It is said the eyes
are the window
to the Soul



Written By Susan Stubbings
In my experience we all view the world through our own eyes, this is known as perception which can be defined as our individual interpretation and recognition of the information our sensory faculties process, the information coming in from our environment.  Perception is:

 'our ability to see, hear or become aware of something through our senses, the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted'
Oxford Dictionary

In psychological terms I know this as the perceptual field or how I refer to it these days as the lens of life, that is we all view our individual world through our own senses and no two people will view the same world exactly in the same way.  This is the why we are all unique individuals with our own patterns of relating with the world which surrounds us.  For example the famous Rubin Vase picture on the left what do you see a vase?  A face?  2 Faces or something else totally different?  Which is figure which is ground?  What is prominent to you and what is not, what can you see and what are you not seeing?  Of course if you can't see it does that mean its not there?  Its all a matter of perception maybe just maybe it is there or it might not be there!!  We may see the picture in one way for example if you can see a vase and nothing else  doesn't mean the faces don't exist and vice vera some of us may see the whole picture just as it is!   There are enough people in the world who will see the picture just as we do ourselves and as many people again who will see it different to us.  Therefore it follows our perception also influences  how we relate to ourselves through our internal chatter and images and how we then relate to others through our social intercourse.
Social intercourse is a term coined by Eric Burn in his book 'The Games People Play',

the unit of social intercourse is called a transaction. If two or more people encounter each other sooner or later one of them will speak, or give some other indication of acknowledging the presence of the others. This is called transactional stimulus. Another person will then say or do something which is in some way related to the stimulus, and that is called the transactional response".

What this means is we all respond to a 'stimulus' and we all response to that stimulus through our own lens, the way we as an individual interpret what was said by the tone of voice, the body language, the actual words or the eye contact the person speaking or not speaking for that matter.  Everything a person does in the way they do it tells us something about the person doing!

Some of what we perceive and how we as individuals interpret the information can have a detrimental effect upon us and we may have built patterns we feel comfortable with as we stay within our 'comfort zone'.  We may not even be aware of the discomfort our patterns of behaviour have on ourselves until we begin to become aware of the impact they have on our living and relating. 

We may learn something new which challenges what our lens captured in the first place; which may result in a feeling of discomfort and bring us anxieties known as "Cognitive Dissonance".  We may clear the mist  to suit our perception and restore cognitive harmony or the light may not be bright enough to see clearly.  We may feel or sense something on the edge of our awareness, we may capture that moment and store it away to look at some time later.  Or we may freeze frame and never return to it; It might even get carried away by itself and play over and over in our mind like a video recorder or DVD being fast forwarded, rewound or skipped all together.  If we don't erase it it simply carries on playing until we make the choice to erase it ourselves.   The colour of the snapshot can add another dimension to our perceptual field and the image may be far away, close by, or right up in our face.  Each frame the lens captured telling its own story until we pull it all together to make it coherent. 

Counselling can support the viewer to find the individual frame/s which are not as sharp as one would like, help clear the obstacles which stop the viewer from capturing the phenomenological depth and width of the experience.  Or help stop those detrimental automatic shutters which do nothing positive for the enhancement of personal  peace, what happens in front of the lens is important what figures and what is put into the back ground is  equally important to our overall well-being.

If you would like to explore your personal picture,  wish to build your bigger picture or wish to explore your patterns of relating please consider contacting me for compassionate, experienced and professional support, and together we will find the beauty within your landscape!
Susan Stubbings Doncaster