5. Questions and Answers
5.1. Do I need to show the description to anyone?
You don't need to show anyone, but you can only if you would like. I
show all of my descriptions to my Self-Counseling teacher. When I'd
just started, she corrected errors on Self-Counseling rules like
using simple sentences. Now, she helps me to discover my feelings
and myself more. I know that she will never judge me from my
description. She just let me know that she thinks I can explain my
feelings more about some of the parts in the description. I don't
feel very shy to show my writings to her anymore.
I also sometimes show some of my description to some people. You can
show whomever you want to, but I recommend that you show someone
who knows Self-Counseling or that you explain what Self-Counseling is to
that person first. Since Self-Counseling description is very unique,
I think it sometimes looks strange to the people who don't know of
Someone who is also doing Self-Counseling is much
better. You and that person may be able to share the experience
through Self-Counseling. There are many groups who gather and share
their Self-Counseling experience. Watanabe recommends that we keep
the following three rules when people share Self-Counseling
If you feel very shy to show anyone, you don't need to do so. But your
mind may be changed by writing the description as I did with my
example. Before I had written that description, I wanted to write
just for myself and felt so ashamed to show anyone. Now, however, I
feel OK to show as the example that I could benefit from
Self-Counseling the most. But, remember, you don't need to show
your description to anyone. Self-Counseling writing is not for
others, your grades or your reputation, but JUST FOR YOURSELF.
- Do not tell the contents of the description to people outside of the group
- Do not criticize the writer nor the contents, but accept them as they are
- Try to understand each other and speak along with your own experience
5.2. If you need to show your description to someone, does it affect you?
When I first showed my example description to my seminar class, some
students asked me if I really wrote everything. I wasn't sure, but
said yes, because it was the best thing I could do. Yes, I knew that
showing someone affected me a lot. Even writing down affected me a
lot, because I sometimes feel scared to know my true feelings.
I asked my Self-Counseling teacher about that. She said that it is
natural that showing my writing to someone affects my description. She
also told me that she has had the same experience. A couple of years
ago, she needed to show her description to her teacher. She was
writing about her childhood, her quarreling with her mother. In fact,
she had thought, [Bitch!] at that time, but she could not write it.
She didn't feel comfortable to let her teacher know she used a bad
word. So, she wrote [Awful mother!] instead. But after a while, she
gradually came to feel OK to write [Bitch!] She said that it is
because she came to be more objective about that scene. It took
her a couple of years to reach this point.
Her point was if you don't want to write something, it is OK, but you
need to recognize which part you don't want to write. She also
recommended you think why you don't want to write if possible. The
important thing is to wait till you calm down. It may takes more than
five years, but when you calm down, you are objective about that
5.3. How long does it take to write a Self-Counseling episode?
Well, it depends on each person and what kind of scene you choose. To
tell you the truth, however, I realized that taking a long time is the
only problem Self-Counseling has. It took me about three hours to
complete the description I showed as an example before. I repeated
those: write, read, remember, revise, read, remember, revise... I've
just used the word, complete, but a Self-Counseling episode will
never be completed in a way. Because, after a month, or after a year,
or maybe after ten years, you may discover something new. Watanabe
advocates that Self-Counseling is lifelong education, so you don't
have to hurry. When you don't feel like doing Self-Counseling, take
a rest and do other things. Write when you are ready and have time.
5.4. Do I have to write everything at one time?
As I said in the earlier question, Self-Counseling takes time, so
writing everything at one time will be very difficult for you. And
remember that the purpose of Self-Counseling is not getting the answer
soon, so cherish the every single process you are experiencing when
you write. Write little by little in tandem with your recalling or
You can do Self-Counseling with everything. You can write about your
childhood. Self-Counseling is now mainly used by mothers, who write
about their relationship with their children. But when Self-Counseling
first started about twenty-five years ago, it was used to see how each
person and their character were molded, so writing about the past is
fine. You might not remember the past well right away, so take your
time and steps.
If you feel shy first to write about yourself, you can choose a scene
from a drama on TV or something. Guessing the feelings of the people
in the drama can be a good practice to guess others' feelings. My
mother once did it with a book about someone who couldn't express her
5.5. Where can I get help if I get stuck?
I said that I showed my description to my Self-Counseling teacher, and
I asked her many questions to make this booklet, but that doesn't mean
you need a teacher to start Self-Counseling. You can do
Self-Counseling all by yourself. As long as you keep Self-Counseling
principles and rules, you will do just fine. Sometimes, you might not
discover anything new from the description, but don't worry. Even
from that, you could check your feelings if it was exactly as you
If you really get stuck and need help, you can e-mail me
I am not an expert,
but I learned a lot about Self-Counseling through writing this booklet.
I will be glad to answer your questions. Good luck!
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