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Working on Early “Unbearable” Distress

I have been leading some ongoing classes and men’s support groups on working on early “unbearable” distress. I am following the lead of Tim Jackins, after attending his recent leaders’ workshop.

It appears to me that those who have the most success doing this sort of work are experienced and dedicated Co-Counselors who are currently doing plenty of sessions and who have strong, long-term Co-Counseling relationships. These seem to be almost necessary qualifications to be able to usefully face distress material that has the following characteristics:

  • It’s often fairly occluded.
  • Facing it often feels like death or worse.
  • It escapes notice as distress, because we live with it all the time.
  • The core of it is that there is no one there to help.
  • It is heavy enough to taint our judgment about the present situation and counselor.
  • We often can’t tell [perceive] that we have anything to gain by working on it.
  • To get anywhere with it, we have to persist through many painful sessions.

I am wondering if and how others have succeeded in working with any but the most dedicated counselors on this type of material.

Michael Levy

Santa Cruz, California, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC teachers

(Present Time 191, April 2018)


Last modified: 2020-07-01 08:50:08+00