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The Table Technique

The table technique came to me in a vision some months ago following a prayer to help certain people through their problems, individuals who were coming to our respective therapeutic practices but still stuck somewhere in a relationship. For the most part, my partner and I live in a space of transparency, yet the technique has actually proven to me that any relationship is never done growing, that surprises are to be expected…


... and that, we rarely know each other fully, that we all have private, secretive lives beneath what we project outwards most of the time. This technique is to be used in the name of sharing one's truth and coming out of that tunnel stronger and with more clarity, with the direction our life is to take in any form of relationship. 





We also do this work in sacred space so that the odds are stacked for us with regards to being successful and on track as much as possible. If it is deemed to be required, the therapists may also perform a quick energetic cleanse of the participants, such as a smudging and removal of entities prior so that participants come to the experience with the least amount of hindrances. 


There are essentially four steps to the technique, and it requires a rectangular object, like a table, or something like a movable sofa part that has wheels, that we can push here and there for convenience, and lay our elbows on. The first step is both physical and symbolic. The participants are at opposite ends of the table, and they voice their grievances regarding the estrangement they now find themselves in. In this kind of work, we avail ourselves of a mediator or therapist so that drama can be nipped in the bud at the first sight of escalation, since we are likely to be triggered in a wounded part. It is here that we share our truth about what’s been going on, what our side of the story is, and we do this with a talking stick and answering feather.





We also do this in the spirit of the grandfather principles, which are courage, respect, honesty, truth, love, humility, and wisdom, despite it possibly being quite difficult to do things in this way, rather than in one that’s more avoidant and assumptive. By undergoing the work with these principles at our side, we are promising ourselves breakthroughs, and it is the job of the mediator or therapist, as well as the participants, to keep these in mind. It is a space where negotiation, compromise, reconciliation and re-commitment may occur. 


And so, as we voice our grievances, our opinions, we would be aware that respect is required. We are not here to attack the other, only to express how and what we feel about the situation, face to face, in a spirit of reconciliation. The therapists or mediators, sitting on the wayside, always have recourse to the answering feather or talking stick and their notes, to insure that the process moves along smoothly without too much of a hitch. 





It is highly likely that grieving will occur if there is to be anger, since grieving is a release that’s timed to move things along beyond any sense of injustice, of not being heard, of being stuck, etc. For this entire process, it is crucial that smudging be available since, in a space of grief, we are open and vulnerable in more ways than one. For instance, we’ve discovered that when we grieve, we open our energetic fields to let go of what needs to move on, yet, at the same time, we are also open to metaphysical intrusions of all kinds. To play it safe, it is quite wise to smudge in such a vulnerable space, and this the therapists or mediators would do. 


At any point, the therapists may pick up the talking stick to say something if it is opportune. It is up to the therapists to notice whether it is safe or not, whether it is opportune to mention something like an ego part that’s in the mix, that perhaps a defence mechanism is at work. For therapists, it is much better for the participants to arrive at their own conclusions, but sometimes a well-placed insight can expedite things along into the next layer to be dissolved. However, if a deeper healing is to occur, as with a shamanic journey to heal a past life impinging on the present, it is possible that the group splits, that one of the therapists take one of the participants for a healing, while the other therapist and participant find something else to do, such as by chatting about the process so far. Each participant, whether it be the therapist or those in a relationship seeking healing, has the right to call off the experiment at any given moment if it’s deemed wise to do so. 





In the second part of this table technique, the participants would sit across each other facing the longer side of the sofa. This is more symbolic perhaps than it is literal, and yet, it is to show that in separation, as with the first part, when away from each other and more distanced, relationships can fester in illusions and assumptions. And so in the second part, it is intended to be a space of rapprochement, rather than estrangement. In the second part, sitting closer to each other, we may grieve, apologize, forgive, hold hands, etc. 


At any point of the process, we have the right to utter a time-out phrase such as This is too much for me, I’m done, Fuck this, I need a minute or a time-out, or, Can I have a glass of water outside in my car?, at which point the work can cease and resume at a later time or date if needed. We will gladly supply you with a glass of water if it's needed.


We understand that, with emotions loosening up a bit through a process like this, by virtue of them arising from past wounding, it can be overwhelming to have to process so much. As such, it is up to the participants to call time out when it’s needed, and for the two therapists to know with whom they’ll connect. As a rule of thumb, this can be established in the beginning, and it would likely mean that the man or woman go with the male or female therapist respectively, given that this is such a fragile process, one that’s most likely imbued with assumptions and projections regarding the opposite sex.  





Now, following rapprochement, that is, by the third part, we should have come out of the previous endeavour feeling stronger with more hope for the future, more bolstered in our approach to our relationship in a spirit of truth and transparency. At this point, we may choose to sit beside each other with a pen and paper, and we can sketch out what’s on the horizon for us. It can be in the manner of a vision board exercise or maybe a to-do list of things to manifest, reminders of our shared purpose, all of it in the name of being allies or friends, partners or lovers working together in any capacity. 


Finally, with the fourth part, the two participants get ready to leave, but before doing so, they may choose to sit facing each other, so as to share parting words of kindness. By the fourth part, the table is pushed to the side, so that by the end, the intention to become unstuck in your relationship has seen the light of day, stagnation has ended for the time being… that is, until you’re ready for another round at the table, whether ours or your own if you feel up to the task.





I appreciate this technique because it systematizes a way out of problems in a very orderly way... it takes it out of the realm of taboo. When we apply words and methods to sensitive issues, demystification and normalization occurs to the extent that we can become that much more entrenched in our truth and individual sovereignty. The table is based on the medicine wheel, on the four elements, with fire coming in the first part, water in the second, air in the third, and earth in the fourth, where we may feel more grounded and realistic in our relationship after moving through such an ordeal or process. We now can be ready to go home with more hope in our hearts, rather than the same old same old stuckness.   


This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes by one of my all-time philosophers, Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his essay called Self-Reliance (which I can’t recommend enough), he wrote that A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. To this, I say that we are all guilty of entertaining our lower selves or little mind, to the extent that we get our needs met and that it suits us. But at some point, we may heed the call to try something new, to be a little inconsistent with respect to the safety net of the ego, and venture into uncharted territory. I know that every time I do so, I’m rewarded manyfold. 


Blessings of power, truth, wisdom and beauty to you on your journey of healing and enlightenment. 




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