NEW WAYS of SEEING  by Mark Tyrrell

This book is designed for clinicians and counsellors, however, I believe there is a message in it for all of us. It is about the art of reframing – challenge meaning – is essential to effective therapy and good communication.

Communication between us appears to be diminishing as our lives get busier. There are times when family members or friends tell you about their inadequacies. Often we listen with half an ear and then offer platitudes that make us feel better, but do they help? By reframing back to them what they said and add some positive feedback they not only feel listened to but they may have a new way of looking at things.

Metaphorical reframes can be more powerful than direct quotes because it bypasses the analytical resistance in the mind. This means it as not directly connected with the issue the person has expressed. One reason the direct approach may not work is that the person may have already tried to sort it out themselves. They may have heard it all before.

For example, many people express fear of going out in a crowd.  A response could be to liken it to a faulty car alarm. Instead of going off on a rare occasion. It becomes sensitive and goes off all the time. We need the car alarm to alert us when someone is trying to break in. The car alarm is important, but it needs to be reset so it will not go off every time the car is rocked by the wind. Thus the person is not crazy or helpless. This is a very different way of communicating to someone about his panic rather than say get over it.

There are all sorts of ways we can use imaginative tools to improve our communication, especially with our children. A bad grade at school could be understood as there is only one way and that is up. the most important part is to really listen to what people are saying and use creative ways to help them to think their own way out of their issues.

I liked this book as it gave me so many ideas to improve my communication.

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