The Work/ Byron Katie method


At Paradisekids Child Centre we use this method with adults, teenagers and children.

How does it work?
Thoughts come and go, just like breathing.
There are nice thoughts and thoughts which are not nice. If we cling to the thoughts which are not nice and believe these thoughts, something else will arise inside us: an unpleasant feeling, a stress feeling. This immediately causes irritation, confusion, anger, hurt, fear, powerlessness and so on.

This stressful feeling arises when we resist against reality, when we think that reality should be different as it is.
This stressful feeling is a signal of your body that you believe something which isn't true. In this way you create an area of tension. By asking yourself: Is this thought true? Is this really true? You start discovering the lie your mind clings to. You will find out that most of reality is friendlier than the negative stories our thoughts tell.
It is a process in which your mind will become clear, and as a result you'll feel more peaceful inside.

The Work of Byron Katie consists of two elements. First, you write down your judgments about a stressful situation in your life. And secondly, you will investigate each written judgement while using 4 questions (see below)

What kinds of beliefs and judgements are investigated in a session (with a child or adult) while using the 4 questions?

For example:
-They shouldn't be teasing me
-I definitely need a best friend/girlfriend
-School is always extremely boring!
-There is a ghost in my closet
-Daddy is always angry with me
-Mamma shouldn't be in love
-My sister is better than I am
-She has stolen my girlfriend!
-Mamma never listens to me
-My rabbit is not allowed to die

The above beliefs are recognizable to most people and can be very painful to continuously think about.

Now, the 4 questions and the reversal which causes a completely different look at a belief and will help you to free yourself from an old painful belief and replace it by positive thoughts and feelings.

1. Is it true ? (the belief/judgement) Always?
2. Can you absolutely be sure that it is true? (the belief/judgement)
3. How do you react when you believe this thought?
    -What happens in your body?
    -How do you treat others?
    -How do you treat yourself, what do you say, and what do you do?
4. Who would you be without this thought?
When did you start believing this thought?
Is there a stress free reason to cling to/let go of this thought?
If you would reverse the thought, what would you think? How would that feel?
For example. "Mama doesn't listen to me" becomes "Mama does listen to me" or "I don't listen to mama"
Can you find examples of that? How could this also be true? Does it feel just as true? Less or more true?

The Work is a research which enables us to observe how our thinking and decision-making process functions. It also helps us to become more inspired and realistic in our daily life.

The Work gives us the freedom to be happy without necessarily having to change our circumstances. After having done the Work, our circumstances often change automatically.

Above all, the Work helps us to realize that all answers we need are already available inside us.
Children and teenagers often react well to this method. It frees them from old thoughts and helps to create a new supportive reality. They also learn to communicate more honestly about what they feel and think.

Find more information about this method, visit the website: www.thework.com


Copyright text and photos Yvonne Weeseman (p)© 2016