Life Pattern Concepts
Patterns operate within our environment, relationships, and biology (ERB).
Patterns are developmental. They are invented, discovered, or developed as we grow up. They operate to convert non-specific events that happen to us into specified understandable happenings, to make-sense of our world. Once this conversion happens, we consider the information valid and act 'as if' it were true.
Emotions are normal and notify us what we need to attend to within our environment, relationships, and biology. Stress is the result of unprocessed (problem solved) or unidentified emotions. If it is too high or too low, stress keeps us from problem solving. Emotions do not kill people. If they did we would all be dead. It is what we do about emotions that can kill us.
The developmental process follows a consistent pattern. People experience events produce feelings. Feelings require problem solving to a decision. The decision dictates the responses. The responses eliminate the event or feeling. Event-Feeling-Decision-Responsibility-Elimination
Parents have patterns and teach them to children. The transfer is unconscious and gives a child the starting point for how their environment, relationships, and biology works. The key relationship exchange teaches the child what to expect from Care, Support, Safety, and Boundaries (CSSB).
If a clinician knows how to find the pattern and show it to the client, the process of change is available. Change takes place at the client's pace. The clinician assists by helping the client to see the pattern, recognize where it came from, and determine how to change it, releasing the feelings that stop change.
People respond differently to a diagram of their story than they do to a simple discussion of it. By creating a sequence of “what happened next” their story becomes specific. Once it is on the board, the person’s perspective about it changes and new awareness is available.
Breathing, Relaxation, Stress Adjustment
Breathing is a biological process. Everyone breathes. Deep breathing is taking control of breathing so that it soothes and relaxes the person in the moment. It is a simple technique that anyone can learn. Practicing it adjusts stress and teaches the difference between stress and relaxation. Breathing can be modified to include imagery and advanced relaxation techniques.
Present Orientation, Situational Awareness
No one can change their future from the past. A change must be made in the present for the future. Recognizing what is happening in the present, seeing it in reality, means a person can make a accurate assessment about what needs to be done now for later. Learning how to assess the situation is a critical skill.
Story Analysis, Pattern Analysis
Every person has stories about their life. Sometimes they are difficult to remember but often they are accessible. When the stories are told, the clinician can capture them on the board in a sequential model that shows the client exactly what happens in the event. Using the EFDRE model, the story explains why actions exist in the present. The analysis isolates a story theme and reframes the person’s interpretation of the event.
Holdover Feeling Recognition
Feelings hold patterns in place, unprocessed, non-specific, or unidentified feelings. The ability to name a feeling that holds the pattern in place begins the process of problem solving. At their present age, the feeling cannot harm them as it did when it first occurred and they have the right to modify their thinking and acting about it in the future.
Decision Change, Response Change
Once the feeling is recognized and reset as a less dangerous, the person can change their original decision and start a new set of responses (behaviors).
Story Rewriting, Pattern Reframing
As the decision changes, the life story and pattern change to fit the new decision. The emotion that held the old memory in place releases, and stories change to fit the new way of life.
Negation of Pathology
Most people are afraid of their symptoms. They worry that something is ‘wrong with me’. When the clinician shows them that the problem is a pattern that they created, and approaches it logically as an extension of their experiences, the client sees the problem, not as something they cannot control, a disease, but as a pattern of responses they can change if they chose to do so. This approach reduces the stress associated with having an unspecified problem, uncontrolled disease, and allows conversion to a specific they chose.
Parental CSSB Analysis
This strategy explains where patterns came from in a person’s life. It shows how the caregiver passed the ‘sense of’ Care, Support, Safety and Boundaries (CSSB) to the client. Other information comes from the consistency of the CSSB that they received and the pattern they formed in reaction to the caregiver offerings.
Health Patterns (SAFARIM)
After the person recognizes and adjusts their original pattern, they can practice healthy patterns that include Spirituality, Attitude, Fulfillment, Autonomy, Reality, Integration, and Mastery.