02

Dr. Maly Danino - presents
 Second Encounter - Future Image    
 

  Connecting with the Previous Encounter  

 

In order to link the first encounter to the one that has followed – and concurrently convey to the parent- in-training the message that he is important to you it is recommended to ask the parent-in-training about his well-being, find out how his past week was, and inquire whether he wrote anything in his journey diary.

 

  Presentation of a Future Still Picture Taken from an Album  

We will ask the parent-in-training:

How do you envision your child in the future?

We will ask him to use his imagination to turn the wheels of time and see in his mind's eye a still picture of a future, the farthest in time he can. We will ask him to close his eyes, think for a moment as he is envisioning a future image from a virtual album, in as much detail as he possibly can.

Generating a future still picture in the parent-in-training's  imagination is a powerful tool that enables him to tangibly visualize his child in the future: where he will be, those around him, the colors, the scents and feelings accompanying it all. The picture represents the manner by which the parent-in-training can see his child disengaged from the 'here and now' and allows him to get in tune with what is truly significant.

 

  Focus Closely on Details of the Picture  

As a metaphor for taking a still picture with a camera, the coach will ask the parent-in-training to help the former see the picture clearly, to zoom in on the details. Now the parent will be asked to describe it in minute detail. Here are a few sample questions to hone in on the depiction:

Where do you see your child? Where is he?

How does he look?

What exactly is he doing there?

Etc.

At times the parent-in-training does not settle for a single still picture but also tells a story. It is the coach's role to depict a specific picture – not tell a story.

 

   3  Possible  Scenarios:   

       Optimistic image       

       Pessimistic image       

       Blank image       

       Optimistic image       

1st scenario: the parent is able to see an optimistic picture of his child's future

This is the most common scenario. It is reasonable to assume that most of the parents-in-training will be able to see an optimistic future picture of their child and describe it to the coach, as it appears in his or her imagination.

Clearly presenting the picture

Ask the parent:

What you are envisioning, what particular moment do you choose to freeze in the frame?

Examining the picture

Is the picture you envision based on the reality you are experiencing today?

 

       Pessimistic image       

2nd scenario: the parent is able to see a picture of his child's future; however, it is a pessimistic one

In  this scenario the  parent-in-training  is able to form a future vision; however, it is a pessimistic one. In this case, he pours out his fears, his feelings of hardship and anguish, which obscure reality and prevent him from seeing the positive aspects his child is endowed with. He has so much despair that he paints his child's future in dark and bleak colors.

Clearly presenting the picture

Describing a pessimistic picture is a very hard and painful moment for the  parent-in-training.  This may be the first time he admits it or shares it with another.

We will ask clarifying questions, so we can determine all that he saw, to enable us to unearth a positive outlook, which we will draw attention to.

Attempting to retrieve a positive spark from the picture

We will ask:

Is there anything you could alter in the picture?

If so, please describe what you see now. After having been presented with these inquiries, Occasionally the  parent-in-training will  present an alternative vision. We will examine what has changed and where exactly the shift has occurred. We will ask:

What did you alter in the picture? How does it differ from what you've seen previously?

           Presenting an optimistic picture           

          Presenting a pessimistic picture        

In case the parent-in-training is unable to alter the pessimistic vision, assistance may be provided with guiding questions, such as:

What was the first thought/feeling that came to mind when you pondered the vision?

If you could, which element would you remove and which would you retain in the picture?

What is the least threatening/frightening aspect in the depiction?

What are the picture's colors?

 

Expanding viewpoint - video

When the picture is hard to take, it will be equally hard for the parent-in-training to modify it. In such a case, we suggest to expand the viewing angle and convert the still picture into a video. In this manner we enable the coach and the parent-in-training to better understand what is transpiring and its causes.

Sample Questions:

What  happened just before snapping the  still picture?

What happened just after snapping the still picture?

How  did  your child  arrive at  that  particular place?

Who took the picture?

What would your child do next? Where will he go from here?

 

If the picture remains pessimistic

we will check with the parent-in-training as to what he could do today in order to avoid the gloomy prediction of the picture in his depiction. The parent may discuss a single, minor detail – one that may be altered. We will ask:

Let's think together: What can be done differently today to avoid having the picture become manifest in reality? What can you, the parent, do in order to craft a change in the circumstances?

Any variation, as minute as it might be, could lead to additional positive changes.

 

       Blank image       

3rd scenario: the parent is unable to see a picture of his child's future

A parent who is unable to see any picture whatsoever is in a more difficult place than the parent who saw a pessimistic picture, for he avoids giving voice to his fears and apprehensions. He is unable to cope with his forthcoming challenges, thus he opts for avoidance. He has trouble seeing the picture because he is immersed in a "swamp" and is preoccupied with his daily survival.

Ascertain the cause(s) of the difficulties

We will tell the parent-in-training that by lifting a magic wand, with a wave of a hand, we have done away with all his child's tribulations. We then will ask the  parent-in-training:

Describe your child without his difficulties.

