Professional MAP
by C. Overhauser

I have moved through a lot of personal barriers in my Professional MAP work, but a recent development has helped me to feel much more secure. I would like to tell you about it, because it speaks so powerfully of the degree of synthesis that is possible in this work.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting for a client. This was a client I really felt threatened by, perhaps because she was sometimes aggressive in describing her symptoms, and I felt pressure to "do something about it." She rarely spoke of positive changes, even though they were there. (From my perspective now, this perception of mine was absurd — this client has referred more family members and friends to me than any other client.) Anyway, on this occasion she was late. Twiddling my thumbs did not appeal to me, and as I work at home, I sat down to play the piano while I was waiting. I asked my treatment room team [Professional MAP coning] if I should put the coning on "hold" while I played the piano. To my surprise, I got a "no." So I continued playing. I asked again if I should put the coning on hold, and again got a "no." This really got my attention.

Well, the client I was expecting never showed up that night — she thought her appointment was for the following week. I played the piano for an hour and a half, with my treatment room coning right there with me. Clearly there was something I was supposed to get from this. Since I had the treatment room coning open, I did a Calibration Process about some of the limitations I felt I was imposing on my practice.

About half an hour after doing this process the real issue hit me right between the eyes. While I was playing piano, my team was experiencing sides of me I had rarely shown them in the treatment room: I was relaxed, having a good time exploring different, new ideas and approaches, without being afraid of the consequences.

I was curious, adventurous and uninhibited.

I was saddened to realize how much of myself I had not made available to my treatment room team. And I was upset to realize how far these aspects of myself were from my emotions when I was thinking/worrying/ fearing my work in the treatment room. In fact, the image that came to mind was an ocean off the coast of Antarctica at midnight, with dark waters, freezing cold temperatures, huge mountains of ice, the waters filled with floating icebergs, hidden hazards and perils everywhere. Brrrrrr! No wonder my acupuncture practice had been slow to develop — who in their right minds would try to increase the amount of time they were exposed to these kinds of fears?! And no wonder I sometimes felt frustrated, feeling that I was not being paid enough. No amount of money could compensate for the degree of emotional distress I was feeling.

The next day I talked about all this in a MAP/Calibration session, asking that I be able to incorporate the feelings I had with music into the treatment room. For some reason, I also mentioned several other large issues I had spoken of in previous MAP sessions — things having to do with my short-sighted vision (literally and on all levels), my tendency to focus selfishly on myself and my own point of view, and so on. In a flash I realized how my deep-seated fearfulness (the hidden perils in dark, icy waters) arose from my distorted perception — which was a result of my focusing inward in an unbalanced way. (Feeling threatened by a client who is one of my biggest fans is a good example of how my distorted perception was affecting me.) All the broader issues I was working with were interrelated. And my professional MAP team used my experience as a musician to help me start putting these pieces together.

Once I realized what was going on and got help from my MAP team, I started feeling much more comfortable in the treatment room and much less likely to feel threatened or put "on the spot" by my clients. And I am sure that my ease helps them if they are going through a rough patch in their healing process. And my practice is getting busier, with more referrals.

Now when I recall that Antarctic vision, it is bathed in brilliant sunshine, with white sparkling light all around. The waters are clear and beautiful, and things beneath the surface of the water are also clear and beautiful — certainly not threatening. There is still lots of ice — but the sunshine is getting warmer all the time!


Editor's Note:This article is an excerpt from a letter Catherine wrote in 1994. Though she considers this a major turning point in her work, she understands that working with Professional MAP is a continual learning process.