How does Identity Therapy work?
Each session lasts around an hour and a half. The client creates a Sentence of Intention based on the issue they want to explore. It could be something like: ‘I want to be happier in my life’, or ‘I want to feel less anxious’ or ‘I want to care about myself.’ The client writes the sentence up on a board so that everyone can see it.
The client then chooses members of the group to represent each word. So for example if there are six words in the sentence, six people are chosen. The ‘representatives’ join the client in the central space. The representatives are invited to pay attention to the feelings, thoughts, sensations, etc, which begin to surface in them as a reflection of some aspect of the client’s Sentence of Intention. As each representative feels into their own experience of the word they have been given, they may begin to move and make sounds or verbalise their experience.
The representatives’ thoughts and feelings will then be shared with the client, and the process of sharing creates new dynamics in the group which give further insights to the client.
What emerges is a picture of the clients inner world in relation to the issue they are exploring. The client can see playing out in front of them the different parts of their inner world (healthy parts, trauma parts and survival parts) and the way that he/she manages these parts within themselves. The client also has an opportunity to see the origins of these dynamics in their family system and how these dynamics still affect or block the client from reaching their potential.
As this process can touch on trauma experiences, powerful insights and feelings might arise. For this reason it is important that the client moves at their own pace – no one is pushed. We also need to consider that in the moment of trauma there is a loss of autonomy, so it is important that the client has a sense of being in charge of their process, whilst being supported by the facilitator.
Anyone can do this work, and every one of us is able to represent and to resonate with another person’s inner world. We do this, often unconsciously, every day. In this process we are doing this in a more conscious and directed way.
How Does Identity Therapy Support Healing
– The process will enable you to explore your early experiences and past family influences. Through this you will gain an understanding of how these experiences are influencing your ability to be in the world in a way that feels satisfying and fulfilling in any aspect of your life.
– You can start to distinguish between your own inner experiences and past family traumas or experiences that you have taken on, thereby letting go of these other influences and gradually strengthening the core of who you really are.
– During the constellation process the representatives can manifest for us parts of ourselves that we may have split off from a very long time ago, possibly even before our memory or conceptual awareness had developed. Meeting and relating to these parts helps us to reintegrate them and become more whole.
– When witnessing the processes of other people in the group, we may realise that the issues and patterns that they are facing are mirrored in our own lives, thus aiding our own awareness.
– When we represent a word, or ‘part’, for someone else, it often raises awareness of how this energy lives in our own inner world, thus indirectly supporting our own integration.