For anyone who doesn't know: a silent disco is an event where everyone attending wears a set of headphones to enjoy the music. But unlike a normal disco, you get to chose from a number of different channels and songs to "shake your thang to". So you could be dancing along to Salt n Pepa, while the person next to you is dancing (and more hilariously- singing) along to something completely different. But I'd forgive you for asking, why on earth am I writing about this as a therapist?
As a Cognitive Analytic Therapist, I help my clients to recognise patterns in their relationships that have been repeating throughout their lives. These learnt patterns can be about knowing how to cope with and respond to all sorts of problems or dilemmas, and will have been helpful or just necessary at some point to survive.
These patterns are a lot like one of those songs you may have come across, you know the ones with a 'catchy' dance routine to go with it? One of those songs that no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get it out of your mind and the urge to dance along with it feels overwhelming? Perhaps you don't even realise it, but at times you start humming or singing it under your breath, where-ever you go, even if it's not appropriate to the situation you're in, or could be embarrassing?
So now imagine that life is just one big silent disco, where everybody is listening to their own annoyingly catchy song but you can't hear it and no one can hear what song you're listening to either, but you are all still dancing. As human beings, we naturally try to find a sense of connectedness and to do this, we interpret each others behaviour, both verbal and non-verbal, as we try to respond to each other and find commonality. If you think about it, (and i'm no dance expert here) but dancing with a partner or other people is about the same thing. Though its even harder to get the steps right if you are both listening to different songs and following different dance moves. There are bound to be toes trodden on, drinks spilt and disharmony as you try to get to know one another's songs, relying on only being able to describe it to them because they can never really hear it the same way that you can.
Depending on your own story though, that song can be more or less straight forward, it might even be a bit predictable. But if you find it hard to know exactly what song it is, or even the words or dance moves feel unknown to you but just happen, it might be where my role as a therapist could help you. To join you in your silent disco and try to work it out together so that some of those steps hopefully don't keep tripping you up.
If you would like to find out more about what Cognitive Analytic Therapy could do for you, please feel free to get in touch.
All the best,