Chapter Eleven - "Help Me --- I'm Tired Of Feeling Bad"

Chapter Eleven

Major Precautions Which Under
No Circumstances Should be Ignored

Caution One

Find a general practitioner and obtain a complete physical examination with special emphasis on cardiac function. Patients have experienced angina, blood-pressure fluctuations, and other physical problems during depth therapy. I have recently suggested that one of my patients, who experienced chest pain during therapy, seek heart-bypass surgery before he proceed with his in-depth work. He has done so and is currently convalescing, waiting to begin his therapy again.

Caution Two

Find a psychiatrist to evaluate your general mental health, with special emphasis on the strength of your mind's ability to contain and process powerful feelings without either developing a psychosis or having to rush out and hurt yourself or somebody else.

Caution Three

Find a psychotherapist to companion you on your inner journey; one who is warm and caring, and not overly opinionated in a defensive way. Most especially, find a therapist who is comfortable allowing you to experience your deepest feelings.

Caution Four

If your therapist will not give you touch and holding should you need it, find a massage therapist and go several times a month for the express purpose of nourishing yourself through skin contact with the therapist's hands, in addition to deeper kinds of muscle massage.

The massage therapist you select must have an appreciation of the difference between touch and massage for the purpose of nurture, and massage for the purpose of manipulating deep tissue. Let this person be creative with you, and do not become sexual. Never go beyond what your intuition tells you is right for you at any given time.

Caution Five

Find a self-help group such as Adult Children of Alcoholics and Other Dysfunctional Families (ACA). Check your telephone book.

Eugene Gendlin's growing Focusing Network might also be helpful. See the reference to his book in the appendix.

Make sure these are feeling-oriented groups which do not substitute ungrounded beliefs and the power of positive thinking for careful, ongoing depth work. Belief and positive thinking are both very precious. But they can, like anything else, become a defence.

Caution Six

Read this entire book slowly and carefully three times. Thoughtfully digest every single paragraph.

Over and over again, after finishing the first section of this book, people ask me questions which have already been carefully and clearly answered within the text. This tells me that one or two readings are not enough. As clearly written as it is, this book is absolutely packed with information, and each item has many issues attached to it.

One of my patients has a doctoral degree in psychology and has been in depth psychotherapy with me for several years. She informed me that she had read the book eight times. Although she finally felt she understood it, we have still had occasional disagreements and, when we have returned to the text, we have found that she forgot or misremembered the occasional, very clearly articulated passages.

I repeat, read this book slowly and carefully, at least three times, so that you will have an overall sense of what you are doing when the forest you are about to enter closes in around you.

It is not recommended that you attempt the exercises in this manual without adequate psychotherapy.

    This Growth Manual could be very, very dangerous
    if used without continuous professional help!

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