“Lasting Feelings” (Jealousy) on YouTube

A client session with Leslie Cameron-Bandler including follow-up.

This amazingly rich session, recorded in 1983, is now available on YouTube — absolutely free. See how therapy can be fun as well as deep, serious, and lasting.

The client, Hazel, begins the session with intense (and she realizes, unwarranted) jealousy. Since she has little self-worth, she doesn’t realize how important she is to her husband, and is insecure because she thinks she can be easily replaced by any other woman.

Watch as Leslie skillfully, and with humor, repeatedly interrupts Hazel’s plunge into jealousy and tears of loss. When Hazel says in anguish, “It would be terrible to lose him!” Leslie could have said, “So you’re insecure,” which would have been true. But instead she replies, “Yes, because you love him a lot!” creating an equally true — and much more positive and useful meaning for jealousy.

When Hazel is self-critical, Leslie asks her how long she has been with her husband. When Hazel says “three years,” Leslie says, “So he knows you in all your seasons,” a lovely metaphor that implies that all her different feelings and behaviors during that time are natural and normal.

When Leslie asks Hazel, “What did you do to get him to fall in love with you, Hazel replies with a long list of what he did to get her to fall in love with him. Leslie listens carefully and then uses Hazel’s vibrant responses to her husband as evidence of how important she is to him, beginning to build a feeling of security.

When Hazel’s husband is with another woman, Hazel’s attention has always been on the woman, especially if she was flirting. Leslie asks Hazel to remember an example of jealousy, “As far off in the distance as you need to, as small as you need to,” to reduce the intensity of her jealous response. As Leslie does this, she points behind her, over Leslie’s left shoulder, so that the remembered image will be in Hazel’s visual construct quadrant, to help her access her creativity and ability to imagine change. Leslie asks her to “look way over there closely, and I want you to look at them interacting,” and to focus primarily on her husband’s response to the woman.

As Hazel looks more carefully at different past examples, she learns to discriminate between when her husband is skeptical, when he is simply enjoying himself, when the other woman looks “lost,” etc. This allows her to determine when jealousy is appropriate — when there is a real threat to her relationship and happiness — and when it is not.

Leslie asks Hazel to get three memories of “when you know that you made him happier than he could be with anyone else” to enhance her knowing how important she is to her husband, and that her husband knows how important she is to him. This provides a solid basis for exploring what Hazel can do in the moment to reconnect with her husband and make him feel loved.

At the end of the session Leslie tests Hazel’s new response in a variety of past examples, and some future ones. Each time, Hazel tilts her head in a unique way that is a clear nonverbal signal that she has reprocessed the example, and finds that everything is fine — she still has her secure feeling.

A follow-up interview confirms that the changes in Hazel’s response transferred spontaneously into the real world with her husband.

These brief comments are only a small sample of what you can observe in this exquisite therapy session, especially the nonverbal dance that is so hard to describe in words. Viewing it over and over again provides an opportunity to learn from it in ever more depth and detail.