81. Relationships that Invite Health- An Overview of Basic Attendance pt. 2 Transcription

*This Podcast was been transcribed using an editing software. Please excuse typos.

Lori: [00:00:06] Windhorse is our innate ability to uplift ourselves and our environment by giving rise to a positive energy that is both relaxed and disciplined. Since 1981, Windhorse Community Services has integrated this understanding with modern conventional therapies, meditation and contemplative traditions in the development of at home whole person mental health recovery. Windhorse Journal is dedicated to the mission of communicating decades of clinical and personal experience to professionals, educators, students and anyone seeking recovery options. Please join the dialog. [00:00:45][39.0]

Elysa: [00:00:51] Welcome to Windhorse Journal. Entry 81. Relationships that Invite Help An Overview of Basic Attendance Part two. This is the second half of a conversation between Windhorse clinicians as they discuss basic attendance within Windhorse work. In this episode, Conner Hollingsworth shares a musical review of a client shift, and the group reflects on his experience. They discuss what basic attendance looks like for varying roles on a Windhorse team and how it can help an individual find their own sense of balance and harmony within the world. We hope you enjoy. [00:01:24][32.9]

Chuck: [00:01:28] Welcome everyone to this podcast of the Windhorse Journal. And I’m your host, Chuck Knapp. I’m so pleased to be joined here by this distinguished group of Windhorse clinicians. And I will now introduce you all. Laura Ann Samuelson has worked as a team counselor at Windhorse Community Services and as a basic attendant at Windhorse Eldercare since June of 2021, they hold an MFA in dance from the University of Colorado Boulder and are currently an artist in residence at Red Line Contemporary Art Center in Denver. They are also a certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais method, a form of somatic education that helps individuals find a greater sense of skeletal connection. These and freedom in movement. Conner Hollingsworth moved from Chicago to Boulder in 2014 in order to pursue a master’s in music at the University of Colorado. At that time, he began a nearly two year tenure as a housemate with Windhorse Community Services and A since moved on to team counselor and assistant team leader roles. The philosophy and contemplative approach of WCC has proved to be a thoroughly harmonious counterpoint to his parallel career as a freelance musician. When Conner is not performing with symphony orchestras and jazz ensembles throughout the front range, he enjoys exploring the spectacular hiking opportunities that the nearby landscapes offer. Jeremy Ellis is a team leader and assistant team leader at Windhorse. He began his journey at Windhorse Community Services as a housemate in 2015. He enjoys a variety of contemplative and creative practices and is currently obsessed with his new instant pot. Jeremy What is an instant pot? [00:03:13][105.0]

Jeremy: [00:03:15] Oh, it’s. It’s a newfangled version of a pressure cooker. Okay. Thanks. That’s great. [00:03:23][8.4]

