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Fundamentals Class Outline #4

Week 1:

  • Listening. As the basic practice. What to communicate as a listener: care and fondness
  • Basic theory. Short review: human nature, vulnerability to hurt, the discharge process
  • The four guidelines:
  • No Socializing
  • No mixing theories
  • Use of substances that affect the central nervous system
  • Confidentiality
  • Attendance. Emphasize the importance of weekly attendance, for the individual and the group as a whole. Establish an agreement that people will come unless there is an emergency or they are out of town. Make lots of jokes about school! Be the funny "monster teacher" who will keep people after class and send notes to their parents if they don't follow the rules! Etc.)
  • Readings: The Human Side of Human Beings

    Week 2:

  • Review basic information about listening and basic theory.
  • Contradictions. Explain what they are and that they elicit discharge. (Give examples from the wide world: a child crying only when their parent shows up, movies that make us cry, a compliment that makes us laugh. Ask people for examples.)
  • Talk about close relationships and unconditional caring as the most important contradiction. State it as our goal to enjoy caring, honest and permanent relationships with each other.
  • Thoughtful physical contact as a contradiction. Introduce holding hands in sessions and hugs.
  • Review the no-socializing policy. (Be specific about what it includes: no referring someone to your doctor, lending them your tools, sending them interesting articles on email, etc.) Explain the nature of the co-counseling relationship, that it is a real and human relationship. Encourage people to ask you if they are unsure in certain situations.)
  • Readings: Fundamentals of Co-Counseling Manual, pages 1-15

    Week 3:

  • Patterns:
  • The three things patterns do: confuse us, make us forget, persist
  • Intermittent vs. chronic patterns
  • The three ways distress is encountered
  • The distinction between a person and a pattern: the analogy of the dog with a tin can tied to its tail
  • Readings: Articles by Harvey: "A Possible Contradiction to Every Distress" (Present Time, No. 102, pg. 33) and "The Counselor as Bagpiper" (Present Time, No. 48, also in The Reclaiming of Power). These articles discuss the effects of being pleased with the client and communicating love.

    Week 4:

  • The four things to do as a counselor. Give handout where the four steps are written out as Harvey wrote them (The List, page 42). I like to add to the handout the following quote: "There is nothing wrong with any human being except the results of mistreatment."
  • Give out the quote "Every single human being at every moment of the past if the entire situation is taken into account, has always done the very best that he or she could do..." Discuss this quote and talk about our goodness.
  • Readings: Fundamentals Manual, Pages 15-22 (Light techniques)

    Week 5:

  • "Who's In Charge?" Explain the concept. Discuss the idea that it takes only one person to make a relationship go well.
  • Discuss feelings of "victimization" and the usefulness of working early
  • Discuss possible problems that come up in a RC class (e.g.: feelings about the leader, feeling numb in an oppressive workplace, but mad and wronged in a RC class, etc.)
  • Readings: "Who's In Charge" and "The Complete Appreciation of Oneself" (The Human Situation)

    Week 6:

  • "The Complete Appreciation of Oneself"
  • The difference between thinking and feeling
  • ID's: Who do certain counselors or people remind you of? Review the concept of "restimulation"
  • Readings: "The Logic of Being Completely Logical" (The Human Situation), and "Discharge, Don't Respect, Embarrassment" (Present Time, No. 58, by Tim Jackins)

    Week 7:

  • The benign reality, the upward trend
  • Techniques of attention on reality: reality agreement, understatement
  • Coached counseling
  • Pick someone who will be coached
  • Give them a few minutes (they're likely to work on being evaluated and having to do a "good job")
  • Let them counsel someone of their choice (not you!) in front of the group
  • Give them feedback
  • What they did really well as a counselor
  • What you would have done differently (if they did something that was clearly from their distress)
  • Readings: Fundamentals Manual, pages 22-39 (Heavier techniques)

    Week 8:

  • Identities: Naming, Claiming, Throwing away (Possibly: doing cultural sharing)
  • Commitments. Hand out hardcopy of the commitments printed in the back of The List. Have people choose a couple of commitments (of their constituency or not) to read to the group.
  • Readings: Working Together to End Racism, by Tim Jackins and others, and United to End Racism and the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Durban, South Africa, August 2001

    Week 9:

  • Oppression
  • Review the importance of people using their own thinking and accepting only the parts of the theory that makes sense to them
  • Class society: The history of oppression and its purpose
  • Some examples of oppressions: adultism, racism, classism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism, men's oppression, parents' oppression, artists' oppression, young adults, and ageism. Explain that at the end of the fundamentals class, there will be an on-going weekly class where we would, over time, address and counsel on these oppressions and how they affect our lives
  • Discuss that no oppression can end until all oppressions end, no oppression is less important than another
  • Internalized Oppression. Define and explain it.
  • Readings: Internalized Racism, by Suzanne Lipsky

    Week 10:

    (Depending on the group, you will emphasize working on internalized racism or on oppressor material.)

