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Pluralistic Methods and Tasks to Negotiate Control away from the Tough Inner Critic : Some Examples

  In working to address this relationship the client has with the Inner Critic, we can promote the increase or even introduction of self-compassion in the client’s inner world, what other researchers refer to as the “inner nurturer”.  Hansen (2021) refers to a “caring committee” within the client and Parnell (2021) refers to “inner nurturing figures” alongside some peaceful place imagery.  As ever, Pluralistic Counsellors will collaborate with the client to identify what works for them, empowering them to identify what shape, character, name the self-compassionate inner nurturer(s) take).  This can take the form of a higher power, different characters like loving friends and family or even fictitious characters like a Jedi Knight that the client can imagine coming in and supporting the client. Whatever the client’s frame of reference is will work well.  Again, these can be fleshed out with for example, narrative therapy, creative therapies, psychodrama, and anything the Counsellor and Client can bring together.  With pluralistic counselling, there are multiple ways to draw out, connect with the self-compassionate inner nurturer(s) and reduce the impact of the Inner Critic.  Here are some examples:

Installing the Good

Hanson (2013) recommends the key to happiness is to “install the good”, stating:  "Good experiences are fleeting – (we can help make them last. If people repeatedly a half dozen times a day, thirty seconds at a time– that’s three minutes or so a day) notice a good experience that is already happening, or skillfully create a positive experience, then that’s the doorway into building up a key resource inside.  Under either condition, you start with a positive experience.  That is step one. You have to light the fire. 2: Once you get it going, step two is to add logs to the fire. Stay with the experience.  Give it to  yourself.  Be with it.  Let it last ten/twenty/thirty seconds in a row."(It takes around 30 seconds for an experience to really register in the brain/body/mind) enough to have"a lasting impact.) Help the experience fill your body. Move out of the concept. Bring it down into your body, your  emotions – because that is mostly where we’re wounded. Help the experience become real for  you. 3: In the third step, like warming yourself by the fire, absorb this positive experience. Prime the memory systems; sensitize the memory system by intending and sensing that the positive experience is going into you.  Those are the three basic steps of taking in the good.”(p.9-10) from Transforming the Brain Through Good Experiences  A Webinar Session with Ruth Buczynski,PhD and Rick Hanson,PhD, National Institute the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine NICABM series on 'current brain research', 2013).

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