A Labrador Reduces Anxiety

Have you ever been anxious and couldn’t shake it? Have you ever had repetitive nightmares that caused you to awaken afraid and confused? If so, you can appreciate Rex, a fifteen year-old with both, his nightmare, and the inner solution that presents itself to him in the following interview.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1 Getting my driver’s license!

2 Passing the 9th grade so I can complete the 10th grade. Then  I can decide where I want my education to go from there.

3 I’d love to have some positive experiences with girls. Maybe a girlfriend…

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.

One repetitive dream: Some kind of shape is in my room, like a big square. It is blocking my way to the door, coming closer and closer to my face. I am terribly afraid and I wake up sweating .

Why do you think that you had this dream?

I last had it half a year ago. Sometimes I will think while I am dreaming, “I’ve had this before.” I think I’ve had them because of school grade pressure and fears about school. I could handle it less then than I can now.  I still have trouble going to sleep but less now than I used to.

If this dream were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?

Bad Dream!

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself…

The Cube, the bed, my bedroom…

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

The Cube!

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Cube, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I’m solid. I’m an extraterrestrial cube! I am solid black and I can blink!  My edges turn red when I do that!

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I’m big! I’m threatening and powerful!

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

No, I don’t have any.

Cube, you are in Rex’s life experience, correct?  He created you, right? What aspect of Rex do you represent or most closely personify?

His fear!

That’s very interesting!  Do you feel fear, Cube?


Then  how come do you represent his fear if you don’t have any?

I’m in his dream and…I am his fear!

Cube, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I would like to become a dog!

What type of dog would you like to become, dog?

A Labrador!

Where are you now, Labrador in relationship to Rex?

I’m in his head! I’m resting!

In which direction are you resting?

I’m looking out on the right-hand side.  I’m side to side, across the inside of his head… I’m a dark Lab…

What do you like best about yourself?

I’m cheerful and I love to play and I can listen well!

Is there anything you dislike about yourself?


What do you think about that Cube you used to be?

I don’t like it!  I think it’s stupid!

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Lab, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities:  confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence:     9

Compassion:   8

Wisdom:   5

Acceptance: 10

Inner Peace: 10

Witnessing:   9

Lab, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

I wouldn’t be a Lab.  I don’t think it’s good to be so high in compassion, but being high in wisdom would be great.  I would be just a pretty wise lab.

How does that feel for you, Lab?

I feel wiser. You think more!

How would Rex’s life be different if he/she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

Life would be simpler for Rex.  He wouldn’t get so carried away with false compassion if he didn’t have such a high score in compassion. His wisdom would help him a lot.  He thinks far too much what consequences what he says or thinks or does may have for others.

You don’t do that, Lab?

No. I don’t need that much compassion because I have enough wisdom to know what to say and not say to others.

If you could live Rex’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

With school I would it take it easier than he does. I’m older and wiser than Rex.  School and people and life don’t  aggravate me.  I am more relaxed.  I don’t have problems with girls. I just don’t care!

How come?

I’m too wise to make it too important.

If you could live Rex’s waking life for him today, would you handle Rex’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?

Rex would certainly get his driving license and then go further away from home and visit friends. I wouldn’t do what Rex does: tell himself that school is difficult and that he will fail.  I would tell myself that I would manage to pass my tests, my classes, and my grade!

Regarding managing school, I wouldn’t have the same problems because I’m wiser than he is. He sways very much in his attitude. One day he may be positive and has it easier than his schoolmates. On other days he tells himself he isn’t smart enough and will fail.  I don’t need to study because I’m wise! I wouldn’t tell myself that I won’t succeed. I would set a goal and stay focused on it!

Are you a hard working lab or are you lazy?

I’m not a lazy lab! It’s hard for Rex to sit down and study!

What’s your secret about that, Lab?

I’m very fit physically.  It makes it easier to sit down and study.

Do you have any recommendations for Rex?

Grow a little older.  (Become more mature, more wise.) Then everything will get easier.

I would lie there, not worry about girls, and let them come to me!  Be more relaxed and let it happen more!

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Rex to imagine that he is you and act as you would?

It would help him.  My easiness and my wisdom would help before going to sleep to calm him down and definitely when he has tests at school. I could generally help him to be more at ease when he is dealing with his school mates.

Lab, do you worry about anything?  If not, why not?

No. Life is much simpler for me because I do not complicate it by worrying ! I think worrying is very unusual! I would think that Rex would feel better without worrying. Worrying about the future never helps anything!

What is your secret for staying out of drama, Lab?

I don’t have the problems Rex has. I’m safe inside his head.

Why do you think that you are in Rex’s life?

So that Rex can talk to me!

How is Rex most likely to ignore what you are saying to him, Lab?

There is no reason not to listen to me.  I don’t preach to him!

Would you be available for Rex to talk to when he is taking a test or a pretty girl is around, Lab?

I’ll be there!

Rex, what have you heard yourself say?

My lab can help me dealing with classmates and with school.  He is pretty wise. Compassion is fine but you can have too much compassion.

Others: He said he didn’t think it’s so important to think about the girl dogs. Not to focus too much on that. He would just let them come!  Worry less; set your goals and don’t waver on them.  Get exercise so you can focus and study better.

I heard the cube say it’s a powerful part of yourself that likes to scare you.

The Lab is already in Rex’s head. He’s not scared. Lab, would you be willing to be a watchdog and guard against cubes and other scary stuff?


Lab also recommended that Rex go to sleep with him on the foot of his bed, that Rex have him lie beside him when he took tests at school or when there was a girl nearby that he felt anxious about. Rex needs to feed, pet, and walk Lab regularly to let him know that he’s appreciated. Lab agreed that the next time we see Rex that he will report back on how well Rex has remembered him.
What such interviews do is provide a way to access inner potentials that are not stuck where we are stuck. In this case, Rex accesses a part of himself that is not threatened, is not anxious, and does not worry. The theory is that the more Rex talks to and imagines that he is this part, the more he will identify with, and grow into, that innate potential.  If you do this process, you will not have a Lab. Your inner intelligence will tend to create a visual and experiential metaphor that resonates for you, that you can relate to because it is innate and unique to you and your needs right now in your life.

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