I could have stayed in the next presentation all day. It was a workshop called Affective and Relational Methods: Under Utilized Tools for Reaching the Noetic Dimension presented by Dr. Michael Winters.
He asked us to think about a time when we felt a shift during a therapeutic session with a client into the noetic dimension.
He then asked us to describe in detail
a) What was the experience of energy in the room?
b) What was it like between you?
After thinking a bit I recalled a particular moment with a client that I wrote about where I felt such a shift. I was fully relaxed. We both made steady eye contact that led to soul contact and a deep sense of connection and aliveness. There was a flow that was sometimes marked by silence and sometimes talking but it was all in flow and not stiff or forced. I just knew what to say. There was a glow about her and she was beautiful.
After the writing exercise Michael’s wife Kelly described her experience with a client. (Kelly was set up as a “plant” so that we could think about whether our experience was similar or whether we could recall something different about it.)
She said that up until the shift into the noetic, the client had been in the midst of tumultuous emotions. Kelly went through them with the client, talking about needs that were met for her with each emotion. “All those emotions were freeing,” she told the client. “It’s no wonder you’re feeling this, that you’re that butterfly. You need those emotions to struggle through.” The client saw they were necessary for her survival.
And then the client was surprised at a transformation she felt within herself. She said, “I think I’m having a spiritual experience.” In that moment her voice softened and there was a shift to touching the noetic dimension. Instead of being curled up and needing to take deep breaths as she was previously she straightened up. Both of them were caught off guard. Kelly didn’t have to think about what she was going to say. It was a flow. The client got up feeling very centered and focused and ready to face life.
After the exercise Michael asked us to think: When were you really angry? What were your emotions telling you? Emotions are always teachers of your values.
We need to help clients understand what their values are and where they got them. We can do this with the whole family when treating the family. In one family he saw the husband/father thought everyone had the same values as he did and he saw he was mistaken about that. When searching out values we find that respect is a top value for everyone.
The time in which the therapist is really engaged is when they’re in the noetic encounter, fully present in the moment.