Kathy: [00:03:24] Kathy Emery is a graduate of the Naropa University’s East West Psychology Program in 1980, which then it was. Naropa Institute has been actively working with Windhorse approach to treatment and care since its inception in 1981, when it was first called Miri Psychological Services. She’s currently employed with Windhorse Elder Care and Windhorse Community Services as a team supervisor and psychotherapist. She’s also a senior teacher of the approach and feels a lifelong commitment to bring the contemplative view and practice of current therapy into a work with individuals and groups, as well as through teaching and writing. Kathy, you are one of the co-founders of The Whole Catastrophe, and we’ve been fortunate to work together for a long time. It’s nice that you could be part of this because you were actually part of the group that developed basic attendants. So. Jack Gipple, Jack is our clinical services manager here at Windhorse Community Services, and you earned your Masters in Transpersonal Psychology in 1991 and have worked extensively with families, couples, individuals with issues related to behavioral and substance addictions, as well as a wide range of mental health challenges. You’ve taught at the Naropa Contemplative Psychology Department for a long time. You were affiliated with the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless since 1992. You’ve had your hand in writing some very nice pieces on the Windhorse approach, and you also have taught Taichi since 1985, and you are a top bar beekeeper and hold photographer, Yogi Gardener, orchardist, father and husband. So thank you again all for being here. And I’m going to start us off with a quick about three minute overview on what we’ll be doing today. That’s going to be followed up by the story that Lauren, you’re going to be presenting about being on a basic attendance shipment with a client. So you’re not going to be stuck with me just talking for ever. So the Windhorse approach is health based, meaning that we understand all people to be fundamentally sane and inclined to return to health and balance when the right conditions are present. In this view, confusion or extreme mental states or some use the term mental illness are temporary obstacles, more like clouds that may obscure the brilliance of the sun, but just as the sun is never diminished by clouds. Likewise, our sanity is not diminished by our confusions. So it’s always there. As our deepest ally we know this can really sound like wishful thinking, but it’s actually our experience both personally as well as in our extensive work with clients and families. At its most basic level, the winners approach is characterized by creating individually tailored, full person recovery environments which invite that person’s sanity and health and balance. Full person here means that we consider and include all aspects of a person’s life in the therapeutic process. Our environments are grounded in their physical and domestic world. We cultivate open and healthy relationships. And of course, we work to help our clients to clarify and understand their minds and emotions. The primary way that we develop this environment is through relationship. Will often refer to Windhorse as relational medicine. As we know that when a person is experiencing mental confusion or distress, it’s almost always helpful to be in the midst of people with healthy lifestyles and relatively healthy minds. We actually experience health to be surprisingly contagious, so we create teams specific to each client’s personality and interests in order to jumpstart their connection with ordinary, wholesome, more effectively activity things such as keeping their home in good order, developing healthy habits of eating, sleeping an exercise. Engaging in their interests. Meeting people outside of the team which will often involve the greater Windhorse community, school and work. A big part of the effectiveness of our approach is that we’re not trying to make our clients into someone they’re not. We’re actually supporting them to be the most integrated and harmonious version of who they almost basically are and who they most know themselves to be at their core. Another part of the power of our environments is that we have a number of complementary roles involved in a team. Starting with the housemate who’s a staff person living in a therapeutic household. The team councilors who spend the most time with the client in the midst of ordinary life activity. The team leaders who organize the activity of the team and also spend time with the client in the household. The psychotherapist who meets with the client usually twice per week. The team supervisor who tends to the overall activity of the team and also works with the family that of medications are used. The psychiatrist is also an integrated part of the team, so the client is also fully included as a team member. Likewise, families when possible and together we all create a system of relationships that’s resilient and which can flexibly adapt as the recovery path evolves. This team and the environment that everyone creates is clearly a more powerful and intelligent therapeutic system than the sum of its parts. So that was a very broad stroke description I just gave. And in order to bring this alive car from the perspective of a team counselor, you’ll lead us through a description of being with a client and doing basic actions. From there, our group will discuss the story, noting some of the principles involved with basic attendance, which will be expanded on over the course of this podcast series. So, Conner, you ready to take it away? [00:09:03][339.0]

