The ten-minute discharge

We all feel better if we get feelings off our chest. Sometimes we may be flooded with emotions and not know how to deal with them, sometimes something canbe niggling at us without being able to eaxctly say what it is.

The ten-minute discharge can help.

Pick someone you think might be open to learning about this useful tool to deal with feelings and relationships, perhaps a relative, friend or acquaintance, and ask if she or he might have ten minutes of free attention to listen to you. If the person says yes, explain that you are not looking for advice, that you only want an understanding person to listen to you without interrupting for ten minutes.

Explain that we do not normally express deeply held feelings unless we have an agreement from the listener only to listen without comment, without judgment, analysis or advice, only with ordinary human compassion and understanding, and that everything that is said in such as session is kept absolutely confidential. Then begin to explore, express and discharge feelings about something important to you, giving full vent to the feelings until the end of the agreed upon ten minutes. Then thank the person and tell them how helpful that good attention was, that it made you feel safe to let out feelings that needed expression, that you feel lighter and clearer now for having those ten minutes of uninterrupted discharge.

And now you would like to give him or her the gift of your good attention for an equal amount of time. Using your knowledge of Supportive Listening you can help focus the person’s attention on feelings they would like to explore and discharge, both positive, happy feelings or distressful, painful feelings, encouraging their expression in a friendly understanding way, and at the end of the session discuss any insight the discharge may have occasioned, and any choices the person might wish to make based on that new insight.

Listening is one of the best gifts you can give anyone. Listening and providing a safe space for a person to explore their innermost is an even greater gift.

Large portions of this text are  taken from Medicine Story’s book A Guide to the Circle Way with permission.

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