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To Eva on Creating "Issue Statements"

A Few Pointers

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I tried to practice making up "ins" to get from themes to issue statements but still feel stuck. Could you give me some feedback. Examples would help. Here's what I got:


When did you feel the most lonely? (too traditional, right?)

Have you ever felt lonely when u were with friends? (better?)

What situations or times do you feel the most lonely? (back to traditional?)

Did u ever feel lonely when you were very little? (got it but couldn't get any more....)


Have u ever felt that if u didn't take care of someone then something terrible would happen?

What kinds of relationships make you feel most codependent? (bah; no person; no pain)

Did u ever want to leave someone in a relationship but thought something bad would happen if u did? (ugh; stuck)


Did u ever feel frightened or anxious when u did something u thought someone else wouldn't want u to do? (now where did that come from)

can u go to an early time u felt anxious? what was happening?

Did u ever not feel anxious? (traditional right? but book-ending). (sigh)


What was it like for u to go to sleep when u were little?

Did anything bad ever happen to u while you were sleeping?

Was there ever a time you didn't avoid sleep (getting out of the pain right?)

Did you ever get in trouble for not going to bed?

* This is hard and I hate being stuck * LOL. Thanks. I love u. nice key there right? chuckle.


And here is my reply . . .

Hi Eva,

From what I read below, you are close to having it, and it seems more that you need to feel confident about what you're coming up with rather than worrying about it being right or not.

Obviously, much of what you would ask the explorer would be based on knowing the person AND on what you are picturing in the moment you ask. And if you keep the following two things in mind when you do it, you will probably be in the ballpark every time:

[1] When you look at the person in the moment you are asking, ask yourself what do you picture from your own life.

[2] Based on the pictures you then see from your own life, ask the person what pictures they see.

The goal here is to try to get the person's picture of what they want to work on, using your own pictures to guide your questioning. This last part is what is most important. Why? Because the only way two people can communicate intimately and genuinely is for both people to base what they say on their own internal pictures.

In other words, the thing to keep in mind here is, the words people speak only "caption" their internal pictures and are really only a shorthand for what they really have to say anyway. This means genuine (conscious) personal stuff is always based on an exchange of internal pictures between the two people and never on "captions" alone.

With all this in mind then and after reading what you wrote, especially your comments on what you wrote, let me say you pretty much have the idea already.

Something you might consider adding, though, would be to frame peoples' "difficulties" (their "traditional issues") with the number of the age you sense they are experiencing, for instance, six, two, eleven, etc. From this number, you then build an age appropriate "issue statement" refining this statement using age appropriate words. For instance, with the first question under your "anxiety" heading, if you had sensed the person's age was under five or six, you might have asked the person about substituting the words "frightened" and "anxious" with the word "scared." "Frightened" would be good for 5 - 11, "anxious" for teens and up, or maybe not, in that people have widely varying language per their ages. And again, you should absolutely override these suggestions if the person and your intuition tell you to use something older, for instance, the words a parent might have said to them at this age.

Over all, though, what you sent is pretty good. And I'm sure this topic will be a theme in the next group as it feels pretty important to me too.

Gotta run,



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