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Most therapy models focus on one form of consciousness: emotions, cognition, behavior. Virginia’s approach included many forms of consciousness including feelings, perceptions, expectations, beliefs, meanings etc. The iceberg metaphor has been an important tool used by therapists trained in the Satir model to help clients understand and experience what is happening internally and externally. The Self: I AM is often included as the bottom layer of the iceberg. A new formulation of this metaphor will be presented which uses the image of the iceberg as a picture for a pattern of experiencing that often leaves clients feeling stuck and behaving in limited ways. The energy of Self, or as described also as “I AM” is differentiated from the iceberg; rather than being depicted as a component of the iceberg, the Self is seen as related and transcending the iceberg. The Self is the energy that can transform the iceberg, which is a pattern of experiencing. Self-connection will be introduced as a central process for transforming the iceberg. Transformation is melting; that is, moving from being a frozen iceberg to a fluid healthy water molecule; flexible, moveable which better resembles Virginia’s vision and hope for people to become conscious choice makers.
Self-connection is the process of being in touch with your core Self, without identifying or confusing Self with the experience or the pattern of coping that is occurring. Often times we confuse our Self with our feelings, roles, perceptions, expectations, and relationships. We will explore the unique Self that lives within each individual. The Self is the life force that lives within each of us; it is consciousness. The seed of Self has a unique expression in each person and our primary drive is to manifest and express this unique energy. Vitality, power, and authenticity can be felt when we are rooted in the Self and acceptance of the experience that is occurring. By engaging with what is present (others and context), while simultaneously rooting in the Self, the Self emerges more fully. Being connected with our Self, we can engage in the learning process through whatever challenging experience is occurring or has occurred.