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M.1. Co-Counseling Relationships (Lengthy 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 learn to love, care for, and assist each other. All people inherently love all other people—and almost everyone naturally comes to love their Co-Counselors.

We want to create and maintain a safe environment for all people (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 at using RC 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. This will often appear as romantic feelings, sexual feelings, or the desire to “spend time with each other.” 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 in a patterned way 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 fear of other people. Because of this and the oppressions in society, we continue, until we have discharged enough, to be drawn to the “comfortable” patterned behavior of socializing with Co-Counselors (including helping them).

If We Socialize

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 new 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 involved in RC but no longer are.

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

Responsible Relationships

We can fulfill our human need for 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.

A Co-Counselor may choose to play an additional role in their Co-Counselor’s life only if they do it thoughtfully and if the role supports the counseling one. (For example, if a Co-Counselor struggles with heavy patterns of disorganization, in addition to counseling that person on the distresses involved, one might spend a day helping the person begin reorganizing their home.) The support aims to temporarily create better conditions for the Co-Counseling. It is not meant to handle anyone else’s difficulties for them.

A meal, songfest, or creative “show-and-tell” at an RC event may be used awarely for discharge and to improve the effectiveness of the gathering.

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.

Last modified: 2021-02-07 16:46:23+00