Clare Myatt, somatic, coaching, somatic coaching, psychotherapy, London, addiction, highly sensitive person

In a moment of serendipity earlier this week, I reviewed notes taken at an Association for Coaching conference some years ago when I attended a lecture given by Chris Johnstone. Originally trained as a medical doctor, he went on to specialise in well-being, positive psychology, group work and writing. His first book Find Your Power: a toolkit for resilience and positive change uses the metaphor of a grainy grit of sand finding its way into an oyster, irritating its biology to produces layer upon layer of a substance which, over time, become a pearl. Could the traumas we experience ultimately become our own pearls of wisdom?

When I reflect on my own story I can see clear examples of events deeply informing not only how I responded in the moment but also for years afterward. Then there would come a time when I had some dramatic moment of awareness, catapulting me into healing from the the original trauma decades later. I see the same in my work with clients. Someone I’ll call Moe came to me to resolve the anxiety she felt about travelling around London on the tube. She found herself spending unnecessary hours catching buses, occasionally driven to the backseat of a taxicab when overwhelmed with agitation about being late, and wanted to engage with underground transportation as effortlessly as her co-workers. We focused less on the origin of her anxiety and much more on how she had managed to resolve other challenges. For example, how had she overcame a long-standing fear of presenting to her peers?

Dr. Johnstone would recommend a “self SSRI” approach, eliciting the following:

S for Strategies
S for Strengths
R for Resources
I for Insights

On what strategies, strengths, resources and insights did Moe rely to power her way through the public speaking challenge? They were creative to say the least. So I invite you to ask yourself the same question. Imagine a time that was somewhat difficult (a two or three out of ten rather than an eight or nine to start with)….then break down your successful response to the challenge into the layers of strategies, strengths, resources and insights. How could you now use those same resources to help with today’s invitation for growth?

And if you’d like some assistance with this, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

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