Natalia alexandrova
Do I want to have a child?
Julia asked during the therapy to help figure out if she wants to have a child. I decided first to check Julia's reaction to the word "child". The reaction was vivid: everything inside the body contracted, she had a feeling that the child was some kind of danger. The image of the child appeared, it was about one or two years old. The child felt abandoned and cried constantly, urging his mother to come to it.
We allowed his mother to appear. The child felt that his mother was forced to return and she was angry with him because of this. At the same time, the child itself was angry with its mother because she left it alone.

I asked Julia to identify with the image of her mother. The mother felt annoyed that she had to respond to every need of the child, but at the same time she felt guilty because she was a bad mother. She was not even sure if she felt any love for this child.

Julia said that it's hard for her to experience such "wrong" emotions for her child: chagrin, annoyance, hatred. We discussed with her that it is normal to feel this way, because one way or another, we will sometimes experience negative feelings towards another person (including a child), who limits us in our usual way of life. But love will also remain. The way out is to admit and accept these feelings in oneself, then it will be easier to control them. Repressed aggression towards the child will be noticed by it anyway. That would be more destructive, as it takes the guilt for the discontent of the parent on itself.

Mother's image felt a relief. On her behalf, Julia said to the child:

yes, I am feeling annoyed. It seems to me that you have completely overtook my time and my life. It's not easy for me now. But it's not your fault, not your responsibility. I just can't handle it properly at the moment. But I'm an adult and I will surely manage!
Understanding that Julie felt some relief herself. Her fear that with such feelings she can hurt the child has diminished.

Then I asked Julia to come up with an image of negative, "wrong" feelings towards the child. It turned out to be a yellow pilates ball. Julia identified with the ball, and felt a lump in her stomach - it was a ball of wool, which turned into a hedgehog, and later into fertile soil, which wanted to become part of a land. We allowed it to connect with earth, then it turned into a green garden, where everything was beautiful.

Returning to the image of the ball, Julia felt sadness. I asked if there was emptiness inside the ball, Julia replied that there was.

(Emptiness in the emotional-image therapy are always a sign of something repressed. It is an analogue of psychological protection "repression", and in the rubber is also additional "isolation." So it was double defence mechanism).

I asked Julia to let the emptiness in the ball to reveal us what was repressed. It was a small twinkle that could melt the ball, if Julia would let it.

Julia identified with the image of the twinkle. It seemed to be perky, playful, wanting to bully all around. It was hiding in the ball to suddenly jump out and set on fire something. Everyone would start running around and screaming. But why does the twinkle do that? His answer was that it made it feel needed.

I clarified if the client uses such a strategy to feel needed? She admitted that she tends to behave this way, now less often though. Let us recall the behaviour of the child at the beginning of session: the mother will come, if the child cries loudly, creating a sense of trouble.

A child is helpless without an adult and and does whatever it can to not to be abandoned, because this can pose a direct threat to their life. This scheme worked for a little girl, and back then it was adequate. Now is the time to change this style of behaviour.

The twinkle is an image of the client's Inner Child, seeking attention through the creation of mini-disasters. On behalf of Julia, we talked with the twinkle: we told it that it is good, that Julia liked, that it was allowed to be playful and alive, that she really needed it. The twinkle demanded proof of these words though. (By the way, if you need constant evidence of love from your partner, look for your children's part, which feels abandoned and unnecessary. Remove its fears, and it will no longer require confirmations).

The twinkle wanted the client to draw it, wand Julia did so. Later we told it, that it is possible to be feel needed in a different way, not by creating problematic situations, but, for example, it can warm you its warmth or light something up. The light tried to do so, and people began to come up and rejoice.

I asked the light to look at the child. It wanted to please her: it began to light candles up on a cake, which made the little girl happy.

Next, we returned to the image of the pilates ball, it has already turned into an adult Julia. The client confirmed that it was another her inner part - observant, calm, judicious. The message from this part to the little girl was: "Mom loves you, despite the mood." There was also a message to the client herself: "Don't worry, you have everything you need. And the rest depends only on your decisions and desires".

The image of the pilates ball is a rational part of the client. This part was suppressing her Inner Child (the twinkle), since it didn't behave very well, trying to attract attention. However, what we suppress always tried to find its way out. Moreover, the motivation at the twinkle was instinctive - to survive and not to be forgotten. When the question of survival arises, cultural superstructures are fragile, and one has to spend a lot of energy on suppression.

Julia identified with an image of her mother. She was surprised that the girl plays with candles, since it is not unsafe. One other hand she noticed that the girl can occupy herself, she realized that the girl don't depend on her, that she can develop and explore the world. The emotional burden was gone.

Our main task was to make it clear to the girl that she was loved, despite irritation, fatigue and other feelings associated with motherhood. I asked the client explore the image of my mother and look into her body, to find where love for this child lives. Love was in the lower abdomen in the form of a red flower (often the image of the uterus).

Becoming this red flower, Julia felt love for the girl. On behalf of the flower, we told the baby that she can take as much love as she needs at any time. We mentally shared this love with her: a flower hugged the girl, its warmth was absorbed through her arms.

Next, we identified with the image of the little girl. She said that she feels like in the womb of her mother, it is warm and comfortable. (The hypothesis that the flower is the uterus was confirmed). We got to the earliest stage when the fetus should feel loved and needed.

The girl was completely dissolved in warmth and love from her mother's flower. I asked her to leave the uterus.

Julia, like many other clients, did not want to leave this place. After all, this is a state of bliss, security, happiness. However, it is important to bring a person out, and walk them through the symbolic process of birth.

When the girl came out of the flower, she became interested in the world around her. She looked at her mother and got surprised that she was so worried, because everything looked fine with her.

Julia became herself again, accepted this girl and the calm judicious part of herself.

The final step is the verification phase. I again asked to describe her reaction to the word "child". The client was surprised to feel completely different emotions. Now for her child is something natural, as part of human life. Nothing contact inside, there was also no fear. Yes, there will be some changes, limitations with coming of a child, but she will treat this with understanding. She also does not feel the annoyance of thinking about the child. I also asked where love for a child lives. Julia replied that in the lower abdomen and chest. She also noted that the phrase about negative emotions being parent's responsibility helped her a lot.

Our attitude towards children is influenced by various unconscious processes. Including the way we were treated in childhood. Perhaps it was not the way we thought, but it doesn't. If the child felt it that way, then this is real for it, and child continues to live with it as it was a real experience.

From childhood, Julia brought out a vision of children as something annoying and limiting. Since she herself did not receive positive acceptance, love, she couldn't provide her own children with needed love. And the child would be asking her for this missing resource. Accordingly, this would give her a range of negative feelings for the child. As a child, she experienced this kind of attitude and remembered how painful it was. That is why she had a fear of being a bad mother, that would blame the child for these bad feelings. Julia couldn't believe she could cope with those negative feelings.

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