CLEARING YOUR SHADOW TECHNIQUE #1: RE EVALUATION COUNSELING
from this source RE EVALUATION COUNSELING (AKA “RC”) AND CO COUNSELING
This is a very excellent, simple, organic, and sensible way for clearing the negative emotions. It can be used for something that is very current for you (some recent and fresh grievance or hurt) and it can also be used for digging deeper into the subconscious and clearing away old and chronic hurts. It is important to know that you need a partner to do this and it works best this way. However, there are ways to do it without one too and this can also be effective.
I came across this twenty+ years ago in Austin where there is a big community of RC people. Actually, there is a community throughout many places in the US and perhaps around the world too. (www.rc.org). I came across RC after doing a weekend workshop called “Understanding Yourself and others (UYO)” put on by the “global relationship center.” I am not sure if this organization is still around. The workshop was quite good. It was one of those weekend workshops of working through your “stuff” – or at least some of it – with the guidance of very well trained facilitators and several assistants. These workshops can stir up stuff and having a way to clean it up in ensuing days is a good thing. The two organizations are not related and each is good in its own right. RC, being essentially free (IE. no cost except for a reasonably priced and sliding scale initial training and frankly I don’t think these are completely necessary if you really get, own, and follow, the basic concept) to do, has been around longer and is probably not going away any time soon.
http://paulttaylor.com/skate-player-mass-effect/ THEORY: (disclaimer: It has been quite a while since I was really active with this practice being a tool that I used for a while, derived a lot of benefit, and moved on. Nonetheless, I still recommend it for some people and the basic tenets are solid. That being said, I will try my best to summarize it here. If there is anyone reading this who is currently active in the RC community, please understand that I am remembering the best I can but there are probably some things I will say that are not quite precise or accurate):
- In our true and pure nature, the natural state of human beings is to be emotionally healthy and joyous.
- In the world such as it is, things happen that cause emotional pain.
- Part of the pattern of the world such as it is, is that we are not typically absolutely free (because of false societal restrictions, attitudes, or unhealthy customs) to release the pain immediately after it happens. Little children get hurt, cry, and ten minutes later it is forgotten and they are playing happily once again. Not so for most adults.
- Because the natural impulses – such as crying, pouting, screaming, laughing, etc. are sometimes suppressed – emotions get stuck in our emotional bodies.
- This leads to a situation where we are building up defenses to protect that pain from coming out and, consequently, block our natural joy from expressing itself too.
- An RC session is for the purpose of releasing that emotional hurt by creating a space where the “client” feels safe to “discharge” those stuck emotions.
MORE ABOUT THE THEORY AND PRACTICE: (From: http://cci-usa.org/what_is.php/ CCI—co-counseling international—is another organization that teaches something nearly identical. This is the only place I have been able to find a good summary of the practice and theory):
“What it is: Co-Counseling is a peer process involving two people who share time in a session to heal past and present hurts, to celebrate growth, and make intentional change. For half the session one person is in the “counselor” role and the other is in the “client” role. For the second half of the session the roles switch.
The “client” determines the type of support she or he wants from the “counselor.” A contract for that support is agreed upon by both co-counselors and always includes an agreement to hold the content of the session in strict confidence.
How it works: Co-Counseling is founded on the principle that we each have within us our own answers. When we give ourselves time to explore in the presence of aware and caring support from the “counselor,” we are able to find those answers, heal hurts, and move forward.
Co-Counseling helps us to identify and safely discharge or let go of distress feelings . . . teaches us to validate and affirm our special qualities and gifts . . . and gives us the skills and practice we need to take charge of our lives. Co-Counseling is about celebrating who we are!
Benefits of Co-Counseling:
- We break up behavior and thought patterns that block us from having what we want in life.
- We learn to focus our attention where we choose . . . and not get caught reacting automatically to other people’s behavior.
- We set directions and take action steps to support the changes we want to make in our lives.
- We gain freedom in experiencing and expressing our feelings in healthful, affirming, and safe ways.
- We learn to listen in a unique way that can make a difference at work and at home.
- We develop skills and ease in celebrating and validating the good in ourselves and others.”
MY SHORT SUMMARY OF HOW TO PRACTICE THIS NOW
- Find a willing partner you can trust
- Have some basic understanding of the concepts and principles from what I have written above and/or at the websites rc.org and http://cci-usa.org/. Perhaps watch some youtube videos too.
- Agree that you will each take a turn as client and counselor in the allotted time.
- Agree on confidentiality. Nothing from the session is shared with other people and, even among each other, outside of the session the contents are not referred to without having express permission to do so.
- Agree on that amount of time – perhaps twenty minutes in each role.
- The ground rules are for the counselor to actively listen without giving advice, without making anything or anyone right or wrong, and, especially, creating a space for the client to freely express emotions but not necessarily get caught up or lost in the emotions.
- Gently direct the client away from the story of the hurt and more into the feeling of it.
- The client is allowed to go into whatever is up for them to heal whether it is some very current hurt, or something from the past. Naturally, the intensity (or the depth, whether it is chronic or not) of the hurt is adjusted for the time that is allotted and/or vice-versa).
- At the end of each person’s turn as the client, the counselor asks them to say something that is an “up and out.” In other words, ask them something to bring them up to the present and perhaps even the joy of the day. Some examples: “What has been beautiful about your week so far?” or “What are you looking forward to most today?” “What has made you laugh recently?” etc.