We have already explored the first , second and third values of the Seek Safely Promise. The fourth value of the SEEK SAFELY PROMISE states that teachers will be PROTECTIVE:
When people reveal deeply personal experiences, we recognize the responsibility to advise all seekers to enlist the aid of licensed professionals to provide service that may be beyond the scope of the event, seminar or retreat.
When a person is seeking enlightenment, direction in life, and personal growth, the journey is intense, emotional and spiritual. Often participants in a self-help seminar or motivational event are asked to explore deeply personal memories and feelings. Participants are urged to examine long standing beliefs, close relationships, and the very purpose and direction of their lives. For some participants, such self-examination may be painful, disturbing and upsetting. Therefore, the teacher who prompts such personal introspection has a responsibility to not just open emotional doors, but provide the tools to help process these experiences. While it is impossible for a speaker to know the heart and mind of each person in an audience, he/she must recognize that deep self-examination can open a Pandora’s Box of emotion. If an individual requires support that is clearly beyond the scope of the event, the leader must urge participants to seek help from licensed professionals. The goal of self-help is growth, personal awareness and expansion. Each participant’s experience is going to be different, and the intensity of the experience would likely be heightened if an event lasts for a number of days. In these long-lasting retreats, the leader would likely have a closer relationship with the participants and therefore a greater responsibility to be responsive to his participant’s needs. It is also the responsibility of seekers to be aware of their own mental state when embarking upon a growth journey. A good teacher will be cognizant and protective of the mental health of his/her students. A really good teacher will anticipate these situations and be ready with suggestions and resources for the aftercare of his/her students. To Self-help professionals: Do you promise to protect your students in the course of the emotional challenges you encourage them to face? Sign The Promise now! To Self-help Seekers: Does your guru have your emotional safety as a priority? Encourage him or her to sign The Promise!