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Working with Feelings and Emotions, Colour and Images; Integration of Techniques

by Anthony Deavin(more info)

listed in healing, originally published in issue 178 - January 2011

In the previous two articles on Causal Healing, I have discussed ways to deal with the beliefs which bind us, blinding us to the truth about ourselves. Disturbing emotions and feelings are always associated with beliefs; indeed, usually, we are more aware of the emotion than the accompanying belief. We often use the words feelings and emotions interchangeably. Actually, a feeling is what we feel, while an emotion is what results when that feeling is associated with a belief. For example, we label a feeling of intense hot energy associated with a belief like: "This is not right" as anger. For the inner enquiry we are discussing here, it is important to be aware of the feeling, so that if a client says: "I am so angry" the therapist may ask: "How does that make you feel; what are you telling yourself as you experience anger?" The transformation in a person who finds it possible to step back and describe what they feel and the associated belief can be dramatic. There is release and empowerment in stepping into the place of the observer, or witness, and out of the story we tell ourselves.   

Some clients find it very difficult to get deeply in touch with their feelings. One excellent way of achieving this is to ask the client to use words to describe the disturbance which they sense in the body. Eugene Gendlin[1]  coined the term "felt-sense"  for the often vague body- sense of a problem.) It can help to place a hand over the place of disturbance, e.g. heart, to aid to process of bringing the attention close to the area in question.  The client exploring the heart area may respond with words such as 'heavy', 'anxious' or 'tight', which are feeling qualities. Sometimes the words which surface may be 'out of balance' or 'closed', which amount to a 'knowing' as to the condition of the heart area. Other clients may come up with colour or image as they maintain their focus. The therapist reflects back to the client their observation and asks them to check out the heart area again. Often the words or image have changed; there has been a shift and the client may experience a beneficial change within themselves. Reflecting back by the therapist may take place several times in order to achieve a clear word or words, colour or image, which express the quality of the "felt-sense".  When this has been achieved, there are several options open, depending on which direction the practitioner senses will prove most beneficial to the client. Among the options available are:

  1. Asking;
  2. Exploring what lies 'beneath' a feeling;
  3. Working with images;
  4. Resolving beliefs.

Here it should be noted that the agenda for change and healing is held at the Soul level. This requires that the therapist work in a place of 'not-knowing'. Given that, it is always clear which direction to take: it is as if the therapist receives guidance as the process proceeds, something which is truly magical to experience.


When the client has reached a clear form of words, colour or image to describe the "felt-sense", they are invited to ask a question such as: "What needs to happen now?"  I remember working with a woman who felt angry, stressed and rejected. The 'knowing' she came up with was 'unsupported'.  It turned out that her husband was a 'workaholic'. She rarely saw him and there was seldom any conversation. Moreover, she was pregnant.  When asked: "What needs to happen now?" she replied: "I need to insist that my husband sits down and listens to me." When she realized this, she became calmer, lighter and empowered. 

We note from this example that when strong emotions are running, we are unable to be clear as to the action which needs to be taken.  When we find ourselves in a chaotic state, working on ourselves with the focusing technique can return us to calm, and as a result, a clear sense of what we need to do.

Exploring the 'Layers' of Feelings and Emotions

We have to thank Brandon Bays' 'Journey Work' for this powerful approach.[2] The client attends fully to whatever feeling or emotion is present, while the therapist supports the maintenance of this attention and is watchful that the ordinary mind does not intrude. It is as if the client's ordinary mind wishes to prevent any change by using fear, doubt or judgement to disturb or scatter the attention. Any such intrusions are acknowledged and put to one side. As soon as the feeling or emotion is fully experienced, the client is invited to pass through the feeling or emotion to discover what lies beyond. It is as if feelings and emotions exist in layers, with Source at the centre. This process of passing from one feeling or emotion to the next continues until the client reaches a place without any qualities. This place will be described with such words as void, nothingness, confusing or black. Passing through this place, the client becomes aware of qualities of Source, e.g. calm, peaceful, light, love. The change in a client when they contact Source is often dramatic: it is as if a light is turned on! If the client allows Source to wash over the feeling and emotional states which were experienced, they will be changed.

I used this technique with a student whom I was teaching how to take blood pressure. When putting the cuff on her arm, she became agitated. She said that this always happened when her blood pressure was taken, and welcomed help to be free of her reaction. The session proceeded as follows:
Therapist:  Where do you have this feeling of agitation?
Student:     The heart.
Therapist:  Focus on this area and describe in words what you feel.
Student:     Constriction.
Therapist:  Focus again. What is there?
Student:     Fear.
Therapist:  Focus fully on the fear. You are supported. Be courageous.
Student:    There is a void, nothing there.
Therapist:  Focus on this void. See what you find underneath.
Student:     Peace!
The whole expression of the student changes, with smiles for the first time. Everyone in the group experiences the peace.
Therapist: Allow yourself to stay with this peace--------. Now taking this peace to the fear you experienced, how does this appear now?
Student:  Irrational. The fear has gone!

After a refreshment break we took the student's blood pressure. She had no agitation, remaining peaceful.   

Usually it happens that as the client becomes deeply aware of a strong emotion, the traumatic  memory of a person or event comes into view. The Journey Work of Brandon Bays[2] describes methods for clearing such trauma, including deep forgiveness, both of the person associated with the trauma  and of oneself. True forgiveness is a heart response, a letting go, characterized by the client experiencing relief, lightness and compassion towards the person responsible for the trauma.

