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A Marriage Counselor Opens New Possiblities

So, which direction is this dancer’s figure spinning – clockwise or counter-clockwise?

spinning figure

Design attributed to Nobuyuki Kayahara

If you rely just on what you see (and didn’t know it’s a trick question) how certain would you feel that your conclusion is right? After all, it looks like a duck… and moves like a duck, right?

But many people will look at the same figure and see it moving in the opposite direction from you. And a rare few will see it shifting spontaneously back and forth between directions.

Can you make it change direction at will? Here’s a tip. Scroll down or cover the image so you just see one foot and see if you can make it reverse its spin. If you’re still having trouble, look away and imagine it’s moving the other direction, then look back.

Still struggling? I did too. For the longest time I couldn’t see anything but a clockwise spin.

Until I saw this wonderful graphic that added just a little more detail for ‘tracking’ the different directions.

tech

 

Here’s the amazing thing. Once I’d spent a couple hours with this figure, I’m now able to switch its direction back and forth at will (although I usually do have to blink my eyes to make the shift). Nothing has changed about the figure, but my perspective has been expanded and a little practice has allowed me to move beyond my earlier ‘one way of seeing it’.

While this is a simple example, this same principle plays out quite often in marriage and couple counseling. Most often the constructive solutions that work best come from couples being able to agree there are different ways of seeing their situation, rather than coming to the one ‘RIGHT’ way. And with practice, they are able to switch back and forth between how they see it and how their partner sees it… opening the way for solutions that can include and manage the differences.

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