Burnham rose

Letting go of traumatic past events

Many people have memories of bad experiences which a long time later continue to prey on their mind and can form a barrier to more positive future personal development.

The BURNHAM ROSE is a very simple method of allowing a person to dispose of the bad feelings one by one, eventually being in charge of their own emotions.

How is a
Burnham Rose made?
Go out and buy a small cheap brooch or buckle. Get a dozen bits of ribbon of different colours and pin them together with the buckle.

Each ribbon is assigned a bad feeling associated with the event. For example yellow might be hatred, Red pain, green jealousy, blue for tears, purple for despising oneself and so on. (Some people might value the assistance of an experienced counsellor who may be able to assist in identifying emotions and feelings.)

How is it used? Once a day the rosette is handled with each of the ribbons with their clear associations being held in turn. Some may trigger more powerful reactions than others. Initially the impact may increase but after a few days some of the ribbons should be easily managed and thus show the way that the others will follow in due course.

It is important that each feeling is considered in isolation from the others, so concentrate on what that ribbon represents.

Hopefully the time will arrive when the person can literally handle all of the feelings associated with the ribbons. When they are in complete control and have dealt with them they should now have thrown off their burden of these feelings from the past.

The final act is an important ceremony and needs a witness. Un-pin the ribbons and hand them over to the witness to put in an envelope and remove immediately from the house for disposal in some way of no concern to anyone else except that it is definite and final.

The buckle is put in the back of a drawer so that in years to come it can be used to represent the fact that humans are subject to the negative sides of human nature but they can be, and in this case have been overcome. Sometime in the future it might be useful to show it to others as a token of how time and strength can conquer human stupidity, wickedness and natural tragedy.

A friend of mine is depressed. Is the Burnham Rose applicable? Possibly, but the Burnham Rose only addresses the single issue of dealing with negative feelings from the past. Now it might happen that 'depression' can be properly traced back to not being able to shrug off bad feelings about the past. If this really is the case then give it a go.
A friend of mine 'lives in the past'. Is the Burnham Rose applicable? Whooa! There is nothing wrong with 'living in the past'. It is just that somebody's present is so boring or limited that past memories are happier than current emptyness. If your Uncle Charlie goes on about what he did in the war perhaps you should visit him and take him out more often.
What frame of mind does somone need to make use of the Burnham Rose?
  • The person needs to recognise that these past events are like quicksand. The more you squirm the more they pull you in. If they can recognise the similie then the chances are that they are plagued by sleepless nights reflecting on the past and would be really happy to get rid of these thoughts.
  • Following on from this, the person should now want to dispose of this burden of memories. Being fed-up with the intrusion of the past into everyday thoughts. Moments of quiet being dreaded because reflection soon turns to fruitless thrashing with bad memories should be the motivation to break with the past and deal with the issue.
  • In short the person should now want to move on. I honestly wouldn't like to interfere with someone's own way of dealing with a traumatic situation in the immediate aftermath. The Burnham Rose is intended to deal with miserable memories that are well past their forget-by date.
  • Beware of the person who
    • Has (or thinks they have) no present or future worth giving up the past for
    • Would rather have the attention than the cure
    Deal with these before trying the Burnham Rose. If you suspect either then seek professional advice not only because you need to deal with other problems first but also because these may be indicators for deep seated maladies such as alcoholism.(I'd like a pound for every "Gosh I never suspected")
How are colours chosen? However you like. Typically by the person using the Rose.

There are three rules for choosing ribbons

  • Split the feelings into their basic abstract components. This is the foundation of the method because, for example, it is difficult to maintain 'anger' without it being associated with other feelings. (Burnham Rose works by 'divide-and-rule'.)
  • Make sure that all negative feelings are represented. 'Hardly significant' ones are useful because these are 'dealt-with' early on and give confidence that the others will eventually follow. Don't forget physical things such as 'pain' and 'tears'. These are components of the trauma just as much as the more 'mental' attributes.
  • Use the clearest association possible. Typically the person using the rose will make their own associations. There should be no need to write down which is which; the object is to make that association immediately.
An experienced counsellor may help in the selection process but is just as likely may not be necessary at all.

The process of selecting ribbons is actually nothing less than picking over the effects of the event in detail. This may never have been done in such a detailed, rational or precise way before. Obviously this can be a bit stressfull so pick the right time, environment and approach.

What if the daily ribbon touching sessions continue to increase in their intensity of reaction? Seek professional help. (Ahem...Some doctors simply say "pull yourself together - Here are some pills.) An experienced counsellor will be able to focus on the cause of the trouble and gauge if this pain is a temporary but necessary stage to a better result or if for some reason the rose isn't working and only serving to stir up the very thing that we're trying to control.
Could colour/emotion associations be trigered unintentially with bad consequences? There is that possibility. However there are two reasons why the risk is minimised. Firstly ribbons tend to be pure lustrous colours not very often found in other situations, and secondly there is the very important tactile element. To reduce the risk of unexpected and unwanted false associations the daily use routine is not just looking at, or associating something with a colour but having that ribbon in your hand and associating with that ribbon. ie NOT "Red=Pain".
I'm a bit worried this is all a bit too much like magic rituals. Fear not. Although there are elements of ritual these serve a plain straight-forward purpose.
  • The buying of the buckle is a sign of commitment and very personal token. It surely represents something but is literally a hook to hang other things on and not endowed with any properties of its own.
  • The picking of the ribbons is addressing the issues.
  • The ribbon touching is a trigger for thinking about each feeling, one at a time. It is NOT a way of somehow forcing a ribbon to carry that feeling away.
  • The unpinning and disposal is recognition that the incremental process of getting better at dealing with feelings has now come to a final stop. The whole thing is finished and conquered. There will be no going back - no need to! Why climb to the sumit of a mountain and then not plant a flag and take a photo at the top!
  • The preservation of the brooch is a memento of conquering troubles. There is obviously no way of erasing the past and the Burnham Rose is not trying to do that. The brooch is a reminder that the person was able to lay the ghosts of the past to rest, serving the same purpose as a soldiers medal.
What about the feeling of Fear? Fear is a very important subject. For our purposes there are two things we mean by 'Fear':
  1. The recollection of fear in the past
  2. The worry about the future.
It is very important that these are distinguished, because the Burnham Rose can deal with the first but not the second. It is quite natural for some frightening events to leave a dread of repetition but this can only be dealt with by support and confidence building.
Why is it called the Burnham Rose? One day I, Peter Fox, was involved in a conversation in a pub in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, England with someone who had a past she'd like to leave behind. This rosette of ribbons method was thought up in response.
Is it medically proven? No. If you have doubts don't use it. I study people not medicine, and then only as a hobby.

If you have a problem or suggestion for improvement, then for the time being, as the inventor, I suppose I ought to be the person you contact.

E-mail : email address image
Home page : http://vulpeculox.net
Back to master contents ©