In the show, Jukebox Paradise, Deloris Keller sings the song Come Home Again. In the story, this song was a big hit during World War II and far away in the thick of the action, a wounded soldier named Fred is listening to the radio and the sound of her voice. It is this song, coming from so far away, that gives Fred the will to survive and to eventually come back home and build a new life.
Title: Heart of the Mind
Authors: Connirae Andreas and Steve Andreas
For me, this is one of the classic NLP books, a beautifully written and very accessible book that explains so many of the key processes in NLP. It is full of real-life examples, and probably most importantly it has many transcripts of actual client sessions and the kind of change language that is assumed but not actually used in many NLP books.
I’m always interested in learning new stuff or revisiting the same material from different sources, especially when it involves some of my favourite areas like hypnosis and NLP. Over the last few months, I have working through the readings and assignments on the wonderful free online course by Stephen Brooks in Indirect Hypnosis. I highly recommend the course as a way of learning more. Stephen has put together what is probably the finest no-charge resource on the Internet. One thing to keep in mind though – it is time-consuming! They recommend at least three hours per week and that kind of committment over a year is obviously difficult for many folks unless they are highly motivated.
Anyway, to the point… one of the recent questions posed on the online course was the comparison of education and therapy, and I have reproduced my response below.
To what extent can education also be classed as therapy, and to what extent can therapy also be classed as education?
I have been a teacher/educator for many years and I definitely see that a lot of “therapy” work is carried out by teachers. The classroom is a social environment, and many so-called educational problems can better be viewed as social problems. For example, in my EFL language classes in Japan, students are very reluctant to give an answer for fear that they may give a wrong answer. Japanese culture does not in general support people who give wrong answers 😉 As a result, students do not develop their language skills as much as they possibly could because of group pressure. This same group-pressure leads to many other problems for people including high stress, inability to express goals externally, and much more. Things that are addressed and resolved successfully in the classroom can also have a powerful therepeutic effect on other areas of a student’s life. People live in social contexts and therapy does not exist in a vacuum.
Some forms of counseling are purely information based in that they offer the client access to information that will help them make better choices. So is this therapy, or education?
If we are changing the frame – the beliefs and values that support ‘problem behaviours’ – by giving information, then we are certainly engaging in therapy as much as education.
Recently, I have studied a lot of recent neuroscience and within the neural networks of the brain, change in the form of education or change in the form of therapy produces similar enriching effects. The neural networks can extended, the increased myelination increases the speed of certain pathways.
My current thinking is that the difference between words such as learning, growth, or change (or the roughly corresponding Education, Development, Therapy) is a difference of focus and can produce identical changes at the levels of both neurology and of behaviour.
This is one of a collection of old books that I bought from an online second-hand book store. As people seem to be reading less and less, there are some incredible bargains going, particularly on old books. I think I paid 99 cents for this book.
This is a lovely collection of essays by healers from many different modalities. Some of the healers come from rather alternative areas such as Native American spiritual healing, while others are practicing medical doctors who talk about their work in more holistic terms than the average doctor.
The book is divided into eight sections:
- Love is the Healer
- Returning to Wholeness
- The Healer Within
- The Healing Relationship
- The Role of the Healer
- The Healing Attitude
- Consciousness and the Healing Response
- Healing as our Birthright
Most of the essays emphasize the power of the human body to self-heal in the right conditions. Many also emphasize the power of the healing relationships – simply being with the person fully and completely, listening to them, and helping them to resolve inner conflicts. Most of the healers note that no particular modality of healing is necessarily (even their own), but rather than the human body heals itself when it is allowed the appropriate conditions.
Another common theme, or Golden Thread as the book terms it, is that healing is more than curing the body of whatever ailment is affecting it. A person can be healed and still die of cancer, but the death can be transformed from one of hatred and disconnectedness into a death of acceptance and love.
The afterword of the book finishes with the lovely summarizing paragraph:
“Perhaps the greatest gift our authors have given us is an enhanced sense that we are all healers. Effective healing does not necessarily stem from an increased education or mastery of technique. Rather, healing can take place when one or more persons open their hearts and spirits to the gifts they already possess.”
Clean Language – Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds
by Wendy Sullivan & Judy Rees
This is a beautiful little book which is well-written and full of useful insights. Clean language consists entirely of questions and it is intended to offer a new way of thinking about how people’s minds actually work. It also helps people to explore their internal metaphors and enriching these metaphors in a way that can lead to an enrichment of their external lives. It is also well illustrated with lots of little cartoons which help to explain the text very quickly.
Clean Language was developed by David Grove. It consists of very simple but powerful questions which go further even than NLP in focusing solely on process and leaving the content entirely up to the client. The twelve basic Clean Language questions are shown below in three groups.
- (and) what kind of X (is that X)?
- (and) is there anything else about X?
- (and) where is X? or (and) whereabouts is X?
- (and) is there a relationship between X and Y?
- (and) when X, what happens to Y?
- (and) that’s X like what? [used for eliciting a metaphor]
Sequence and Source Questions
- (and) then what happens? or (and) what happens next?
- (and) what happens just before X?
- (and) where could X come from?
- (and) what would X like to have happen?
- (and) what needs to happen for X?
- (and) can X (happen)?
These questions are all that is used in most Clean Language sessions, often using the same question several times in a row to get the client to explore their internal representations more fully.
It takes a while to get used to the questions and asking them in exactly the form that they are given can be challenging at first. When I thought about using them, I sometimes felt that they were too constraining and that I wanted more freedom. However, when I talked to a friend about a difficult issue that he was working through, I primarily used these questions and despite the strange syntax at times they caused no confusion and were very helpful in getting him to sort out his own internal issues and to enrich his metaphors for how to move forward.
I’ll be coming back to Clean Language and a related topic, Symbolic Modelling, over the next few months as this is such an interesting area that I have signed up for an online course with a British training school. I’m looking forward to that and in the meantime, I’m planning to enjoy using Clean questions when I want to focus entirely on process and leave the content entirely to the client.