Five elements and awareness play
Interested in this ancient model of life for over 30 years, I've developed a holistic approach that uses five element metaphors to help people practically explore emotional pain and protective habits that can get us stuck. This has helped many of my counselling clients and I teach this method to other therapists.
Using physical metaphors
to help explore emotions and
protective habits that can get us stuck.
We link each element to key emotions and other qualities and use objects such as felts, pompoms and LEGO as physical metaphors to playfully explore how different parts of your experience fit together. During therapy, I provide suggestions, based on traditional models of the five elements and my clinical experiences, of what the five elements could mean. Here's a small taste of each element based on its related seasonal quality.
A time for growing.
Hello Spring. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is represented by the Wood element. A new cycle begins. Whether a small sapling or mighty oak tree, as the days start to lengthen, ask yourself: Who am I growing into? Maybe it's time to explore your Wood element.
A time for creating.
The days are really warming up now. Maybe take a moment outside to close your eyes and feel the rays of the sun as they caress your face. Ask yourself: How can I use my creativity to make the most of this year? There may be more options and possibilities than you think.
A time for connecting.
It's harvest time. We reap and hopefully celebrate what's been growing and maturing. The high point of a yearly, or any important cycle, ask yourself: How am I connecting? How you relate to others and yourself forms the ground of your life. Say Hi to your Earth element.
A time for letting go.
The days start to shorten. Take a moment to make yourself comfortable, become aware of your breathing and focus on your out breath. What's it like to let go? After the fullness of any in breath, of any experience, explore what it's like to let go and release as best you can.
A time for learning.
As you savour a warming drink, ask yourself: What has the last year taught me? Maybe counselling could help you to apply some important lessons you've been struggling to learn as a year, or any meaningful cycle, comes to an end and the promise of the next one beckons.