$39.95 / $79.95 / 11 CDs +
Course Notes & Handouts
Free full-length Podcast
and the Enneagram - Introduction
Other Enneagram CD sets
A review of this product
Article about Therapeutic Metaphor & the Enneagram
metaphor telling stories to create change is a powerful
technique for helping yourself and others grow and change. Stories work
so well because they bypass normal ego defenses and communicate directly
with the unconscious. The listener often finds fresh perspectives,
solutions to problems and new resources for coping and living fully.
Derived from clinical hypnosis, therapeutic metaphor has many
applications in daily life and is used naturally by good communicators.
10 CDs $79.95 2.0 lbs.
"Just when I think I could probably recite all the possible Enneagram topics, I get surprised. It's a tribute to the complexity and the dynamism of the system, for sure, but there's also no question that some teachers and authors push the envelope further than others. Tom Condon would be found on that particular list. His background in Ericksonian hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming gives him an unorthodox perspective on Enneagram personality styles which is woven through all the work he does. And in this CD set, Condon takes the integration a step further, blending the three disciplines into an organic, seamless whole. Moving away from specific structural examinations of the Enneagram i.e. Subtypes, Stress, Security, etc. Condon goes directly to the core of the personality to explore the stories we tell ourselves and the impact they have on our life experience.
"Our internal dialogue draws from an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of stories. Some of them bear the geographic imprint of where we grew up. Some derive from our parenting, our gender, our race, our creed, our color, our sexual preference, our friends. We tell different stories depending on how old we are and what was happening when we were still learning how to walk. Stories mirror our cultural, spiritual and societal expectations, assumptions and beliefs. Other stories are woven into our personality structure, formed out of the imperatives of our particular style, reflections of our fall from the grace of essence into the noise and glare of human existence.
"Sometimes, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud, a story is just a story. I can tell you about having a flat tire on Central Expressway in rush hour, and getting out of the car to push it off the highway. I can include details about what I was wearing (silk dress, high heels), what the weather was like (very hot) and the impact of the incident on my immediate life (missed a meeting). There might be other characters in the story: passing motorists, the tow-truck driver, the gas station owner, the client waiting with impatience and growing concern. Just a story. Perhaps told amusingly, perhaps told with matter of fact detail, but the simple recounting of an event.
"Unless, of course, this story is an example of what I consciously or unconsciously believe life to be like, or what I consciously or unconsciously believe to be my place in it. You wanna know what I believe? Ask me to tell you the flat-tire story. Depending on how I tell it, you may decide it proves that I believe nothing ever goes right for me, no matter how hard I try. Or that people don't care enough to stop and help. Or you might see how it reflects my pride in having the strength to push a car off the road in high heels and a silk dress. Or my assumption that I am uniquely resourceful. Or maybe it says that life is full of unexpected events, so it pays to be prepared for anything. At this point, for good or ill, my story has become a metaphor for my life. A figure of speech I use to illustrate the similarity between having a flat tire on Central Expressway and how things actually are. A statement that both reflects my world view and creates it.
"In Condon's Therapeutic Metaphor workshop, from which this CD set was taken, participants were given many opportunities to explore the metaphors that formed the foundation for their "life scripts." In a series of interactive group exercises, they defined the metaphors for the resourceful and less-resourceful experiences of being their particular type. For example: from a One came a low-side metaphor of the courtroom, with an unforgiving judge and jury ready to pronounce sentence. On the high side, was the story of life as a beautiful meadow, where everything grew according to its plan, and there were no mistakes to be made. When she was questioned further, it became clear to the listeners that she did, in fact, hold herself accountable to the judgment of that courtroom, and that the meadow seemed like a dream of otherness rather than an experience to be lived.
"As I was listening to all the different stories people were telling, and the pictures and phrases that comprised their individual metaphors, I started asking myself some of the same questions. What are my metaphors? And immediately I saw myself standing in the dark on the edge of the world, watching the busy, productive, happy, engaged lives in the lighted space before me and heard myself say, "Everybody but me." Yikes! That's a Four metaphor if I ever heard one. I realized in an instant how this metaphor shapes my reality, and how many assumptions I make because at some level, in spite of all my hard work and progress, I still believe this is how it is. I'm the person who is never chosen for softball, who is idle while others work, who starves while others prosper, who dies alone while others are surrounded by loving family and friends. And, right on the heels of this metaphor came its mirror image: "I'm the only one" who knows better, with the right approach, with good taste or talent or common sense. It was more than a little horrifying. It was like realizing you had just swallowed poison, feeling the inexorable progression of death creeping into every joint and limb. My next thought was, "ANTIDOTE!!!"
"Fortunately for me, identification was not the last step in Condon's process. The purpose of the workshop, after all, was to discover metaphor's incredible power to heal, and the group spent some time rewriting their own stories as a first step toward developing a new relationship with self and the world at large. In small groups, participants took turns being guide and client with each other, crafting new language and new images that reflected more accurately their place in the world, and their possibility of redemption. And as they rewrote their internal dialogue, they found new pathways from their own version of the One's courtroom to the light and air of their higher state. As I worked along with them, I found my own antidote: there was me, in the middle of the world, where the light was good and the air was clean and the colors were warm and there was more than enough work and life and joy to go around, saying, "We all." A metaphor of connection and vitality to counteract the paralysis and depletion of "everybody but me."
"There were many compelling stories told by the participants. One in particular presented the dilemma of a man who had crafted a life in response to family stories that turned out to be untrue. He was in the middle of reevaluating not only what he had been told, but the impact on his life of what he had told himself, and the decisions he had made, on the basis of a world view that was suddenly proved to be a fabrication. His story became, for me, a metaphor for the human condition, as we are all effectively living out lives of response to stories we've been told that are, at best, only partially true, as they are all edited and distorted by unconscious assumptions. Our challenge is to unravel the threads of narrative and separate out what will serve and support our ability to thrive. The good news is that we can rewrite our stories even after we have been listening to them for many, many years with metaphors that will strengthen and sustain us.
"One bonus of this CD series I must mention: Condon is an excellent storyteller. He uses stories to defuse our automatic reactions and create the space for insight and transformation. He can make you laugh or make you cry, and at the end, you get it. You see that little puzzle piece you've been looking for, you are able to laugh at yourself and at the world, and things fall into perspective. One entire CD is devoted to the collection of stories of various kinds, and how to use them in a therapeutic context. Condon offers up everything from jokes to Zen teaching stories to personal experiences to articles in the paper to workshop experiences to imaginative flights of fancy. And he tells us how to remember them and use them, and where we can begin forming our own files of therapeutic metaphors.
"All in all, this series was a Condon tour de force, with a potent combination of humor, irreverence, depth, simplicity, complexity, and participants who were remarkably honest, clear and fearless. I highly recommend this CD series as both a learning and a teaching tool. Thanks, Tom!"
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