The Johari Window

Do The Work – Part of my work as a therapist is to explore my unconscious, what might be known to others and not to me, and what is unknown by others and myself, to explore my blind spots.

Why is this important for me as a therapist? It helps me explore my unconscious biases, it keeps me searching and moving internally, so I don’t become complacent, it keeps me in touch with what my clients are going through with me, and it keeps me growing.

This weekend I joined a group where I had the opportunity to explore my birth. Now, before I did this program I had no conscious memory of my birth. As part of the process, we used several visual and artistic tools to explore what our births might have been like through the four stages. In this, I was working mostly in the UNKNOWN quadrant of the Johari Window. 

I found the fourth stage of birth to hold the most unresolved energy for me. In meditation imagining the scene, I felt myself breath in – so much power – I felt so alive and united with everything around me. Then I was being handled roughly by a male doctor (I am guessing this was the post-birth examination). I felt confused, disoriented. I could feel my mother. I was cold. What was happening? I felt afraid and I wanted my mother. Then connection – I am given to my mother. 

What core beliefs might have grown from this experience? Well, I find it interesting that my first experience with the medical model of health is unkind and rough and I have never been to a hospital again (only to give birth myself). That I have consciously chosen to work with alternative forms of healing and even gone deeply into somatic work – bodywork. It makes sense to me that this first experience, only existing in my cellular memory, could have created a lifestream similar to mine. It leaves me wanting to learn more about the emphasis placed on our birth by great therapists like Stanislav Grof.

Do you think our birth could influence how we are in the world as adults? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Love, Jen

The Johari Window