Imprints according to conventional psychology is thought to be a type of phase sensitive learning, a type of learning that occurred at particular age or phase of life. One of the things that I'm good at is looking for patterns between different ways of thinking and being able to examine things by analogy.
Hence for the topic of imprints I will be breaking it down into several posts all examining the same subject through various different ways of working with imprints. Some of what I say might seem insightful and other things that I state might seem dead wrong. My intention here is not to get to the right answer as it is to convey different ways of viewing this phenomena and working with it.
It we were to think of an imprint in terms of memory it could be likened to something such as a flashblub memory in that they are often events that occur that are highly vivid to the individual that they occurred with in.
Something that does appear to be particularly interesting about Imprints is that they appear to effect the functioning of an individual for years to come unless appropriately altered. People that are familiar with Time Line work in NLP will see Imprints referred to as Significant Emotional Events (S.E.E.).
In one of the very first books on NLP, "Frogs into Princes" John Grinder and Richard Bandler detailed a pattern called, "Change Personal History" this pattern allows the user to track any in 'limiting feeling' that they might be experiencing back to the initial 'reference experience' (Imprint/S.E.E/Flashblub Memory).
After a brief 'break state' the individual receives the opportunity to conjure from their personal history any resources that had they had them back then the situation in question would not have been an issue.
I have had experiences in the past where I have had individuals say that had they had a sense of safety, security, confidence, etc... that they would have been able to deal with the situation in question more appropriately.
Utilizing anchoring techniques from NLP we were able to take those resources from various contexts in the individuals life and apply them to the problem context in order to transform the 'reference experience'.
What then is often done is that they are then instructed to take this new and altered perception of the event and to imagine moving forward and to notice what things they would have done differently given this new and transformed experience.
Often times the person being worked with will notice quite a few things.
Typically a person once they make it to the present moment what is then done is that the are asked to clear their mind and then to think of future contexts that will be affected by having made this change and to notice what they do differently.
This pattern "Change Personal History" is very useful for assisting people to clear up all kinds limiting experiences. I'm impressed at how often people are haunted by past experiences that were beyond there control. This pattern along with "Reimprinting" pattern developed by Robert Dilts work wonderfully in transforming limiting imprints into resources that allow people to move on with their lives using those past experiences in a way that serves them.
The book that I am recommending has both "Change Personal History" and "Reimprinting" patterns in them. I would suggest anyone check them out.
Holding People Accountable:
Recently I have been speaking to various friends and people from my past back when I was involved with some of my very first trainers in the field. I remember how confrontational their styles were they would not hesitate to destroy someone in front of a group of anywhere from 75-100 people. I always thought it was incredibly remarkable the lengths they would go to prove their points. If you disagree with them or did whatever they would make it a point to put you on notice and they would call it holding you accountable.
A while back I was talking to a woman that I was working with I had told her about my experience in NLP and Personal Development she had told me about a company in the city where I live that runs a leadership program. She ranted and raved about them and told me how they would tear people down. They would do exercises where they would have people run up and down the line and have people tell you what is wrong with you. Supposedly the theory is that it’s supposed to get you use to not caring about what others think.
I told her standing while having someone yell at me and tell me what they think is wrong with me didn’t sound like something that I wanted to do (especially since I served in the Marine Corps that’s something I already had done before) more so when you factor in that I would be in essence paying them to do so. One of the things that I’ve noticed a lot of these trainings like to do is put people into exercises where they openly express their vulnerabilities in very black or white type of scenarios. These exercises a lot of the times are a form of metaphorical tasking.
They are having people do things and whatever they are doing is supposed to teach the participant some sort of lesson that they need to learn. While these types of exercises can be useful my experience has been the lesson that these exercises teach is for the participants to be dependent on one individual for the answers to their problems. They all implicitly teach people to look to a guru usually the person leading the seminar for the answers.
Most of the time because the tasks are so metaphorical they can literally mean anything but when it’s put on by someone that you are paying to train with and especially if you are new to personal development I find it’s easy for people to fall into the trap of abdicating their critical thinking skills.
