Open Wounds

A Gunslinger Walks Into a Bar…

I’ve got a guest post up on Gotteenfiction today on facing the blank page – a feelings perspective.

Once I was conducting a training of trainers in Dallas on a Cultural Proficiency Course for court and treatment practitioners and a judge got fed up with me asking the process questions, “How did that exercise make you feel?” and “What did you notice about yourself during the exercise?” When I asked, yet again, after another experiential exercise that needed processing these same two questions, he stood up, slapped his hand onto his table, and said, “I don’t care how I feel. I don’t care how you feel. And I’m sick and tired of you asking us that question. And… I noticed that I’m getting more and more irritated when you ask.”

Now he was a judge.

And I was in Dallas.

And let’s remember, I’m a New York, non-practicing Jew.

“So,” I said. “You’ve got some feelings about that.”

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3 responses

  1. Joe, this made me LAUGH. Did you ask him, “And WHERE are you feeling that right now?”
    You are awesome.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    • If I had only thought of that! I’m not sure I would have made it out of Dallas if I had. You can only push judges so far. On another similar note I do another workshop for court personnel on How to cope with Particiant Relapse: a self-care course dealing with the difficulties providers have dealing with vicarious trauma and subsequent burnout from working with drug users and after the workshop a DA told me, with a face that was absolutey open and vulnerable (not a typical DA’s face), “You know what I learned today? I learned that I have feelings about the work I do.” It broke my heart because he had not realized this before and it broke my heart because he had discovered something incredibly useful in his work and life.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

  2. I am grateful that you made it out of Dallas, for true. The System is not set up for people to be in touch with how/what they feel. Like somehow it’s unprofessional to have feelings. So hooray for epiphanies, even if they are painful. And hooray for you for helping people get to those epiphanies.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm

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