Monday, 29 June 2015

Secondary Gain

Sometimes your clients behaviour (however much they say they want to stop it/get rid of it) does something for them.  This is one reason why checking the wellformedness of their goal is important.
When your client says they want to get rid of a problem and yet demonstrates something else, this is where secondary gain may come into the equation.

Secondary gain is said to be a psychiatric term meaning that a person has a hidden reason for holding onto an undesirable condition. Frequently this reason is unconscious. It is obviously unconscious because the loss of holding onto the condition is often far greater than the perceived gain.

A few years ago I worked with an elderly woman who had chronic pain in one of her legs, there was no medial explanation for this.  She was considering have nerves removed so that she stopped the pain but her doctors were not sure that this would work as the pain was in her mind.

Strange explanation its all in your mind, yet how true.

In hypnosis she felt no pain, and was able to walk comfortably.  After our session she went shopping with her husband and had a wonderful afternoon.  Then as soon as she got home she was in pain once more.

Very interesting I thought.

I then found out she had a 50 year old autistic son who lived at home; and he expected his mum to do everything for him.  So much so that she had no time for herself.  That is unless her legs were tired (her sons expression for mums ailment) for then he left her in peace.

“I’ll leave her if she doesn’t try to get better….”

This was the declaration from an exhausted, stressed and unhappy 45 year old man who sat slumped in the chair opposite me.  The strange thing was, he wasn’t my client, it was his wife who had the appointment.  Living with OCD allows this woman to have waiter service from her husband, peace and quiet from the kids, she isn’t expected to do anything.  Her husband did everything and when he couldn’t he arranged for others to cover.  There was an army of cleaners, nannies, tutors etc to take his place whilst he kept a very demanding job.

There were no holidays as she couldn’t leave the house but that was OK cos he couldn’t afford any anyways with all the extra expenses.  He had health problems of his own that he couldn’t stop and deal with cos he needed to support her and as long as she was “trying: to get better he would do so.

So, consider that if you haven’t got the result you are expecting, it could also be because there is some secondary gain for the client and although they are saying that they want to get rid of the problem, it may actually serve them better to keep it; or at least appear to be ‘trying’ to get better.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Meta Model

In Greek mythology Pandora opened a box that was a present from Zeus, it was very beautiful and she was told it was never to be opened. Her curiosity got the better of her she wondered if it contained gold and jewels and she opened it.

Zeus had packed the box full of all the terrible evils he could think of. Out of the box poured disease and poverty. Out came misery, out came death, out came sadness - all shaped like tiny buzzing moths.
All that remained in the box was Hope. It fluttered from the box like a beautiful dragonfly, touching the wounds created by the evil creatures, and healing them. Even though Pandora had released pain and suffering upon the world, she had also allowed Hope to follow them.

Now a days, it seems that we have forgotten about hope. For example when people face challenging illness, hope never seems to be part of the diagnosis. Whenever someone is planning to do anything challenging, there are always those who will tell them how they won't be able to do it. Some say things like "you've no hope".

Hope inspires people to continue through pain, illness, life challenges it moves us forwards towards something better.

People seem to be so focused on how bad things are, they even have difficulty in telling you want they want. Their focus on what they don't want, what they did that didn't work.

In the early days of NLP when Richard & John modelled Milton, Fritz and Virginia (to name just a few); he noticed they got results that others didn't and by paying attention to the language they used and how it was used the linguistic side of NLP was born.

The meta model outlines all the things they could do not what they did. It turned their focus attention away from where they were stuck and gave them possibilities .......... hope.

As a good friend of mine says Linguistics is our middle name, and yet so many people who learn NLP seem to avoid learning the Meta and Milton Model patterns. And yet these are the very patterns that will enable you to do those NLP techniques linguistically ........

For me when I started learning NLP, I used to choose a pattern of the day and then look for that pattern in newspapers, conversations, in television talk shows; and then at the end of the day I would write out 100 examples of that pattern.