Principle 1 – Observing
Depth work is based on the idea that there are important thoughts and feelings and events that we are not aware of, as they lie below the surface of immediate consciousness. We need to find ways to pay attention to these thoughts, feelings and events in order to be healthier, more creative, and more ethical.
Principle 2 – Decoding
Depth work means decoding messages from under the surface and this means making sense of poetic and symbolic language. Under the surface communication may take the form of mental images and sounds,
dreams, physical sensations, body symptoms, hunches, or failures to follow through with our intentions. In each case, we need to figure out the meaning of the message that is trying to come through.
Principle 3 – Hearing
In order to become healthier, more creative and more ethical, we need to be able to hear and register messages from under the surface, even though that process may be uncomfortable, surprising, disruptive, or even painful.
Principle 4 – Integrating
Once we are able to hear the message from the deep, then the new information must be considered in the context of our prior, more conscious position or approach. It is likely that the new information may be opposing or indeed the polar opposite of that we which we were consciously thinking or feeling. The opposing positions need to be maintained and thought about, until a “third” way or position emerges, which it will, if we are patient. The “third” way is a creative integration of the different options we face.
Principle 5 – Acting
Depth work is only complete when we alter our behaviour to reflect the new insight or position. This may mean a new communication, or starting a new behaviour and stopping an old behaviour. Depth work drives our psychological development and well-being, and this implies acting differently.