The Intention Method is essentially a process of self-exploration. The method is one whereby you can explore the state of your psyche, and the exploration starts with your intention.
You are in charge. The exploration is yours. The facilitator understands the method and the technical process of setting up the exploration, but the exploration belongs always to the client.
The facilitator also has an understanding of the underlying dynamics of traumatisation, and from this understanding, experience and knowledge, is there to help you make sense of what happens in the exploration in those moments when you, yourself, are not quite sure. But the discoveries that make sense to you are the important ones. Our first position as a facilitator is that you are the one who knows what is really true... not necessarily always in your conscious mind of course, and that is the purpose of the exploration, to find out what really is true about yourself and your life's experiences.
The best therapeutic work is a process that you are in charge of, that you make your own sense of, in which the therapist/facilitator is there to assist, with progression of the exploration and, if necessary some understanding and explanation, which then is useful only if it makes sense to you.
Traumatisation is an event/experience where, as a primary element you were not in charge. That is in effect what trauma is: a situation in which your identity, wants, needs, integrity are ignored; someone else holds all the power, and you are helpless. That defines a trauma. This means that in the work to resolve trauma you must have authority over what happens, how far you go and the meaning the exploration has for you. And this then defines the task of the ‘therapist’: to assist, but not to assume authority; to be there, but not to assume power.
In many ways this is different from the historical process of therapy, where the traumatised person is often required to relinquish authority to an expert... putting themselves in the hands of another who is seen as an authority on the topic of you. Even in many therapies where this is not the professional position, most of us are actually looking to be rescued, and many a therapist subtly agrees to this role.
In our work the ‘therapist’ is only an authority on a body of theory that makes sense of what we know so far about trauma, and has some technical skills and understanding of a process that seems to work. But the ‘therapist’ is not an expert on you and your psyche.
The work starts with your intention. This is a statement/sentence/question in the form of words and/or marks/drawing... This is the starting point, and only you know what this is. It is good to understand that each piece of work/exploration that you do is a step. You cannot complete the whole integration/resolution of trauma in one go... it is, and must be, a step by step process... each step defined by your intention for that session, what you actually want for yourself and your life, what you want to know about yourself, to see, to do, to experience, to feel.
Considering your intention
So what you can do is consider before your session what your intention might be at this moment in your life. The more we consider what it is that we want, the more the work becomes clear and useful. Each exploration process is a step that is preceded by what has gone before, by the previous intention, and is also in itself a step towards what comes next, your next intention. Your intention for any session forms the starting point for this step, the result of which will begin the formation of your next intention for your next exploration. Each exploration should help you become a bit clearer as to who you really are underneath whatever confusion you have about yourself, and the specifics of your intention will determine what you get out of your exploration.
The 'specifics' of the intention
The length of the intention
A long intention, with many elements, will also likely be overwhelming for the person, giving many threads of information that seem to have no coherent connection. Of course it is the case that our background may in itself have a myriad of threads that seem disconnected, arbitrary and chaotic, and it may be very helpful to see this as a first step, but to try and work with everything at once is itself a road to helplessness and re-triggered trauma. Too much information is likely to increase our sense of helplessness.
Better to keep your intentions short, specific and pertinent to where you actually are. There is information from the world of science that we can actually only hold about four bits of information at a time: