Working With The Ego States

Friday 19 September, 2003

I did not get to sleep until about 02:00 last night despite going to bed early. After a planning meeting this morning, with Karaj and Simran, I did my exercises. I felt energised afterwards and had a couple of insights during the session: 1) I needed to have carried on working last night because I couldn’t sleep anyway. 2) I appreciate Simran’s presence when he is here (and how Karaj deals with it) because he works with Karaj and I am free to get on with my work.

In this evening’s supervision, Simran verbalised his irritation at Karaj’s manic behaviour during their work today. Karaj told him he (Karaj) needs controlling and needs to be challenged in some way, i.e. given work to do. When asked about the fact that he had raised his irritation, Simran said that it had been ‘quite easy’. I told him I’ll remember those words because his problem is precisely that he does not find verbalising easy. Karaj added that Simran should be careful because he is setting himself up with such comments.

The rest of the night was taken up with the Experiment in Self Healing Community. (Karaj, George, Simran, Calvin, Ishwar, Dev, Priya and me.) Ishwar is still more concerned about getting his green files up to date when all he needs to do is inform his manager of the situation. He is setting himself up to fail and remain in his job instead of moving on and into a job he wants. He is in a negative space and needs our support. He displayed different behaviour tonight: an inconsistent mood, going from maturity (PES) to sulking (CES).

We worked through Simran’s supervision records. Karaj’s brilliance was clear in his comprehensive analysis of one patient; all from her age. As an 80 year old she is going to be strong (to have survived) yet vulnerable. Her strength is Parent ego states, her vulnerability is Child ego state, and here she corners Simran because he allows his own Child to enter the therapy room and be affected by her loneliness. This happened because he had not analysed fully, was therefore not aware, and did not receive her. Result: he blocked her. The second example was the same: his Child became involved when it has no place in Adult relationships. The Child should be playing.

Both of these were also examples of what Simran had displayed earlier in the evening. He had suppressed his feelings (his Child) in order to be able to voice his irritation with Karaj appropriately. (Had he not suppressed his Child, he would have been too scared to verbalise.) This marked progress for Simran, but the ideal behaviour is to acknowledge rather than suppress the Child, and still respond from the Parent.

Insight: Karaj’s approach to relationships. He does not deal with the Child ego state. He is only interested in Adult relationships. That is why he dealt with my CES so firmly and why he did not return Michelle’s call from the other night. She was a being a vulnerable girl and it is neither his place nor his wont to deal with vulnerable girls. He is also consistent with people. His mood never changes – he verbalises his feelings accurately, clearly and effectively and is always straight with people. You always know where you stand with him. (If you don’t, you can ask and he will tell you.)

Insight: My problems with analysis. Karaj’s analysis is accurate and firm. Confident. Mine is non-committal. Every time I start, I think, ‘But the opposite may also be true’, and get caught between the two (or more) options. I verbalised this and Karaj told me just to pursue one option (fully). Even if it leads me down a blind alley, it doesn’t matter.

Insight: Compliments. Karaj’s compliments to me are what I deserve, and through them I am seeing just how good I am; and I’m becoming accustomed to the fact that I am very good. Moreover, they are becoming internalised and, as a result, I am becoming more and more confident in myself. I can understand how effective such affirmations would be to a child if he or she were to receive them all through childhood. They are so powerful and Karaj is providing me with more than I received when I was growing up.

Around midnight, after everyone else had left, I chatted with George about routines, discipline and the benefits of being away from family. We also talked about how others actually do not understand what I accept as normal: that life is all about the underlying, fundamental aspects of existence rather than the superficial, apparent ones.

Summary: I felt very stiff this morning and did not want to exercise. I did, though, and as a reward (and future incentive) I felt more energised afterwards than after any yoga this week. I have done good work again today, especially on Karaj’s CV. Shona complimented me on my contribution (taking notes while Karaj talked about his life). It is a real privilege to be involved in the process and in his life. He complimented me tonight too; he thanked me as he does at the end of every day and said ‘Good contributions from you tonight. It is becoming the norm.


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