I had the privilege of attending a two days training on the subject of Narrative Therapy with Dr Steven Madigan here in Vancouver. “The Craft of Narrative Therapy Questions” was an excellent opportunity for me to reconsider how I am listening to the stories that I hear each and every day.
I came to think of how the stories that we witness shaping and reshaping are the accounts of how people see themselves being part of the problem and not part of the solution. This view and perception of the self being “the problem” is pertinent to the cultural beliefs that have been written about us about who we are and how we are supposed to be.
Internalization of the problems is what we therapists mostly hear about.
On that note I understand that problems exist because there are always audiences who keep them alive by watching them or not questioning them.
If are a bystander audience, then we are part of the problem for sure.
What am i talking about?
In our Iranian upbringing, we have constantly been told that: “You are too sensitive.”
Every and each time we have tried to raise our voice, we heard this expression.
As a child, as a female, as a male, as a senior, as a mother, or as a human being, every time we have felt anything, we have been silenced by hearing that “ we are too sensitive” meaning you are making a big deal of nothing; Therefore it is us being the problem.
In highlighting the concept of internalization, we keep hearing people say: “I am very sensitive”, meaning that I have no tolerance whatsoever. Why we are blamed for “sensitivity” when we complain?
“Being sensitive “is a misconception about us females, about our children, abut anyone who wants to have a voice. Being sensitive means that it is us having problem if we are unhappy about anything, not the problem being a problem that has to be solved.
This is how our people have been silenced to misery and disbelief.
This is how our females have to come to believe they are weak because they have been told they are “sensitive.”
The message is that if you are not sensitive and tolerate anything that others do, and then you have no problem, so if you are sensitive, and then it is you having the problem.
Why are we accepting to be blamed for what others do to us?
Why we are having problem to see the problem outside of us and not inside? Well, these are the issues I help people in my therapy sessions.
Poran Poregbal, MA, RSW, RCC.