Special Note when using the Rainbow Map for Couple Work.
It can be useful to have both partners in the room over the two sessions required to take both through the Rainbow Map. Traditional couple therapy has it that over a session there should be a balance of time in terms of how much each client speaks. The Rainbow Map exercise creates an opening for each client to express themselves in a non-threatening way while the other listens and reflects on what it means to them. They also have a Rainbow Map in front of them should any thoughts arise connected with triggering before it’s their turn to experience working with you on completing it. It is important that only the client you are working with responds to the questions about what they experience as they trigger.
Each partner gains insights in their partner’s reflective mind and reactive brain/body system and how they trigger. That awareness often enables each partner to identify ways that they can contribute less to the triggering of the other. It also underlines the automatic reactive nature of their behaviour when they are engaged in or avoiding attachment related conflict. This creates opportunities for clients to regard their partner’s behaviour in a less damaging way as they see how their own triggering system and that of their partner prompts them to say and do things in a reactive automatic way that cause unwanted outcomes. It’s a form of systemic externalisation. Phase 2 of the Trigger Based Therapeutic Cycle further supports the client’s capacity to externalise and forgive themselves and their partner.
IMPORTANT: Comments from their partner about what they notice about the other as they trigger diminishes the effectiveness of the approach which is fundamentally about what we notice about ourselves leading to a greater self-awareness and capacity to exert more choice in how we react to ourselves and those around us when we experience triggering events.