Wednesday, 1 November 2006

I Refuse To Understand What The Problem Was


If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...You probably haven't grasped the situation!
When working with a client, always try hard to not understand their problem, as they present the facts as they see them. Of course listen to them (for a very brief moment) and watch out for the things that they don't see. However it's important to remember that all clients will lie to you and that most of the conscious communications, "the facts", are lies and that the really useful information, the truth, is contained in the unconscious communication; the solutions to client's problems lie in what's missing.

I have heard Richard Bandler say on many occasions,
"People say… you don't understand and I say …you're right… I don't understand. And I'm good at it".

It is good not to understand; because if a client's problem is understood and treated as being serious then it will be serious. What is needed is to stand over a problem, and at other times its good to stand to the side of a problem, and to begin to enable your client to see it from a new perspective.

It doesn't mean that by refusing to understand their story that you don't care about your clients well being. In fact I think it is important to care enough about a clients successful outcomes that you will do more and go further to help them then they often will to help themselves and that includes not believing them. To believe their story would be doing them a great disservice.

Never, ever, ever, allow yourself to congruently hear the seriousness of a client's problems. Never, ever, ever, listen to their history or acknowledge their limiting beliefs with understanding. Never, ever, ever, listen to their tales of sadness and woe with pity no matter how tragic and remember to remove any boxes of tissues when working as it only encourages them to cry.

Be aware that all clients, as well as being liars, are very accomplished hypnotists. They have been practicing self-hypnosis for a lifetime (they just don't know it) and no one has yet awarded them a certificate or diploma for their hypnotic efforts. Unfortunately many have only ever practiced giving themselves negative post hypnotic suggestions. Beware their hypnosis, after all, the last thing you would want is for the two of you to be in the same ‘problem trance’ and end up doing therapy together for years.

I have had many people approach me at seminars or just turn up to an appointment with briefcases containing notes and medical records from doctors, specialists and experts verifying the importance and therefore the seriousness of their problems and listing all of the things that have been "tried" but haven't worked. Sometimes it is important for a client to have the hard work they have put into their problem acknowledged. Their brief case history represents a massive investment in time, effort and money and it would be churlish to help them to change quickly, easily and effortlessly without at least appearing to be interested in their history. It is acceptable to listen whilst offering incongruent head nods and grunts so as to signify to their unconscious that we don't accept or believe a word of the lies they or the specialists are telling us, because we see miracles happen every day.

On a recent Master Practitioner training Richard Bandler was asked the question "You make it look so easy how do you do it?" (‘It’ being helping someone to change quickly and apparently effortlessly). Richard's answer was simple "I make it look easy… because it is easy".

And it is easy just as long as you keep out of your clients' trances. Don't buy into their story whether it’s His-story or Her-story.

It is easy; just smile inside secure in the knowledge that if you keep out of your head, shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up or if you prefer shhh, shhh, shhh. If you control your state and begin to open up all of your senses while you calibrate to the information being presented to you and keep your map of the world out of the way so that with your strong beliefs, boundless confidence, focused determination, your behavioral flexibility and a lot of light heartedness and a good heart. Your clients will not only be looking back at their problems and laughing but will be laughing at them in the present moments ahead of them and way, way off into the future.

Both you and they will find that change is easy. No problem!

An example:

Client. I keep having the same recurring dream. I get in my car and drive to Manchester every night. I then turn around and drive home. I wake up completely worn out from the drive.
Me. Wow. That must be costing you a fortune in petrol!!
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