by Nesterova Inna
In modern relationships, the self-sufficiency or separateness of partners from each other is thought to be the basis of a long-term happy monogamous relationship. At the same time, emotions are an integral part of relationships and are given a lot of attention and importance. The instability of the emotional background is seen as something that undermines the basis of the relationship and the hope for a happy future in a couple. This article reveals how narrative practice can effectively solve this problem when working individually with a client. This article presents Techniques and directions of work, when working with one partner, that contribute to the stabilization of the emotional background in a couple. The first part of the article examines the classical idea of working with emotions in narrative practice, as part of the context. Plus, the dilemma of the relative affective turn in modern practice is raised. The second part of the article contains an interview with a client in which he gives an example of his unique experience of resisting emotional instability. The client describes how he was able to expand his perception of relationship contexts and himself in them, as well as find new ways to express his values regarding relationships. This example can enrich the practical activities of narrative practitioners as a story that can promote and inspire clients with a similar request. Also, this article is intended for anyone who has ever encountered an unstable emotional background and communication problems in a relationship.

Keywords: Narrative practice, relationships, emotions, instability, conflict

In narrative practice, special attention is usually not paid to emotions, they are not considered something privileged, as in some modernist approaches, emotional experience is considered on an equal footing with its other aspects (White, 2007). In his work, Michael White emphasizes the importance of "cold" (exploratory) interaction with the problems that people bring to therapy before making decisions about changing relationships with them, while not suggesting that therapeutic conversations at any stage should be unemotional or distract people from their experience of these problems and fears (White, 2007). In their book The Structuring of Other Realities Freedman and Combs (2001), cite Erickson as a therapist whose approach they were inspired by when creating a new approach – narrative practice. Erickson writes: "What is required is the development of a therapeutic situation that allows the patient to use his own thinking, his own understanding, his own emotions in a way that best suits him in his scheme of life" (Erickson, 1965/1980).Thus, traditionally in narrative practice, when a client seeks help with the topic of emotional instability, attention is paid not to specific emotions, but to their location in the social, cultural and individual life context of a person (Zimmerman, 2018). It should be noted that this view of emotions in the context of psychotherapy is supported not only by narrative practices. The European Journal of Psychotherapy advocates the position that it is necessary to move towards a more comprehensive view of emotions (Gonçalves & Paulo, 2000). This article (Gonçalves & Paulo, 2000) presents a view of emotions as a socially constructed phenomenon acting through language and narrative. In Jeffrey Zimmerman's book "Neuro-narrative Therapy. New opportunities for emotionally filled conversations" (2018), the author tries to object to the criticism of narrative practice for paying minimal attention to emotions. He combines narrative practice and neurobiology to examine affect. According to Zimmerman, it is important in therapy to create a space for the client where he can experience the effect of emotions in a new way together with the therapist, so therapy is the creation of some kind of emotional new experience in the context of interpersonal relationships (Zimmerman, 2018). However, not all narrative practices share this approach, David Danborough criticizes Zimmerman's approach in his article (Denborough, 2019), saying that in this way the dominant discourse of Western culture and its imperatives are supported through the language of "science".

It also narrows the vision of history, hides political, cultural, social and many other aspects of history. There is no need to rely on achievements made in the narrowly "scientific" language of describing "reality" (Denborough, 2019).

Marie-Nathalie Baudouin in her interview adheres to the position that neurobiology can in some cases complement narrative practice, and that they work well together (Beaudoin, Lainson, 2019) However, her interlocutor Kristina Lainson in her article "Narrative therapy, neurobiology and anorexia: reflections on practices, problems and opportunities" says that the neurobiological model of anorexia is able to hide, create and reproduce a number of injustices that can make anorexia viable; suggests a case where neurobiological models and narrative practice have some significant inconsistencies that manifest themselves in their understanding of anorexia and reactions to it. (Lainson, 2019)

