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Welcome to The White Room…

For those of you who know me well, you’ll be aware that I run a small Psychotherapy Practice alongside Robertson Fox’s main service offerings. I’m not sure why it’s called a ‘practice’ but it does fit with my philosophy of continuous improvement!

Always intriguing are the varying reactions I get from people when I first mention this. They draw all sorts of conclusions about what that means and about how the process works. It’s not just Therapy; the mention of Coaching can provoke a similar reaction.

I think I’d attributed this attitude primarily to Business Leaders; probably because I have worked with many clients in this category who initially viewed the idea of being coached as weak. Then I worked with a 12-year old who described their vision of what they thought the first session would be like. Not the talking to me part because we had already met and I knew they felt comfortable with me. It was their vision of the event that surprised me. They had imagined a completely white room with padded walls and even worse, imagined they would have to sit through the session with their hands tied behind their back!

Needless to say the reality was very different and this young person had a positive experience. However, it reminded me how easily we can create our own truths about what an experience will be like. Even where we participate in the same event, we will each experience it differently.

So, go on then, what was the first thing that came into your mind when you read the title of this article?

Personally too young to remember this it may, for some, have reminded you of the psychedelic rock song by British music group Cream.

Or, did it remind you of the penultimate Harry Potter film where the white room was a kind of limbo (between life and death) otherwise known as King’s Cross Station!

For Big Brother viewers (of which I am not one), did you visualise a completely white room where a handful of contestants wear only white clothes, eat only white food (sounds limiting!) and press the only coloured object in the room – a red button – if they want to leave? No doubt, there will be as many different recollections as there are of you reading this. So, let me ask you:

What assumptions are you making right now?

What if, just for today, you suspended judgement? What becomes possible then?

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