For years we worked only with photographs for facilitation. When Christine started painting again a few years ago, she posted them on her blog and Facebook. We noticed that they tapped into universal themes. So we made some test decks that included paintings and photographs together.
As we started working with these new decks, people started telling us they were surfacing “deeper stuff.” As we proceeded with the testing, we started to notice patterns. The paintings that included some concrete content seemed to tug at the subconscious, while the totally abstract reached into the unconscious. At least that’s how participants described the effect.
Getting to a deeper story
We’ve always had counselors and coaches using the tools. They have consistently reported their clients were able to surface new stories using the images. This helps them get beyond the story they usually tell which often has been retold and rehearsed so many times it is no longer serving them.
How can you use this?
Get beyond all the assessment tests and get information that helps people align better with their true calling.
I used VisualsSpeak at a woman’s career retreat. This was, in large part, a self-facilitated process where participants went from station to station doing various exercises. At the VisualsSpeak table, each woman made a collage based on the question “Where are you currently in your career and where do you want to be?” I had each person journal about their collage and later we had a group discussion about what they had experienced from the process. This turned out to be the most favorite activity of the day.
Get underneath the stuck story and get hints of what is really going on.
We can’t tell you the specific stories of our therapist customers due to confidentiality issues, however we can tell you they are using the tools in a wide variety of ways. Some use them to ferret out what’s going on by asking people to create images of life today, while others use them to help people create image of the life they aspire to. We have therapists using images with their clients to explore issues around money, relationships, addiction and abuse.
All of them report getting much deeper insights faster.
Want to get your clients aligned and moving forward fast? Images will help you see what is really going on and help you zone in on the critical insights.
The most exciting part of using the ImageCenter with my clients is the added flexibility it offers. As a business coach and strategist, one might think using visual tools would be unnecessary to the process of strategizing marketing plans and organizational plans.
You’d be wrong.
It adds a whole new level to what I can accomplish and what I can design on the fly for my customers. I hear their internal unspoken needs much more clearly which allows me to modify action items to fit their work styles.
For the client it’s a way to lighten the somewhat somber task of getting momentum. I use their created visual as a map pointing out things I’d like them to remember as we move through the process of growing and building their businesses. It’s one more lens that creates a more efficient, productive and positive work session.
There are endless ways to use VisualsSpeak for personal growth. From exploring deep personal questions, to having fun with friends and family. Here is just one example.
There were 3 of us. It was the first time we had been together. First, we asked the question, “What do I want to let go from my life?”
We took less than 3 minutes to select cards. We each shared the meaning of our cards while a person wrote the thoughts of the person talking. We blew out candles to symbolize the darkness and silently let our “stuff” go.
We lit the candles. We answered the question, “What do I want to bring into my life?”
We each shared the meaning of our cards. A person wrote the thoughts of the person talking. A person led a light meditation to symbolize the light. We ate, drank, and were merry!
We really loved the process. It was interesting that the same card could have such different meanings for different people.
It felt successful because it got to deeper things than losing weight or exercising, it got to core “who I am” kinds of thoughts. Since we were in a personal situation, we had to catch ourselves from diving into a conversation on topics or from wanting to turn the negative thing that wanted to let go into a positive thing. We kept the “let go” thoughts separate from the “bring in” thoughts.
Jalene Case, Spark Training and Personal Development
Tools You Can Use
Our deck that is most suited to deep exploration is Exploring New Options. It’s a deck that combines photos and paintings.
For getting conversations started, or sparking new ideas, you can use the Visual Icebreaker Kit.