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A remarkable book
on 18 August 2017
Ericksonian assumptions have become NLP assumptions; his capacity to enter in to the client's model with the "grace and power of a master" in actively listening with a finely tuned expressive awareness was remarkable, and an inverse metal model (lovingly coined by Bandler and Grinder the Milton Model) recreates the basic hypnotic patterns regularly conjured by the esteemed hypnotist in eliciting a third level of consciousness - an acceptance state. More than once it is pointed out Erickson had an extraordinary capacity to work with the most intractable of resistances and restraints (Bateson) offered up by clients. To quote one of my favourite co-creators' line, if "people who come for therapy are not bad, sick, crazy or evil but are making the best choices available in their model of the world" then Erickson embodies this belief almost as a principle and 'embeds' (the spelling 'imbed' is also used) in the overlap and intersection of unconscious meanings of phenomena: "there is a positive intention motivating every behaviour; and a context in which every behaviour has value" as low resistance
Parts 1 and 2 provide a close reading of Erickson's case notes written in a somewhat medicalised unspecified predicate style after an identification of the patterns of his work have been briefly described. Throughout there is an attempt at a deeper appreciation of how Erickson elicits deep trance states that access and utilise both hemispheres - each with a different quality, speed and accuracy of response - and similarities to the techniques Bandler and Grinder have already developed, for example visualisation, are often compared. Part 3 goes into much more of the construction of grammar, like Magic 1, and is a study of the maximal direction techniques of meta-patterning principles broken into five categories of distinction: causal modelling, transderivational phenomena, ambiguity, lesser included structures and derived meanings.
A special enquiry with Aldous Huxley at a planned retreat into various states of psychological awareness exploring the nature and character of altered states, reveals the famous author's skill at 'deep reflection'. This allows him to marshal his thoughts at a deeper level, similar one wonders to Einstein's focused daydreaming or maybe what today might be a variation of mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn)? Absorbing insights into Huxley's inchoate description-making are described as he attempts to explore his unconscious with his some of Erickson's interventions reported back as "the external stimuli felt outside language without knowing as an undefined something until a suggestion of something was coming" or a "physical activity impinged upon my train of thought leading to amnesia of experience."
NLP is "a set of strategies in restoring the balance of unconscious processes in learning versus the dominant brain in the age of the accountant", and, "we can do learning a whole lot better...by suspending our maps of knowledge and participating in (unconscious) assimilation." (search for Grinder 'What is NLP? 2008, 5:42 mins'). If further Clark I Hull's research indicates there are scant differences between the waking and hypnotic states, except in response to suggestions and remembering events, then a disruption in educational fields surely beckons. How about a light trance induction at the start of maths class for example?
There are so many open loops in Patterns 1 it is hard to know which one to close (Bluma Zeigarnik); that if If Magic 1 be the father to the meta beast known as NLP, then Patterns1 is surely its mother or seductive mistress. Mind blowing and crucial reading. One of my Robinson Crusoe books.