  • Eliminating Racism
  • Why we chose this as the key issue in our communities
  • Oppressor patterns
  • Human goodness, being pleased with ourselves
  • How oppressor patterns are installed, reclaiming our inherent connection with all human beings
  • Airing out our hopelessness
  • Working on early memories connected with race
  • UER. Explain what it is and describe listening projects
  • Readings: Catch up on readings they haven't finished

    Week 11:

  • Men's and Women's Liberation (Possibly a talk and a panel)
  • Readings: The Human Male, by Harvey Jackins and others, and "Developing a Draft Policy for the Elimination of Sexism," by Diane Balser (Present Time, No. 123, page 47

    Week 12:

  • ESM
  • Many ways to be close, this work is about eliminating loneliness
  • Intelligence overrides instinct
  • Unbidden sexual feelings rooted in distress
  • Frozen needs
  • Working early:
  • Working with the question "What's your earliest memory..."
  • Working on a chain of memories
  • Telling Bunny stories
  • Role Playing
  • Readings: Begin reading A Rational Theory of Sexuality, by Harvey Jackins (pamphlet, or chapter in The Benign Reality) and Counseling on Early Sexual Memories, by Joan Karp

    Week 13:

  • Early sexual memories
  • Compulsions and Inhibitions
  • Integrity in relationships: human connection and staying present
  • Working on present time fantasies and sex
  • Readings: Finish reading A Rational Theory of Sexuality and Counseling on Early Sexual Memories

    Week 14: (some options... to be chosen based on the make-up of the class)

  • OPTION #1: Continue work on Racism, or on Men's or Women's liberation
  • OPTION #2: Openly Caring.
  • Often, at this point, having covered so much material, the group needs to slow down and just focus on getting close.
  • OPTION #3: Family Work
  • Parents' liberation
  • Young People's liberation
  • Special Time (do adult/adult special time)
  • Readings: "Children's Play Group Guidelines" and "Integrating Toward a Rational World: Young People's Liberation is for Everyone" (Present Time, No. 116, pages 3-7)

  • Recommended readings: How Parents Can Counsel Their Children, by Tim Jackins, and pamphlets by Patty Wipfler
  • OPTION #4: Mental Health System Oppression
  • Historical background (Nazi Germany)
  • It effects on our daily lives and on liberation movements
  • Readings: What's Wrong with the Mental Health System and What Can Be Done About It

  • OPTION #5: A liberation topic that is pertinent to the specific group: Jews, Asians, Latinos/Latinas, class, parents, etc.
  • Week 15:

  • Joining the RC Community:
  • The Guidelines and structure of the communities and of counseling events
  • Leadership
  • The Enjoyment of Leadership
  • The benefits of leading in RC
  • Correcting and Protecting leadership
  • Readings: The Enjoyment of Leadership, by Harvey Jackins, Why Lead in RC, by Gwen Brown

    Week 16:

  • A Listening Project.
  • Discharge
  • Lay out guidelines and goals
  • Go out briefly (10-30 min.)
  • Come back for more discharge
  • Readings: "Do You Want to Get Out of Your Distress?" by Gwen Brown (Present Time, No. 79, page 5)

    My general guidelines for teaching fundamentals:

  • Always leave time during class for questions and to talk about readings.
  • Lots of jokes and laughter about being "a strict teacher" and also about being "an intellectual analyst". Find ways to contradict student oppression and mental health system oppression if and as they come up.
  • Work on my relationship with my assistant so the two of us can model the enjoyment of cooperation and closeness.
  • Review basic theory over and over again.
  • Contradict the isolation every week. Talk about our relationships, their importance and permanence. Counsel people on getting close.
  • Although I specifically teach liberation theory later on, it is intertwined with basic theory talks throughout. For example, I may commend people for taking the time to come to class, and point out that this goes against the grain, that our culture does not emphasize or encourage people to slow down, get close to each other, and take the time to see how we're doing. I talk about isolation and self-invalidation as being part of the general environment of our current societies, that these distresses are uniformly imposed on all of us. Depending on who is in the group, I may, early on, indulge in explaining how these chronic patterns create profits and what their purpose is.
  • When the on-going class begins after fundamentals, it can be good to invite another teacher to come in at some point and do a counsel-the-leader class

  • Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00