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People who know my work know that I teach a program called Holistic Peer Counseling (HPC). In a recent class, the term “open source” was tossed around as one of the great things about HPC. I think it was a very important point.


When students register to take HPC, each is given equal access to the materials. Everyone learns the theory and practice of Holistic Peer Counseling. What this does, is create a unique dynamic. It means that when we are the client being counseled, we are aware of what the counselor is doing. There is much less mystery than there is when we go to counsel or work with someone using a system we have never studied. Some may think this could get in the way of the healing, but does it? As someone who has been creating healing opportunities for people nearly my entire life, I can say that I have most certainly felt the elation of pushing someone into something for what I believed was their own good. Today I have to wonder what that really was about. Was that really about them? Or was it about me?


When I work with people who have studied HPC, I know they are aware of the magic it can provide. Because they are aware, I can actively counsel them and still rest assured that they will accept things only when they are good and ready. Self-sovereignty is a pivot point of the system. If I am trying to force them, chances are, I am triggered and not acting in their best interest. This is what “open source” means. As the client you know what it up and you can decide if you want to engage or not. As a counselor, I know this is the work at hand. I can coax you but ultimately, you hold the reins of your own healing.


This dynamic is quite important to me for a number of reasons. For one, I have watched the teacher/student, guru/disciple model my entire life and I think it is lacking. I have seen people become obsessed with the teacher, reaching for them as a source of a power they themselves posses. I have watched a sense of adoration become confused as romantic love. I have seen teachers become painfully isolated on their pedestals, they and their students unable to see them for the powerful and yet fragile human beings that they are.


Secondly, I think this model is more empowering. I know that I will heal if I have regular sessions. I also know that those sessions could completely reorder my sense of reality. I know that I will feel clearer, more loving and less reactive in my life if I have regular sessions. I also know that those sessions may mean feeling old emotions I might prefer to be in denial about. When I learn the technology, I know when I am holding myself back from reaping its benefits.


Thirdly, there is a piece that I think is imperative to community building. We all learn how human we all are. When we can counsel together, we can see each other in ways that we often don’t see in more superficial encounters. We also come to understand that being triggered in part of being human. This allows us to limit our vilification of others. We have a method to work our triggers instead of attacking the person who triggers us. When we do this, we can heal the system instead of perpetuating and magnifying the war. THIS aspect I believe is fairly imperative to a world that becomes more transparent every day.


Ultimately, this all puts US in the power seat. But are we ready to be there? Are we ready to take our healing journey into our own hands? Are we ready to see our teachers and students as human: both fragile and powerful? Are we ready to really see each other and ourselves and have the intimacy so many people say they crave? Are we ready to be peers?


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About the author

Community.Relationship.Intimacy.Sex.Birth and so much more. Do you know how to find yourself and the space between you and another? Nekole can help you find your way. One small warning....Nekole has been known to change lives!