The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Friday, April 30, 2010

One person's structure of food cravings

Sometimes I meet a client who has cravings for certain foods, and doesn’t wish to have them erased from his or her menu of “likeables” – which is what would happen if we mapped across submodalities using Like to Dislike technique. It’s quite for ok for us to enjoy chocolates, biscuits, crisps etc once in a while – and to choose to do so on our own well balanced terms!
One particular lady had occasional cravings for a range of foods – generally sweet things – so we examined the structure of how the whole process was working for her. It went like this.....

She was really keen to be able to deal with her cravings as they arose, and not be in the position of powerless “victim”. Another issue was that often she would choose a more appropriate food and would find that, once the process had almost run its course, she would go back to a craved food rather than exit the process. And on this second or subsequent run of the loop she was rarely able to make a more appropriate food choice.
Once plotted in visible form it was easy to notice that with “bad/naughty” foods she got a taste and a picture representation of it before going to get it – whilst with the “more appropriate” foods she just went straight to the ‘GO GET’ action.
We discussed this finding and I invited her to take time and (initially) make a conscious effort, and allow the more appropriate choice food to be run through the TASTE—PICTURE sequence also. It is quite likely that the TASTE—PICTURE sequence is adding a level of pleasure (albeit anticipatory) to the cravings and reinforcing the desire to “go there again” once eating has taken place. By putting the appropriate choice food into this bit of the loop as well, there will (a) be more pleasure from that choice, (b) further eating of that choice on second + running of the process if not full and (c) a probable reprogramming of the craving tendency in its entirety in the fullness of time. Currently she had “will power” to make better choices, but the sequential structure of her process was eroding the real benefit of that will power. Now, with an understanding of what was happening for her during process she is definitely destined for a better outcome.
This, we decided, would be her “homework” project, and she left feeling really empowered and eager to start putting new habits into place!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Metaphors reveal behavioural structures...

When a client admits "I have issues with X because there are times when I feel really out of control"...then I am sat with virtual machete in hand, knowing that I need to help them hack a new pathway through the jungle of X - because the old and well worn pathway leads to behaviours Y and Z which are very unresourceful.

For me the answer lay in investigating "really out of control", so I put down the virtual machete and launched into the abyss, armed with only some Clean Language questions. I was out to examine the structure of "Out of Control" and how this might be opened up to give the client choices which would lead to solutions.

One of the joys of using Clean is that clients are given free rein to express themselves as much as they like. By providing them with this freedom, there is every chance that the Golden Nugget of a driving metaphor will come into view at some point.
My latest client's metaphor appeared as, "Out of Control is like being on a boat, a fishing boat, with flimsy railings in a very rough sea. Being tossed around and at any time I could be washed overboard."
PW - "What needs to happen to boat and railings in order for more Control?"
CL - "Boat has to be more sturdy and railings higher"
PW - "Is there anyone else on boat?"
CL - "No"
PW - "And with boat out of control, where is steering?"
CL - "In the wheelhouse"
PW - "And where is wheelhouse?"
CL - (pointing upwards) "Over there"
She is really living this by now, and goes into the wheelhouse. I ask her who does steering and she says 'Captain'. She is not 'Captain' and as 'Captain' is not there I ask if she can steer. She says 'yes' and starts to steer. There's a bit of a physiological shift at this point and when I ask what's happening to boat now, she replies that it is steadier and (quite revealing) more sturdy!
PW - "And is there anything else about boat, railings and rough sea?"
CL - "Railings are safer and the sea is less rough"

The session continued for a short while and I explained to her that now her unconscious had revealed the metaphor of "Out of Control" that she might notice how this placed more resources at her fingertips. She agreed there is a need to get off the deck and into the wheelhouse and assume the role of "Captain". This would ensure a return to "Control" and when in control she knew all the right ways to get the answers and outcomes that would be the most appropriate for her.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Encountering Dogma

I was recently approached by a student writing a thesis called "Hypnotherapy and the Christian" for my views; with particular regard to the dogmatic Christian approach towards trance - often described as evil, and that therapists could be described as "charmers" as biblically referenced in Deuteronomy with the flag of "due warning".

I tend to avoid any religious-based discussions, mainly because I believe in religious tolerance and I acknowledge that with the many peoples, backgrounds, beliefs, histories, ways of life in the world...that religious tolerance is the only way forward for us all to live in harmony. And to live in harmony with each other is (for me anyway) one of the highest ideals. I was brought up in the CofE, have an open interest and respect for all religions - and am comfortable in the company of peoples from all religions except those who are "on a mission of conversion".

So when I encounter dogmatic intolerance my heart sinks. There is no logical reason why hypnotherapy (the beneficial using of trance), Reiki, or a countless number of other therapies, should be considered dangerous, evil or whatever judgement is heaped upon them from the dogmatic angle.
I appreciate the logical and the spiritual don't always occupy the same marbled halls - and I also know that there are chronicled elements within the bible, especially the OT, where history plays a greater role than teaching.
Trance is a naturally occurring state and compliant with the consent of the individual. Ergo, where is the evil? Evil is in the thoughts, eyes and hands of the evildoer - I don't see the dogmatic issuing forth on the evil of knives for instance!