Working with Images

William Redpath developed the technique which he calls 'Trauma Energetics.[3,4] This is a highly effective way of working with colour and images, and is most useful for clients who are very visual. When scanning the body, any stuck energy is seen as black or colour containing black. Black areas are the place to which the client's attention needs to be directed if energy is to flow. With the attention focused on it, black will resolve into colour, white light or 'clear'. 'Clear' is a very subtle experience of what we may call 'colour without qualities'. The change from black to colour is a sure indication that the formally 'stuck' energy is now moving. The role of the therapist is to keep the client's attention on the black, observing colour changes as they take place.

I was treating a client with Polarity Therapy whose whole body ached, with most areas sore to the touch. I decided to work with the pelvis. The session proceeded as follows:

Therapist:   I am placing my hand over the pelvis with a light touch. Close your eyes, and tell me what colour you see.
Client:   I've got yellow and red.
Therapist:  I am going to touch the pubic bone. Is it sore?
Client:  Yes.
Therapist: What colour is the pubic bone?                                                                
Client: Black!  (With this observation we have confirmation that where the energy is 'stuck' (sore), the visual appearance will be black.)                                            
Therapist:  Is all the pubic bone black?
Client:  Yes; there is grey around the black.
Therapist: Get closer to it as if you had a zoom lens. Are you able to see where the grey meets the black?                                                                                                  
Client: Yes!                                                                                                           
Therapist:  Is it possible to go between the grey and the black?  
Client:  Yes. Here it is yellow!   (Here we have confirmation that the power of attention enables black to resolve into colour. Stuck energy is now moving.                                                                       
Therapist: Stay with the yellow ------ what colour have you got now?                        
Client: Clear, no colour. (The client has reached a place beyond colour.)               
Therapist:  As you were going between the grey and the black, I felt the tissue of the pubic bone suddenly relax. As I touch  the pubic bone is it sore? What is the feeling of the body as a whole?                                                                                            
Client:  It is not sore now and the body is calm.

Colours viewed in the brain
Fig 1 Colours viewed in the brain

As one might have expected, to the visual person, a cancer will appear black. A client, a nine year old girl with a brain tumour on the brain stem, came to see me. She was remarkably visual and was able to give the colour of each part of the brain as I pointed to it on a diagram. The site of the cancer was known from a scan to be slightly posterior to the 3rd. ventricle. As I pointed to each part of the brain-stem on the diagram, she coloured in the colours she saw. We then repeated this procedure, viewing slightly posterior to the brain stem. The site of the brain tumour appeared as dark blue. (Fig. 1)  As the client looked closely at the dark blue she saw a "black box with a black spray in the corner." (Fig. 2 shows the client's own picture of this.) Attending to the place where blue met black, the colour changed to orange-red, while a red dot appeared as she focused on the blackest place. In all of our many sessions together, black always changed to a colour when focused on.

Close-up of the dark blue area
Fig 2 Close-up of the dark-blue area

Although her consultant gave her but a few months to live, she in fact survived three years, touching the lives of many with her brightness and absence of any vestige of complaint or sadness.

Resolving Beliefs. Integration of Techniques

Sometimes during a therapy session, a belief becomes apparent during conversation, a belief which prevents  the client moving in the direction they aspire to. A client, using focusing to explore her qualities of her heart area, used words like hard, constricted and unyielding. The client had done sufficient inner work to realize that these qualities were not helpful to herself or anyone else. However, the client had not found the way to be totally free of these qualities. As we explored the possible reasons for this situation, it became evident the client held the belief:  "I need to be in control to be safe." This belief underpinned the heart qualities which the client had observed.  After clearing this belief by Theta healing[5] we were able to work with ease using Trauma Energetics to clear darkness from the heart area. Rechecking the heart qualities present by focusing, the client was able to connect with the experience of love in the heart, free of the harsh qualities she had previously experienced. It was this that she wished for.

This example illustrates how well different approaches combine to help a client take a significant step on their inner journey.


1.  Gendlin E.  Focusing. Bantam Books. New York. ISBN 0-553-27833-9. 1981.
2.  Bays B.  The Journey.  An Extraordinary Guide for Healing and Setting Yourself Free. Thornsons. London. ISBN 0-7225-3809-X. 1999.
3.  Redpath WM. Trauma Energetics. A Study of Held-Energy Systems. Lexington MA.                  ISBN 0-9467730-0-7.  1995.
4.  Redpath WM. Trauma Energetics. Positive  Health on Line.  January 2001.
5.  Deavin. A.  Causal Healing: The Resolution of Harmful Beliefs by Theta Healing. Positive Health on Line. September 2010.


Anthony wishes to express his thanks to Helga Frank for the advice she has given him during the preparation of this article.


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About Anthony Deavin

Anthony Deavin BSc PhD RPP RCST has a BSc and PhD in chemistry and research experience in the biological sciences. Anthony then studied Ayurveda (Indian Medical Science), qualified in Medical Herbalism, and lectured in Anatomy and Physiology and Pathology. Subsequently he qualified in Polarity Therapy and Cranio-sacral Therapy, and established a Training in Polarity Therapy. More recently, Anthony's focus has shifted to gaining the skills necessary to help his clients overcome the trauma, limiting beliefs and turbulent emotions which prevent them realising their direction and purpose in life. To this end, Anthony has qualified in Journey Therapy and Theta Healing and has studied many other methods, most recently Reference Point Therapy. Anthony now teaches Causal Healing, which integrates all the methods he has studied and practised into one unified approach. His clinic work combines Herbal Medicine, Polarity Therapy and Causal healing.

Anthony may be contacted by on Tel: 01737 842749;

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