Post by Jacarandagirl on Nov 10, 2011 3:17:52 GMT -8
The Work of Byron Katie
The more accurate term for this practise is inquiry, rather than therapy, but the effects in my experience are easily as useful as therapy and more so.
The Work is a process of questioning stressful beliefs. It is a written process to begin with. The written part is about first finding and naming your stressful beliefs. An example I've had is "I need a man to be happy". This thought is one that has caused not only stress in my life, but dangerous lapses in judgement around personal safety, lifestyle values and self-neglect, and bad parenting. You can download the worksheet here:
The second part of the process is inquiry. There are 4 questions to ask, a facilitator is helpful to have ask them to you, especially to begin with. The questions are:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know it's true?*
3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?
*Ask Question 2 only if the answer to Q1. is "yes". If the answer is "no" go straight to Q3.
Let the answers to these questions come from a deeper place than your automatic response. Byron Katie refers to it as letting the answer come from the heart, rather than the head. There is NO RIGHT ANSWER. A "yes" and a "no" are equally valuable. Your truth is what is important.
The third part of the inquiry is a "turn around". You take your original written statement and reverse it. For example, where I have "I need a man to be happy", I say out loud "I DON'T need a man to be happy". Then find three genuine examples of how this is as true or truer. Eg. I don't need a man to be happy because today I was happy at work and I don't have a man in my life. Another example is I have had many moments of being happier than I ever have been in my whole life since I split up with my last partner. A third example is I was extremely unhappy in my relationship, more unhappy than I have ever been before. It is important that these examples are true, not stretched, not made-up, not sort-of true. They must be genuine for you.
Another turn-around is "I need ME in my life to be happy". My example- When I am thinking about men I am not present in my life for me. I abandon myself and suffer. And so on.
When you begin to do the work it is important to write about other people you are judging, or men, or your body, or religions, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, or jobs, or bosses, or neighbours, etc, NOT THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF. Do not write "I don't like myself because I am codependent". Or "I am angry with myself because I'm too bossy".
You can find Byron Katie's instructions for doing the work and many other resources here:
You can also watch other people do the work on YouTube. Just search for Byron Katie.
P.S.. A word of warning about doing the work when you ARE codependent- Unrecovered Codependents are experts at finding a way to stay with their drug of choice, their PoA. If you are still in a relationship with a PoA, doing the work will give you temporary relief as you turn around your judgements on the other person to yourself. This is something you are already very good at as a codependent. Beware of using this process to feel better about any unhealthy treatment from a PoA you may be allowing in your life to continue.