As she walked into the room I could see the deep sadness on her face, she sat down and started to cry instantly, looking for the tissues I noticed that the box was empty.
“I’m sorry the session has not started yet!” I said standing up!
She instantly stopped crying! What I did was to interrupt her pattern of focus on her sadness, in a fraction of a second switched her focus from her internal sadness to me in her external world and her crying stopped!
Pattern interrupts are powerful!
I have used them to help clients who are planning suicide to connect with resources within themselves they will not be aware of in their moments of deep despair.
As I watch the person go into deep misery, I use shocking language to break their habitual pattern of misery and replace it with a smile. Their smile is unexpected and so they learn that their pattern can be changed very quickly.
What are patterns?
Our patterns of behaviour are what we habitually do! So if a person has learnt how to focus on sadness or depression over the years then interrupting that pattern for them would be useful to aid their recovery.
Patterns can be learnt at any time in a persons’ life many patterns have come from childhood. For example when adults become angry you can almost see them acting like a child. In fact this is true their anger pattern was created when they were a child and is being triggered by an event.
This is why whatever we have experienced in the past will have a significant bearing on the persons future.
So how can we use pattern interrupts to help our relationships?
The most obvious one is humour, in essence creating an unexpected change of focus to engage positive resources to the benefit to the person whose destructive pattern you wish to change.
I use pattern interrupts all the time in sessions to help individuals with the thought patterns they have use for years that hurt them without knowing leading them to…
- Self Pity
Can you see patterns in your family, how could you help them break their patterns?