One of my major goals and objectives as a counselor has been to help the client create or experience a sensory shift in feelings and emotions regarding his/her identity, beliefs/values, capability, behavior and environment. For those who expressed a strong belief in religion or spirituality I was always wide open to discussing and working in these areas.

The arts, whatever you consider those to be can be very helpful in this area. I was introduced by a dear friend to haiku. This is a wonderful lady from Japan who teaches haiku in Hawaii.

She taught me the basic form of three lines with 5, 7 and 5 syllables in each line. The task was to express feelings and emotions in the here and now.

Daughters come to mind,
my heart fills with joy of them,
thank you transcendence.

This is a simple example of how one would look. It describes how my daughters make me feel and reflects how it was my transcendence from addiction to – it’s as if I never had the problem and there are no triggers, cravings, urges or relapses that made it possible for me to have this experience today. Easily, I could have been dead otherwise.

Clients loved this little exercise that they came to see as a way to create a corrective emotional response. It was very meaningful and had an impact.

Between this exercise and learning about beliefs, values and the power that we have over how we feel clients expressed that they learned that they had power over how they felt. This is so empowering. We will be spending more time on this topic.

To learn more about haiku you can google Yosa Buson or haiku.

This has been Recovery Theme 14. What did you learn from this post? You learned that a worthy goal is to be able to learn to create an “Old You – New You” emotional shift. Especially in the area of identity, values and behavior. You learned that there are simple ways to do this such as the poetry art of haiku. Anything in painting, drawing, music or dance, etc. can do it for us.

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