Life Pattern Concepts
Patterns operate in the 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. 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.
The developmental process follows a consistent pattern. People experience events that produce feelings. Feelings require some type of 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 generally unconscious. It occurs in the relationship area mostly but gives a child the starting point for how the environment and biology works. The key relationship exchange teaches the child what to expect in 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 as soon as it is seen. 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.
I find that people respond differently to a diagram of their story than they do to a simple discussion of it. I like to put the story up on the board in sequence by asking “what happened next” over and over until the story is laid out specifically. Once it is on the board, the person’s perspective about it changes and new analysis can be made.
Breathing, Relaxation, Stress Adjustment
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 perform. Practicing it consistently creates stress adjustment, teaches the person when they are stressed and when they are relaxed. It can be modified to include imagery and advanced relaxation techniques.
Present Orientation, Situational Awareness
No one can change their future from the past. To change, a decision must be made in the present for the future. Recognizing what is happening in the present, seeing it realistically, means a person can make a accurate judgment about what needs to be done now for later. Learning how to assess the situation is a critical skill to determine what needs to be done at the time.
Story Analysis, Pattern Analysis
Every person has stories about their life. Sometimes they are difficult to remember but often they are readily 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 can be analyzed and explained so that it can be seen for what it is in the present. The analysis isolates the theme that is present and will be present based on the person’s interpretation of the event.
Holdover Feeling Recognition
Feelings hold patterns in place. Usually, they are unprocessed, non-specific, and often unidentified feelings. When they show in the pattern analysis, the person has the ability to name the feeling that holds the pattern in place. The act of naming begins the process of problem solving how they want to handle the feeling now. 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 about it for the future, now.
Decision Change, Response Change
Once the feeling is recognized and reset as a less dangerous feeling, the person can change their original decision and start a new set of responses (behaviors) established on their new decision.
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 the pattern, 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 that a person cannot control or convert to a specific.
Parental CSSB Analysis
This strategy is a quick way to explain 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 relationship.
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.