Are you stuck in Cause = Effect or The PROBLEM with NLP (a practical explanation of teleology)

If you got to a therapist, NLP practitioner, master practitioner, Trainer etc. They’ll start out by asking you what’s wrong? So they may not explicitly use those words, but that’s the intent behind the questions. It’s the NLP ‘paint by numbers’ approach of ‘identify problem’ so I can apply technique ‘x’ to solve it. It a very mathematical way of thinking, in fact it’s a very old style mathematical way of thinking as it’s straight from Newton’s clockwork model of the universe, or cause = effect. Which is how most people think they think, which is why it sometimes works. And to remind you of your science history Einstein’s ‘quantum’ paradigm overturned the Newtonian way of thinking (just a few years ago!!)

Yet isn’t it fascinating how so many people still think they think in cause = effect.

When I see a client, I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. I don’t have the arrogance to put my model of the world on top of theirs. What I do is adumbrate (predictively calibrate) based on what we talk about. So the starting point for that conversation is all important. If you’re starting with the problem you’ll get more understanding of what that problem is. Most people are under the delusion of wanting to understand, when it’s just something to relieve the cognitive dissonance. It’s more useful to be in not knowing, to hold the space so the resonant signal emerges from the noise. When the client has shown you what they want, then you need to be able to give that to them.

So if the clients talking about their problems, just remember they can’t get to where they want from there.

When I have a ‘conversation’ with a client to them we just have a conversation about stuff and it doesn’t make sense to them in that there is no obvious directionality.

Also when I work with clients who are also therapists who are interested in the process that I’m using, in their case I’m meta-commenting about the work I’m doing with them. So while they are learning piece by piece, there is also no obvious directionality.

And we end up with the result of what it is that they want. And usually it’s necessary to point this out to the client, as we have arrived at the destination and it seems like there hasn’t been the process of ‘making progress’ to get there. So I ask the client can they do what it is that they wanted to do and weren’t able to do before. And the answer is ‘well of course’. It’s not been an epistemological journey it’s been an ontological journey. Or to use a Dune reference, we’ve folded space.

The journey doesn’t make sense to the client as they are thinking ‘cause-effect’ and I’m working teleologically.

So when I’m working with a client I’m ‘leading from one step behind’, the interaction is as Richard Bandler described ‘simultaneous elicitation and installation’. Or as I prefer to think of it in the mediated space between us. I know where I’m going as the client has explicitly shown me in both their somatic and semantic responses and I’ve built the capacity over the years of doing this work to be sufficiently in-time to notice their responses and respond in-time..

So does that make sense?

I’ll write some more tomorrow…