Tom Strong comments on this topic as follows: neurobiological discourse has helped to draw attention to cognitive and physiological experience, and sometimes it does so in such a way as to hide external problems, social injustice and dominant cultural discourses. This does not mean that it cannot find its place as an adjunct to narrative practices that take into account external factors. As for affective and emotional experience, I am glad to see how new theoretical developments make these aspects attractive as a focus of practice. I also appreciate these kinds of exchanges and discussions and their role in maintaining a dynamic and diverse narrative therapy community. (Strong,2019)

In her commentary, Jill Freelman says that in her practice, attention to the sensual aspect of history has always been part of the process. Ideas about how problems can be localized in broader contexts and discourses rather than in individuals, and that preferred stories can be developed in relationships, are central to what she values in narrative therapy, and she does not find these ideas in neuroscience. (Freedman, 2019) Jean Combs also emphasizes that excessive attention to synapses and neurotransmitters can too easily lead to a lack of attention to culture, context, and community; narrative therapy deals with emotions in a special way. He connects emotions and meaning and refuses to separate them. He also refuses to separate emotion and meaning from action. Thus, emotions are also never separated from culture, politics and ethics (Combs, 2019).

Karen Yang, speaking about her research, notes that she was interested in participating in the publication of evidence that will be presented in the scientific arena. In Canada, narrative practice is often viewed as devoid of scientific evidence. Increasingly, prescriptions are being seen (including from service sponsors) for therapists to practice only certain evidence-based methods, which is why Karen believes that scientific explanations that support modern methods of narrative practice are important, given the power that is currently being given to scientific explanations.(Young, 2019)

In this article I describe a case from my practice of working with emotional instability. This case is described so as to illustrate the possibilities of narrative practice for a client with a history of bulimia, signs of emotional instability and communication problems.

The practical significance of analyzing this case lies in enriching readers with local knowledge about how it is possible to cope with emotional instability and conflicts in relationships. As well as enriching and continuing the tradition of narrative practice - telling or retelling stories about unique people endowed with different abilities, the problems they face and how they overcome them in order to create new meanings and plots that fill other people with a sense of hope, change and healing.

The case is described with the knowledge and permission of the client. Names have been changed.
Anna, 29, (she/her) who was in the process of divorcing her husband, came to my place for assistance in passing through this period of life. During an introductory conversation, she shared with me that she has a history of resistance to bulimia in her anamnesis. At the time when she came to me, bulimia had receded for 6 months. Bulimia is a waste of time, my interlocutor told me. Then I wondered what her life is like now without bulimia in order to understand what values are behind her resistance. According to the client, without bulimia, it is possible to be physically present in this world, in general, she can experience emotions and feelings. She effectively spends every minute of her time, lives her life, sees it real and can be aware of her desires. She wants to get the most out of life without waiting. According to the client, she did not have an official diagnosis and this was her first time consulting a psychologist..

Since the client was at the stage of completing the relationship (divorce), and new ones were appearing on her horizon, so the client decided to take the topic of relationships as the focus of our work. In this life context, the client was in the process of actively thinking about building relationships. She also noted that she is characterized by "symbiosis" - building her life around one person, as well as "emotional swings" - then pouring out emotions, then keeping them to herself. These stories contradicted her hopes for a future relationship where she feels more autonomous from her partner, sees his separateness, and manipulates less, and instead of "draining energy" on emotional swings, realizes the value of intimacy faster and better. At the beginning of our conversations, the language of capitalist discourse (resources, right investments, etc.) was often extrapolated by the client on the topic of relationships, but over time we managed to go beyond it. Preferred Story: "Balance. To be a self-sufficient person, it doesn't matter if there is someone nearby or not. It's the thrill of life. Partnership relations, two self-sufficient people understand what they want, together they are stronger than separately. There is some kind of life, friends, interests and personal space. I am sure in a person, there is equality, the same reliance on each other." The main problematic story in the context of relationships the client saw was "emotional swings" or the desire to merge with a person into a "symbiosis" - when life is built around one person. The consequences of such a symbiosis are the loss of time, the loss of oneself as a person, the loss of mutual interest, there is no personal space, a lump in the throat and dissatisfaction with oneself is possible. In this context, it was important for A. to develop the ability to rely on herself and make sure that self-esteem does not depend on another.

