|Finding the Pulse - Page 3|
When I work with clients in this way, the nonverbal dimension of what's going on is central. We only talk about feelings and thoughts after allowing enough time for the physical experience to become part of conscious awareness. When we do explore thoughts and feelings, I make sure to offer them an ongoing invitation to notice what's happening in their bodies.
It's said that the body processes experience at one-seventh the speed at which it processes thoughts and emotions, so it's vitally important to give the client's physiology time to reorganize fully in response to shifts that take place in a session and integrate them into a new lived experience. Giving enough time also may allow the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in short-term memory, to sort through the features of the new experience and organize itself to retain it.
Breaking Mental and Emotional Trances
For some clients, focusing on the body can interrupt the endless repetition of themes and complaints that seem to be stuck in the "on" position. Think of the last time you sat with a client and thought you just couldn't bear to hear the same story one more time. However, when you're able to help a client track body sensations and activation patterns in the nervous system, you can enter his story in a different way. As the client begins his litany for the hundredth time, instead of getting lost in the content, you can invite him to notice what happens in his body as he tells the story. Then, shifting away from the story to the body, you can encourage him to notice what happens when he pays attention to his inner sensations.