And most of these trainers are so good at getting people to do so. They set up false either – or scenarios. If you are not in your seat by a particular set time then you are wasting the groups time and you need to explain to us why your time is more valuable than all of ours? Or why do you not owe all of us an apology? I remember on trainer that what he used to do when people would go to the bathroom he would make a scene in front of the entire audience stating that the person that was leaving was looking for some way to avoid their problems. And that needing to go to the bathroom when something important comes up that applies to them is just an example of that type of failure to cope.
So many assumptions are being built into these types of scenarios. Most often from my experience these are really power games by seminar leaders that give them an excuse to abuse people in order to build compliance. They are able to do this because they can always cloak what they do behind the veil of they are just trying to hold the other person compatible and that what they are doing to help them brings them no pleasure at all but they have to do it because they care about the person they are doing it to.
I was talking to a friend recently that was telling me about a trainer that they thought they were testing them and they were stating they can’t figure out their intention. For example they wanted to do something in the past with this one person and when they originally brought it up to them the speaker was all for it. Just recently they contacted them again and the other person told them to forget it that they weren’t interested. This gentleman told me he can’t decide whether the person is trying to help them by telling them not to do it and that it’s really a test to determine his commitment or do they really not want to do it.
I would think to many people that are just starting out this would be a hard thing to discern. Most people in my experience that enter personal development want to believe that the people they are working with has all these benevolent answers for them. Having met quite a few trainers I can speak from experience when I say that I met individuals that preached about how sacred marriage was while they were cheating on their wives. I would watch the same person call people out in front of audiences of people because they had some sort of addiction to smoking or they didn’t want to get married or something like that. The speaker in question would attempt to hold them accountable in order to ‘help’ them.
Meanwhile this same trainer was in the process of being sued by multiple casinos for gambling debts, they were rumored to have a drug addiction and were in the process of going to trial for multiple charges of fraud. I don’t remember anyone in any seminar I was with him ever hold him accountable his actions. I do remember someone bringing up his failing marriage at one seminar and the speaker was able to find a passage from the bible that he could use to blame his wife for what was happening because SHE was the one asking for the divorce. So she was obviously the one in the wrong.
What I’m getting at here is that while a lot of these groups exercises that are taught at many transformational seminars can possibly be helpful. My experience has been that they are nothing more than tools to gain uncritical compliance from attendees while hiding under the guise of conveying some sort of benevolent message.
The biggest flaw in my opinion in doing this type of stuff from what I can tell is that it teaches people to look to others for confirmation of the ‘right’ answer. It also teaches people to do nonsense stuff without real justification other than there is a lesson for them to learn.
Recently I have been looking at the work of Carl Rogers. Something that I really appreciate about his work is that he stresses the importance of the therapeutic relationship. From Rogers' perspective the role of the therapist is to create an atmosphere conducive to the client activating their own healing capacities.
If you are familiar with the work of Milton Erickson you will see that he placed a great deal of faith in his client's abilities to mobilize their own internal resources so as to allow them to solve their own problems. Sometimes a lot of people miss this point because instead they focus on his linguistic patterning and his ingenious interventions. When truth be told he had the ability to interact with people in such a cooperative fashion so as to totally melt away their resistance.
To me the ability to create this type of dynamic is of the utmost importance for any would be people helper.
Every now and again I get asked what my take is on energy work. While I'm not an expert in it I do have my own opinions regarding the manner that maybe best summed up in the form of the below video.
I would like to thank whoever made this video and posted it on youtube for making it so crystal clear what I think of when people say they are doing energy work.
I began to work with other people and I found that even worse case scenarios could get better and that for the most part the cases that were given up on as impossible were the cases in which people had tried all they could and just couldn’t figure out a way to fix the problem. But it didn’t mean they tried out all ways that would work. There’s a difference between doing what works and all the things that I can do that I think will work. And often I think this is where we get stuck. We try all the ways that we know of that we think will work and when it doesn’t we give up. That’s what keeps us stuck. In my experience yeah I know that I can’t fix everything 100% but I can help make things better. Make that your goal. If not then enclosed in the clip below is my favorite sad music. Because honestly if you are going to be a victim it shouldn’t be to a bad sound track.