In the relationship, the problem A. saw was "emotional swings" - dumping emotions then keeping them to yourself – as described by their client. The therapy process was accompanied by a gradual discussion of feelings related to the relationship. But not only in the context of a real relationship, but also in the context of past relationships – with friends, parents, classmates. The sessions created a space to express feelings openly, for discussion of various emotionally rich stories from different ages. Touching on these stories, A. focused not only on feelings and their animateness, but on the development of the preferred story in the context that A. touched upon. For example, in the story of difficult relationships with classmates, it was first of all important for her to develop a history of values that were affected and then create narratives based on these values. In addition to values, she also found knowledge and skills in stories that we managed to learn from a particular experience and tried to integrate these skills into other life contexts. So, she arrived at the fact that in a romantic relationship it helps to regulate emotions:
* Understanding the context, communication goals and
* Clarification
* Awareness of your right to emotions

Also, in the history of resistance to "emotional swings", it was important to build supports in the form of social ties and relationships with other spheres of life: family, friends, hobbies, self-realization / work. The expansion of the life context helps to find places where a problematic story does not have such power, and to "fixate" on it less. Client A. notes that "it is important to be able to switch to different spheres of life." We also supported the idea of authorship and came to the conclusion that "there are things that depend on you and you can influence them. Proactive participation reinforces self-confidence."

It was very important to get exactly that experience – the experience of self-reliance, the experience of separation, the experience of expressing one's feelings and realizing the value of intimacy.

Thus, when resisting emotional swings, it is important for us to:
* Build support in the form of client values, as well as knowledge and skills
* Expand the context to include more social interaction
* Create an experience of realizing values and expressing oneself in the most preferred way for the client

As a result of working with the client on the topic of relationships, we came to the following: the client "learned to see the separateness of another person, I love as a separate person." Subsequently, she began to "manipulate less, push less, become less upset when things don't go according to plan; plan less, be more present in the moment." According to A., she likes this behavior more - "it's comfortable, it's better to realize the need for intimacy faster and better, I worry about the comfort of other people." Values: communication, fullness, emotional intimacy - through this style of action it turns out to be realized in the best way.

I adhere to the idea that unique episodes are not only what exists in the client's history, but also what is created directly in the session. When working with a problematic story, we separated different stories involved in the same interaction using the language of parts This helped us to separate different positions and identities that exist at a single moment in time and prevent the client from realizing her intentions. At the same time, in my work I tried to focus on the client's values to consider this or that identity. As a rule, some stories and identities from the historical past came into focus. Creating a dialogue with a particular identity, we focused on the needs and values of this identity, and in the process we lost the realization of this need. These sessions, according to the client, had a special healing effect.

We paid special attention to quarrels and conflicts in relationships. The history of each conflict was considered separately and analyzed from the point of view of the needs that appeared in this conflict for the client. In particular, it was possible to use deconstruction techniques regarding the topic of relationships, love, intimacy, etc. This technique allowed us to relieve tension and reduce the pathologizing assessment of ourselves as a person who "does not know how to build relationships'', which allowed us to move in the process of searching for an individual style of relationships and separating our needs from the needs imposed upon us. A lot of time was devoted to creating formulations of the client's needs in the form in which it was acceptable for her, and corresponded to her individual idea of the relationship. Further, the client tried to apply the knowledge gained in therapy in existing relationships, and although it was not always successful, we were always able to reflect on this experience and find important lessons in it. An important component of therapy was, in my opinion, the client's motivation for changes and the desire to apply the knowledge gained through the therapy.
Interview with the client at the end of work

Upon completion of the work with the client, an interview was conducted based on the form proposed by Michael White and David Epston (Epston &White, 1992). As noted by Epston and White, this interview is designed to strengthen a person's perception of himself as the author of his life, as well as that the transferred experience for the therapist and others is a kind of gift that balances the gift of therapy, thus the balance of power between the therapist and the client is maintained, and a sense of fair exchange is maintained (Epston &White, 1992). The following is from the interview with the client:

• Before I ask a few questions about what path you have traveled in our meetings, tell me in 3-5 sentences (maybe more) what "problem" you came with, and how it is now?

