Labyrinths in Places

Labyrinths are found in many places. Some are permanent and some are brought in temporarily for events. The challenge for labyrinth enthusiasts is often how to get permission to introduce a labyrinth into a specific environment. This section of the website examines some of the places where labyrinths may be found, the benefits of having them there, how they are used, and how people were able to install them there in the first place!

Part 2: Case Study 1

The following is an example of using a 2-person, mirror-image, wood finger labyrinth design in therapy. Clara, a very shy, forty year old, woman from Scotland, came to the first session saying in a very meek-sounding voice, “I don’t know what I expect from this, I have nothing to say.”

I proceeded to ask her basic questions about her life and family and found that I was getting one or two-word answers. I decided to try using an Intuipath® with her (a mirror-image, 2-person, 2-handed, double wooden finger labyrinth design).

I took a few moments to explain that it was a relaxation device that might help her to communicate with me. She agreed, and we both took a few deep breaths and began to fingerwalk our own labyrinth design (connected by the same piece of wood), each at our own pace. Clara began to talk about how her schoolteacher colleagues were very social with each other, and how she felt like an outsider with them. She found it hard to make friends. She smiled after several, descriptive, paragraph-like responses ushered forth from her lips, and she added, “I guess I do have something to say.”

After a few sessions, we addressed her low self-esteem and the way her alcoholic father contributed to its formation by discounting everything she said as a child, even in public. This subjugation to her father’s will (and to a degree, her mother’s as well) continued into adulthood on her yearly visits to Scotland. Using the double labyrinth (around the fourth session), she spontaneously verbalized the negative affirmation “I am a weak and uninteresting person.” We fingerwalked a bit more after that, and I asked her to “allow” a positive affirmation to make itself present to her conscious mind. What presented itself was “I am competent in all social situations.” I asked her to say this out loud and see how it sounded. She said it quietly, with a slight crack in her voice. I suspected (because of the difficulty she had in saying this statement with decisiveness and gusto) that we had hit upon some early, negative self-statement that was replaying itself in all of her social interactions, causing her to feel weak, uninteresting, and therefore socially inept. I asked her to take several deep breaths and after each, say the positive version again loudly like she meant it. She did so, and her voice became stronger after each utterance of it. Between sessions, as she was instructed to do, she used this positive affirmation throughout each day, and when she returned to session (after a several-week hiatus which allowed her to return to Scotland for her yearly visit), she reported great changes had taken place in her courage and competence in social situations. She even reported that her relationship with her father shifted to a more satisfying and equal emotional footing. In total, I saw Clara for 12 sessions, and her improvement in self-esteem was maintained as reported by her in a six-month, one-year and two-year follow up.

Utilizing the power and grace of her own intuition and wisdom (elicited in large part through the use of the Intuipath® design), Clara was able to marshal new strength and understanding, and as a result, rapidly change her adaptive responses to gain greater satisfaction and meaning. With her newfound self-esteem and confidence, she was able to gain a sense of clarity and mastery over other issues as well.