Beating money tensions

K asks: “I see large rubber bands around my head and connected to my wallet and large rubber bands going through my heart & connected to my wallet. Now it makes sense why it hurts to spend and to open my wallet. This is a hurt and attachment metaphor if i am correct… Since it is going through the body, what would you recommend?

There are several interesting features to this metaphor, but first we’ll start with some idioms.

– there’s a lot of tension here.
– opening the wallet creates tension.
– it is a bit of a stretch to spend money.
– this tension is very heart felt.

In terms of taxonomy, this metaphor has:

1. “The Hurts” (relationships) – the rubber bands penetrate through the body and threaten life.
2. “The Burdens” (responsibilties) – the rubber bands function as a carried object, the wallet is also a carried object.
3. “The Attachments” (double binds) – the rubber bands form an attachment.
4. “The Containers” – (inherited status) the rubber bands around the head form a partial container.

So, superficially this may seem to be a simple metaphor but in fact presents a highly complicated situation that will have no easy resolution.

If we begin with “The Container” element – the rubber bands around the head. This tells us that
this portion of the experience is nothing new and originated earlier in childhood. The elastic
nature of this partial container suggests that there is a belief component. As a result, the
contemporary MoM processes for working with restricting containers would be rendered invalid
in this metaphor. The probability would be that “growing up” would merely increase the tension
and so may not be particularly beneficial.

The Attachment component reveals that when it come to opening the wallet that the primary difficulty is a double bind – damned if you do, damned in you don’t. These attachments tend to follow the full 6 point list of Bateson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind). Bateson’s ‘necessary ingredients’ were relativised to communication and familial relationships, but exactly the same list can be rendered to explain complex environmental situations such as financial and legal difficulties, work situations and natural disasters.

The nature of such double binds and attachment metaphors is that “escape from the field is impossible” which of course places significant aspects of the experience outside of the realm of therapeutic change. As such, the creation of kinaesthetic denial, common to so many psychotherapies would be particularly problematic were it to be successful. In actual practice though, techniques that are effective at creating this category of change would merely fail, resulting in the client realising that the therapist fails to understand the nature of the situation whilst the therapist finding the client to be difficult or resistant to change.

“The Burden” aspect of this metaphor is the most revealing. Ultimately for the practitioner this would be a consideration of intended outcome versus applied strategy. The exploration would be about where is he going with this burden and thus invokes the considerations of: direction, distance, mode and rate of travel.

Remember, with attachments “escape from the field is impossible” and yet this particular attachment is perfectly portable. I shall leave it to the reader to calculate what can be inferred from this.

However, there is of course the all important clue of “The Hurts” componant. The Hurts are typically about the nature of relationships we form with other people, the position we adopt and so on. “The Hurts” also imply a recurring schema, a recurring theme that exists in relationships that can often be problematic.

What we know about the particular nature of relationship is that it is very heartfelt. It also has a beat to it. A pulse. A rhythm. (Please note: money doesn’t have a beat, it has a flow, like liquid).

Now some things can be beaten. So can some people and so can some problems.

The question arises here is whether or not this is the best approach. It probably isn’t. Beating a dog doesn’t make it a better dog, it doesn’t even make it go away. Beating a problem follows the same structure and the results aren’t always much different to that of the dog.

Can this problem be beaten? Probably. But will it help?

I shall leave it to the MoM trainee to see if they can elaborate on this further in the comments section below.

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