In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Bill Goodrich <email@example.com> wrote:
This is one of the points I wanted to make when I ran out of time in my previous posting. Leslie Cameron Bandler mentions this in the analysis portion of the ``Hazel'' videotape (Lasting Feelings). If you want to install a new behavior in someone, Leslie says, they need to have confidence that they can successfully do that new behavior. And the best way for them to have that confidence is to have the knowledge that they have successfully done that behavior in the past. So you create the experience for them of having done the behavior in the past.
Now does this mean that the subject has to ``really believe'' in the experience you've created for them, that they have to have a memory which ``seems real"? Not necessarily. I don't think that the work Leslie did with Hazel created any such false memory for her. But she Hazel did imagine going through a past experience in a new, more resourceful way. And that imagined experience seemed convincing to Hazel: she could say to herself something like, ``Yes, I believe that that would have in fact happened if I had behaved in the new way.'' But it has to me more than an abstract belief, it has to be, in some sense, experiential: Hazel has, even though only in her imagination, actually gone through the experience of encountering the same situation from her past and going through it in a more resourceful way. This will be as experientially convincing for her as a real memory, even though she knows that it never in fact happened.
As another example, consider the ``Decision Destroyer'' pattern. (This is a technique that I've never actually used, except as an exercise during a training, so my description may not be perfect.)
One starts with something that is a problem for the subject throughout their life, some situation that always seems to be difficult for them. Then one takes the associated feeling and has the subject trace it back (``trans-derivational search'') to one or more experiences in their past. As the result of these experiences, the subject made a certain decision which, as viewed from the present time, seems unresourceful.
One then asks the subject to look at this experience from other ``perceptual positions": a third person point of view and a second person point of view. From ``third position,'' the subject watches the experience from the point of view of a neutral observer, watching both himself and the other people involved go through the experience. From ``second position,'' the subject steps into the experience of the other person(s) involved in the incident, sees things from their point of view.
Now the therapist helps the subject decide what resources the other people (mother, father, whoever) in the incident would have required in order to deal with the incident in a better way. And then the subject gives the needed resource to the other party. (``Give your mother the love she needs in order to realize that ....'')
This can be a very empowering intervention. Whereas originally the subject started out with the feeling of being helpless, having no power, having no control in this devastating incident, now the subject not only understands the dynamics that were at work in the other individuals involved (or at least has imagined an explanation of the other people's behavior, even though we have no way of being sure that this explanation is factually correct), but now has the experience of being powerful as someone who is able to help those others cope more resourcefully.
Does this change the person's actual memory of what happened? In most cases, I think probably not. But usually I think that's not really an important question.
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Leslie E. Packer, PhD <email@example.com> wrote:
The Decision Destroyer, as I understand it, is used to deal with crucial events far in the subject's past, as a result of which the subject made a certain very important and less than ideal decision. The problem behavior from the other individuals (mother, whatever) is not an ongoing problem in the present. Often, in fact, because of the subject's age at the time, the actual situation was very different from the subject's understanding of it.
For instance, the subject may have a crucial memory of a time when, as he then understood it, his mother abandoned him, or failed to protect him from a dangerous situation. One of the reasons why one has the subject now look at the occurence from different ``perceptual positions'' (second person, third person points of view) is in order to have more insight into that past experience and understand what was really happening with the other people.
For instance, in a case I remember the subject's mother was taken to a mental institution when the subject was about three or four years old. At the time, the subject felt this as abandonment. And even though she later rationally knew that this was not the case, her later rational understanding had never been taken back into the original emotional memory.
As a result of this experience at an early age, she had made a decision that you should never trust anyone completely, because even people who claim to completely love you may wind up abandonning you.
As part of the Decision Destroyer process, she can now go back to that memory and give her mother and father at that time the ability to make her young self understand what was really happening --- that her mother was not willingly abandonning her.
In other cases, the behavior of the mother (or whoever) may have been more reprehensible, however this negative behavior ceased long ago. However even though the subject now rationally knows that her mother is no longer the same sort of person that she was thirty years ago, she has up till now not been able to use that present insight to change the unfortunate decision she (the subject) made at a young age.
After a while one gets used to being a frog,
Even though eating flies is rather off-putting at first.
One day a lovely young maiden came along and kissed me.
For a moment, I thought I'd been changed into a handsome prince.
But then she said,
``Can't we be just friends?''