As I unite all aspects of my professional life, I am struck by the many things I was taught in grad school, that aren’t necessarily true for all my clients and families or not true at all. As I use energetic modalities, such as Reiki and Access Consciousness ® tools in my clinical practice, I’ve been asking myself more and more, “What would it take to use what works from what I was taught in grad school with the other energetic tools I’ve seen work with my clients with ease?” I’m all for using evidence-based research to guide my interventions and evaluations. When I chat with other educators and therapists, what keeps coming up more and more is that we’ve all had those students, clients and families that have been “the exception to the rule.” What if that wasn’t the exception, but glimpses to what is possible when we aren’t functioning from linearity, polarity, and judgment?
It’s frustrating when you throw all the traditional tools in your arsenal at a student, you collaborate with colleagues and you communicate with parents to get them on board and you still don’t see any change, right? I’ve totally been there! I’ve worked with children who: continued to throw fits multiple times a day, haven’t added any new words to their expressive language and a child who continues to refuse to eat most foods presented to them after months of services! I would read up on the most current strategies in research articles provided from my field’s journals, I would take specific webinars and classes tailored to what I was targeting in therapy and even reach out to fellow teachers and therapists through social media. In these moments, I’m so grateful for my access to energetic tools that can tap into what else may be going on with the child, the family or me in my capacities as a therapist.
Some Questions and Tools I Play with:
Note: It’s important to use the Access Consciousness® tools to gain awareness and not to get answers or make conclusions about what’s right or wrong about the child and their family. You can ask these questions in your head or out loud. Do what works. This isn’t an exhaustive list of questions. Feel free to tweak these or to create your own!
To the child, I ask:
Children are super aware and are often perceiving and sensing things that they may or may not have words to express. Even if they don’t have the words, when I’ve used these questions it opens me up to my awareness about the child and invites the child to a different possibility and possibly a different choice. There have been children that when I’ve asked the first question, I get the awareness that a food that is being presented will make them sick or that the adult that just entered the room often yells at them to speak more. The awareness can come in different forms. I’ve even had parents all of a suddent bring up something right after I’ve asked the question to myself in my head. How cool is that!?
With families and professionals, I ask:
What’s right about your child that you’re not acknowledging yet?
Where are you judging yourself as a parent/caretaker/teacher/therapist? What would you choose if you let those judgments go?
What judgments do you have about this child’s diagnosis, behavior, delays and the labels put on them?
Caregivers and professionals are inundated with opinions, judgments, and research on development, trends, and accessories for children, parenting and teaching. There’s also a lot of blame that gets aimed at them for anything and everything children say and do that makes them “different.” What these questions attempt to do is unlock some of the places where they have bought those judgments and points of views about their child and themselves. It’s challenging to consider what else is possible for a child when you’re buried in judgment. These questions open up a discussion about the child’s strengths and capacities, the parent or professional’s strengths and capacities and how to move forward from a place of what’s right and good instead of what’s wrong and bad. What if the child’s diagnosis or the labels that have been placed on them aren’t who they are at all? What if them having “delays” and “challenges” or them not progressing at an externally mandated rate doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent or teacher? Then, what would you choose? Then, what would be possible?
To myself, I ask:
What would it take for me to be in allowance of whatever change shows up in this child and this family?
What fun could we have today?
What can I be or do today that would change everything right away?
Many times we come into therapy sessions and classrooms with all these projections and expectations around what change, progress and goals should look like. Sure, have a plan AND also be willing to change it, adjust it and let it go to choose something different at any time. What if we followed our knowing and what is required moment to moment? Notice the question on fun….wouldn’t you want a child, your life and this world to have more fun and joy in it? What would it take for them to be their joyful self AND be functional in this world? It’s not just about them acquiring skills, meeting milestones and getting a job. What if they and you could be an invitation to a world where there wasn’t judgment around diagnoses, delays and being different AT ALL? What world would you truly like to create and have for you and this child? Is focusing on the judgment creating that world? What else is possible?