Yeah... so... I would like to remember what happened 2 years ago (laughs). If my memory serves me right, I came with the fact that I was in some rather complicated relationship with my ex-husband, and I had such a shattered emotional state that I did not fully understand especially what it was connected with. I had an incomprehensible relationship with the opposite sex, and I didn't understand what was going on, what it was connected with, and why it was shaking me so much. That is probably the easiest way to formulate it. This was further complicated by the fact that I didn't know whether to divorce my ex-husband or not, or If I had something in my head…

• Could you explain the word "loosen" a little bit?

I remember that tears rolled down my face, then I was in a very depressed state, then I returned to normal. In general, there was a feeling that I had no control over it, somehow it happened by itself, and it looked strange, because you yourself understand and realize that this is something so unusual. I removed the word abnormal (laughs) Unusual.

That is, it's some kind of emotional instability (this name was previously mentioned by the client in our work): emotions appear and disappear ...?

Yes, yes, something like that. And I didn't understand how to switch them off, and I didn't understand why they arose. In general, it spoiled my life a little. That's probably it.

Do I remember that you and I eventually called it an "emotional swing"?

Yes, yes, yes

• And specifically it was relevant in the context of a relationship with a man/ partners ...?

Yes, and with my ex-husband, this was not pronounced. Although, looking back now, I understand that in some form it was also present, just maybe with a different shade and strength. We didn't have any such strange conflicts, let's just say, but I realized that this was probably present in general throughout my life.

• Are you in a relationship now, and what about the emotional swing?

Yes, I am in a relationship right now that I started when I came for therapy, and also, in my opinion, increased, as my supervisor says, the level of insanity. It increased, because in addition to the fact that I was getting divorced, I was starting a new relationship. It was unclear what was going on, I was even more shaken up, and in general there were a lot of conflicts in the relationship over the past year, especially when we began to live together. In fact, the last two months, the last few months, the number of conflicts somehow began to decrease to zero. I would not completely stop, there still is some of course. But it depends on what you call conflict... (laughs) The degree of destruction, the destructiveness of the past - it's gone. It became much more comfortable, and even the day before yesterday I had a funny episode: a situation that before would have made me very angry, very upset and some kind of quarrel would have ensued. In general, it turned out I just said that I'm offended, complained and didn't quarrel. In general, it was a straight check, so here....

• And at that moment, what happened to the "emotional swing", they did not "swing"...?

I would say that it was clear to me what was going on, what I was experiencing. I had the opportunity to give myself time to make sure of this for sure, and figure out how to express it correctly. Not that I would have reacted immediately, I was silent for a while and thought....

Now reviewing your ability to solve the issue of "emotional swings", what do you think you could rely on most of your abilities in the future?

The very first ability is that I learned to determine what exactly is happening to me, because there was definitely some kind of layered cake before: some cream on top, something else on this cream… In fact, it's not that the root cause has become clear, you remove the layers ... Now you can see the last few layers. It's enough to remove the top ones and you can roughly imagine how this filling looks, you just know where to dig, and even if you don't know, it's as if there are some kind of guidelines: how and in which direction you can think... to unwind… You see these puzzles, you solve them and solve similar ones that appear and then some others appear that you may have never seen, but you know a set of tools with which you can deploy for the task. It's the same story here, and that's exactly what started to help me very well.
And the second point, understanding the "emotional swing" helps me. I began to reject it less, and critiqued myself less. So I started to be like, well, something offends me.... And then in general, I would say that my need for social approval went into the background, not completely but it became less important. Well, somehow it became a little clearer that society is society, but you can't remake yourself when only considering society…

• Do you think it would be useful to keep this knowledge of your abilities alive, and how could this be done?

