United Front: Search & Rescue Course
Search & Rescue Introduction
Thank you for your interest in this course.
If you’d like a little more “background info” on the topic before signing up? You can check out our podcast episode on Onboarding Residents for starters.
We are The Crisses, and we’ve been providing individual and group coaching and support group assistance for plural folk for over 20 years. We are a trained life coach, spent 25+ years doing selves-help work, and we have worked closely with other plural systems learning, packaging, and teaching some of the grassroots wisdom of our community.
This is a very challenging topic. The whole “Search & Rescue” issue revolves around traumatized, hurt, hidden, lost, or stuck headmates who may be in denial and believe they’re in the here & now, or wholeheartedly believe they are stuck in a time-loop in the past, or have no sense of time whatsoever, stuck and mired in painful PTSD spirals or loops and unable to figure out which way is up, nevermind how to get unstuck or get out.
Uncovering lost or stuck folk is not a casual matter. If folk are able to get themselves unstuck and become more co-conscious without additional assistance, it’s usually easier. They’re generally more ready, already more in the Here & Now, and less likely to be in denial. Helping folk who want to get unstuck or who want to be found is a positive, affirming activity, and it is our hope that y’all will eventually easily and casually find, uncover, or at least welcome anyone who is ready to come forward.
In some cases, folk are really, deeply, lost, but they also really want help & the relief they’ll get by coming home. For example, someone with abandonment issues may need additional evidence that you really care and do want them to come back towards Front or the Here & Now. They may want or need additional reassurances that it’s safe, or that someone specific will dedicate themselves to looking out for them while they get their footing. It is okay to provide evidence, to inform, to educate, to assist. And that’s why we have Big Missions, which will be touched on in the last section of the course materials.
That said, everything y’all do with these materials should be strictly by consent. We do not condone any coercion, stalking folk who want or need to hide, or pressuring folk to come into the Here & Now. Your system knows best, including those who are not ready, who run away from you, or hide deeper. We will discuss what to do if you make a rescue attempt only to find that you cannot get full consent to help them come back to the Here & Now, and put them in the best position possible for their (and by extension your&) future.
We don’t expect for anyone in the course to rescue headmates while taking the course. This course is informational. It may take weeks or months to digest the content, and to be mentally or emotionally prepared and ready to attempt to rescue any headmates. By doing the rest of the work in the course, however, y’all may find that folk reveal themselves or introduce themselves on their own, as y’all may be deepening trust, or making certain that folk are aware that it’s safe in the Here & Now, etc.
We highly recommend that y’all have a support team in place before doing any rescues or “Big Missions” — and it is also a good idea for anymany to have a support team in place regardless of whether or not y’all ever do ANY deliberate rescues. If y’all have the time, please work through the System Safety Plan course (free, self-paced, stand-alone), whether before during or after this course — but preferably before y’all perform any rescue missions at all. It will help you & your system know when things aren’t going well, and you’ll have an inventory of tactics and plans for if your system isn’t doing well.
Rescuing headmates can both be challenging or destabilizing in itself and ultimately exceptionally rewarding. Some folk may be partially co-aware and finally come fully into the Now, others may show up whom y’all had no idea even existed. And these are all Ok. Making sure that y’all have supports in place, and are ready to help newly found/rescued headmates get comfortable and feel welcome can make this experience successful, and can shorten any awkward processes or adjustment periods that folk need after the “big reveal” or a rescue.
Since this material is somewhat advanced, we ask that y’all selves-screen for whether or not you believe you would be a good fit for the course. Systems with these qualities will likely absorb the information and be able to determine how to best use it for their system. These qualities are:
- Internal cooperation and group trust amongst at least a sub-group of your& system.
- Intermediate communication in-system (the ability to have internal discussions or meetings).
- The ability to consider spiritual concepts from other cultures than your& own.
- (optional but very helpful) A good sense or grasp of your& inner world.
We will not be discussing much about how to develop these qualities directly in this course, the links above lead to external resources and related materials on these topics elsewhere.
One thing covered is working on the concept of Welcoming Committees, so here’s our United Front Boot Camp post about it.
Stuck and lost residents sometimes are bumping around in your front area, taking up face-time, or getting triggered into front without consent of either the former front or the person who isn’t all in the Here & Now. Here’s an article to help reframe the concept of “stealing front” and hopefully help prevent it if possible.
The upshot of this course is talking about Rescue Missions. Here’s our big main article on the topic with more links than you can probably look into before these sessions start.
Course Spoon/Time/Energy/Effort Requirements
We have tried to be clear for the time commitment for videos linked in the course and expect that each section of the course, originally intended to be done in 1 week, will take a few hours to finish. Please take your time; it’s more important that you understand the materials and that your system gets a chance to argue with them, ask questions about them, or discuss and absorb them amongst yourselves than that you go through the course quickly.
So plan to tackle a section per week or longer. We know some folk like to rush through courses, however there are practical exercises in this course to build good habits (such as being genuinely welcoming to “new” headmates) to work on your system’s culture and these habits don’t take root overnight. We suggest that you schedule a time and reminders for when to come back and start working on the next section of the course so that you have adequate time to start to develop those habits and digest the concepts in the course.
We try to make everything accessible as our spoons & time allow, but if y’all need specific accommodations we will find a way to prioritize them. Please let us know if you need something provided in a different format, etc. so that we can make this course as accessible for you/y’all as possible.
Need Help? Use the forums!
There’s a forum for the course here — you can also email Crisses, or contact us via social media etc.