What do we think of ourselves and our clients? Does that even matter? Yes it does. The assumptions, biases, and beliefs we hold about ourselves and our clients affect everything you and the client do in therapy. The phenomenon called hologram explains how our beliefs (good and bad) about our clients and their conditions may affect their treatment.
Lets start with hologram first. When I think of hologram, I am thinking of 3D movies or pictures. Has anybody seen those holographic bookmarks that reflect different pictures when you move them sideways? If that bookmark is truly a holographic then it will have the ability to show you the whole picture even when you cut it in a half or smaller pieces. The definition Gerstein and Bennett (1999) use in their article is, ‘the whole universe is in some way enfolded in everything and that each thing is enfolded in that whole,’ p. 256). It simply means that the whole is present in each part of the whole like the example I gave above. It also interprets as everything in the universe is connected with everything else and “this connection transcends both time and space” (Gerstein and Bennet (1999, p. 257). An easiest example of a hologram would be DNA. DNA can be obtained from any part of the body: hair, fingernail, a drop of blood, or a skin cell. It contains every bit of information of a person’s existence (Braden, 2007).
Another aspect of hologram is that when there is a change in one part, the change is immediately and simultaneously reflected in the whole. So, if you believed that your client is reserved and do not want to open up, make a subtle change in your perception and tell yourself, “Client can feel the thoughts I hold about her. If the concept of hologram is true then my thoughts and beliefs have an affect on her ability to really open up and share her pain. I want to do everything possible in my hand to provide her that opportunity. She has everything she needs to grow and develop out of the pain she is holding,” and see if it makes any difference. It did and still does for me. Dr. Deepak Chopra talks about this all the time and says consider that the world around you is 360 degrees mirrors. Everybody and everything is your reflection. So I remind myself all the time, even when I experience someone judging me. When I reflect back with this reminder, I find that it was my internal judgment that was reflected in mirror by that person. It takes the victim-hood away and gives me the control and confidence to handle similar situation with different and positive perception.
Talking about perceptions, Deepak Chopra in his new book “The Ultimate Happiness Prescription” shares seven keys to happiness. The sixth key is “See the World in Yourself.” The phenomenon of perception has helped me a lot in my growth and development to gain confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. Gregg Braden says, “When we make a little change here and another one there, suddenly everything seems to change. In fact, a small alteration in one place can permanently shift an entire paradigm.” This universal phenomenon helps counselors to be the change agents using ourselves as a research lab. What we believe, think, and feel is reflected in the whole. Thus, we see clients and what we believe is reflected in the success or failure of the therapy relationship. It’s a paradigm shift.
Gurpreet Kaur is a counselor who works at an outpatient clinic and also has a private practice. She is a doctoral student with professional interests quantum physics, spirituality, self-actualization, and mindfulness practices as they all relate to counseling.