100% - 146%, which is yes. Moreover, the best way to keep it is just to use it all the time, which is what I'm actually doing right now. If I don't like something or in order to get something, I start actively implementing it into my life. And I'm trying to grow it into all spheres, because everything that happened to me in my personal life appeared at work, oddly enough, and not only at work. I realized a little bit that in general it works about the same everywhere. And it is very difficult for me to imagine the circumstances under which I will lose this skill (laughs) It seems to me that it's impossible to see it anymore (laughs)

We will discuss the steps you have taken to achieve this later. It's interesting to understand how you made this approach work for you. What were your personal and relationship-related qualities that were important for achieving such a result?

I would definitely say that I'm stubborn (laughs) or purposeful - I didn't have time to decide. Sometimes it happens that I aim for something right away and won't back down until I achieve it. I wouldn't say I do it everywhere. There are some situations in communication in which there is a feeling that I am doing something a little more stubborn than many of my friends, let's say. It helps me a lot to keep up, not to give up, get up, shake off and carry on - a cool skill. What else...probably… Curiosity, I would probably say, I learned a lot about myself, about others, and it was always interesting and fun for me when it's beneficial, and it's fun when you learn something different about others - it's interesting. Interest also acts as such a motivator. I used to think about the long path of psychotherapy: "Oh, how can you do this for several years?" And then you realize that in fact, it's not that you sit without a result for six months or your own term, but new conditional results somehow gradually appear. It's not like a routine without a result. There are little results, and this is in every new step that you take - it motivates you. Everything is actually simpler than it seems. I would say that these results are definitely motivating. And I even noticed that at the moment it seems that something does not change in you, but if you look back and if you ask your loved ones, it turns out that you have changed a lot, and your loved ones also emphasize that you are changing, that you are becoming different - that's cool that such things change.

• You have practically answered my next question: imagine that I am dating a person who is experiencing the same problem as you. From what you know, what do you think I could give them as advice?

(Thinking) I'm actually in a situation now where a young man is experiencing some kind of crisis, and I see that he has something very similar to my emotional swing, just a little bit in a different area, and I really want to s advise him to contact a specialist. I would do it, but I really understand that it is important not to impose it, you have to come to it yourself. It can sometimes even play some kind of evil trick. And the second thing I do, from what I can, is I always say that I am there, that I understand his feelings, that I have been through this difficult path and that I have succeeded. I'm not saying that I did it. It just so happened that I had some success, and the young man, on the contrary, had some kind of crisis. And so I try to tell him somehow by my example, so as not to demotivate him, that you can go this way, and the situation is not hopeless. Therefore, I would probably say that it is important to make it clear to a person that what is happening to him is nothing terrible. Yes, it's unpleasant, but it's not something abnormal, and that it's important to go this way and do it for your own good. And in case of anything, you always have help. Yes, some people are able to cope on their own, but if you can't, you can always ask for help, it will come and be found, and I can also be an assistant where I can…

That is, if I understood your approach correctly, it is based on what is important to you, and among what is important to you is comfort, some kind of feeling in the relationship of accepting yourself and your needs as they are. And the relationship itself is also of great value ?

Yes, yes, yes, I would say that it is.

• What could I have seen in your life earlier that would allow me to conclude that you will get rid of this problem at the moment?

It seems to me that each of us are able to get rid of it if he really has the motivation for it. My motivation was ironclad. I honestly believe that this is available to everyone. There may be different periods: that is, someone may go faster, for example, someone will have to go longer. Well, the fact that it is possible to pass it is for sure. I know people who make their way if they have this desire.

Maybe by some external signs I would understand that you have motivation…How would I see it in you?

Eyes are shining! This is similar to the question - how to understand in an interview with a person whether he has motivation or not. It's not easy sometimes, for this you need to look at a person not once, but several times ... I would say that a person who has motivation, according to my feelings, usually manifests it in general, in their speech and actions - that is, some situation happens, some mistake and there is deep analysis and the error is used somehow. Okay, we've stumbled now, we need to figure it out, it's unpleasant, but the situation has happened, it will just be an experience. Let's use this experience in the future, it will still benefit the result. Somehow so probably…

The eye is burning, mistakes are considered as experience, and mistakes are sorted out?

