Beliefnet
Serenity in an Age of Anxiety

214_1Now that you know a wise, fearless and kind Brilliant Counselor is available for the asking, here is how to access him/her/it.

 

  • Find a quiet and private place where you will not be interrupted. Sit in one chair and place an empty chair directly in front of you.

 

  • Imagine a BC is sitting in the empty chair. The BC does not need a particular form unless you find imagining a symbolic figure like Jesus or the Dalai Lama helpful. You are energetically tapping into the highest part of yourself that is like and connected to the most enlightened part of everyone else. The empty chair is the place holder for this energy.

 

  • Tell the BC all about whatever is preying on your mind. You can talk about anything from where to go on vacation to your frustration with your partner to why you are here. Delve into as much detail as possible. Spare no anger, sadness, fear or frustration.

 

Speaking out loud works best for most people, especially if they are new to the exercise or are not getting satisfying results. Speaking silently also works especially if privacy is lacking or you are introverted. Some people find they process better with their eyes closed and an imaginary empty chair in their head rather than outside of themselves. If one way does not work, try the other.

 

  • When you are finished talking, move over to the empty chair.  You are now the BC and need not ask any questions because unlike a traditional psychotherapist, you know all the details, secrets and longings of the person consulting with you. Share your wisdom and support.  Bethe Brilliant Counselor that is the wisest and most thoughtful part of yourself.  The BC does not scold, criticize or belittle.  If you feel guilty for forgetting to write Aunt Hilda a thank you note, you are channeling your mother or rehashing the past not connecting with the BC.

 

  • Switch back and forth until you feel the session is complete. You will know you have accessed the BC if at the end of the session you feel clear headed and happier. Even if you do not have specific next steps, you should feel supported and a sense of calm.

 

You don’t have to believe in a higher self or power for this technique to work. It can be done as a strictly cognitive exercise or used to deepen a sense of spiritual connection. Do not put a friend in the chair no matter how much they promise not to say anything. That is a different technique.

 

Finally, getting to know your BC may take some practice. Do not get discouraged if it takes a few sessions until you get comfortable. Knowing you have a free, in house BC available 24/7, is worth the trouble.

Next time: The Anxiety Narrative

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