To be able to move towards safety, we must first be able to recognize danger. To be able to intimately connect with others, we must first be able to recognize if there are feelings of sadness or insecurity that are getting in the way. We must first be able to recognize stress if we are to move towards coping.
Our society is fixated on the rational left, dominating the more intuitive right, and there’s no shortage of reasons why. But the truth is that for all the good we do when we incorporate our best rational thinking (left) in our decisions, we do ourselves a great disservice when we ignore the rich data from the intuitive right. What is the evolutionary advantage for if we don’t use it?
Once we’ve recognized how problems of “affect regulation” impact us and how counsellors participate in the learning of providing space for new insights, one might wonder the following:
What exactly are these insights into the nature of healing and change?
Are they the same for everyone? (How can that be!?)
There is one single fact that makes this kind of experience so productive for healing and change, something finally being confirmed by the hard sciences in the last twenty years: neuroplasticity.
Confirmation bias is the tendency we all have to look for evidence that conforms to what we already think is so. We see what we expect to see. And if we expect an event or a relationship to unfold in a certain way, then we are likely to perceive that it does, in fact, happen that way.
In our last post in this series, we introduced the concept of the counsellor’s ability to “target and titrate.” But what exactly does that mean, and how does it create a healing experience? And even before that, what does it mean to have an “experience” in the first place?