Owning–and eradicating–“distress”

I just completed the advanced segment of some juicy training through Next Element in the Process Communication Model, developed by psychologist Taibi Kahler, Ph.D. The advanced training take-away that I’ll share here is about distress–think stress that may turn chronic and begin to color everything. From a White Paper by Next Element co-owner/trainer Jeff King:

According to the Process Communication Model, distress is like wearing counterfeit sunglasses.  When we are in distress, we are moving away from our authentic self, away from authentic relationships, away from an honest appraisal of ourselves and others. First degree, or mild distress, sets the stage for a counterfeit self by putting our own or others’ worth on condition, and believing the myths that “You can make me feel good emotionally,” or “I can make you feel good emotionally.”… [I]f our relationship[s are] based on these myths, we are moving away from our authentic self. In second degree distress, we Mask our authentic feelings and needs… attempting to get our psychological needs met with negative attention…. [T]he assumptions we draw about ourselves and others are inaccurate and inauthentic.  This leads to poor decision-making, and negative consequences. The solution is to focus on getting our personal psychological needs met in healthy ways on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  Doing so allows us to… take off our Masks, experience our natural gifts and abilities, and explore other parts of our personalities that allow us to connect more authentically with others. 

So awareness of distress has a deeper purpose than empathizing or seeking empathy. Process Communication Model (PCM) invites us to own our choices and ways of operating that create our distress, and to choose to operate differently and thus–big bonus–more authentically! What makes the difference? Here it comes again, and it’s beautiful: focusing on getting our pscyhological needs met in healthy ways regularly, as a way of life, keeps us from the error of chronic distress. Powerful? You betcha!

As a communication/relationship explorer and a proponent of extraordinary self-care, I’m jazzed to share this insight. It’s just a sample of the power of Process Communication Model to strengthen and even transform relationships with colleagues, children, family members, friends, and self. Next Element offers PCM training all over the world to corporations, institutions, schools, families, couples, and individuals. Whether your vantage point is business owner, human resources specialist, teacher, administrator, products and services team leader, husband/wife, father/daughter, etc., PCM is the stuff of real communication/relationship breakthroughs! And you and yours deserve them. We all do.

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  1. Pingback: Synchronicity studies: it’s a beautiful day! | Teresa Young's Beautiful Life Blog

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