I mentioned in a previous blog how healing narratives are used in the psychological treatment of children and how this very powerful technique is used less and less these days.
How do these healing stories work in treating adults who are challenged with depression and anxiety. Well in a word… Perspective. Or perhaps more accurately in the case of depression and anxiety … Distorted Perception.
Wikipedia states that Distorted Perception (a term primarily used in photography) is the term used to describe the way that viewing a picture from the wrong position gives a perceived distortion. What if anxiety and depression are a result of distorted perception?
As we all know an object looked at from a variety of positions can look entirely different from these positions but we would all swear that we are looking at the same object. We would say that what we are seeing is the truth and yet the truth we perceived could be different for each person depending on the view point. This could be taken further by suggesting that depending on the individual looking from that view point (given their own specific way of looking at things) that there maybe several different things to see (such is the case with the picture for this blog).
If the mind is capable of these kinds of perceptual distortions is it possible that these distortions bring about powerful emotions based on the distortions?
What if we take this one step further? If it is possible to view an object from many different perspective and see something different and attach an emotional context to that object is it possible to do the same with our day-to-day experiences? Well the answer is …of coarse!!!
So if we can agree that the perception of events can be distorted could that suggest that the strong emotions that we have connected to them are capable of losing their power over use if our perception of the event is challenged with another perception? This is where healing stories come into the treatment of anxiety and depression.
A psychologist using a healing narrative can challenge the perspective that the client holds which maintains the strong debilitating emotion (whether it be anxiety or depression) associated with the perspective in a way that does make the client feel that they are being judged for their perspective. In this manner the healing narrative allows the individual to see another perspective and with the help of the psychologist reduce the power of the emotion associated with it.