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Photoshop Your Negative Experiences

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When you think about an apple fruit, there will be an image of apple in your mind. What will happen to that mental image if you photoshop it? – Make it elongated to about 6-8 inches,then change its colour into green? It is no more an apple now. It has turned into a cucumber or some green gourd. What would happen if we photoshop it again and change the colour into purple? It may become a brinjal. So when we photoshop our mental images, and change the size, shape and colour, the words change in our mind, and the feeling they bring also changes.

I had a IX standard student who came to me for therapy, because he gets single digit marks in Kannada and Hindi, while he scores in 80s and 90s in other subjects. Maths was his favorite subject. Whenever he thinks about studying maths, he would get a mental image of him sitting at the table with his not book open, holding a pencil in his hand and focused on the problem to be solved. “It is interesting” he, then, says in his mind. I asked him: “When you think of studying Kannada what picture comes to your mind? He said: The angry face of my Kannada Teacher. I hate her. With further probing I understood that his Kannada teacher was wearing a grey sari in his mind’s image.

The boy did not like grey colour. His favourite colour was bright pink. As he knew how to use Adobe Photshop software, I asked him to photoshop that mental image of the Kannada Teacher and change the colour of her sari into bright pink, the exact shade he liked. When he did that she looked OK in his mind. But still he did not like her, because she had ‘an angry face’. So I asked him to photoshop her face, too, the way he wanted her to look. When he did that, the mental picture of the Kannada Teacher was smiling at him. He liked that. I made him photoshop all the mental imges he had of her in different contexts, like, when she was distributing the answer paper where he got only seven marks, when he was asked to recite a Kannada poem which he could not do and felt humiliated, and so on. In all those situations the Kannada teacher was wearing a grey sari. This is what I call the coding of the sub- conscious mind. At the end of this de-coding and re-coding process the boy’s feeling towards Kannada language and the teacher changed; and he said he could think of studying Kannada now. I told him to repeat this exercise everytime before he starts studying Kannada.One day a young lady came to me for therapy. She was engaged to a guy whom she loved very much. The only problem was that whenever they met, he would soon start talking about his former girl friends. It made her angry and upset. As the days passed she grew very much concerned about their relationship and did not know what to do.I asked her to think about one of her visits to him when she felt ‘angry and upset’ anddescribe the image she saw in her mind. She said: “I am standing in a corner, sad and upset while he is singing, dancing and enjoying in the company of other girls”. I asked her what colour she was wearing when she felt ‘sad and upset’ with him. She said: “I am wearing a dirty brown dress”. As her favorite colour was ‘bright red’ I asked her to change, in her imagination, the colour of her dress into ‘bright red’, and the exact shade she liked. When she did that, she was no more sad or upset. Instead, she felt happy and relaxed and could not see the other girls in her mind’s picture at all. I repeated the same exercise with her in other similar situations with her fiance and she felt relieved.

She, then, told me that she had another problem: When she comes back home from work she feels ‘exhausted and tired’ and would ‘lie down with a head ache’, unable to do any other work. I asked her to think about that situation again and describe the colour of her dress in her mental picture, when she was lying down at home ‘exhausted and tired’ after work. “I am wearing a brown T-shirt” she said. When she changed the brown T-shirt into a bright red T-shirt in her mind, she felt different and not any more lying in the bed. She was sitting up and feeling energetic. With the bright red colour filling her sub-conscious mind, she could not be dull, exhausted or tired.

This session was by Mr Prof.Jacob Raju in recent concluded L&D Monthly meetup 28th May @ Iris hotel

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