Yes, it seems to me that whatever happens to a person they should try to relate it to their goal. In my understanding, motivation is when you don't give up, you are ready for difficulties. There are all sorts of difficulties, some may not be possible to pass right away, but like this.

Well, now you have begun to accept yourself as you are - your values in relationships and so on. Please tell us what kind of person you are, what qualities do you possess, values, what is important for you in relationships, what is self-sufficiency for you? I remember we once discussed what it is for you, as you understand it. We discussed that you do not understand this in any generally accepted sense - you have your own definition for this word. Please tell us about it in more detail…

I would say that I began to like myself more, I really changed during this time, acquired some pleasant qualities that I thought I suddenly had. It turned out that I really have them. And some negative qualities that would seem to be negative, they, well, let's just say, turned out to be just a manifestation of reaction, rather than a quality of my character. And about the good ones, I would say that I probably really found out that I have empathy. I've always paid attention to it somehow. This is probably an acquired skill that helps me to be offended by people, and for me people are of great value, as well as communication with them. In general, this topic is important to me, and almost one of the basic needs is to communicate and be in society. I generally get sad when I don't talk to anyone for a long time. In short, like you're on a diet. I've always loved this quality in myself, I just haven't always been able to interact with people somehow. Now I have a slightly larger set of tools that allows me to avoid some situations. I would say that I am really purposeful, probably… And I really appreciate comfort. This is probably very important, I somehow accepted it in myself. Society, and in particular my society, somehow always dictated that it was necessary to plow - to work, to be successful, but something always bothered me, and I was too lazy to plow a lot, because for the sake of one area it was a pity to spend all my time. And somehow I realized that this balance is a value. There are times when there are temporary distortions. Basically I want balance. Comfort is also important to me, relationships are of great importance, it is important for me to have a close person with whom you can share your life, and that you have fun, it's fun to live through everything that happens together. For me, this is the definition of self-sufficiency. For a long time, I interpreted it this way - that it is necessary to be able to be alone, to enjoy it,. This is clearly not mine, and not my kind of story. I'm okay when I'm with someone, and in general I'm okay with it. I realized that there is no need to fight with this.

• You said that being alone and getting high from it is something that does not suit you. What kind of life would suit people like you, do you think?

Well, from what I understand at the moment, it's probably [a] saturated [life]. I like it when there are a lot of different events, a lot of different areas are covered at once, that is, work, and some hobbies, impressions and hangouts, not sitting still. At the same time there is communication in all this. I would say it's a must, but at the same time I also like to be alone, that is, hangouts are hangouts, but at home you can be relaxed, you can be yourself, you can share with a loved one… When on the one hand there is some rich history, and on the other hand it is such a cozy atmospheric home - this is combined.

• Who of those who knew your past or knew you in the past would be most likely to come to similar conclusions about you? About what you are saying about yourself now. What could they have noticed about you at an earlier age that could have led them to such conclusions?

It seems to me that all my friends know me like this. That's a plus or minus, maybe they didn't see all my sides, as we say, but it's this desire to be in the company, to live on some kind of coil, I won't say that it's full, that's for sure, it seems to me, many of my close friends saw it in general. Yes, I've always been like this in fact, even when I was in first grade, I was the first to get to know everyone. And for as long as I can remember, I've always been like this and always been drawn to people.

• It also seems to me to be some kind of curious story, about how problematic stories can spread to just one area of life, and we perceive it as something in common. The spheres of life seem to be isolated from each other, for some reason we do not transfer what is important to us in one context to another, thinking that it seems to be impossible…

Yes, it was like that, because it's a little easier with friends. I learned to build relationships with friends a little earlier, although I still consider this path unfinished. But with loved ones... a person gets close enough to the very essence of you, naturally to your pain points somewhere, and it really hit me hard. These pain points probably were hurt less in my relationships with friends, because there was less chance of getting there.