Conner: [00:09:04] Sure. Yeah. Thank you. So I’m just going to retell what I experienced on a basic attendant shift And this was with the client that. I believe in in pursuit of, you know, really tailoring a team to that to an individual client. I think I was chosen because this client has a background of musical talent and we’re roughly the same age. So there a. Just right off the bat. Kind of offered up a nice pier, kind of. Relationship there. But on this particular ship, there was a 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift. I arrived to their apartment and was the door was answered quickly and the client seemed pretty indifferent to me being there. There wasn’t much of a hello, just kind of letting me in the door. And I pretty immediately notice just the state of the kitchen area was, in my view, pretty, pretty cluttered with just a variety of, you know, two sinks full of dishes. The counters are covered in mail and set the table. The dining table is covered in, like, art projects, paints and. It’s hard to really actually see every little thing that’s there. But, you know, we check in and the client pretty quickly wants to go back to. He seems to be playing a video game in the living room. So I sit with him and then realize he’s not playing a video games. Actually, he’s watching a YouTube video of other people playing a video game. And it’s really important that he sees the results of those people playing the game and he tries to explain why. And I’m having a bit of a hard time following and I just ask if he’s had any breakfast. My mind’s kind of on the kitchen, so I’m want to see if there’s any opportunity to maybe organize it a little better. And he remembers he has some yogurt that he needs to eat and he wants to get a coffee and make a cup of coffee. And he offers me a cup of coffee, which I really appreciate it. And. I just, you know, ask if he wants any help tidying up the kitchen. I’m kind of like just looking at the sink and it, you know, actually goes pretty much more smoothly than I would have imagined. We just kind of work together and putting everything from the sinking of the dishwasher and run a load in. Then I feel pretty. We can move on to something else at that point. And I noticed there are some like interesting dice on the counter that have like a, like not a normal six sided dice, but like something from like another game or something like that sees me looking at them and tells me he’s created a board game. He’s kind of inventing his own board game. And if I want to learn how to play it, because he’s trying to get each of the team members to play this board game on our ships. And so he takes me back to the living room and it’s the board game kind of involves risk or there’s like the main area, but it extends throughout the living room, it uses books, pieces of other games. And it’s very interesting and he’s trying to explain to me, you know, how how to play it. And he’s seem so certain and imaginative and like he’s clearly explaining something. But I just I can’t follow it. So I really kind of ask him to help me through it because I want to participate in it. And it turns out he was watching that game earlier to kind of set the outcome of that game determined, like which dice I roll and how many times I roll it. So it was related. And you know, I eventually make my role and make my prove. It kind of helps me throw it and I just can’t make sense of it. So. Once that’s through, I kind of I see his guitar and I just find some comfort in seeing his guitar and asked if I can play it. And there’s a book of. Like some Irish fiddle tunes next to it. So I start trying to read through one of them on the guitar and ask if he wants to pick up his violin and try and play some music together. And he happily does. I. Realized pretty quickly that the instruments are really out of tune with each other. But I’m actually kind of amazed at his ability to to deal with that and still make it sound like you’re playing something and. So we we kind of slowly chug through the tune, stopping here and there to kind of like fix rhythms and fix notes, check the signatures, and we play through it again. And he just starts making more like sound effects and kind of improvising. So I kind of like follow along with them and it totally veers off into a more experimental like soundscape. And he really wants to record what we’re doing. So he sets up a microphone and we record it. But as soon as he starts recording, he also starts playing a record of a mozart violin concerto. The turntable has a speed adjustment and he’s got it in like three quarters or a half speed or something. And so we’re playing along with that. And it’s just I’m starting to get kind of disoriented in the. In the cacophony of it all. We do that for 5 minutes or so. And I really I ask if you want to do it back because I want to hear his impression of what he hears back. And so we play it back. But he, instead of listening back, wants to record more sound effects and other things on top of it. So it begins getting a little even more experimental. We’re finding anything around the house to make noise with like metallic objects or at one point I’m turning the vacuum cleaner on and off to create a sound effect and. I just start to feel pretty confused and whether or not what I’m doing is enabling some sort of detachment from from discipline or reality or something like that. So. You know, we eventually just wind down on that. And my thought is I want to get some fresh air from that. So I asked if you want to just go hang out on the patio and he wants to go have a cigaret. So we, we go out there and. Just kind of talk about, you know, first of all, how much how interesting and fun that was. It wasn’t something we had done before. But also, you know, what what kind of music we might want to work on on a future shift. And so we can kind of build upon what we did and maybe keep going and adapting to each other’s ways of creating music. And that was the shift. [00:17:01][476.2]

Chuck: [00:17:03] As you were describing that Conner, I was imagining being a trained musician like you are and tolerating the experience of so much free form that didn’t seem to have a coherent center. And. And I don’t know what is. How was that for you? [00:17:25][22.0]

Conner: [00:17:27] It was tough, but that was, you know, even from the very beginning, one, that the instruments were really out of tune with each other. I had to really decide, like what how how picky I wanted to be or how much I wanted to direct this. Because the more I was thinking, the more I was going to be directing and correcting and telling him how to tune his instrument and that it would be less collaborative. So I was trying to find that middle ground where we could work, and I was also just trying to be open minded and see where the experience would go. Was also a step in. It sounds like it was also a step significant step being more grounded than it was him watching a lot of YouTube of a video game of other people playing as a pretty disconnected space in a few ways versus playing music together. I think that part of it was when I arrived. It seemed. Like there was was a disconnect from his environment or his body because I arrived and it didn’t seem to faze him from from what he was occupied with. So being able to play music together just seemed like a really great opportunity to get both of us using our bodies, you know, with the instruments and. It having direct effect on our environment and having to relate to that. [00:19:06][99.8]

