The Getting Real practices help us free ourselves from the fears and limited thinking of the ego-mind, so we can meet each new moment with our open, authentic, loving presence.

In This Issue…

1. Blog: Dealing with Unconscious Triggering

2. Upcoming Events: Getting Real Weekend in Northern CA  April 17-18, 2021, Coach Training Webinar, Honesty Salon via zoom webinar format; free group coaching call (Dec 1)

3. The 10 Getting Real Truth Skills:  Let’s make the 10 Truth Skills a household word, helping to create a beneficial human presence on Planet Earth.

Dealing with Unconscious Trigger Reactions

I just finished writing a new book about the inner work of healing one’s own trigger reactivity (to be published in 2021). I was motivated to write this as a follow-up to Five-Minute Relationship Repair partly because of my observation that so much of human communication (especially between intimates!) is actually triggered communication. Some people feel hurt or angry (triggered) and don’t realize it, so they continue speaking in a normal tone of voice, but their communication is full of static or “noise.” The other person hears these seemingly reasonable words, but in their gut, they know something is off.

Mary’s husband Bruce tells her, “I’m going to bed now.” Mary feels disappointed. She was hoping for a longer evening together. But does she tell Bruce this? No, her fear of rejection has been triggered so she’s no longer in touch with her authentic feelings and needs. She goes on automatic: “You’re always so tired! We need to get you to a doctor.” She tries to bypass her own feelings and instead makes it his problem (You’re always so tired). In so doing, she creates more distance from him and from her own truth. She’s not talking about herself—she’s over on his side of the net—making it his problem. Bruce feels mistrustful of her remark but isn’t sure why. He senses that she’s upset, but she hasn’t given him anything real to respond to. So, he says nothing and goes to bed with an uneasy feeling. (Now, he is triggered, too, and doesn’t know it.) They get up the next day feeling distant and cold toward each other.

If Mary had been aware of being triggered, she could have slowed down her tendency to react automatically. And maybe she would’ve had access to more authentic options. For example, she might have said:
“Aw shucks, I was enjoying our talk….I was hoping for more time together.”
Or maybe: “Before you go, can I have a hug? I got my feelings hurt just now and need some reassurance.”
Or even: “I notice I just got triggered when you said that. I’m pretty sensitive about anything that seems like rejection.”

Can you see how any of these options might lead to a more sensitive and real conversation? Hearing how she feels or hearing she is triggered, he can address this and perhaps reassure her that her fears are unfounded. Instead of accumulating more unfinished emotional business, they could clear the air and come back to feeling connected with each other.

Upcoming Events

Getting Real: The Power of Conscious Communication  

A covid-safe in-person weekend workshop outdoors with Susan Campbell [Everyone will be screened with an interview; we will be seated 6 feet or more apart, wearing (personalized!) masks; group limited in size to assure safe distancing]

April 17-18, 2021  10am-5pm both days

Cost: $350

“You can only be as honest as you are self-aware.”

GETTING REAL teaches 10 truth skills that make you a more present, aware, spontaneous, authentic communicator. Most people have fears and insecurities which interfere with being fully present and honest. These insecurities can be healed. If you learn to put your attention on your here-now experience, rather than trying to control the outcome of your communications, you discover the real source of personal power, love, and inner security.

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

•   communicate with presence, authenticity, and spontaneity (even when you feel fear about it)

•   be aware of how you impact others

•   clear the air and keep it clear

•   repair rifts in trust and connection after a misunderstanding

•   keep your present relationships free of accumulated unfinished business

•   come back to being present after your fear-buttons have gotten pushed

•   communicate from the deepest parts of yourself—so you can be truly heard and accepted

•   notice and free yourself of all the ways you “go on automatic” as you communicate or listen

•   replace these “control patterns” with honest, spontaneous self-expression

•   recognize all the various disguises that mask the “need to control”

•   ask for what you want without being controlling

•   say “no” or mark your boundaries with compassion and sensitivity

•   embrace and value the silences in human communication

•   heal past trauma and unprocessed pain

•   communicate about difficult topics in ways that foster deep intimacy and trust

The workshop is intended for people who want to join with like-minded others to explore honesty as a spiritual awareness practice, getting to the essential self that is beyond conditioned fears, beliefs, and control patterns. Emphasis will be on developing communication skills and relationship practices that you can take home and integrate into your daily life.

Cost: $350

Time/date: April 17-18, 2021 (Sat-Sun), 10am-5pm both days

Location: Sebastopol, CA, one hour north of San Francisco (directions to follow registration)

REGISTER NOW: Call Susan’s landline, (707) 829-3646 or email: drsusan@susancampbell.com

Led by: Psychologist Susan Campbell has worked as a relationship coach for over 50 years. A former professor at the University of Massachusetts, she is author of 11 books on relationships and communication. Her website is www.susancampbell.com

Coach Training Webinar: Facilitating Groups Using the 10 Getting Real Truth Skills (via Zoom)

 A 6-week webinar for new and experienced coaches with Susan Campbell, Ph.D., author of GETTING REAL and other titles, using Zoom

Time: 6  consecutive Thursdays, beginning Thursday, January 7, 2021, noon-1:30 pm Pacific time (3-4:30 pm Eastern time), and ending Feb 11.

