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Behaviour and Avoidance

Not doing something which triggers fear, shame, guilt, etc. surely belongs to the most frequent avoidance strategies. Unpleasant feelings are understood as an inner signal not to do something or not to continue doing something. Of course, if someone has heard statements such as “That’s dangerous!”, “Aren’t you ashamed?”, or “You know that you are not allowed to do that!” from childhood onwards, and each time, has been startled by this, then he most probably learns to give such messages to himself and to desist from such behaviour. For counselling, it is very important that one makes available to the client the idea that one can also do something which is connected with fear, shame, or guilt. Usually people hope, though, that the counselling leads to them being able to follow their desires without unpleasant feelings. This is practically never the case (in the first step).

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