Jack: [00:19:08] You are interacting. I’m struck by the first stories. They’re both pretty out there feeling as you tell them, like the second part. But the big difference is in the first one is a kind of he’s kind of amplifying his own mind states with. Things on the computer and this elaborate game, he’s kind of blowing up into the whole living room or the house and and then you kind of join in and you it’s kind of beautifully like slid right in and you started rolling dice with him. I mean, it seems like you stayed in a very similar territory in a way. But but you were introduced as the. Another element of somebody is another mind he had was interacting with and you didn’t even like take over things. You just kind of joined into the system and just that fact. She turned the whole thing and in a kind of interesting way. And. I love that he wrote that you rode the wave out, like, kind of right through Conner. [00:20:11][63.1]

Kathy: [00:20:13] Yeah. You’re so attuned to him. Conner, you so in tune is really beautiful to watch. And then you went right into the. Way it blossomed into this sense, perceptions out into the sound and the feel even like he’s holding his instrument and it just became more embodied. Yeah, I mean, and. It was still. Chaotic. There still was that element. Like you said, of the cacophony and the chaos. [00:20:41][28.0]

Jack: [00:20:41] And I’m glad that you asked yourself that question, like, is this help it or is this what am I doing here? Like, I’m like, I love that you’re like self-reflective about is this adding to this issue or is it helping, you know. [00:20:55][13.6]

Chuck: [00:20:55] Taking a fresh look at this story? How would you describe? Basic attendance in action in this story summary. [00:21:11][15.3]

Laura Ann: [00:21:15] You know, I keep seeing Conner in this as he was talking from walking in in the kitchen, beginning to just thinking it’s a video game, but then realizing it’s the replay of a video game and it just as it as it kind of evolved, it sounds like you were I just imagined you kind of like in the forest in a way, and finding these different openings of going, oh. You know, can we bring the kitchen into whatever’s happening here or and also, how do I take care of myself in this, too, so that there’s, you know, in terms of being the team counselor on the shift of going like, okay, how do I how do I relate to this sort of state that’s happening and how can I join it and. There’s something around what can what can this person hold? And you end up in this sort of experimental music moment. It makes space for the state that they’re already in, but then also introducing. Moments of going, Oh, well, why don’t we listen to the recording or, hey, let’s take a break. And finding ways of relating to this super defining, these kind of healthy ways of relating to this creative process that you start collaborating with him in, it sort of brings in these steps or these these ways in which you take care of yourself in the context kind of models, how he can take care of himself in the midst of what’s happening. [00:22:41][85.7]

Conner: [00:22:45] Well, a big part of the base attendance, I think, is. Identifying that our clients often are. Really gifted in a lot of ways, and it’s probably so used to being identified with their illness that. It’s really easy to overlook that. There’s so much more that they have to offer. And sometimes it’s their illness gets in the way of. Or just becomes an obstacle or also could be involved in their in their work, their talents and complex ways. [00:23:26][41.1]

Chuck: [00:23:28] That’s a really good point about talent, intermixing, oftentimes with people’s confusion and and how do we train people? How do we find places to join with their intelligence and passion in life? Sounds like that was a beautiful example of you doing that. And it wasn’t like you sat down and played type music. We met him where he was. [00:23:56][28.0]

Jack: [00:23:59] It didn’t crash in and take over and go, Oh my God, this place is a mess. We have to do the dishes like it didn’t start to like. Do violence to his world. You just kind of slid into it and and affected in and stayed awake. In that process. [00:24:16][17.1]

Conner: [00:24:19] those are always some of the trickiest moments because, you know, I think part of all of us when we go into an environment that doesn’t suit how we would feel, would be healthy. How do we not impose too much and kind of allow the client to be the client? But at the same time offer. Some sort of feedback or interaction with their how how they felt their environment. [00:24:48][28.6]

Laura Ann: [00:24:50] There’s also something interesting, like I’m thinking about experimental noise traditions and experimental music, and there’s just this space of kind of bringing in and your your knowledge and intelligence around how how there can be space for what’s happening or how to find ways of entering into these forms that actually other people have been doing for a really long time. And, you know, I don’t know it just like looking at that as a, you know, these same traditions of experimentation and how do we make space for people who are oftentimes folks who are negotiating a certain level of mental illness? Their worlds can get a little bit policed in a kind of way or regulated in the sense of everyone wants to see them demonstrate something that, quote unquote, is considered normal behavior and that there’s actually all these other ways of orienting to the world and orienting to each other. And it feels like there’s something in you being an artist that actually feels like allowed you to create this bridge that is not just a bridge to you, but it’s also a bridge to other other traditions of music that the current for a long time. Anyway, that’s kind of what was coming up for me as you were talking. [00:26:01][71.2]