Cost: $300 (visa, paypal, transferwise, and mastercard accepted)

To register or get more info, call or email Susan’s landline at (707) 829-3646 or drsusan@susancampbell.com

Content/Goals:
You will learn and practice how to facilitate workshops that teach Susan’s getting real practices in novel, fun, and useful ways. Specifically, you will learn how to:

-create a safe group context that welcomes emotional pain, vulnerability, and reactivity/triggering. (All these things can be used as grist for the healing and growth mill.)

-help clients develop their ability to be with emotional discomfort in a way that fosters healing trigger sensitivities and trauma

-work skillfully with difficult group members

-work skillfully with your most challenging group situations

-teach exercises that stretch participants’ capacity to ask for what they want and mark boundaries

-teach exercises that help participants “relate more and control less”

-teach exercises that help participants learn to clear the air and keep it clear

-use your own authentic feelings and responses to participants in helpful ways—thus, refining yourself as an instrument for positive change

–teach exercises that help participants heal unfinished emotional business

–teach exercises that help participants develop their capacity for inner witnessing

You will also learn how to integrate these tools into your existing coaching style and repertoire.

You will be given homework assignments to practice with a homework partner on a separate phone call during the week.  This will require an additional hour per week of your time.

All calls will be recorded and archived on the web, so you can re-listen to calls or hear a call if you have to miss a session.

Bio: In addition to her Getting Real work, Susan has taught group process/group dynamics and T-groups at Stanford, Harvard, and UCLA business schools.

Honesty Salon in Webinar Format 

Next January-February I will offer a six-session Honesty Salon in webinar format (zoom). It is scheduled for 6 consecutive Wednesdays, beginning January 27, 2021, noon-1:15 pm Pacific time.

Cost is $200 for the 6 sessions. An Honesty Salon is a small group experience where we practice the 10 Truth Skills with one another, sharing whatever arises in the present moment. We use a set of simple communication guidelines that assist us in un-hooking from identification with mind chatter and being innocently open to whatever arises.

Between sessions, participants will have the option of meeting in dyads or triads to de-brief and do practice exercises. All sessions will be recorded and archived on a private page, so if you miss a session, the recording will be available to you.

To register or get more information, email me at drsusan@susancampbell.com  If you are interested in this offering, and the announced  time is not convenient, I may be able to change the time.  So please contact me about that at the email address above.

Free Monthly Group Coaching Call, Tuesday, December 1

I will be hosting my free Getting Real group coaching call Tuesday, December 1, 4-5pm Pacific time.  We use a telephone conference line. To get on the conference line  from the US or Canada call (712) 770-4010 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).

On this month’s call, I will respond to everyone’s questions re problems you encounter in your interpersonal, family, or peer group relationships. I will also encourage dialogue about how to relate more and control less in your daily communications. As I address your questions, I will invite sharing from the group regarding your best practices for dealing with relationship problems. These calls always involve lively discussion and deep sharing. I hope you will join in.

To call in from the UK, dial: 44-330-998-1227 (local access number)

To call in from Germany, dial: 49-209-8829-4402 (local access number)

From France: 33-1-7890-0674

From Australia: 61-2-8077-0511

To find other local access numbers outside the US, contact www.freeconferencecallHD.com

Replay Available 

If you miss the call and would like to access the recording, call (712) 770-4019 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).

The 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live Authentically

Here is a summary of the 10 truth skills detailed in the book, Getting Real. For those of you familiar with my latest book, Five-Minute Relationship Repair, you may see that that entire book is about truth skill #6, Taking Back Projections. This is such a complex and often difficult-to-master truth skill. So I thought it deserved a whole book. 

Now here’s the list:

1. Experiencing what is  You have a felt body-based sense of your present feelings and sensations. You can notice and not identify with your judgments, projections, and interpretations.

2. Being transparent  You can disclose to others what you are feeling, sensing, imagining, or saying to yourself—with the simple aim of “knowing and being known,” free of the need to explain or defend.

3. Knowing your intent  You can consciously reflect on the intent of your communication. Is it to relate or to control? Are you revealing yourself in the interest of transparency or are you managing and strategizing in order to avoid discomfort?

4. Asserting what you want and don’t want  You can express a desire clearly and impactfully, without expecting to get everything you ask for. You mark boundaries when you need to.

5. Thriving on feedback  You are open and curious about others’ impressions and reactions to you.  This is different from being dependent on others’ reactions.

6. Taking back projections  You know how to learn from situations where your buttons or “favorite fears” get triggered. You can differentiate your fear-stories from what really happened.

7. Revising an earlier statement  You can re-visit an interaction if your feelings change or if you discover later that you have mis-spoken or were on automatic. You can say, “If I had it to do over….”

8. Holding differences  You can hear and empathize with someone else’s feeling or viewpoint while at the same time holding a different feeling or viewpoint. You can “be with” the tension of holding both in your awareness at once.

9. Sharing mixed emotions  You can communicate your multiple feelings about an issue or situation, e.g. You may wish to clear the air with someone while also fearing that your words might feel hurtful to the other.

10. Embracing silence  You can allow some space after you have spoken. You do not fill in the space with explanation or justification. You can experience the nonverbal emanations in the silences during a conversation.  You can tolerate uncertainty, ambiguity, not knowing.

Practicing these skills brings you to a deep and abiding sense of serenity, presence, and compassion. These three words that describe the qualities that we begin to embody when we practice Getting Real.

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