There is a mystery, a mystical element within Christianity that has a special place within its spirituality. I can see how dogma has evolved where the "inexplicable" nature of trance construes some sort of threat to those mysteries. I see this, however, as a misunderstanding of the nature of trance - which deals with the psychological rather than the spiritual. And perhaps the dogmatic issues are more to do with Christianity and its relationship with Science (of which Psychology is a relatively new science) than those therapies which still have an element of 'the unknown' about them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Like >> To >> Dislike .... And why the white plate?

Whenever I find myself dealing with removing particular food cravings for clients, by mapping them across to ones they have a certain revulsion to - there seems to be something of a recurring theme...or even a recurring dream, as someone once said to me.

It started when I noticed my own 'repulsive' foodstuff when I had my devouring of Jaffa Cakes habit removed by the power of NLP!! This was when my Like (Jaffa C's) was mapped across to my Dislike (kidneys). My kidneys image included a white plate - the raw kidneys rested, almost regally, on a beautifully pure and pristine white plate.

In ALL the times I've used the technique since, each client has put their Dislike food on a white plate! Now they all volunteered this information without any prompting from me - but I did ask last week's particular client about the significance of the white plate for her. She said it seemed to offset her specimen food (octopus) very well, and in a vibrantly compelling way - which was an answer that resonated with me (and my kidneys)!

I shall give updates on the progress of collecting this data in the months to come. I can't see this just being coincidence, however!

(Mapping Across is a technique within NLP using submodalities)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

All Clients are amazing!

On Thursday I had a second meeting with a client who, I'm discovering, is probably one of the most insightful and amazing people I've met to date.

He is seeing me, ostensibly, to talk around topical areas of exercise, health, food, motivation and such. By mostly listening, and occasional questions however, I find our conversation chunking around (mainly up!) into areas that seem quite remote from our "base camp" - and yet are not, because they are enjoined and engaged with connecting threads of purpose and meaning.

Strangely, talking to him and listening to him reminded me of the character Socrates, featured in Dan Millman's books and film Peaceful Warrior - The Movie. If you aren't familiar, here is a short interview with Dan Millman talking about the character:>
Dan also quotes the phrase "When the student is ready, the Teacher will appear" - and this is certainly true with regards to my client, who I am now viewing as a timely mentor for me in the journey I am on.
His comments and insights are really thought provoking and for me, I find myself saying "For what purpose?"
The answer is clearly for my discovery and education - and I am just thankful I have the presence of mind (and working style) to listen and take in all that he says, because were I not to then I would miss a lot of the deeper meanings.

There were two particularly amazing things that came out of our conversation:-
1. We both share a passion for and draw inspiration from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. In his case however, when he was in business he gave a copy to each of his employees. Very interesting!
2. He also ran his business on these philosophical pillars - rather than imbuing the business and every employee with the profit motive, there were two things that stood firm - one was that for every employee this had to be the best job they'd ever had in their life to date, and the other was that for every customer this had to be the best firm they'd ever dealt with to date.
By following this philosophy he felt his work and his business would have true purpose. Not surprisingly, he also reported that the business was hugely profitable - and for all the right reasons namely the people who it served.

We can learn so much from our clients - not just about them, but also from them for ourselves. And the key has to be LISTENING, purposeful listening.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Revealing Metaphors!

Clean Language questions are great for eventually eliciting a person’s unconscious metaphors, those that are driving, or that are linked to, certain behaviours. Often people have no conscious idea what these metaphors might be, and find that once they are known, immediate and profound changes can often occur.

I was working with a partner at a recent course, and we each had to take both client and practitioner roles for a lengthy period of time, covering a particular issue we would like to have resolved.
I had been experiencing a degree of “writer’s block” in terms of progressing the work on my next book – and so I chose this as my ‘client issue for exploration and resolution’. At no point prior to the day had I even considered what was causing the block, or how I might get round it – I have plenty of other things to deal with on a daily basis, and I took the rather patient line that further inspiration would arrive when it was ready to arrive!

My interview (as client) duly progressed and my practitioner asked me about the background to the issue, about the first book and other recent working life history, in order to build up a picture, for her, of the real “me” as the client. It was a great question session, and it was when she began asking me about the structure and submodalities of how the first book had come to be written that things began to really unfold...
I’d written the book rather backwards way on - with the title (Don’t Think of a Black Cat) firmly in my mind before I’d started, followed by the subject matter of the preface (the map is not the territory), and finally with theme (the NLP plumber) and structure of the main body of the work. Once armed with the subject matter of the preface I then researched and wrote it, so that it was a stand-alone article in its own right. I then gathered information and made copious notes for the main body – and then wrote it. The conclusion and final tidy up came right at the end of the process.