Jeremy: [00:26:03] Yeah. I guess I’m just appreciating, Conner, in your description. I mean, one, it just sounds really interesting. I wish I could have been there, frankly, but there is so much like what I would call fearlessness and warmth. And at least that’s what I’m hearing. In your experience of. Yeah. Entering into who knows what I mean. That game that the client showed you. Who knows what is contained in that game, right. There could be all kinds of insight and creativity and intelligence built into that system. But it be for many people that might be overwhelming and complex and a scary thing to get into. So just really appreciate hearing like your ability to like. It sounded like you’re like genuinely curious and attuned and trying to understand this person’s. What they what they’ve created. I mean, your use of yourself is sort of a barometer of like almost like imbibing the environment and vibing the situation and then going, I could use a little fresh air. What about you? And offering that invitation. So, you know, fully offering yourself to go into the game, to the music and then fully offering your experience of. Something maybe different or fresh and. There’s a real sense of generosity, actually, in what you describe. And I’m curious what you would have done if she didn’t want to do the dishes. if he said, no, you do my dishes. [00:27:41][98.8]

Conner: [00:27:45] So that’s a good question. In a situation like that, I think it’s it depends on how you’re feeling. I think in relating to it, if it really bothers you or if it really bothered me. I would ask if if they minded you know because. Our work isn’t to just do everything for them, but it is to help foster a healthy environment. And if they can’t use their sink because it’s full of dishes. To me, it might be more helpful to just get them out of their end of the dishwasher. I wouldn’t feel like I was working below my pay grade or anything like that. I think that’s that’s part of creating their environment or contributing to it. [00:28:30][45.2]

Chuck: [00:28:32] Riding through what you all are talking about here with that experience. Jeremy Great kind of taking it right to some of that. Just like, what do you do? What do you do when you’re in a position? You feel kind of stuck and you’re not sure whether to. You know, kind of bring somebody along a little harder or let them alone. You know, you’re trying to gauge what’s going on there. And I come back to the mindful discussion we had in the in the previous podcast. And Tuning, I’m just curious how how you all think about Conner and how you think about the the mindfulness aspects of basic attendance and tuning yourself to that situation, watching your own mind. [00:29:15][43.7]

Conner: [00:29:19] Well, basically, in a situation like that, I can. See my mind kind of being split in two directions. One is we need to clean this place like we need to. Make some. Make this organized. This is a mess. We need to tune your violin. We need to only play what’s written on the page. And then the other end is. Who cares? Let’s. You know, I like all this art you’re doing, and let’s make more. Let’s just get messy with it. And let’s create. Let’s turn everything all the way up and just get lost in the environment for creating. So it’s like. Realizing that and then finding somewhere in between. And seeing where the client is willing to go with that, to go along with you and kind of realizing that there’s this could go an infinite amount of ways. And to me, it’s a balancing act. [00:30:29][70.1]

Laura Ann: [00:30:32] That sticks out to me. How, how much? It sounds to me like you have to follow yourself very carefully through the whole shift and keep checking in. Instead of having some idea about, like, this is the right way to handle the situation I’m in or, you know, or going. Oh, yeah. This is this is the plan. It sounds like from moment to moment, you actually let your self respond and go, Oh, let’s go with it. Oh, maybe now’s a good moment to take a little break. Am I going to bring up the thing about the kitchen? Sure, I’ll bring it. You know, like just checking in, because what’s right at the beginning of the shift may not feel right at the end of the shift and vice versa. Sounds like how you’re relating to the ongoing evolution of it feels like a really important part of it. [00:31:22][49.5]

Conner: [00:31:25] And personally, it felt really good to question my own idea of what the music you’re creating should be like. I am aware that I don’t play a lot of experimental, highly improvisatory music and I can learn a lot from doing it. From experiencing that and doing that and seeing. Having to adapt to a musical environment. I don’t expect so in that way. He kind of brought me along to, you know, pushing my own comfort zones and getting something out of it I wouldn’t have expected or wouldn’t have planned. [00:32:10][45.3]