Let's talk a little bit about the future… How does he know what you now know about yourself, about your previous experience? How will this knowledge of yours affect your next step in life? What are your expectations?

I would say that the next step for me is to try to do everything in a new way. I'm trying it out at work right now, and I have a lot of amazing discoveries going on. In a relationship like this, so that everything becomes completely new, I would say that it happened relatively recently, and this is a very interesting experience, it almost immediately bears fruit, and it's very cool. I would definitely add this: despite the fact that I have always somehow aspired to people, for some reason I have always been a little closed from them. Now it's like I've started to thaw. Well, maybe I started taking a few more risks in some contexts, I became more open to them. I think this has always been the place. I had a feeling that there was some kind of wall suddenly appearing with people, and there was a feeling that I was leaving myself. Now a little understanding has come from where it comes from. Try to take risks, open up to people - for me, this is, in fact, the next new step. I wonder what will come out of this, I'm trying to create a new experience in all areas and "treat" everything that I lacked before. Well, in general, I wonder what will happen. It turns out that it's not as scary and not as terrible as it seemed!

• What new knowledge or skills can open up prospects for you at work? How do you apply it at work..?

For me, it somehow happened now that there is one conflict situation at work. Here I have addressed the head several times, even just last week I approached again, because again there was some kind of incomprehensible situation. I came and said that, in general, I do not know what is going on, I admit that this is my personal perception, and because of some of my personal characteristics, but I no longer want to work in this team. Let's do something about it. And in general, to my great surprise... but I knew that my supervisor really cares about his team and all that... He somehow did much more than I expected, and literally on Friday he came to me and said that it was very important to him that all his employees in the team are happy and, in particular, that we feel comfortable and safe, and that I feel comfortable and safe - and this for me was: what do I deserve and why is that? It was very nice, it just made my day. It was one of the most enjoyable days this year, I would say that I have always relied on relationships at work. It's not that I'm such a cool specialist, as much as I've been able to establish relationships better, although this is probably normal for a specialist. Now I've somehow learned to do it more sincerely, take more risks, and I think it will just help me develop this skill even more, especially since I want to become a manager. For managers, the hardest skill is the ability to communicate and that's all. I can see these fruits right now..

It turns out that your boss responded to these values and made you feel safe and comfortable at work. This act of his is some kind of contribution perhaps to your future professional identity? Experience that it is possible to listen to the employee, to make it comfortable and safe… Will this also somehow affect your future position in work?

Yes, it is very important for me to have such an example before my eyes, and in general I would also like to be such a leader. I actually try to be such a leader myself at least, and it's very nice that there is such participation. When you feel supported, it is very valuable. To be honest, I didn't expect it, although I myself strive to provide some kind of help to people. If someone runs into my walls, I will cover them(laughs) And it's nice when they do the same for you. I was so glad! It's so cool! (Smiles)

That is, this new knowledge from personal experience has opened up opportunities for you to support safety and comfort even at work, not only in your personal life?

Yes, yes, yes, but I was able to express what was bothering me, and I did it in some kind of eco-friendly way. I understand that probably not everyone can hear, it depends on the situation, but it happened here specifically. I think in a lot of places it can work out, it's fun. That's the truth.

Please tell me, how does this new story of the "future" differ or may differ from the "future" that would have taken place if all this had not happened?

I think my boyfriend and I would have broken up. I think there is such a possibility at least. I would definitely be less comfortable than I am now, I do not know how the stage of the pandemic would have affected it, because this was in the background of all the events. At first everything seemed like it was some kind of nonsense, but then it all changed. I don't know, it seems to me that some kind of internal conflict has intensified: on the one hand, I want something and on the other hand, I'm trying to fight it. It's hard to imagine how uncomfortable I would have been, I think very. Although it seems to me I would still have asked for help (laughs) There would be a lot of things that would differ, to be honest, the perception of some events… It's all different now. Even in similar events, a lot of things would be different. Probably that's what I can list.

