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Useful Understatements

It sometimes happens that a man realizes that he is completely human, without any flaws or limitations. (And he successfully encourages women to join him in this realization about themselves.)

It sometimes happens that a woman realizes that she is completely human, without any flaws or limitations. (And she successfully encourages men to join her in this realization about themselves.)

It sometimes happens that someone likes somebody.

It sometimes happens that a person has everything turn out just exactly the way she (he) wanted.

It has been known to happen that a black person in the United States feels happy.

It has been known to happen that someone completely attained a goal he or she had set.

Useful Procedure

The Counselor proposes a suitable understatement from the above list or creates a new alternative understatement. The Counselor then repeats it with the Client, while modelling a very positive, confident tone of voice, until the Client has accurately heard and understood the understatement.

The Counselor then asks the Client to say the statement and not to inhibit any discharge that wants to occur. When the discharge comes to an end, the Counselor asks the Client to accurately report the thought that occurred. The Counselor then asks and expects the Client to repeat the statement, allow any discharge to take place, and report the thought. Continue this over and over as long as the time available for counseling permits.

If the Client discharges immediately on hearing the proposed understatement, the Counselor postpones any more directions and waits patiently with the attitude of seeming to expect the Client to eventually say the understatement. This seems to allow hours of discharge to take place without any further explanation, while the Client thinks of saying the understatement.

An "understatement" needs to be positive, impersonal, believable on repetition, and not obviously related to a client's difficulties.

Harvey Jackins
Present Time No. 103, p. 46


Last modified: 2016-05-11 23:25:37+00