Kathy: [00:32:13] Yeah. I think it’s so beautiful, your openness in many areas of this experience you just shared, but with the with the music, your openness and curiosity. And I don’t get any. Sense of judgment anywhere from you, even though you were you had these different my stage sets going on and it just really was quite brilliant. How you. Navigated all of that, given you. Given you are the musician and you brought to it so. [00:32:44][31.2]

Laura Ann: [00:32:46] I love what you said, too. About like. The layers. One part of it’s happening and then all this, and now the vacuum cleaner becomes part of it. And then you’ve got the replaying what you were just playing. And then he starts playing a record with it and just kind of the sense of that there’s actually some intelligent like you really seeing the intelligence of this person that actually knows how to bring themselves through this maze that you may not actually know the way through yet. And so there’s something kind of interesting about seeing that that this person has has a map, actually, in some sense, of how they’re kind of making their way from one, one logic to another logic to another as they layer. And then you’re going, okay, how do I follow this person? And then what can I also offer, which might be taking a break or going outside or checking in, you know, things like that. And but it’s not actually saying you need to abandon this way in order to join me in this other in this other way. I feel like there’s a lot of honoring of the. The inherent wisdom in this individual. [00:33:58][72.3]

Conner: [00:34:01] And I think Jeremy observed that, too, in talking about the game and the game and the music we’re creating, just. You know, it’s really it’s all insight into the client’s mind. And that’s what we’re trying to get to know, because how else do we know what to do? If we if we really have no insight into how they relate to the world. So I. I think it is important. You’re required to go into it with a certain amount of openness and also like in the example of the game. I felt a lot of comfort knowing that. He was playing this with other team members and that. There could be that collaboration of combining basic tenants experiences. What? How did it go for another basic attender? How are they? How are they perceiving it and just getting a more complete picture. [00:35:08][67.2]

Chuck: [00:35:08] So. I want to make a comment on something you said earlier about how intelligent he was. Well, I remember when I first started recognizing that most of my clients were a lot more intelligent than I am. I just happened to have more balance at that point to them than they may have had. That’s why they were there. So you were able to meet him, go into that world, and at the same time wash the dishes. And and over time, you know, part of our work is to meet people where they are, create relationship, develop safety and trust and keep washing the dishes, helping them connect with their passion in life. Help them get to a place where their passion and intelligence is really working for them, not creating absorption states that do synchronize them in life. And so you were with this person at that stage, and when he sound like he was pretty inclined towards absorption and balance and kind of tuning out of his environment, that progressed to a point where he was able to have more balance and be able to move beyond the team. [00:36:18][70.6]

Kathy: [00:36:22] This person. Became very involved with community. Programs. He was doing art projects. That’s right. Yeah. The community space was active in the coffeehouses, was presenting, was doing is their own music, doing his own music and amp. And so, so expanded widened the circle of his engagement with his passion with other. Yeah. Very creative and actually had a job. He had some jobs and there was GrubHub driver for a while and so expand it out. Okay. Yeah. [00:37:00][38.3]

Chuck: [00:37:01] So his time with us, he his community expanded, took care of his world in a different way, became unemployed in places. And and that’s that was part of that was how his past revolves here. [00:37:15][14.3]

Conner: [00:37:17] Well, yeah, well, what I remember, too, is actually on that shift, part of the clutter or the Mess was an art project. He was working on that he presented at the at a Windhorse coffeehouse event. So he was bringing some of his absorption or his, you know, his getting lost in his art out to the greater community and offering it and checking out what other people are doing. And yeah, and also like, like Kathy said he, he did get employment for GrubHub as well as a dishwasher and actually really, really enjoyed that work. He spoke really fondly of his experience there. [00:38:07][50.0]

Jeremy: [00:38:10] You know, just imagining a scenario where someone like this client is playing wild music and doing wild art and people are coming in and going, You need to do your damn dishes like we’re taking away your violin. We’re taking we’ll give you the we’ll give you your materials back when you vacuum the rug. And so, yeah, I’m just sort of touched by the amount of dignity that did it sounds like he was treated with and therefore able to expand out because in part because of lot. [00:38:41][31.2]

