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The Rainbow Machine: Tales from a Neuro-linguist's Journal Paperback – 5 Nov 2007
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"A fascinating book of amusing and sometimes outrageous vignettes, using NLP language patterns, submodalities, and what one might call 'NLP provocative therapy.' A delightful collection of stories, thought pieces, and teaching that cast light into what NLP has to offer the field of psychotherapy and psychiatry. If you have an interest in the field" -- Julian Russell "Senior Executive Coach and co-author of Alpha Leadership: tools for business leaders who want more from life."
From the Inside Flap
Andy Austin's Rainbow Machine will have you laughing, gasping in horror and awe, and wishing like hell that you lived close enough to him to get an appointment. He is the British Milton Erickson. Bill O'Hanlon, author of Change 101 and many other books about brief therapy.See all Product description
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At times irreverent, and certainly never dull this is NLP unlike most introductions I have read. The chapters are brief and evocative snippets of NLP in action, accounts from the author’s - how shall we say - more risqué days as a nurse and latterly as a practitioner, doing mad stunts like dressing up as satan to tackle a spot of Catholic guilt.
Each chapter stands up on its own merit and is written in a jocular eloquent manner. Thankfully wrapped up in all the fun is a metacommentary covering the usual suspects of NLP hypnotherapy such as trance induction, ambiguities, paradoxical intention, yes sets with tag negations etc.. The swish pattern is described along with verbal anchoring, and there is a particular emphasis on the art of sub-modality shifting, where I think this book scores highly. For example, if a client draws a blank to the suggestion of having their sub modalities shifted the practitioner may want to respond within an “as if” frame to substitute for the client’s blocked “as is” frame, eg. “So tell me, what happens if you were to..?” There is little formal layout of NLP material and the pedagogy is straight out of the Bandler school of contextual learning. Very much like marmite - you either take to this approach or you don’t.
A revelatory chapter that produced haha moments stems from Andrew’s days working in so-called caring health institutions. His gift for stepping outside stereotypical models of human organisation i.e. state sponsored bureaucracies, produces some rather interesting insights about the author, including an ability to scan the social environment for anything that will assist the Rainbow Machine of healing. Like a social scientist he can also cut through the BS by considering the helper-client dynamic from many sides enabling him to discover contradictions in the helper’s ‘frame of reassurance’ and the psychotic’s unnerving communication patterns in equal measure:
For instance, a schizophrenic’s behaviour can be provoked by the health care practitioner’s social position as helper-cum-jailer, especially when they ‘overfit’ with the organisation’s mission to get results. This can have a reducing effect on the helper’s personal congruence which invariably has a frustrating effect on the patient. The pervading air of cynical insincerity can be closely referenced to the term ‘tangential communication’ (Ruesch and Bateson: 1958) “as the interaction is not directed to the intention behind the original statement.” For example, persistent exclamations of “Have you taken your medication?” has the tendency to stoke up paranoia in the patient, whose fairly rigid mindset mirrors that of the institution [On this point I found the helper/jailer concept is similar to Gottman’s idea of masters/disasters either turning towards someone’s bid for connection in meeting an emotional need, or as disasters turning away from a bid for connection and generating a fight-flight mode bid response instead].
Another enlightening chapter describes the psychotic traits of RMS (Right Man Syndrome) which points strongly to narcissistic personality disorder. While neurotics are plagued by doubt, psychotics are plagued by certainty in their black and white thinking, over-catastrophisation, expressing superior knowledge, selfless duty (“look what I have done for you”), “linguistic swooping” to advantage, having the last word, issuing warnings, loading questions (double binds), and maintaining/violating rapport.
It has been said by John Gottman being mean is the death knell of relationships. This book appears to be about finding imaginative opportunities to connect the dots with clients under the most sterile of circumstances by taking the art of playful humour to its extreme - but is it really that extreme? In this respect I was left with the impression inspired by Andrew’s younger self - when, as he confesses, he could away with these stress inducing antics - that leadership is putting yourself on the line - a line I hope is constantly getting closer and easier to cross.
This book captures the essence of the man, his approach and his attitude to benevolence when working with human beings who just so happen to be suffering.
What does all of this mean? Well what it means is this; buy it. It is the best NLP book that I have read and I recommend it 100%
I found his his honesty about therapy not always working refreshing and was pleased that he didnt blame the client .
As another reviewer said he is a good mixture of Bandler and Ericson and of course himself .Would recommend people to read this book and already have !