A Useful Contradiction to Fear and Terror

A very useful contradiction that I did not recognize until about a year ago is to express the fear or terror cheerfully and enthusiastically (as always, words may not be enough; it may require cheerful facial expressions and a cheerful tone of voice).

Just as deliberately exhibiting embarrassment brings laughter discharge because it contradicts the almost universal pseudo-dignity concealment that we have attached to our embarrassment patterns, so acting cheerful and enthusiastic about the feelings that horrify us leads to a short fuse of laughter and then easy continual shaking as long as the contradiction is continued.

As always, of course, the counselor will do far more modeling of the tone of voice, the facial expression, and the enthusiastic, cheerful words than the client will be able to do. But the client will be discharging while the counselor models this over and over again with the apparent confident expectation each time that the client will do it also.

Harvey Jackins

From page 50 of “The Successful
Contradiction and Discharge of
Heavy Fear,” in An Unbounded Future


Last modified: 2019-05-13 15:12:23+00