We ran the first of our new series of in8 Cards workshops last Friday and we are delighted that it was very well received.
One of the attendees had already been using the cards for a few weeks and shared an amazing success story with us.
A Teenager in Need
She is an experienced human givens therapist and had been asked to help a teenage boy who had developed a habit of self harm*.
The boy did not turn up for his appointment. There’s nothing unusual about that, the idea of talking about “personal issues” to some random person has zero appeal to most teenagers. When she called him, our colleague learned that he was not yet dressed and unlikely to get to the appointment in time. She then went the extra mile (literally in this case) and agreed to drive over to meet with him in a park just for a chat.
Speaking Your Language
All experienced therapists know that you have little chance of helping anyone unless you can develop rapport with them – and this always involves using language which is common to both parties. Since they were not meeting in a private place, and there was little chance to use the format of a regular therapy session, our colleague focussed on the basics. She handed him the set of in8 Cards. He went through each card, talking it about what each one meant to him.
The card which stood out for this young man was “Number 17 – Respect”. Seeing this image took him on an inward journey to figure out what “Respect” meant to him. In this moment he realised that his habit of self-harm was actually demonstrating personal dis-respect.
A week later he met up with our colleague / therapist again. In that short time he had stopped drinking, stopped self harming and made a monumental shift in his self awareness and self confidence. On the way to the meeting he had made a point of smiling to each person he saw and saying “Hello” to each one of them – just to see what happened.
Is it Therapy
What particularly excites me about this story is that it confirms that you do not necessarily have to “do therapy” with someone in order for them to make dramatic improvements in their well-being. Simply allowing this teenager to reflect on a set of images achieved where months of weekly “traditional therapy sessions” might have failed. Respect was a key issue for this client. Our colleague showed her respect for him (“Unconditional Positive Regard” in the words of Carl Rogers) by going the extra mile, and he identified what respect meant to himself when he was guided to explore the (deliberately!) ambiguous image on the “Respect” card. No formal “therapy” was required. So who cares whether this is therapy or not! We say “if it works, use it”. It is worth noting that this teenage had a number of strong resources which he was able to access. Many people still need the guidance and support of a skilled therapist to help them move away from destructive habits.
We ran our first in8 Cards Human Givens Peer Group Workshop for the South Wales (Caldicot) group this Saturday. We were delighted that every single person in the group valued the powerful opportunities afforded by this new resource and each person chose to buy their own set. You can find out more about the in8 Cards resource here, or contact us to discuss how we can help you improve well-being for yourself, your relationship, your family or your organisation.
* Please note: Some details in this story have been modified in order to preserve confidentiality.