Q: There is an online support group for The Presence Process at a website about a mind-body chronic pain condition called TMS. We've had almost 200 posts already, which you can read starting here. The wiki gets about 12,000 page views per month and I'm sure that people would be thrilled to hear from you. If you respond to this email, I'd be happy to prominently post any feedback from you, especially if it mentions TMS.
A: Mostly, a support group only supports ego, drama, the intent to "understand", and individuals who cannot contain their experience. Everything anyone requires of me personally related to this work is already freely available on the website. Talking about and discussing this work with each other does not in any way improve our capacity to do it - it actually does the opposite. Wherever we rely on "a support group" is where we do not grow and develop emotionally.
Our authentic "support group" are those we encounter in our daily lives, like our family and work colleagues. This is the group The Presence Process teaches us to work with. When we cannot be authentic within these natural day-to-day encounters - we form or engage in specialized groups as an escape from them. When it comes to this work in particular, support groups take what is intended to improve felt-perception and instead mentalize it.
I have already written an article called "Let's Not Form Another Group" to offer those requiring support groups the possibility of emancipating themselves from such a cul-de-sac. However, if people choose to entertain such things, this is a lesson obviously not yet learnt. But inevitably, it shall be.
Also, to become fixated on any physical symptom and to form a group around discussing this symptom is to completely miss the point of this work. It is the causal point of symptomatic discomfort which ought to be our point of focus if we are serious about integrating it - and the causal point of all symptomatic discomfort is the same. To focus on symptoms is to focus on "effects", not causality - which is "in effect you all" - ineffectual. It is to entertain drama. Chat groups formed around commonly shared symptoms is simply drama - they bow to the symptom as being more significant than its causal point. Talking about our symptoms is therefore the propagation of drama.
It is more efficient to move directly toward integrating the symptoms causality - which requires feeling the related emotional signature without condition. No support group has the capacity to feel on our behalf. Symptomatically-driven support groups aspire to "understanding the condition" - and our intent to use understanding as a means to integrate takes us away from "feeling what is without condition".
You are welcome to post this notice on your support group. It is designed to inspire discussion for those who enjoy drama - and liberation from such a mental cul-de-sac for those who seek authentic integration of their discomfort. By posting it you will discover who is who.