Sustained Discharge Counseling

Beyond reviewing lie the techniques of heavy discharge. Here the sustained physical discharge of painful emotion is sought and obtained and persisted with to the exhaustion of the tension stored in the experience. How demanding these techniques are upon the client's free attention is a variable thing - depending on the intensity and degree of hurt contained in that particular experience.

Discharge is Spontaneous

In the material which a client talks about, it will not always be obvious what level of discharge is necessary to relieve the tension spoken of. People have their own subjective names for their painful emotion and until the discharge begins, you as counselor will be uncertain of what it is going to be. Tension will show up as the attention of the client dwells on one of these experiences. A counselor's concern will be to secure its discharge, not to decide level of discharge is needed.

Level of Discharge Not the Same as Importance

Because tears are the heaviest of painful emotion discharges, and because tears are not resorted to as commonly in our culture as laughter, for example, there is often a tendency for the beginning counselor to feel that only the discharge of grief is important; that if a client laughs or talks angrily, she is "avoiding" the "real" tensions which she has and which should be discharged in tears.

The discharge of grief is extremely important and it is proper for a counselor to seek ways to help the client unload the griefs she is carrying. That does not mean, however, it is to be sought at the expense of any of the other kinds of discharge. If your client is discharging in laughter, you can feel very relaxed and calm about what is going on because a good job is being done and the grief discharges will come in their turn.

Any kind of emotional discharge - whether it is interested, non-repetitive talking, angry talking, storming, laughter, trembling, or tears - should be persisted in by repeatedly redirecting the client's attention to the material which brings it.

When ready, the discharge itself will break over into another form. This will happen: a person who is laughing hard, if interfered with by a wrong attempt to get the "important tears" will not keep laughing well nor will he cry, but a person encouraged to continue with the laughter by the usual techniques will laugh harder and harder and then burst (possibly after a slight tense pause, possibly directly) into tears.

Last modified: 2022-03-01 00:45:59+00