What is a Pattern?
Patterns develop around our responses to significant (usually traumatic) life occurrences and manifest as a recording that, when played, seems to temporarily take control of us. It's important to remember that the pattern is not the person; it's actually an external, rigid, repeating, non-survival value recording that opposes the flexible, creative, loving behavior of the rational, thinking human. Patterns can affect every aspect of our existence—mental, physical, spiritual, behavioral—and when re-stimulated or triggered, prevent any forward movement or progress. Patterns are all about the past.

Pattern Types
The section on Active Counseling mentions two pattern types: latent and chronic, each of which is best worked through using a different approach.

Latent Patterns.
Latent patterns are those that are triggered intermittently, flare, and then subside; they generally do not run our lives on a daily basis. When counseling around a latent pattern, move the client TOWARD the distress; for example, if they are experiencing anger, encourage them to express more anger.

Chronic Patterns.
Chronic patterns affect us most of the time, meaning they are present in our lives on a daily basis; as a result, it can take a lot of time and focused, active counseling to clear associated distress. When counseling around a chronic pattern, move the client AWAY from the distress hidden inside the pattern; for example, if their pattern presents as an acutely anxious person, encourage them to think about all the safety in their lives.

As we work with people and ourselves, we find that these patterns are often twisted up together. This is part of why learning the skills of Energy Matching and evoking the Balance of Attention is so important. When we can sense these things, we are more able to respond spontaneously to whatever presents itself in a session—as opposed to second-guessing and/or over-analyzing what we are doing.

When we find the Balance of Attention, we can see around our patterns, and when this happens we realize that we have choice regarding whether to walk the path these patterns present. The further we dive into the pattern while holding the Balance of Attention and the more we release the distress associated with it, the greater the sense of freedom gained. Mourning the pattern as we let it go is a natural part of this process; after all, that pattern has been a part of our existence for a long time! Ultimately, if we can milk all the distress from a pattern and then fully embrace the feeling of freedom associated with relinquishing it, the pattern will fall away.

This is an expert from materials used in Holistic Peer Counseling.

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