One of the biggest things I have to deal with as an agent of change is to teach people that for the most part how they think and they feel is within their control. The problem today with the field of psychology is that people can get assigned all sorts of psychiatric labels and from that they relinquish control and responsibility for how they think and feel. In some ways I feel the field of Psychology gives people an excuse to feel helpless. To say that someone has a chemical imbalance in the brain is taken as evidence for why their life should be screwed up until the day they die. Personally I just can buy the idea that if I have a problem that I am stuck with it. And in a lot of ways that is what fueled my studies through the years the unrelenting belief that things could get better and that I could change and as I moved through the world and found that this was true.
For years I have heard of Dave Dobson referred to as another Milton Erickson. Though I had never seen footage of him in action. Enclosed here is a youtube clip of him giving an interview about his work that he refers to as Other Than Conscious Communication.
I've studied the work of Milton Erickson pretty extensively from what I can tell. Something that I have always found interesting was people's assertions at how although he didn't claim to be psychic that sometimes he sure seemed like it.
All throughout the field of NLP and Ericksonian Hypnosis there seems to be a premium placed on developing what would be referred to as 'Advanced Calibration Skills'. There are even a couple courses that claim to teach these skills. Never having been on any of them I can not comment to how worth while they are.
I have seen demonstrations of detecting VAK accessing cues from NLP, a few demonstrations of detecting Submodalities and Meta-Programs, and I have always found them interesting (but never terribly pragmatic during the course of a regular conversation).
Lately I have been focusing Micro-Expressions and Subtle-Expressions. If anyone is interested at www.humintell.com there is actually a training program that you subscribe to that allows you from the comfort of your home develop your skills in reading them.
The work of Joe Navarro, I have found very fascinating as well as useful and I would recommend it to anyone.
As of late I have been looking into Cold Reading... I'm convinced that some of Milton Erickson's advanced calibration skills can be attributed to an ability to cold read people. I don't know that he was doing it purposefully as such but I do think that it is an interesting by product of his natural ability to speak to people in such 'artfully vague' terms as has been described.
I would absolutely recommend to anyone interested in working with people in any fashion to learn how to do cold reading.
Derren Brown has made a career out of making people think that he possessed Psychic Abilites. So it was interesting to watch he do a show where he was investigating the claims of a person that claims to be able to contact the dead.
The field of personal development is littered with charlatans so it has been my experience that it is entirely worthwhile for anyone that is exploring it to explore the skeptical side of it as well.
In the attached clip towards about the middle of it there is an interesting demonstration where the psychic that he is conducting the documentary on is shown to be reading someone and then Derren is put on the spot and asked to conduct a 'reading'.
I found it very interesting that Derren acknowledged that wasn't psychic and only using the skills of cold reading was able to put on the demo that left the person that was the subject walk away and claim that they thought Derren in fact was.
What’s so interesting about Guru’s is that often that people project on to them favorable attributes while simultaneously overlooking the unfavorable ones. The following clip is an interesting demonstration by Jorgen Rasmussen.
Jorgen in 2008 published a book called, ‘Provocative Hypnosis’ for some people his approach is too wild to ever consider though regardless of how one might feel about his approach he offer two things that I find valuable 1.) he has a very different perspective on change work 2.) he not above trying anything out once if it means results for the client. The guy is honest and tells you what he thinks whether you agree with him or not.
Regurative Mind... I found this clip on youtube while I looking for some clips on Elkhonon Goldberg (I wanted to see if there was anything explaining his books.) I don't normally post stuff by this guy because the angle he records his clips normally freak me out. (Makes it look like he has a freakishly large head.) But he does make some good points about the 'regurative mind'. I've found this incredibly prevalent in NLP and Hypnosis, not to mention in Academia.
And I do think that everyone is suspectible to this and in a way that is why it's so important for people to do research outside their chosen field in order to expand their insights.