So what has that got to do with counselling?
Well if you look at the picture in the top right-hand corner you will see two squares marked A & B, to most people these squares initially appear to be different colours (one grey and one black), but they are in fact the same colour! Now I can tell you they are the same colour, your friends, your family and your work colleagues can tell you they are the same colour but the chances are you will still see them as different colours?
It's not until we sit down, take our time, start to break it down and look at different aspects of it that YOU may accept that they are the same. If you now look at the picture in the bottom left-hand corner, you may start to think just maybe things are not what you first thought!
From an early age we automatically expect a chess board to have alternating black and white squares ... early experiences can have a major influence on us.
When an object is partly in the shade and partly in the sunlight, our mind knows that it is really the same colour, even though, to our eyes, the part in the shade looks darker. In this illusion we perceive the green cylinder to be casting a shadow when it actuality isn’t casting one, so in this instance we compensate for something that is not there.
There are in fact several components all acting together to produce this illusion (for a full explanation go to: http://web.mit.edu/persci/people/adelson/checkershadow_description.html ... if you are still having doubts print the page off and cut it up!)
I think this illusion is a good reflection on many of the issues we face in life, often past experience, something we are unaware of or something we have never encountered before stops us from seeing what is truly there and how it may be affecting our actions, thoughts and feelings. We can be told by those close to us over and over again and we won’t/can’t accept it for a variety of reasons: because we do not trust them, we believe they have their own agenda or perhaps they are just not very good at helping us to ‘see it’. What you often need is what counselling provides, a clear time, a safe place and a non-judgmental person to listen to you, so in your own time YOU can break it down, you can understand it and you can come to accept it, or not accept as the case may be... and that is the essence of our work together.