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The Conversation of Recovery - Part Two
The listening for the Conversation of possibilities will be even more unfamiliar than the one about the self-limiting belief. Even though possibilities will be caused for the individual and a sense of hope and inspiration created, there will be a tendency at some point for the person to not belief that their life can be truly transformed merely by creating possibilities. Even when the person gets the existence of his self-limiting belief, how he has been being that in his life and the impact upon himself and others as a result, a sense of doubt will arise that mere words or language will truly assist them in transforming their life let alone cause them to be successful with respect to their recovery. As with a newborn child, the existence of possibilities once invented or created will be quite fragile. There will be in the beginning of this Conversation a tendency to return to being ones self-limiting belief if for no other reason than it is familiar to the person. The self-limiting belief is about life in their comfort zone, from the ego, in what is reasonable and familiar to them. Even though the individual will become enrolled into his possibilities it is in the person's initial not getting of its application in life that will leave it vulnerable. The individual will return to his community and with this reentry a breakdown will happen. The success of this process will rest upon the individual continuing to stay in the Conversation about his possibilities and also upon the one assisting to continue to generate the space necessary for this creative process to be lived fully.
The third component of Transformational Counseling is that of enrollment. Enrollment is the process of continuing to stay inside or live into ones possibilities and out of ones self-limiting belief. The process or technology of enrollment will be vital when ones starts to again experience a loss of power, freedom or self expression which is equitable to the negative human emotions of anger, depression, etc. When we have such an experience our past has again reappeared for us. Such reappearance is merely our self-limiting belief once again determining who we are in the world. Once again our self-limiting belief is driving our bus. The process of enrollment allows us to get the inauthenticity that we have created by again being our self-limiting belief. Enrollment allows us to get present to what we are pretending about the experience and what we are hiding. The pretense is always about another person, place or thing and with it there is the experience of some sort of sense of threat and blame. The story from pretense has something to do with the other person, situation or circumstance causing us to feel a certain way. Enrollment technology allows us to get that we created the pretense, the story, and furthermore what the experience is truly all about. Becoming present to what is hidden from us in the experience allows us to again make the distinction of our self-limiting belief and that which is truly creating the experience. It is our self-limiting belief that actually creates the breakdown due to the individual's sense of inadequacy with respect to the situation, circumstance or interactions with another. Once we become present to that which is creating the inauthenticity we are able to give it up through enrollment and again reinvent ourselves through the creation or even regeneration of our possibilities. Once a person does enrollment with himself the inauthenticity he created disappears and with it the individual's power, freedom and full self-expression is once again restored.
The creation of possibilities will begin a process of bringing forth action. The individual who takes on creating possibilities for himself and his life will become very motivated to do and be differently in life. With the creation of possibilities the person will experience a renewed sense of power, freedom and self-expression. However, it is in this breakthrough of creating possibilities that the person will eventually experience breakdowns in the various domains of his life especially when he begins to live life on life's terms. When the individual returns to his community, to life as it was before the recovery process started, there will be a tendency to experience breakdowns. When one returns to his community there will exist a discrepancy of how he was being before his transformation began and how he is being now from possibilities. When one returns to his community there will also be a tendency to return to familiar ways of being and dealing with the circumstances and situations of life and even other people. It is within his return that the technology of enrollment will be crucial to his continued transformation and recovery. The use of enrollment will allow the person to get how he is actually creating the breakdown himself, to get how he is creating a story about the situation, circumstance or others and most importantly the source of this creation, his self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief generates the context from which the world occurs for us. Knowing that he is creating this experience from the background of his self-limiting belief will give him the power to choose, the power to return to being his possibilities thereby allowing him to experience the circumstance, situation or another in a manner that is in alignment with or from his possibilities.
The Daily Plan is the fourth component in the utilization of the technology of Transformational Counseling. Transformational Counseling is not merely about understanding the power of our thoughts but ultimately about action. We live in a world of action and for us to make a difference in our life as well as in that of another we must ultimately create through action. The Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life anew by assisting them in monitoring their day-to-day activities and behavior. As our possibilities will call forth action, the Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life differently by planning what they will specifically take on or do to create or bring forth their chosen possibilities in their lives. The Daily Plan is about making a commitment to oneself to fulfill on their intentions, to fulfill on being their possibilities. One of the fundamental elements of this structure is how will an individual measurably bring forth his possibilities into his life, how will he go about practically creating them for myself and in the world. The Daily Plan also allows one the opportunity to stay present to his self-limiting belief as it arises in the act of fulfilling on his Daily Plan. Having a breakthrough with the creation of possibilities and especially with their implementation in life will eventually create a breakdown too. With the use of a Daily Plan the person will have the opportunity to become present to what is stopping him and as a result get back into generating his possibilities through enrollment and as a result continue to create from the present.
While the use of the Daily Plan will support and assist the individual in his transformation and recovery, there will also be a tendency to not complete it on a consistent basis. The use of the Daily Plan is antithetical to the existence of the self-limiting belief, with the way of being the individual is very familiar with. In addition to assisting the individual in creating the life that he wants and to be able to distinguish his self-limiting belief as it reappears, the Daily Plan is also about ones commitment and integrity both to himself and others. When the individual develops or creates his Daily Plan he will be making a commitment to himself and others, to what he says that he wants to create in his life. Once the individual's plans for his transformation and recovery are made real by committing them to written form in his Daily Plan, it will become an issue of integrity, of doing what he said he would do, of doing complete work with whatever he does and of doing what he does as it was meant to be done. It is only be staying in integrity and fulfilling on his commitments to himself and others that he will be able to live into his possibilities, to transform his life. The individual will either be his self-limiting belief or his possibilities and it is through his integrity that he will have the opportunity to become present to his commitment or intension in life. The Daily Plan is a powerful technique that will effectively assist one in his transformation and recovery.
