Scientific or not, good idea or not?
Posted: 02 March 2008 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m not a scientist so please be gentle and bare with me.

I have been studying NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and I have recently found a newer system that I have found very helpfull indeed, it comes with allot of spritual baggage and unproven, unscientific theory. That aside as far as I can see it is powerful psychology. It is a blend between something called “clean Language Therapy” practiced by a man called David Grove and traditional NLP.

I have to say it has been so effective with me I’m inlcined to take it seriously minus the spirituality and psuedo science of course. If it is merely a placebo effect then it is a jolly good one.

Basically it involves first loading all of your issues and problems on to a large sheet of paper then looking for where, who or what they came from then neutral questions are used to explore that issue from as many different angles as possible. The questions are as nuetral as can be so as not to contaminate the process. This process would be done over a weekrend or preferably seven days.

The theory behind it goes…..

As children we have experiences or traumas that cause us to develop subconscious reactionary coping mechanisms, survival techniques, ways of seeking attention or comfort and avoiding pain and discomfort. These ill thoughtout mechanisms cause problems (symptoms) of their own and because they are subconscious we do not realise this and to rectify it we subconsciously add another coping mechanism to deal with the sideffects of the first.

This adds layers and layers of coping mechanisms each with their own sideffects, symptoms, problems and issues. Each demanding a new coping technique. This goes on through out our lives until our present surface problems and issues seem totally disconnected to the core problem and are massively out of scale, so much so they can be all encompasing and unsurmountable.

Through this technique we seek to navigate through our lives from the present right back to the original coping mechanism through to the original reason for that coping technique. Then to put it into perspective, scale it down, understand it, know where it came from before looking at what you were before the incident and subsequent coping mechanism.

This allows us to take control, deconstruct the incident and the coping mechanisms that we layered on top. By going straight to the source and dealing with the original issue we weaken and eventually deconstruct all of our other issues leaving space to construct new well thought out techniques or just leave peaceful space where those mechanisms and issues once where.

This work is done by the client, only they can find and understand these things a facilitator can only gently keep the ball rolling with neutral questions. All the relevant answers (to the clients ultimate questions not the facilitators questions) are to be found within the clients personal system. The facilitators questions are just there to gently keep the clients system moving in the right direction and to stop the client getting lost in stories and diversions created by their adult conscious mind. This is truly ‘self’ help.

Communication and lingustics are very important. Linguistics are important because as facilitators we need our language to be clean (without implications, assertions or motive) We need to be unobtrusive, to be almost invisible. We need to have the process as uncontaminated by external influences as possible allowing the client to find the answers from their own subconscious instead of trying to give the right answers or please the facilitator.

Projections (where our stuff comes from) All of our stuff comes from someone or something else whether it is in our DNA that we inherit from our parents, grandparents and our ancestors or whether it is a past experience, cultural influence or other external input it is not purely from us, it is never purely ours. Most of our feelings of anxiety or insecurity come from other peoples projections or our subconscious desire to be the way others expect or need us to be. We cease to just be and we start trying to be something else. Often this “something else” we try to be is unfeasable, no wonder many of us feel so disconnected and confused.

By looking at the issue, where it came from and gaining right understanding of it we can either put it in perspective and accept it as a small part of ourselves or we can deconstruct it totally and replace it with something usefull.

The questions will usually take the form of “what goes around that?” (the issue) “what goes inside that?” (the issue) “what where you before that?” (experience or trauma) This is a simplification but these questions and others will be asked over and over again usually in sets of 6 or 7 until the client resolves the problem, amazingly they usually find the answers they need inside themselves.

There are no right or wrong answers “shut up”, “feck off” or “I don’t know” are valid answers especially if the next question is “what does feck off know about you?” if the client is open even a fed up response can reveal something deep and unknown creating right understanding and allowing a release of that problem if it is indeed a problem if it is beneficial it reinforces it.

PS: This was written by me and as I said I’m no scientist and I’m not even a practitioner so please be gentle in your criticism. I just wondered what you scientists thought about it?

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Posted: 02 March 2008 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t know much about NLP, but a quick search turned up THIS page from Quackwatch. Scroll down and you will find an entry on it. Also check out THIS page from the Skeptic’s Dictionary. It’s rather more complete.

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Posted: 02 March 2008 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I hadn’t heard of this therapy before today, so thanks, brucepig.

It’s been interesting reading for sure, wiki has a rather long page on this and there are some pro web sites. I won’t pretend that I fully understand the merits of this practice, but by just reading your post many alarm bells went off just by the language used. Something that struck me, as a side issue, is after reading your other thread I was thinking your friends may fall into what is termed a kind of post-modernist conspiracy mode.

But, here is a references that shows a skeptical view of this therapy. Hope it helps.

http://skepdic.com/neurolin.html

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Posted: 02 March 2008 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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MANO - 02 March 2008 08:27 AM

I hadn’t heard of this therapy before today, so thanks, brucepig.

It’s been interesting reading for sure, wiki has a rather long page on this and there are some pro web sites. I won’t pretend that I fully understand the merits of this practice, but by just reading your post many alarm bells went off just by the language used. Something that struck me, as a side issue, is after reading your other thread I was thinking your friends may fall into what is termed a kind of post-modernist conspiracy mode.

But, here is a references that shows a skeptical view of this therapy. Hope it helps.

http://skepdic.com/neurolin.html

Thankyou both for your replies. In my mind I don’t see any potential quakery in the basic idea. I know there are allot of psuedo scientific ideas that go around it and spritualty but the basic premise that you can look at your issues, find when and where they came from, understand them, deconstruct them and build new helpfull tools in their place is a pretty neat idea.

What set off alarm bells for you Mano and how do you think it relates to my other thread?

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Posted: 02 March 2008 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I also am ignorant of the theory, but I am concerned about the very Freudian idea at its heart. I think, and I’m sure folks here better informed about psychology than myself will correrect me if I’m wrong, that the idea of childhood traumas repressed and underlying our problems is pretty well no longer seen as valid in mainstream psychology. The evidence at least shows that we are much mor elikely to remember and obsess about, rather than bury and represss, traumatic events, and the sort of talk therapy (self-directed as in this approahc, or via traditional psychoanalysis) that you seem to be referring to to uncover the “sins of the past” seems a bit bogus itself. As always, the trick is how you decide it is real. The fact that an individual does it and feels better is, of course, not reliable evidence despite being emotionally compelling to that individual. Any idea if tghere’s any objective research on the approach?

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Posted: 02 March 2008 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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mckenzievmd - 02 March 2008 08:47 AM

Any idea if tghere’s any objective research on the approach?

The Quackwatch page I linked to cites one study.

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