As an art and expressive arts therapist, I did career work for years with private clients who needed help with career and life direction. Some of them had done Inner Child work with me and benefited greatly. They had healed many of the wounds of childhood and removed blocks to listening to their true heart’s desire. They had learned how to confront their Inner Bully, the self-critical thoughts in their own mind that had inflicted low energy and sometimes depression. Armed with these tools, they were ready to move on with their lives.
The first step was to listen to their true heart’s desire about the life and career they truly wanted. I included those exercises in Chapter 3 of The Power of Your Other Hand. These journal prompts involve answering back to the Critic and standing up on behalf of one’s heart’s desire in the face of blocks such as perfectionism, pessimism, self-doubt, and pressure from within to perform.
In using the Visioning® process in job and career development we start with a focus phrase that represents the true heart’s desire. It might be something like “getting paid to do what I love to do,” “being creative and enjoying my work,” or “loving what I do, doing what I love.” This focus phrase becomes the title of the collage or vision board and provides the hook on which picture selections are made. In finding images and words in magazines, or in one’s own photo collection, the question we ask is “does it illustrate my focus phrase?” If not, it gets tossed or saved for another collage.
What makes the Visioning® process different from techniques like “treasure mapping” or simply making a vision board is the journaling. We dialogue with the images using the non-dominant hand to speak for people, places and objects that appear in the collage. In right-hand left-hand interviews the dominant hand asks questions and the non-dominant hand answers for whichever image is being focused on. The levels of meaning that emerge from these images are nothing short of amazing. My clients and students report that they had no idea what the true meaning of these images were in their lives until they began giving them a voice through journaling. Many have commented that is was a lot like doing dream work because they were exploring areas of their creative unconsciousness that they were not in touch with before. For example, dialoguing with the image of a personal hero often brings deep inner guidance and encouragement for the individual embarking on a new career direction or project. People’s lives are often transformed in the process of engaging with their collages through journaling with their non-dominant hand.
In my work with these creative individuals, I suggested the idea of creating vision boards. The technique attracted them and was helpful in their career transition. Many of them started new businesses or went into entirely new fields of endeavor.
After 8 months of doing outplacement work I proposed an "in placement career development program" for the survivors of this traumatic experience. I was hired to offer weekly sessions and one-on-one consulting with managers and staff. My program lasted for 10 years in which we constantly created new programs for changing needs. Our goal was to maximize creativity, and I introduced Visioning® and dialoguing with the non-dominant hand in many workshops for managers and staff. The division not only survived layoffs, but also built back up to several thousand employees in 10 years. Imagineering came back to life, built EuroDisneyland and California Adventure at the Anaheim Disneyland, and created the Disney retail stores during my time there.
Please visit VisioningCoach.org for more information on the Visioning® process, and a list of trained, certified coaches using my methods.Visioning® Coach Training is a graduate course open only to Certified Creative Journal Expressive Arts Instructors.
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