Jack: [00:38:44] I keep wanting to go back to the question of like, what’s the difference between a Basic Attendance shift and. You know, psychotherapy in the office because we do both and Windhorse. I’m just struck by what I mean in a way. In some ways it’s the same. It’s. It’s exactly the same. And the big way it’s different is. You’re in his apartment with all of these the world and the objects and the things of the world to work with. And you’re following his process and you’re following your process and yourself. And you’re not you’re not leaving yourself out of it and you’re not leaving your sense of, you know, is this your question? Is this is this useful or is this not useful? All the same things go on in a psychotherapy session, in a Windhorse team when the client’s meeting with the therapist. The big difference there is, is there’s much less of a manifest like physical environment around you to work with. There is, of course, the physical environment, but it’s much more static because it’s the therapist space then the kind of variety in the places you can go in improv and join in. And all this same stuff goes on in more of a. A mind and heart realm. So it’s it’s happening in a different zone, but it’s the same things are going on like I’m a therapist, hopefully isn’t crashing in and taking away their violin, you know, metaphorically and and doing violence to their, their feelings and thoughts because therapists are certainly capable of that. But, you know, that’s not what we aspire to it Windhorse we we try to it’s it’s all the same things that you’re talking about. So it makes me it makes me happy to hear your description in basic attendance and that it’s congruent with what goes on in psychotherapy. [00:40:43][119.0]

Chuck: [00:40:49] And it comes also back, Jack. To what you’re getting at there, too, is that. Whether you’re in the office or in the in the more physically relationally embodied space of a basic attendance contact like that, you’re helping the person understand their own mind and come to a more harmonious and balanced version of themselves so that that intelligence isn’t taking them off in balanced ways, but coming back to to more of the genuine expression of who they are and how it can work in the world, you know,. [00:41:30][40.9]

Jack: [00:41:31] Makes me think of the the story that Ed Podvall had. Well, when he was writing the book that he had written, initially published as The Seduction of Madness, that his writing his working top title was was Intelligence Run Wild. Is kind of just what you’re talking about. Like there can be like brilliance, but it gets it just goes wild and like and that’s what we might consider in balance in this quote you’re describing. It’s got that quality of life was could be brilliant and it could be wild and just like disconnected and disregulated. [00:42:03][32.8]

Laura Ann: [00:42:04] And at the same time, not rewriting the client’s priorities, like, you know, I think there’s something in it. And it reminds me to what Chuck said about recovery looking different for every person where it’s you’re really giving the client a space to look at and sort of tailor for themselves their own priorities around attending to their bodies, attending to their desires, attending to their environment, attending to what they care about or their awesome, weird, edgy art. And there’s a way of. Not trying to rewrite those for a person. And I feel like there’s something really beautiful in this example of letting the client actually kind of tailor, okay, what’s the balance for me between doing the dishes, working on this project, and how do I kind of feel and how do I become more aware of myself so that I can tell when I’m moving past something that is working for me, whether it’s artistically or in my own sense of sanity or how I feel in my body, kind of giving these these places where you can touch in by creating these opportunities to touch in instead of rewriting how someone how we think a person should be. [00:43:25][81.0]

Chuck: [00:43:27] Well, I appreciate everyone’s input and questions. And this was a great discussion. And Conner, thank you very much for sharing that really interesting and descriptive ride through that time with the client. I hope people listening to this and watching this can can get a good feel for how we join with our clients and a bit of a feel for how basic Attendance works. So thank you all so much. [00:43:57][29.8]

Elysa: [00:44:25] Thank you for listening to Windhorse Journal Entry 81. We hope you tune in next month as we continue this series on basic attendance and how it manifests within each of the roles on a Windhorse team. Next month’s conversation will highlight relationships that invite health basic attendance within the role of a housemate. [00:44:42][17.8]

Lori: [00:45:24] Windhorse Journal is a publication of Windhorse Community Services supporting recovery from mental health challenges at home and in the community since 1981. [00:45:24][0.0]


Home based psychological care, Buddhist psychology, contemplative psychotherapy, Mindfulness based therapy, Residential treatment, extreme mental states, major mental illness, schizophrenia, psychosis, mood disorder

Keywords: Home based psychological care, Buddhist psychology, contemplative psychotherapy, Mindfulness based therapy, Residential treatment, extreme mental states, major mental illness, schizophrenia, psychosis, mood disorder, team counselor, therapeutic team, counseling, relational medicine.