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 Self-Counseling.

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 descriptions.

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.

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 scene.

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 discovery.

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 feelings.

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 expected.

If you really get stuck and need help, you can e-mail me here Anytime. 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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