"Give and take" can be a wonderful thing! In the context of recovery, it can be used to enhance a session, understand a person more deeply and balance the relationship between consumer and provider.

When I was nine years old my first acting teacher taught me about the importance of give and take. I learned that when I gave energy to the other people on the stage the unified performance became better. It was learning about how to take part in helping the collective. That is a very good thing for someone at a young age to learn. It's reflected in many spheres of life including acting on stage. Nowadays I often think about the importance of helping the collective. The more interest someone has in doing so the more likely it is they will try.

We must work together. Isolating and dividing each other will never help this world. Finding solutions for sharing ideas and acknowledging each other's gifts can help this world.

In the recovery mode, there are models used in individual counseling sessions. For example, there is the idea of reflection in which the provider reflects the feelings of the consumer back to them.

When the session is shared between the provider and the consumer it always makes for a better session.

I hope that concepts like "give and take" can become more than a concept. In reality when "give and take" takes place in a session there is compassion and connection.

What disrupts this process? The stubborn idea that "I" am right and the person before me is "wrong". If either provider or consumer choose to see the other in this way the balance is thrown off. By acknowledging and validating the connection begins.

An idea exchange is a gift exchange. An idea can be respected. Oftentimes one acts before taking a step back from a situation. It's the compulsion to take immediate action which can throw off the "give and take" in any relationship. Action without consideration is a problem within many interactions. Oftentimes these action result in physical and verbal violence. The truth of the matter is that we need each other.

Using "give and take" reminds us of the balance in life. There is a balance in a mutually agreed upon idea in a conversation. This idea can now take form. Sometimes ideas become ideals! However, an idea can go where it wants to go! The creative energy put into the idea sets it in motion.

What if we lived in a world of ideas? Instead we have laws and finite truths. Why not question some of these truths and laws? Socrates would question the philosophical nature of conclusions made in this world.

During an individual counseling session there is room for "give and take" and "harmony." The energy exchange makes it wonderful.

"Give and take" operates on every level. The problem is the notion that everyone else is wrong. On the micro level we can come to a better understanding with each other. On the macro level society can benefit the individuals.

When power goes to one individual, they abuse it or keep it for themselves. It's important to understand that power should never belong to one individual only. They will put down others and do what it takes to achieve their own selfish goals. When the energy is spread out among the individuals that are part of society, then solutions become available.

When you a give a piece of yourself to the world, you become empowered with energy. This energy can be used as a unified force by the individuals that make up the society. Opening one's heart means opening the door to sharing and understanding.

"Give and take" operates on all levels. 

Written by Jeffrey Shapiro, CRSS