Inside the mind of a writer www.scskillman.co.uk

The most powerful workshop I took part in at the conference “Continuing the Journey: Rummaging for Reality” last week was a constellations therapy group run by a therapist who specialises in working with people who have suffered spiritual, satanic and sexual abuse.continuing-the-journey-home Approximately 12 of us took the part of various ‘voices’ in the client’s brain (identity confidential of course). The client had herself, over a long, and painstakingly slow process with the therapist, identified and written down the words spoken by the voices in her head. She had given permission for the therapist to use this material in her workshop with us – and was hoping to benefit from our experience with it.

We all took different roles – in this case, the names of the roles included Me, Body, Sexuality, Inner Child, Anger, Faith, Church, Priest, Nuns, Uncle (the last 4 named roles were all perpetrators). I took the role of Inner Child. As we read out our scripts, and then started to move around in relation to each other, inside the client’s brain, we decided how to interact with each other, and what we needed in order to progress and make changes.  As the workshop progressed, each one of us entered into our roles so strongly we were no longer using scripts. The whole thing became dynamic, and compelling.  I found myself, as Child, being strengthened and supported by Anger; together we were able to challenge and weaken the lies of the perpetrators.  I don’t think anyone who took part in that workshop is likely to forget it for a very long time! I heard different members of the group describing it to others afterwards as “stunning.” For a while during the rest of the conference, when I looked at each person, I found myself thinking of them as the role they had been playing.

I wondered at one point how this experience might play into my fiction. I then realised that even if I were to create fictional characters based upon these different voices in the client’s brain, I would not be able to replicate what happened in the group. For each voice / character needs to be fully rounded in fiction; even if someone is a ‘perpetrator’ and has done terrible thing to a vulnerable victim, we would have to see why that character has behaved in this way. We would need to look into their own childhood, their own background, and would need to understand them from the inside as well as the outside. That we were not in a position to do, within the circumstances of the constellation therapy group.  All I knew was that the voices of the perpetrators had to be faced down.

How this will impact upon my new novel, I cannot yet say as it will take time to process!

 

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Comments on: "“Inner Child” Faces Down “the Perpetrators” at Constellations Therapy Workshop at Hayes Conference Centre" (6)

  1. Enormously interesting session! How to learn experientially. Thanks for sharing about this. I suspect it would help a lot of us to partake in something like this – you get to understand how the problem works from so many sides.

    • Thank you for your comment Mari and certainly this kind of experience gives you insights which can be be applied across many other situations in life.

  2. Wow, this workshop sounded incredibly powerful, I didn’t know such activities even existed! Thanks for sharing your insight, Sheila. 🙂

  3. Sounds like a really interesting experience, Sheila.

  4. This work shop seems to me to be absolutely amazing and I found your blog especially good and yes I can imagine how being there, and participating would be very mind blowing. Especially when you describe how the participants left their scripts and improvised.

    • Thank you for your comment Isa! Yes it was very memorable and I’m hoping it’s going to help me (and other authors who read this) “face down” some of those who writers might regard as “perpetrators” too – those who are out to sap authors’ confidence and self-belief, etc., the writers of rejection letters/emails and so on!

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