Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reflecting Back

For some time now, the popular rugby bar has featured this hamburger stand painted like the hotel frontage. I've been waiting for a good shot, but somehow it never came. So today I forgot about the empty foreground (which photographers don't like except when they have to leave space for a magazine title). I like the hotel's idea and it gives me the opportunity to talk about reflection. In traditional "counselling", reflecting back is the primary technique. By accurately repeating or summarising the clients' words, clients are reassured that they have been heard properly. In normal conversation this is is unlikely to happen. And in adverse circumstances, some people talk over the words of others, never allowing them the feeling of being heard. Worse still, the utterances of some are snatched away form them by the conversing other and completely transformed in the process. Analyst, Christoper Bollas, regards this as kind of theft. All modes of psychotherapy attempt to counteract this unfortunate phenomenon. Symbolically speaking the reflection is associated with the mirror, which in Latin is speculum. When we speak of speculating, we are referring to that process by which we reflect and mirror things of importance to us. So for me this brings to mind the Vietnamese saying "Like the Sun, like the Moon, like Water and like Gold, be clean and bright and reflect what is in your heart." At the very least, we can set out to be faithful to ourselves.