Being With and the Subtlety of Shark Music – Circle of Security International

COVID-19 Update

Being With and the Subtlety of Shark Music

  • Post category:Facilitators

By helping parents learn how to read the Circle of Security graphic, we are setting the stage to later invite parents to recognize their own struggle somewhere on the Circle. But before parents can explore painful themes from their own lives, the facilitator must first create a safe haven and secure base. We call this Being With. Facilitators who choose to Be With parents during their struggles open up new options to parents for ways of being in relationship. But this is sometimes easier said than done. During her first parent group, a facilitator found that she spent much of her time responding to a ?know it all? parent. The parent, hearing Shark Music, tried to manage her discomfort from?participating in a parenting group by talking about how simplistic was the COS-P material. This caused the facilitator to worry that the parent?s negativity would turn off other parents from the group. Now they were both hearing Shark Music. Rather than Be With the parent in her discomfort, the facilitator heard only her own Shark Music. She tried to reassure the mom that it would get better if she would just hang in there, and started talking about the better information that was coming up in the next chapters. Instead of Being With the mom in her own struggle and helping her to organize her feelings, the facilitator, by reassuring and then engaging in a cognitive discussion, was pushing the parent to explore with her on the top of the Circle. The parent kept up the questioning throughout the entire group. The facilitator kept trying to reassure her and explain a different way to think about the COS-P material. The more the parent questioned, the more the facilitator tried to reassure, and the more the facilitator tried to reassure, the more the parent questioned. Shark Music. Later in reflection, I asked the facilitator to guess what the parent might be thinking (i.e., Do you think I am a bad parent? Does being here mean I am doing something wrong? What makes your way the right way?). And what the parent might be feeling (i.e., nervous, frustrated, not good enough, rejected). Then what the facilitator was thinking (She thinks she?s too good for this group, other parents will think poorly of COS-P, she?s questioning my skills) and feeling (nervous, angry, frustrated, not good enough, rejected). The facilitator began to recognize the subtle role that Shark Music played in their exchange. Once she stopped focusing on trying to change the parent?s behavior, she was able to reflect on her own feelings, which then helped her to understand the parallel feelings of the parent (nervous, anger, frustration, not being good enough, rejection, etc). In this way, the facilitator felt much more empathy for the mom and noticed that she wasn?t experiencing so much Shark Music as she anticipated their next group together. Unfortunately, the parent did not return for the second group. We’ll never know why for sure. Haven’t we all been there?