Imagine a friend of yours shows you a cave….. It’s pitch black in this cave, there are lights available, but they can’t find the main switch – yet.
All you have to find your way around is a pencil beam of light. As you try to find your way around the cave, your light picks out something glittery – something shiny; as you look closer, you realise that it’s a gold necklace. You shine the light somewhere else, and you notice another glint of light; you walk closer, ignoring the cobwebs that brush your face until you see a cluster of diamonds.
By now, you may be a little curious as to what else is there so you look for shiny bright things – you pick out some emeralds and some rubies, you are in a cave full of treasure, there may be some squidgy things on the floor as you look about, but you ignore them as you continue to look for all the wonderful jewels and gems that are in this cave full of treasures – because that’s what it is – a cave full of treasure.
You leave this wonderful cave and pass the torch to your friend, telling them of all the wonders the cave has.
This person walks into the cave full of excitement and anticipation; however, the first thing they do is tread on that squishy thing you ignored. As they shine their beam of light on it, they see a pile of excrement, undeterred they look for the treasure, they see something against the far wall and with a sense of excitement they walk towards it only to realise that it’s a dead rat.
As they walk away, cobwebs brush across their face, and they wipe them away with irritation as they look up and notice bats hanging off the ceiling and the bat droppings all around them. They’ve seen enough and come rushing out the cave to confront you, accusing you of lying to them about this wondrous cave; it’s horrible, they proclaim.
It’s at this point that we can help you go back into the cave, locate the correct switch and turn a brilliant set of halogen lights on so that you can point out the jewels and treasures that are hidden in plain sight of us all.
You see, sometimes, we’re all too busy looking at the filth to see the beauty in things. As a therapist, you can teach people to look at the whole picture; yes, of course, there’s muck and filth in that cave, but there’s also rare beauty too – we just need to help our clients to switch the light on so that they can see it too.