression as if of a sudden realization.]
Martyn: Bonnng! Looks like part 6 is showing its head! [laughter in
class] Something important may still be missing. What do you think,
Jan? Is something still missing?
[Jan closes his eyes and
his face muscles become flaccid]
Chronic Conflict Explained
[Martyn to class] The relationship dynamics underlying
chronic conflict usually fit into my family maps that I taught earlier.
When we help people manage the first level of conflict, a client
often says something like, "Everything that I've ever wanted
is possible now!" while signaling "No!" non-verbally. You
can manage these and similar objections using the Yes/No and Yes, but skills
that we taught earlier in this course.
Jan started with a conscious conflict, then found
unconscious conflicts. Often, the conscious parts are
like voices: one may urge, "Smoke! Yes! Smoke!"
and the other, "Don't smoke! No! Don't smoke!" Imagine how it
would be to make decisions from in-between two loud inner voices.
Student: I can think of many people who live their
lives like that.
Martyn: I'd guess between 15% of Europeans and
maybe 20% of North Americans, based on my clients, workshops and talks,
although perhaps my work attracts people in conflict.
explains Complex Conflict
[Martyn watches Jan as he talks. After a few minutes, Jan
makes some small movements and opens his eyes; Martyn immediately turns to Jan.]
Martyn: Anyway, that's too much theory; right Jan?
Can I check if any of this makes sense?
[To Jan] Hej Jan, dzien dobry - jak sie masz? [Hi Jan,
good day - how are you?] Remember the clown on your right. The clown (part 1)
said that smoking will give you more fun and joy in life. And on
your left was the beautiful white birch (part 2) which may represent your
peaceful health. And if the clown and the white birch are together in
front of you, you experience cooperation with the outside world (part
3). That looks great: you can express joyous motivation and peaceful beauty
during life. And on your right was a Chinese scroll (part 4) that seemed to say,
"No! It is more important that you experience cooperation inside."
Perhaps you can say, "Thank you" to the Chinese scroll. And
feel the conflict between the Chinese scroll and the cooperation between
the clown and the white birch. And imagine, Jan, the possibility to have
cooperation inside and cooperation outside at the same moment. Imagine that you
can live your life with full cooperation inside, and with peace and fun
in the outside world. What would it be like, if you can enjoy both of
Jan: I feel a strong inner need to find such life.
Martyn: Imagine that you can see future Jan who can enjoy full internal
peace, while cooperating with the outside world.
What might you call a state when you have full cooperation
inside and full cooperation outside?
Jan: I don't know why, but I see the symbol of a cross in front of me.
Martyn: Great, look at that symbol of the cross in front of you,
perhaps it represents Christianity - perhaps a symbol of two parts
working together - perhaps peaceful
fun in life and inner cooperation - perhaps something more spiritual -
perhaps some or all of these. What name would you give to this cross [part 5] that
may somehow represent the integration of the second level of conflict.
Martyn: Consider living life with harmony, with full inside
harmony and full outside harmony. Maybe that would be perfect!
Maybe nothing else is wanted or needed. Maybe that would be the
end of the path, there would be nothing else to do.
Jan: [hesitates] I ... need to contact
others as well ... I need to see my harmony in a context.
Martyn: Good. And enjoy feeling your need to contact
others. A part of you wants to live in full harmony, and perhaps another
part of you says, "Something important is still missing!"
What is this part like - that wants you to contact others?
Jan: Like a sunflower. [Part 6]
Martyn: Look at the sunflower that represents contact with
others, and also at the cross, which represents harmony inside and
outside. And when you consider contact with people, who is the
most important person to be in contact with?
Jan: With my mother.
Martyn: And look at that sunflower with the idea of full contact
with your mother, and with other people. With the cross you may find
harmony, inside and outside. Consider the possibility of living your
life with full harmony inside and outside, and with full contact with
people, especially with your mother. How would it be for you to
experience both of these together in the same moment?
To readers: thank you for reading this far. Your attention is a real compliment.
Please email us some of your experiences and contact us to resolve conflicts.
Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Therapy
Plagiarism is theft © Martyn Carruthers 2002-2017
All rights reserved. Transcribed by Dr Ana Pejcinova