This is being posted for Charles Faulkner.
In article <1992Apr9.150451.21431@Princeton.EDU>
roger@phoenix.Princeton.EDU (Roger Lustig) writes:
>In article <167C4936A.JHARTLEY@cmsa.gmr.com> JHARTLEY@cmsa.gmr.com writes:
>>In article <1992Apr9.013224.19962@news.Hawaii.Edu>
>>Lee Lady writes:
>>>Well I would be damned pleased to see some clinical psychologists do some
>>>rigorous studies to test the claims that NLP makes. (There are in fact a
>>>few such studies. Many too few, in my opinion.) I don't in the least
>>>blame academics for being highly skeptical of these claims. What does
>>>bother me though is the indifference by the clinical establishment to
>>>NLP claims, for instance, that a simple phobia can be cured in one
>Cynical aside: what's their definition of a ``simple phobia"? Is it one
>that can be cured in a single session?
>> It claims that the same technique will neutralize traumatic
>>>memories just as quickly, so that PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome)
>>>becomes an easily treatable problem.
>That's a huge claim, especially considering the vast variety and
>intensity of traumas, and the long time periods over which PTSD can
>manifest itself. I hope you take this one with salt.
[ In DSM-4, the term ``simple phobia'' has been replaced by ``specific phobia.'' -- Lee Lady, 1999 ]
What is a phobia? What is a trauma? What is PTSD? Before you reach for a definition, the point is made. They are ``defined'' domains. If an individual's behavior ``falls'' within them, they have it. If not, not.
May I propose a definition: Individuals that experience sudden and intense fear in the presence of a stimulus or on recalling it, and / or being ``unable to put it out of their minds'' have a phobia, trauma and/or PTSD. Thinking like a neo-behaviorist, what are the structural similarities between these defined difficulties (and what are the differences)? Next, do changes in the discovered similar structural varibles affect/effect a change of the autonomic responses (sweat, pulse, breathing) of individuals with the defined difficulties? If you determined that the significant variables are similar, then the relative intensity of the experience or the length of time untreated (duration) would be of relatively secondary importance, wouldn't they?
For instance, someone has a phobia (a sudden and intense feeling of fear on seeing something) of dogs. With Systematic Desensitization (a Behaviorist technique with verifiable ``success'' rate), he or she would watch a real dog from hundreds of yards away, as far away as it took for him or her to become somewhat calm. Then each day he or she would move closer while maintaining the same calm until he or she was finally up close to the dog and calm at the same time. Intensity of phobia, duration of difficulty, even size of dog are secondary to the structural features of the difficulty which allow it to basically be treated with distance.
NLP co-developer John Grinder was once asked what the difference was between the NLP Phobia Relief Method and Systematic Desensitization. Without a hint of humor he replied, ``Six (6) months.'' You see, to use Systematic Desensitization to relieve you of a fear of dogs would take about six (6) months while the NLP Phobia Relief Method takes less than thirty (30) minutes.
That's thirty (30) minutes.
So what's going one here? So how is it possible that a university sanctioned, Ph.D. supervised approach could take as long as six (6) months and one you can do with an audiotape cassette or a book and a friend could take under thirty (30) minutes? It's the difference between doing the change on ``the outside'' and doing it on ``the inside". Two of the fundamental principles or Presuppositions of NLP are: 1) The Map is no the Territory (from General Semantics founder Korzybski) which is to say that people have mental maps of experience and follow these maps and 2) Experience has a Structure. With Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral approaches and conditioning methods, one changes an internal map (fear of dogs, a critical inner voice, or even a belief) by adding external experiences. With NLP, the internal map of the experience is changed directly.
After all, the dogs in the world are not the source of the phobic's fear (though one or more of them may be the origin), but a stimulus for accessing/triggering an internal experience. Rearrangement of the structure of this stimulus-experience nexus becomes the domain of a successful therapy. Which socio-economic status group, age, educational level or ethnic responses best to the rearrangement of the structure of their stimulus-experience depends on the flexibility of the agent of the intervention. If the psychologist insisted on speaking like this article, only the classic profile (young, intelligent, verbal etc.) would find efficacy. If the agent said in Spanish, ``See that shitty time way over there like it's on a little tiny b & w TV,'' he or she could work any clinic on the west side of Chicago.
Once the change in structure is made and the difficulty relieved, the ``client'' may not be tested with any other therapeutic modality - one of the principle difficulties with all ``clinical research". (On the other hand, if someone will locate a number of individuals experiencing dog phobias and a few dogs (or Vietnam Vets with PTSD and a functioning M-16 with blanks), I'll offer a day of my services and someone can write the study. (Fear of flying also interests me, but you'll have to supply the commercial plane and crew.))
Charles Faulkner firstname.lastname@example.org