Inner Mentor ExerciseBy Dr. Richard Boyum
1. After the individual is significantly relaxed, they are asked to take a signal breath. A signal breath is an anchoring technique in which the individual is asked to inhale through both their mouth and nostrils, hold the breath momentarily and then gently exhale it through their mouth. Clients are told that this is a sign that they are ready to move their focus inward.
2. The client is told to picture in their minds a beautiful spot. This place can be somewhere that they have been before or a place that they have made up. The counselor/psychologist can reinforce the client experiencing by focusing not only on visual but tactile/kinesthetic and auditory components of the visualization.
3. The therapist/counselor indicates to the client that they are going to make contact with the wisest knowing part of themselves and that at some point this will be done by eye contact. Clients are told that this part of them has been waiting.
4. The client is given numerous options. They are told that they may meet the wise knowing part of self immediately or that it might take some time. They are told that this part of them may send a messenger and that this messenger may appear in many different forms. The messenger may take them to a place where they can meet the inner mentor. Clients are told that the inner mentor may or may not go through a transformation. For example, some individuals may contact with a ball of light that speaks to them, but after a time this changes into a human form.
5. Clients are told that the inner mentor may test the individual. This test is usually a function of the inner mentor attempting to determine if the individual really wants to learn what the inner mentor has to offer. Some individuals are tested, others are not.
6. Individuals are told that when they make contact with their advisor that they should treat it as a valued friend. This means that individuals should take responsibility and show care and concern for the inner mentor.
7. The counselor/therapist is encouraged to stimulate conversation between the inner mentor and the client.
This can be done by asking the client to ask the inner advisor what it wants from him. The counselor/therapist might say, is there something your inner mentor would like to tell you that you need to do for yourself, open-ended questions such as asking the inner mentor to tell you something you need to know about yourself may be helpful. The counselor/therapist can also encourage the client to ask specific questions of the inner mentor. These may include issues the client wishes to deal with.
8. Clients are told that the inner mentor can help them work on issues between meetings. The individual is also told of other issues the inner mentor can do for them if they allow it. These include meeting other ego states (the wide variety of emotions and experiences the individual may need to deal with); that inner mentors can help reduce stress and pain; that inner mentors can provide them with support and protection when needed and that inner mentors can make contact with the individual at times when the client needs benevolent advice or insight that the mentor has to offer.
9. Clients are told they may want to keep a record and schedule regular times to meet with their inner mentor.
10. Clients are told that like any skill, the more one practices the better they become. Clients are encouraged to share their experiences with their therapist and meetings with inner mentors can be reinforced as part of the counseling session. The author has found that often when an individual can respond to a question by quickly doing a signal breath the inner mentor can provide the individual with the answer.
11. It is important for therapists to realize that they must get comfortable with accepting the clients response to their own inner experience. One of the best ways to do this is for the therapist/counselor to develop and explore a relationship with their own inner mentor.