Longer-term work with the building

It is beyond the remit of this book to discuss in any detail how the building image operates in longer-term work apart from making some general observations. Once the building image has become established in the clinical work as a site for therapeutic work, I will continue to monitor it with the client. How the therapeutic work with the building image unfolds depends on the individual client’s process. Usually, the image becomes something that the client starts to own more and to use independently as an ongoing reference point.

Working consistently over a period of time with the building image has revealed some consistent themes (see further discussion of changes in imagery after long-term work in Chapter 11). In general, the image appears to become more and more responsive and can start to display positive changes. These changes go beyond the resolution of an earlier structural distortion such as the one described in the earlier vignette (titled The Tower Block with a Side Door). Instead they can begin to display the characteristics of new developments, as illustrated in the following vignette, titled A New Conservatory. This is a further extract from Maria’s work presented in a previous vignette (titled A Repaired Building Needs Work on the Foundations).

Towards the end of our eight months together, Maria agreed that her original issue of paralysing anxiety at work had lessened to the extent that she was able to manage her workload and professional interactions much more easily. When she returned to her building image she was very surprised to note a new development; a conservatory had appeared on the side of the house. After investigating it and reflecting further she said that this extension was an accurate representation of a new optimism and an emerging sense of self-belief. She was in the middle of arranging her wedding and she was noticing also that some thoughts were arising about developing her own business. She identified the function of the conservatory as a place within her that now could nurture new developments.

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