Elizabeth Caldwell describes the merits of this personal development modality for clients and practitioners.
Five years ago I was invited to a taster workshop in a modality I had not yet heard of. There I met Yehuda Tagar, the creator of the modality he had been teaching since the early eighties, primarily in Australia and South Africa.
My first taste of Psychophonetics therefore was as a ‘client’ in the Workshop, bringing an issue that had been with me for some time – being in limbo, no direction and no inspiration. The fledgling practitioners in the workshop listened to me, they asked me no questions, but I felt heard and understood. They gave me Empathic Responses as I told my story, and as I went deeper, they did too. A little while on I was asked to ‘Make a Wish about it’ – I knew it immediately: ‘I wish to know the truth of who I am.’ Thus began my journey as a student of Psychophonetics.
What it is
Psychophonetics can be described as ‘The Awareness of the Resonance of Experience’. It is a modality for personal development. In practice it is a modality of coaching, counselling and psychotherapy.
Whilst working as a Director in Transformational Theatre in Australia, Yehuda was often faced with actors getting into character and having difficulty getting out of the character. Out of his deep knowledge of the work of Rudolf Steiner, Yehuda developed the methodology to help the actors to exit. Our key process in the Psychophonetics Action Phase is ‘Enter-Exit & Behold’.
The modality was inspired, primarily by Steiner’s ‘A Philosophy of Freedom’, and is based on his ‘Psychosophy’. Translated as ‘The Elements of the Soul Life’, this work is often described as Steiner’s Psychology of Freedom.
In our Psychophonetics Training, we learn how to use our own soul as an instrument with which to perceive the soul of another. This process enables the student or practitioner to ‘stand in the shoe of the other’. We are developing ‘the organ of perception for the perception of the reality of another.’ This we call Methodical Empathy.
What to Expect
As a Psychophonetics Practitioner, when we meet with a client our first job is to ‘Invite’ the client to share with us what ails them. This is the Conversation Phase. Our skill here is ‘empathic listening’, in our quest to ‘See, Hear and Understand’ our client from their own point of view, and to respond accordingly. We are journeying with the client as an equal partner, assisting him/her in the birthing of something new. At some point we will know when that something new is ready to enter and so we ask for a Wish, it is a wish for the future self.
Following Conversation we move to the Action Phase, with the client’s agreement, where we will explore further the origin of the compromise brought by the client. Our task here is to guide the client to a point where he/she can have the experience of ‘The Wish Fulfilled’.
Steiner tells us in his Psychosophy that Sensing is a key element of the Soul Life. In Psychophonetics we regard this as one of the 4 major modes of knowing. Sensing is a key activity in the Psychophonetics Process.
In Psychophonetics, the body is seen as ‘an instrument of meaning’. Yehuda describes it as, ‘a map of the Psyche through which every aspect of one’s inner life can be traced and observed in full consciousness’. In other words, ‘it is in the body’, so we use the body to express the inner reality through Gesture.
We also use Visualisation: ‘Human beings have an inherent ability to create accurate pictures of inner situations with which they can grasp, comprehend and explore their inner reality,’ explains Tagar. This ability is being refined in the Psychophonetics Process.
The sounds of Human Speech – consonants and vowels – when spoken on their own become forms of vibrations, which Steiner/Tagar tells us, ‘live in the embedded layers of the Psyche’. Sounds are often used in Processes for Empowerment or Resourcefulness.
Practitioners can benefit hugely from the Psychophonetics modality. I was able to lay many ghosts to rest. Later, I uncovered the depth of my self-doubt, which had been robbing me of my potential for this life; and my self-fear which had overwhelmed me with ‘can’t do’s’. I have been strengthened and uplifted and am beginning to ‘live the truth of who i am”.
Find out more
Training in Psychophonetics – Methodical Empathy is being offered by the British College of Methodical Empathy in Brighton/Hastings and Cheltenham. www.psychophonetics.co.uk