Concretizing of Symptoms and Their Manipulation 1
In this chapter Dr. Rosen demonstrates how to symbolize and concretize a symptom, into a form which can be manipulated and modified in a manner which will allow an individual to lead a more productive life. Examples are given of Sara, an ex-nun, who symbolizes her negative experiences as clothing, allowing her to change and remove some clothes from a clothing pile thereby manipulating her underlying symptom. Other examples he provides are where pain is concretized as a red pen, hair pulling is concretized as a bird, and the fear of heights of another patient is concretized by seeing a connection between a fear-inducing ladder and a relaxing canoe. This chapter illustrates we can take responsibility for concretizing a thought after it presents itself, and then alter it. This was an Erickson insight: that you need to concretize a thought before you can change it, that we can change thoughts into concrete images over which we then have the power to alter them in positive ways.