My practitioner partner asked me what I felt, saw, was the most challenging part of the process for the next book. My reply was that it was the gathering and garnering of all the information. I was happy that I needed to write the preface in the way I had done the first time – ie choose the subject and then write an article around it. However, the ‘leg-work’ of processing loads of notes and other information was clearly something that was causing the block in my mind. With her guidance I was able to see that when writing the first book I had no notion of this part of the process before starting out, and therefore it was neither a help nor a hindrance to me.

The next step was the most revealing, however, and I was particularly delighted because I knew that she had no prior knowledge of Clean Language, and yet she had inadvertently used it! We were talking about this garnering of information leg-work in particular with regard to the first book and she phrased the question beautifully thus:-
“And garnering...that’s like what?”
With eyes closed I received a wonderfully clear, colourful and dynamic film of a trawler in a heaving sea and the fishermen landing a huge catch – bulging nets full of wriggling, dancing fish, being hoisted on board.

Here was my metaphor, revealed with stunning clarity.

I could hardly contain myself – and immediately saw the way I was going to be able to proceed with the next book. Get trawling – land the catch – process it, freeze it, and get back to port – tidy it up, package it – then sell it.

I told my partner what had just happened as she was a little bemused as to the nature of this not-so-much-a-lightbulb-more-a-spotlight moment. I explained to her about Clean Language, what it was and how it worked, and applauded her perceptive questioning skills. Hopefully she will be curious enough to pursue the topic more over the ensuing weeks and months as, even at a peripheral level, it has ways of breaking down or bypassing barriers that, on the surface, are tough nuts to crack.

FInd out more on Clean Language here:-

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Discovering and using my 'Shadow'

The Shadow

Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is
embodied in the individual’s conscious life,
the blacker and denser it is.
At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag,
thwarting our most well-meant intentions.

— Dr. Carl G. Jung

One of the features and exercises during my attendance recently at The Art of Enlightened Success with Jamie Smart, was to understand, discuss and illuminate our various own ‘shadows’.

The exercise (among other elements) was to each choose 3 anti-heroes, persons (living or dead – although I chose living) who we considered to be most despicable. We then chose the most repugnant of the three and decided upon their 3 worst attributes, the ones that, as we considered, made them what they are (or were).
Next, we were to take the worst attribute and to assume – as best we could - the persona of this attribute by saying it out loud. For this exercise we paired with a partner, whose sole job was to observe as we said “I am ....this attribute” 3 or 4 times, pausing in between.

Through this exercise we all had a number of sensual and observed revelations. Apart from the outward physiological changes, mine was a very illuminating ‘flash image’ from the unconscious! I had to say “I am inhuman” four times – and on first utterance I had images of the person concerned plus others from history and inhuman acts. On the second I had the momentary flash of myself, associated, behind the wheel of a car!

So somewhere within I judged myself as periodically inhuman when driving – and, to be true, I have to admit to occasional lapses into ranting at other drivers, usually when they drive ‘in my boot’ or do something crass. Clearly my unconscious saw this as far worse – so I took this as a learning experience and that here was an opportunity to deal with my shadow.

I knew very well that there would be an opportunity to test things out on the way home later, and thus it was, after a couple of miles I was approaching a roundabout near the A3 when someone drove straight out in front of me instead of giving way. Curiously, I mouthed the customary swear word or phrase though this time without any emotion – and then laughed in both amusement and amazement!

Since then I have been emotion free when driving – in spite of idiots – and am now even progressing to remaining swear-free towards other road users.

Revelations (and corrections) from inside out! I say as always - trust your unconscious...

Cloud Technique - even partially!

Since discovering (thanks to Nigel Hetherington) the practical uses of the Cloud Technique, which was initiated by Kevin Creedon, I have used it fully and also partially for a number of clients – each time causing an immediate and positive outcome.

On our recent course integration day, I was taking the role of practitioner for my client partner. She had long experienced some issues with confidence in the areas related to matters academic, and so I worked with her in exploring these.
I chose to use a Swish Pattern to replace these feelings with positive, confident ones and embarked upon the process after eliciting all the respective submodalities of how she presented things to herself.

The Swish was 90% effective but there remained a vestige of the representation of the ‘academic downsides’. It was one of those moments when if you stop and try and think your way round a problem then you are likely to be derailed, sunk or something equally un-useful. Bravo to the unconscious – who came to the rescue!
This vestige was “like a small but dense dark grey/green cloud” still up there to the left in her visual space.
Using part of the Cloud Technique, I “grabbed” hold of the clouded vestige and said, “I’m going to throw it out of the window – if that’s ok with you?” She replied it was, so, after making sure that I had got hold of all of it, and that there wasn’t anything left behind, I threw it out of the window and off into the distance where it duly “evaporated”.
“How do you feel about academic, now?” I enquired. She said she was happy to be rid of the negative feelings and, physiologically, this too was obvious.

My previous bloggings about the Cloud Technique are in the Blog Archives or you can contact Nigel Hetherington on his website Communicating Excellence at:->