When someone has a long history of woundedness, rejection is almost invariably in the mix. And when you have felt the pain of rejection, you really try not to move toward it again!
This is the client’s dilemma in a counseling situation. He or she needs help, and they know they have to receive it on the clinician’s terms or they will be rejected.
On the other side, is the clinician’s distaste for powerlessness. It is not a welcome emotion. Hence, they have worked hard and studied hard to develop a set of tools that will allow them to feel some sense of mastery, effectiveness and dominion when counseling.
These two aversions – rejection and powerlessness – set the stage for a dishonest relationship.
The counselor does A, B and C which has worked for 100 other people. If he is remarkably dishonest, he announces to the client that the problem is now solved.
If he is professional, he asks the client how he feels about the situation.
And that is the choke point for the client.
He KNOWS that the counselor absolutely believes that the issue should be fixed after A, B and C. He KNOWS the counselor really doesn’t know what else to do. AND if the client says, “Well, I don’t think it is all done,” or “I don’t feel like anything has changed,” that is going to push the counselor’s buttons.
If the counselor is a big boy, he will be disappointed, but will lean into it some more, even though he doesn’t know what to do. If the counselor is still carrying a bag full of unresolved issues, he will turn against the client and some level of overt or covert emotional rejection will take place.
So the client who wishes to continue the relationship reasons that it probably IS OK, since the big guy said so, or it will finish working itself out during the night, or it will get resolved eventually when they work on something else in that general area.
So the client allows the counselor’s perception that everything is taken care of, to stand unchallenged.
And thus is born another dishonest relationship between an unhealed healer, and a client who is not likely to get healed in the context of an inauthentic relationship.
Here is a better model.
I worked with Sally again yesterday. God directed us to the 14th year. Lots and lots of drama. God came. He showed us big stuff. He did big stuff. She was excited about the immensity of the intervention by God. The work was so deep it went on for hours. She texted me at her bedtime saying that it was still churning.
My emotional conclusion? “We nailed it! A done deal! Go God!!!”
This morning, Sally let me know that something was wrong. Things were better, but not right.
My reaction inside?
-You can’t be serious? After all that move of God yesterday, it isn’t done and isn’t right? REALLY?!
-I am BUSY. I didn’t have time yesterday for that big deal, and I REALLY don’t have time today.
With my mouth I said, “Hmm. That is a surprise. I wonder what is lacking? Let me listen a bit?”
I pondered the story line. Ah, the parts! There were six of them from that period. They needed to be brought up to speed. I explained to them that 14 was new and refurbished and exciting and I wanted to show them. They were terribly unimpressed with my excitement but they barely humored me and went.
They admitted that it was gorgeous, different, but said it made them feel super heavy. They wanted to get out of there.
I was bummed. Struck out again. So we vacated that location, had a discussion and facilitated their going to a new place to work on detox. They were pleased, but it would be a process.
Checked with Sally to see if this was it. It HAD to be. Yesterday’s land work was stupendously immense. Must be just a minor matter of the parts getting cleaned up too.
I asked how she felt about it. She said it was wonderful that they were getting cleaned up, but that was not it. There was still something.
Double bummer! I told her I was flat out of time, and would have to listen to God for my next cue card, since I had no idea what to do.
Honesty on her part. Honesty on my part.
Later on in the morning, while I was scurrying around, doing “stuff,” a detail swam to the surface. I remembered a bump in the road she had in childhood. I pinged her. She was available. I asked if she was seven when that happened.
Curse on time? Seven and 14 were locked down so I asked about other multiples of seven. 21 was horrible. 28 ditto. We worked it out. A rock solid curse on time, every seven years – in addition to the one every 13 years she had dealt with a few years before.
I was elated. THISTIMEWEGOTIT!
Did the prayer, with a healthy dose of generational cleansing to boot, and she felt a lot of stuff moving. Exciting. The payoff for honesty in the relationship, and tenacity in working on what is really there, not just what I wanted to be there.
I basked in the comfort of having gotten past powerlessness. The Holy Spirit had come through, and given me my cue card when I was patient, and I am back in the game. Yay God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Stuff moved. I asked her if it felt right.
She said better but not right.
I got that cue card from God! How can it not be done yet?
Note: I DID NOT SAY THAT out loud. Just in my head. I try to be authentic internally even when I am being polite to a friend.
I was about to plead busyness so I could get off the phone when the Holy Spirit flashed another cue card – her birth was messy! Oh yes! I remember that now. (Love those cue cards.)
So, I mentioned that to her, showed how the physical violations fit into the bigger pattern, and then we asked God to extend the cleansing of the cycle of time to her year zero, and all the bad births in the generational line and THAT set off quite a firestorm of spiritual activity.
It was still going on when I got off the phone.
I will find out tomorrow whether year 14 is clean, done and sealed. I SOOOO hope it is.
But whether it is, or it isn’t, I trust Sally to be honest and tell me how it really is, and I will be honest with how surprised or relieved I am, and we will go forward.
Authenticity in a ministry relationship is much more effective than dishonesty and fear, even though it is emotionally yanking in a dozen different ways.
Copyright August 2017 by Arthur Burk