The Conversation is the fifth component of Transformational Counseling and is about enrollment and the self-limiting belief reappearing in ones commitments to his Daily Plan. While identified as the fifth component of this process, the Conversation actually begins when one is introduced to the work of transformation. It will always be a question of whether or not one will stay in the Conversation to continue to do the work of transformation after enrollment has taken place. However, the Conversation is about communicating with another through the enrollment process. It is in the Conversation that we have the opportunity to begin and continue utilizing the technology of Transformational Counseling. There will always be breakdowns in life even as we utilize the work of transformation. When we once again experience a loss of power, freedom and self-expression our past has reappeared again in our life and with it a breakdown. Staying in the Conversation with another person within transformation will give us the opportunity to become present to the inauthentic way of being that we have recreated and also to create the space for us to experience another breakthrough. It is only in a Conversation with another where we get the stories that we invent in the pretense about others, situations and circumstances that we will have an opportunity to also get present to that which is hidden from our view, the context, that which is truly creating our breakdown experience. That which is hidden is always from our past and has to do in some manner with our self-limiting belief. Furthermore, it is only from this distinction that a clearing will be caused to live in possibility again. The Conversation is about enrollment, enrolling ourselves and assisting others through enrollment. It is only in communication with another that we can continue to be and live into our possibilities and with it stay in the work of transformation with another and ourselves.
As alluded to above, there will be a tendency to want to leave the Conversation especially when one has first gotten or been introduced to the technology of transformation and Transformational Counseling. The initial experience of power, freedom and full self expression is very enrolling and with this feeling of being touched, moved and inspired by our possibilities one may create a belief that no future work is really necessary. However, the technology of transformation is not something that you simply get but something that is constantly gotten. When not in communication with others inside the Conversation of transformation there will be a tendency to stop doing the work and go back to what is familiar and especially to the familiar ways that we attempted to resolve breakdowns. It is the familiar that is within the world of the self-limiting belief. As mentioned above, the self-limiting does not go away, it is there throughout our life. While the self-limiting belief will reappear in our life through a breakdown, staying in the Conversation with another will assist us in distinguishing the inauthenticity that we create and once again empower us to get back into or create new possibilities for ourselves. Continuing the work of transformation by staying in the Conversation with others is not familiar and in many respects unreasonable. However, staying in the Conversation is crucial to our continued transformation as a human being living in the world and to the recovery process too.
I am currently the Director of Outpatient Services at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida. In working with people entering recovery in both the inpatient and outpatient programs it has been my experience that one of the first behaviors that will appear for the individual entering a relapse mode is when he takes himself out of the Conversation. This process of taking oneself out of the Conversation applies to whether one is attending transformational oriented group sessions or attending daily AA or NA meetings for those the 12 Step Program in recovery. When the person stops seeking and having human contact with people assisting him in his recovery, when one drops out of communication with other human beings who are helping him to transform his life, there will be a tendency to go back to that which is familiar for dealing with breakdowns. For those in recovery one of the familiar ways of attempting to fix a breakdown is to self-medicate with either alcohol or drugs or both. When the individual cuts himself off from the very process of his transformation and recovery, cuts himself off from communicating with another human being about what he is experiencing, the relapse process has begun for that person. The individual is once again unable to get how he is creating the breakdown and how to transform it.
Staying present to the existence of his self-limiting belief, generating his possibilities through his Daily Plan and processing breakdowns with others through enrollment does create the space for the individual to transform his life, be enrolled into the 12 Step Program and be successful in recovery. Much of why this technology is not utilized in the recovery field or even in the mental health arena is that most counselors are not even aware of its existence. For example, most counselors are not aware or present to the concept of a self-limiting belief let alone how it will, if not distinguished, continue to create a barrier or constraint for another. Most counselors are not even aware of the actual power of our thinking, of how we actually create our experiences, thoughts, feeling and behavior. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness as to how we create the occurring world leaves most counselors being able to only focus on that which is external to the client, that is, situations, circumstances and other people and their behavior. When we focus on that which is external to the client and engage in a discussion about situation, circumstance or another we run the risk of not generating the space for the client to get how he actually created or is continuing to create his experiences. When we are unable to assist a client in discovering how he actually created his situation, circumstance or relationship to another through his thinking and thoughts we run the risk of having the client assume little if any responsibility for his life, reinforcing or supporting a state of total disempowerment and leaving the probable almost certain future for the client.
Dr. Henshaw earned his doctoral degree in Human Development and Counseling from Boston University and has designed and implemented mental health and substance abuse programs in outpatient, residential and hospital settings in Illinois, Massachusetts and Florida.
Dr. Henshaw is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, a certified Clinical Supervisor and a member of the American Counseling Association & American Psychological Association. Trained in neuro-linguistic programming, Dr. Henshaw is also certified to practice and teach hypnosis in the State of Florida.
Dr. Henshaw is also in private practice in Hallandale Beach, Florida and utilizes the technology of Transformational Counseling. In addition to his work as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Supervisor, Dr. Henshaw has developed a series of audio health care products for use by professional providers and the public. http://www.enhancedhealing.com
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