Peter the Parrot

by Emma


I use the acronym ‘Peter’ the Parrot within child therapy. I felt compelled to share as the concept fits for all of us.

Peter is a cynical and negative metaphor. He creates poisonous thoughts and questions our integrity and ideations.

He sits on our shoulders and continously challenges our achievements and reflects our insecurities.

I ask the children ‘how do we get rid of Peter?’

I am met with some fascinating ideas. Peter can be forcibly removed, verbally pushed, he can even be gagged.

Yet Peter remains. He simply recovers and jumps right back to his position. He continues his negativity. He continues to offend, chastise, and create cynism.

He takes pleasure in knocking confidence and reducing self-esteem.

So how do we remove Peter?

To remove Peter, we need to realise what Peter is and where he came from.

Peter did not come from the Amazon. Peter is actually not a parrot. Peter is a thought, a number of thoughts and Peter is poisonous.

To understand this is to gain further clarity on why Peter remains.

To consider this realistically, let’s concentrate on the thoughts. The poison.

To reverse a poisoning, we would need an antidote. To reverse poisonous thoughts, we need antedotal thoughts.

Simple? No it is not.

A bird owner will cover a birds cage on an evening so the bird knows it is time to sleep and quieten down. We follow the same principle.

We cover the poisonous bird with an antedotal solution.

This is where the hard work begins.

Our thoughts create a feeling. A feeling causes our behaviour. We need to stop the negative cycle.

We need to change the initial thought.

That realisation is the first step. The rest is up to you. We need to find a reason for the negativity and internalise this.

Many of our negative thoughts begin from a single doubt. This is then enhanced externally. It reaffirms our original doubt. It feeds it.

What if we reversed this and fed the positivities?

Where would Peter go? Would he even exist?

Who would we be? Who COULD we become?

Does it tempt you?

The mind of a deep thinker…or complete rubbish…it is all down to interpretation and perception…