Conny's confusion – by Jack
I met Conny in one of my session days in the spring of 2009! She had asked for a session, because she felt more and more stressed in her job and confused about her life. She lived in a flat in Copenhagen and worked as a counsellor in another part of the city. For the last 10 years she had been very fond of her job. During the last 2-3 years new guidelines had put restrictions on her possibilities for making her own decisions without asking the boss, and that annoyed her. The number of clients per counsellor had also grown, so there was now less time to talk with the people she counselled. She felt stronger and stronger that she no longer had the same motivation, but at the same time she did not know what else to do. It was as if something new was growing inside her and yet she knew that she was good at her job and that her clients were fond of her. She had thought a great deal about finding something else, but had no idea what. So she was confused!
I asked Conny to write down the values that were important for her in a job! Then she prioritised these values and found the five most important to her, which were: to help others, to feel acknowledged, to use her creativity, to try something new and finally to be in a good team.
I asked her if something had changed and she answered that creativity and trying something new had not been so important earlier.
I decided to use the model which I call ' The Five Futures' to support Conny!
Furure 1: I asked Conny to describe her thoughts about the future called: I decide to continue in my present job. This future was a sort of line which continued straight ahead. It turned out that it became darker and darker. She saw herself more and more stressed and some years into the future she saw herself as seriously ill.
Future 2: I then asked Conny to describe a future situated slightly to the left of future 1. She described a future which included a job in another division, where she had specialized in a certain area. This would be something new for her, but it did not seem to be a very creative job.
Future 3: I then asked Conny to describe a future even further to the left. This was a little lighter in her inner vision. It contained a job in another city in a very team-oriented job. The job would not give her new challenges and there would not be much creativity in the job.
Future 4: I then asked Conny to look past the middle future (future 1) and further to the right. Here she saw herself in a temp bureau, working as a temp, moving from city to city. There would be a great deal of new colleagues and of course also possibly some more creativity.
Future 5: Then I asked Conny to look even further to the right and tell about the future she saw there. She told me that she did not really see anything in that direction, but that she felt there could be something. I then asked her to stand up and physically walk into this future. She walked slowly, hesitating - almost as if she could not believe that it was true what she experienced. Then she told me that in this future she worked in a help organisation with projects in the 3rd world. There was a lot of challenges which could only be solved creatively.
I then asked Conny to repeat the top 5 values which she wrote down at the start of the session. From experience I knew that the evaluation of the five futures usually take several days. So I asked Conny to take a week for this and during this week do three things:
1. Write down advantages and disadvantages of each of the five futures compared to the values
2. Take each of the five futures "into the heart" and feel how it would be experienced to live each of these futures
3. Choose the future which she would then know was the right one for her
I never saw Conny again, but I received a mail from her a few months later. She was at a seminar for future project workers in a help organisation, and after that she would go to Africa.