Behind the Scenes
Before my year group began our three year Psychodynamic Counselling training with the Wessex Counselling Service (affiliated to WPF the Westminster Pastoral Foundation) we were given a few rules; all sensible, all grounded in the experience of those wiser and more experienced course Directors, who had trained many other year groups before us:
Rule No. 1 - All contact between members of the year group was to be within the boundaries of the self awareness group sessions that were the foundation of the training course. No contact outside of the training course, to discuss the content of the self awareness group, or other members of the group, would be tolerated. Anyone violating this essential rule would be dismissed from the course and their (substantial) course fees would not be reimbursed.
At the time we thought that a bit unnecessary, but we chosen few who had made it through the selection process were so relieved to have made it thus far, that we signed our agreement to that rule.
As the months, and then years, went on, we understood the Rule. We trusted the Rule and because we trusted the Rule, we felt safe and boundaried by it to explore ourselves, our relationships both in the training group and in the outside world, and to equate our own life experiences to the theoretical framework of our training. It was also an essential grounding in keeping strict boundaries around counselling relationships, so that when we began seeing clients, we were used to a contract based on this trusted up-front relationship.
We soon came to understand that to deal honestly with each other, and to trust to the process of the training, we could rely on the Rule.
Blogging is not so ruled. Bloggers can email each other behind and beyond what appears on their blog. Other bloggers of course, if not in the loop, know nothing of this, and can only deal with what appears on other bloggers' pages.
I am picking up clues that there may be a connection between my comments on Ouch never being published, my memory of the Rule, and early experiences in my blogging life, where I seemed to be actively unwelcomed by one blogger. I have remembered that discomfort and always been open, welcoming and encouraging to anyone who has come newly to reading and commenting on my blog. Thankfully no other blogger has repeated that early snub to my blogging involvement. On all other bloggers' pages, I have been welcomed and openly interacted with. It has been, and mostly continues to be, a joy.
Blogging is not an analytical process or a counselling arena, despite my tongue-in-cheek attempt to argue that IT IS SO. But in this disablist world it is a space where I, and many other bloggers that I have met and communicated with here in the blogosphere, trust the process of blogging and trust the bloggers met on their computer in that process.
Until something happens that shows that, in some arenas, there is far more going on between bloggers than appears on blog pages. That shows there is at work a personal process that is not up front and obvious. That is not necessarily what is seems.
Life is complex enough outside the frame of the laptop screen, without another blogger messing it up behind the scenes. This is where we come for contact, support, friendship, information, encouragement, fun, laughs, shared problems and shared joys. With two exceptions (and he has only ever commented once, and she has only ever commented once), I love you all and love your contact with me.