We will request that the parent close his eyes and describe a picture of his child. The idea is to disengage him from the 'here and now' and have him find himself in an alternative time frame, one that's more optimistic. We will examine what the parent-in-training sees now in his future vision, after we have 'removed' the obstacles to its formation. The picture should ignite the parent-in-training's transport to an optimistic mindset, where he will notice certain positive aspects previously invisible to him.

 

  What are you doing today in order to further your child to the place you have described?  

When the future vision is clear and realistic, it is the time to examine, together with the parent-in- training, how to convert the vision into a reality in the future.

We will ask the parent-in-training:

What are you doing today in order to further your child to the place you have described?

We will check with the parent to determine what advances him toward the goal and what hinders him.

 

  Drawing the training zone  

The picture allows us to draw the Training Zone, which is an expanse where the coach and the parent-in-training operate. Later on, it will let us define the training goal and hone it into clarity. The parent-in-training  enters the process completely full of conflicts with his child: Difficulties in learning, in getting organized, social difficulties and more. Of all the challenges he is enumerating, we want to know which one is the most important to him. It may be that he will seek approval for the manner with which he deals with his child, to restore his parental authority or the connection he has lost with his child. That would define the training zone for us.

 

  The difficulty from the child's viewpoint  

We  will ask the  parent-in-training:

what, in  his mind, the  child thinks about his difficulty; what does the child consider to be a difficulty?

How, do you think, your child would describe his difficulty?

How does it express itself?

What is it that bothers him the most? 

Would he describe the difficulty as that of those around him (parents/school/others) or as his own?

 

The purpose of the questions is to refine the parent's listening ability, so that he can hear the subtle nuances between what he thinks and knows about his child and what his child feels and thinks.

At the next step we will seek to hear from the child.

 

  The mission to be performed at home: The dialogue with the child  

We will ask the parent-in-training to set an appointment with his child, whose purpose is to understand the child's challenges from his point of view. We will explain to him that  the meeting should take place in comfortable and pleasant surroundings for both, at a time which they will mutually agree upon. At times, it will be desirable that the meeting takes place outside their residence – at a café or a restaurant, on the beach, or at any place the child suggests– because "it will be fun there."

 

  Preparation for parent-child dialogue: Experience in the closeness-enhancing communication

In order to assist the parent to understand his child's point of view, we will offer a role-playing simulation, where the parent- in-training plays his child and the coach steps into the parent's shoes. Such simulation allows the parent to try and understand what goes through his child's mind regarding his challenges, what he considers a difficulty, what he is struggling with and the range of emotions that accompany all that. This way, the parent-in-training gets to have a learning experience that facilitates the actual experience of feelings and adverse circumstances his child goes through. Also, he gets to experience "as a child" the interaction with the coach, who assumes the role of the  parent  temporarily. The manner  in which questions by the coach – as the parent-in-training – come across, in effect prepares the parent for the encounter with his child. In this practice, the parent will be trained how to utilize closeness-enhancing communication.

In closeness-enhancing communication an emphasis is placed on saying "I" and that in this conversation there is no place for interpretations, criticism or judgment.

It  is an  encounter  that  facilitates mutually free expression of feelings and emotions, an  expression that paves the way to a dialogue that contains sharing, intimacy and free flow of interaction. Such communication highlights  what the  parties have in common and the ability to overcome conflicts, disagreements, controversies and differences in positions.

 

  Summing up the encounter  

During  the  final moments  of the  encounter, the parent-in-training  will answer a set of questions as follows:

What are your insights as a result of the encounter?

Did anything strike you as particularly significant during the encounter?

Is there any specific question you think I should have asked but didn't?

Is there anything you would have done differently?

Is there anything at all that you'd like to add?

Second Encounter

Clearly presenting the picture

Examining the picture

Ascertain the cause(s) of the difficulties

Clearly presenting the picture

Attempting to retrieve a positive spark from the picture

Picture retrieval with a

"magic wand'

 Presenting a pessimistic picture

Expanding viewpoint - video

 Presenting an optimistic picture

 

  Video text - Second Encounter   

The second meeting deals with a picture of the future.

In the E.C.C. method we use the term "swamp" to describe a place in which the parent feels he is sinking in a sea of difficulties, treading in place, not advancing, An overwhelming sensation that there is no way out.

We use the future picture for departing the "swamp" to a place of optimism and bright outlook toward a potential future. We take the parent from the "here and now" to another place in the most distant future we can think of.

Ask the parent to close his or her eyes, to see their son or daughter. Ask them: Where do you see him? How old is he? Who is he with? Is he happy / sad / joyful? Who takes the picture? Where are you?

You'd be amazed to hear how this simple exercise manages to tell where the child is without the difficulty; and what happens to the parent when he or she has the imagination to roll the wheels of time and succeeds in getting back to the present to do the right thing.

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