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Separation of Representations

One focus of all effective counselling lies in supporting the client to find a type of ‘order’ from an internal mishmash of impulses and thoughts. So long as everything is in a muddle, people cannot change (“On the one hand it irritates me, but then I think…!” “Somehow, I like him, and when he then…, I could!”, “I am constantly dissatisfied in my job, but then I get praise again, and I think, well, I suppose I can continue.”).

It is indispensable from the viewpoint of metatheory to separate differing ‘Ego’ states in thinking and feeling from each other in our self-experiencing, or ‘representations’, as we call them here, and to anchor them internally. For this, support is required from the counsellor, which must contain offers on all levels. It is important to explain these connections, so that the client can be cognitively brought on board and can understand the meaning. It takes a structured procedure to locate representations emotionally. For this, the technique of choosing different descriptions (the severe and the compliant, the courageous and the witch), to allocate to them different voices, positions, ways of expressing, to position them in different parts of the room, for example, onto two different stools, and to explore them separately from each other, has very much proven itself. For this, the counsellor needs to provide clear leadership in the process, much attention to the non-verbal signals and a theoretical map, into which variants can fit and with which it is possible to work on goal setting with the help of such representations. There are very differing concepts here and, from our viewpoint, have many possibilities for errors.

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