Great Expectations Met in "Inherent Reality" Class

Last fall I signed up for LeAnna Hart Gipson's Wednesday night class entitled "Using Inherent Reality in Your Co-Counseling."

When I learned about "inherent reality" in my early days of RC, it gave me great hope for myself and others. More importantly, it worked. When I used "inherent reality" as a point of reference in my daily life, things got better, relationships improved, and I lived more fully. So with great expectations I joined the class last fall.

Of all the insights I gained (and there were many), the most important for me was that we need to believe (truly) in our client's inherent reality when we're counseling. We need to stay connected with the goodness of the person no matter how confused, irrational, resentful, nasty, etc., he/she may seem to be at the time.

This simplifies the process of counseling. We don't need to frantically search our brains for the "right thing to say or do." We don't have to come up with clever contradictions and savvy strategies to help a client. Believing in our client is enough. Staying cognizant of his or her inherent reality is enough. All we really need to remember is that he/she is undamaged, whole, still in possession of all the wonderful qualities he/she was born with and capable of living from that place.

Although this is simple to understand, I've found it's not always easy to practice. It takes considerable effort and constant vigilance for me not to get hooked into my client's distress if I'm feeling helpless and hopeless myself. On the up side, when I truly connect with my client's inherent reality in a session, I also connect with my own. We both come away more powerful and more in touch with all that's good about us.

A wonderfully freeing message from LeAnna was that we can take risks with our counseling. We can try out our ideas in a session. If we're afraid, we can acknowledge our fear and try out our ideas anyway. If something doesn't work, we can move on and try something else, and so on, until we find what works. The client won't break into pieces on the floor in front of us if we don't hit it right every time. This view of counseling took performance anxiety right out of the process for me. I learned that I can trust my intuition and just try things out, even if they seem illogical or if the client doesn't quite want to "go there." If it doesn't work, nothing's lost and another path can be taken.

What I liked most about the class was that LeAnna and Maggie Herman (her assistant) modeled what they taught. They were honest and brave, and they took risks with us and in front of us. They let us know when they were embarrassed or afraid or hopeless, but they always pushed through it and urged us to do the same.

Liz Voll
Rochester, New York, USA
Reprinted from the newsletter of the Rochester, New York, USA RC Community

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00