• Who else should know about this? For whom can this be news? Would you like someone to know that you have become like this?

It seems to me that everyone who is important is now present in my life - my mom and boyfriend, close colleagues, for example, friends. By the way, my girlfriend will arrive at the end of August, I will definitely tell you about it, I always share it with her. Somehow it so happened that we are going through life in parallel together - some discoveries are being made correctly, it's akin to some kind of magic, it's very pleasant. I will definitely share it with her, because I know that she will just be happy for me, and it may even support her somewhere.…

• What is the most important thing for you to tell your girlfriend, what will you tell her...?

I'll probably tell her about what… Well, of course I'll tell her about everything (laughs) About the fact that I realized something important for myself: about myself and about communicating with others, and I managed to keep myself in such difficult conflicts, some emotionally colored situations - I would say this - to open up to people, it's about opening up to people in the first place.

Opening up to people and saving yourself sounds cool and how do you think your girlfriend will react to this, to this message...?

She'll be happy for me, I know for sure. Maybe that's why it's nice to share with her. I will not discuss it with those who can't understand and rejoice with me, with those who will devalue it. (laughs)

So how could you celebrate this achievement with your girlfriend (both smiling)

(Laughs) Are you asking?? Well, I don't know, it's just for me to sit here to enjoy talking, to discuss - this is already some kind of recognition that this happened. Well, wine of course (laughs), if that's what we're talking about.

Wine with what? (I laugh) I can't help but ask, I can't help but wonder.

With cheese. I hope she brings some cheese.

Tetdemoine, I remember this is your favorite cheese and mine too.

Yes, yes, yes, with that one.

Good. Thank you very much for this interview, I hope the meeting with my girlfriend will take place, have a good meeting with her and with a wonderful fragrant cheese!

Could you tell me a few more words about the experience of working with me as a non-expert psychologist.. How was it for you? It's just very interesting.

For me personally, it was 100% hitting what I needed. I am always afraid of this condemnation. I was always waiting and living with an eye on this assessment of someone. I was very pleased that whatever happened to me, you somehow just - Yes, okay - this is your reaction. As a person, you reacted so smoothly to all this, and it was so pleasant for me. This experience supports me so much, I began to avoid the assessment of society a little more and look at my own a little more. And for me personally, it was just like medicine or something. Well, it definitely made a very big contribution. And there was definitely trust right from the first session, and this is super important, because if I don't trust someone, I wouldn't be able to open up and say something about myself. I could tell you anything, I knew that you would just listen to me, and I feel that it is always important to you, exactly how good it is for me and how I think it should be. That's what helped me get somewhere, we're not talking about any general and accepted norms, namely, we'll figure out what I want, how good I feel, how she was for me and I was some kind of center of all this. I would say so.

And you and I have deconstructed some social stories a little. This was also in our sessions....

Yes, I really liked that too, discussing all sorts of norms, such interesting conversations -it was cool!

A little look out of the matrix ... (I smile)

Yes, yes, yes. Who is driving all this ? (laughs) Who benefits from this?
This case is an example of how narrative practice can work with a request concerning emotional instability, as well as with emotions in the context of a relationship, when the second partner is unavailable for therapy. Although it is traditionally not customary to pay special attention to emotions in narrative practice, we see that narrative practice is a working tool for getting in touch with emotionally intense experiences. It is important to note that we do not allocate a specific place for emotions in therapy, we place and consider them in the specific context of the client's life experience. It should also be noted the importance of a decentered but influential therapeutic position as a tool for creating an experience in which emotions are not problematized, but are part of the life context. I would also like to note the importance of the therapy stage, in which the client takes the first steps to apply the knowledge gained during therapy and will try to implement and create a new experience based on his values and beliefs. At this stage, it is important to maintain a cooperative position, while refraining from excessive suggestions on how to implement the client's ideas and values. Therefore, it is worth inventing and creating a new communicative experience together with the client, offering and discussing together what suits them best.

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