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Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:
Example of energy flow:
If you have someone in your life that is important to you, you draw a thick line from you in the center circle to this person’s circle and if it is a give and take relationship then you have arrows pointing both ways. If you are always asking for help but you do not give much support back the arrows would only be pointed towards the inner circle (to you). It is important to include any bad relationships in your life; dotted or fenced lines to show barriers or issues depict these. People can even put a deceased loved one in a circle if he or she still talks to them through prayer or out loud in hopes this person is still around in spirit although this would be an example of using a fenced line to represent a barrier. Another example might be a parent who is absent in your life or maybe it is someone who is incarcerated.
When the map is complete a lot of information can be derived from it, and many times this detail is life altering to the client.
It can highlight the energy vampires in your life; those people whom you continue to give and give without any support ever coming back. It can surface the relationships that you wish to strengthen; those you need to make more time for that you want to nurture. It can also show how isolated you are or how much you interface within your community; outside support and even giving back to the community makes for a better world a better place for us all.
Strongbonds.jss.org.au talks about how an eco-map can show and open or closed boundary in a family or close circle:
"Families who have flexible open boundaries have healthy relationships with people outside the family. They allow individual family members to develop independent relationships whilst maintaining family connections.
Families with closed boundaries have little contact with the outside world and tend to view the world with suspicion. Family members become enmeshed and sometimes depressed as there is no new input to energise relationships and thinking."
If you are feeling lonely or you are struggling with the relationships in your life an eco-map may be a helpful tool to utilize while you ponder the connections and decide if each one is healthy for you or not. Give it a try, what can it hurt?