M. CO-COUNSELING RELATIONSHIPS

M.1. The No-Socializing Policy[145]

The Co-Counseling relationship offers a unique opportunity to move toward total re-emergence from distress recordings and completely human relationships with each other. As we discharge our distress recordings connected to relationships, we become more fully able to have more aware and thoughtful agreements and understandings between us. This can allow us to have more fully connected Co-Counseling relationships. What we gain from our Co-Counseling relationships (awareness, understanding, confidence) can support our goals and relationships in other parts of our lives.

In general, Co-Counselors are not to socialize with other Co-Counselors unless they had an established relationship before they began Re-evaluation Counseling (RC). Meetings of Co-Counselors must be organized primarily for discharge, re-evaluation, and group counseling activity. Eating together or participating in any other activity together is only to support this main purpose.

People who want to learn to Co-Counsel should be informed of the no-socializing policy and supported to discharge and think about it. The policy should be discussed in fundamentals classes. People who join those classes are required to follow the no-socializing policy while working to develop their own thinking about it. People who have learned Co-Counseling and want to become members of the RC Community should be informed that following the no-socializing policy is a requirement of Community membership.

Co-Counselors will not be recommended for RC leadership or certified as RC teachers unless they have clearly accepted the no-socializing policy. Co-Counselors who are not yet able to follow the no-socializing policy disqualify themselves from teaching or leading RC. The Regional Reference Person (RRP), consulting with local leadership, decides if a Co-Counselor who doesn’t follow this policy may continue to participate in Co-Counseling events.

REASON

Maintaining a Safe Environment

This Guideline supports and protects the one-point program of RC (see Guideline A.3. The One-Point Program of the RC Community). It is not intended to limit our thinking about each other or limit the love, caring, and commitment we have for each other. As our relationships develop, we grow in our love and caring for each other, which helps us assist each other to re-emerge. Our experience has led us to believe that people inherently love all other people—and we come to love our Co-Counselors. RC relationships are different, but may be no less important than our other relationships.

We want to create and maintain a safe environment for all Co-Counselors (particularly young people, women, and members of other groups targeted by oppression). We do not want undischarged patterns to interfere with the safety, trust, and effectiveness of the Co-Counseling relationship or the RC Community. Clearly communicating this policy from the very beginning gives future Co-Counselors the best chance of using RC effectively on a long-term basis.

Feelings that Interfere

Because of the mistreatment we have endured, most of us start Co-Counseling with strong “frozen needs” for companionship, love, cooperation, help, and commitment from others. (A “frozen need” results from the hurt of a real need not having been met in the past. When this hurt is restimulated, we often feel it as a present need.) These “needs” are part of distress recordings and cannot be filled; they can only be discharged. Supportive Co-Counselors can seem to be the “answer” to all present and past needs, because we have learned how to be thoughtful of each other within the Co-Counseling relationship. This will often appear as romantic feelings, sexual longings, or the desire to “spend time with each other.”[146] A Co-Counselor can also seem to be, for example, the perfect business partner, friend, or “mother or father I never had.”

Also, undischarged feelings of urgency and obligation can make us feel like we need to “solve” our Co-Counselors’ difficulties instead of counseling them through their difficulties to where they solve their own problems. However, we are only committed to helping each other discharge on and re-evaluate the distresses that interfere with our lives. That is all that is required in the Co-Counseling relationship.

It takes a long time for most of us to discharge our feelings of loneliness, helplessness, obligation, and patterned attractions to and fears of other people. Because of this and the oppressions in society, and until we have discharged enough, some of us will continue to be drawn toward the “comfortable” patterned behavior of socializing with Co-Counselors (including solving problems for them).

If We Socialize

Our experience is that if we socialize with someone who is already Co-Counseling, both people have a tendency, whether noticed or not, to depend on each other instead of being fully responsible. The relationship will be built on the basis of patterns and will likely fail because of the lack of thinking, and the Co-Counseling relationship will eventually be damaged. This is a significant loss because the Co-Counseling relationship provides some of the most important support any two people can give each other.

Adding activities that do not have re-emergence as the goal to a Co-Counseling relationship is also a drain on the resources of the RC Community.

A Co-Counselor who associates another person with RC at the beginning of their relationship is likely to expect, awarely or unawarely, that the person associated with RC will act as their counselor in the relationship. This same confusion consistently happens between people who were once but are no longer involved in RC.

This has been the long-term experience in the RC Community.

Responsible Co-Counseling Relationships

We can fulfill our human need for even more aware, supportive social relationships by adding Co-Counseling to the relationships we already have with our friends and acquaintances. When we socialize with “non-Co-Counseling” people, we usually take more responsibility for the relationships. In addition, as we discharge, we get better at building and enjoying good relationships. We can use these skills to share RC with people who are not already in RC. Co-Counselors are encouraged to counsel each other on building relationships and resources outside of RC so as not to be dependent on each other for these relationships and resources.

A Co-Counselor may choose to play a temporary additional role in their Co-Counselor’s life only if it is by their choice, is done thoughtfully, and the extra role supports the counseling role. (For example, a Co-Counselor may be asked and agree to be at the birth of their Co-Counselor’s child, to provide immediate counseling support.)  The support aims to temporarily create better conditions for their Co-Counseling sessions. It is not meant to handle anyone else’s difficulties for them. Co-Counselors are encouraged to consult with their RC teacher, ARP, or RRP about playing this additional role.

If a Co-Counselor has a crisis, or there is a crisis affecting the broader Community, Co-Counselors are encouraged to think with their Reference Person about how the situation might be handled. RC Communities are encouraged to discharge and think about how we might handle a Community-wide crisis.

Our experience has been that when two people have both a Co-Counseling and a previously established non-Co-Counseling relationship (for example, as parents, lovers, or business partners), each of these relationships must be responsibly maintained by each of the parties, separate from the other relationship. This is a basic RC principle.

If We Persist with Socializing

Co-Counselors who want to socialize should seek referencing by the most experienced leaders available. If they feel an urge to be secretive, the need for referencing is even greater.

If a Co-Counselor persists in pursuing a non-Co-Counseling relationship with another Co-Counselor after every reasonable effort has been made to assist the Co-Counselor to reach a rational position, the Community does not need to provide further resources to that Co-Counselor.

In particular, Co-Counselors cannot become or remain leaders or teachers in the Community unless they follow and support the no-socializing policy, thus modeling this responsibility for others.


[145] This Guideline has the force of a requirement for leaders and Community members.

[146] We want to create the conditions for people to work on these feelings in Co-Counseling sessions and not try to form sexual relationships. It is most useful to work on early distresses. We must also take into account the amount of attention our Co-Counselor has for this topic. 

 


Last modified: 2022-10-26 04:28:01+00