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February 20, 2018

Brunch... A Buffet Metaphor

By Dr. Richard Boyum

I want you to imagine a buffet line in which you are carrying a tray with a single plate on it. As the buffet line stretches ahead of you, there are all of the primary and secondary emotions or feelings that you can think of available to you. Imagine the plate represents an incident or an issue that you need to deal with. Fee1ings that you select from may include such things as sad, mad, glad, afraid, hurt, angry, joyful, exciting, anxious, hatred, love, etc.

Thinking of the issue or event you are dealing with, decide what emotion is going to be the main course. Remember your plate has limited size. Dish up enough of the main course to allow space for other emotions or feelings that you might have regarding that event. You might think of that main course in terms of pieces, slices, scoops, etc. Now as you work your way down and through the emotional buffet table, decide what other emotions you would like to add to your plate.

When you have finished, imagine yourself sitting down at a table where you can begin to focus on, deal with, and engage the emotions that are associated with this event. When you have finished consuming the emotions around the event rather than having them consume you take some time to reevaluate the event or experience in terms of your entire life and how it affects who and what you are. Know that you can go back to this emotiona1 buffet table and apply feelings to any situation or event in your past or present that you choose.

Always remember that each plate represents the event and that you need to put the appropriate amount and the appropriate emotions on the plate. Should you wish to reexamine an event, you can once again take that same plate back to the buffet table and change the emotions. The process can be completed as often or as many times as you need.