Johari’s Window and How We Heal

Above image is from Wikipedia

When talking about healing, because I am a gardener, I often speak of the need when we prune to go down into the live tissue of the plants. I have found this to be true also when I need to be healed. I have long recognized the severe discomfort that precedes one of my healing experiences. As human beings, we can feel feelings and learn to interpret them as indicators of our behavior. With the anxiety preceding change, I have learned to use this energy to allow the healing to begin.

Two psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingram, in 1961, fitted our emotional/mental aspects into a window having four panes named ARENA–BLIND–HIDDEN–UNKNOWN.

Self-discovery helps the ARENA to be larger as the fear becomes less with self-disclosure. With less fear, we can continue self-discovery throughout our lives.


Your public self–

The larger this pane is, the more

You are connected to reality


Secrets, fears, all things of which you are unaware



Information about yourself that you do not share


Creativity, denial, undeveloped abilities, talents and interests

The object with self-discovery is to allow your arena to be larger and larger as you come to feel safe about your healing.

From Ellen Besso’s “Creating a Heart Centered Life—Our Post PTSD identity:

“To heal we need to go down into our depth. Because we have been wounded and lost touch with parts of ourselves, we must gain our own trust back, so to speak, in order to become whole. When we commit to slowing down and dedicating time each day to ourselves, our body-mind-spirit will eventually show us what it needs. It’s a simple method, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There will be pain, but so much more too, a richness, a knowing of ourselves and a subtle sense of connectiveness with everything. It’s not something to be done alone, but with the help of trusted others – counsellors, coaches, perhaps friends, family, groups. Then we add high level self-care into the mix and it enhances and builds on the therapeutic work.”

From al-anon journal:  “Tossing the Script”:

“When I first got to Al-Anon, it was like taking a master class in method acting.  I was learning how to dig deep to unearth and express all those real emotions I had stuffed for so long.  It was painful to let them surface at first, but after the initial flood, I found it strangely satisfying.  I think in trying to hide those emotions from everyone else, I had also found a way to hide them from myself, so it took a while to learn how I felt about things. With practice and attention, I am now trying to feel pain when it comes, then let it go.  Strangely, that seems to make room for me to feel real joy as well.  Even now, when strong emotions wash over me, they feel slightly out of control and I tend to question their validity because it’s all so foreign to me.  But I am learning, slowly but surely, how to put down the script I was handed as a girl and experience my own life in full living color. “

One thought on “Johari’s Window and How We Heal

  1. Pingback: People Pleasing and Drama – Part I | the liminal life of m

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s