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Topic: Re:Book Question
Posted by: John Grinder
Date/Time: 03/03/2003 20:46:54

Hi James

You wrote,

"1 In the section on 6 Step Reframing you use the exmple of addictions. How do you distinguish between the need to deal with secondary gain as you discuss, and the fact that such behaviours can become so ingrained, you are also having to deal with what presumably are massive triggered responses. So the alcoholic may drink to relax, but even when they have created more effective ways to relax, offer them a pint of beer and they feel 'compelled' to drink it."

Addictions require (in all cases I have done) a replacement of the behavior in question by several new behaviors - each of which are members of the same set (in their capacity to satisfy the original positive intention behind the behavior to be changed (excess drinking)). This is the contextual requirement introduced (originally in 6 step and more generally in the new code).

Now the "ingrained" nature of old responses - first, if the signals systems are genuinely involuntary and there is a committment by the unconscious - no difficulties arise. As soon as the alcoholc has actually experienced the new behaviors as being equal to or more effective in satisfying the original positive intention, the triggers point lose their effectiveness and they experience no such compulsion. Indeed, my test for the effectiveness of the work with a former alcoholic is to have a drink (or pass a bottle underneath their nose without warning while they have their eyes closed) and calibrate whether there is an emergence of a distinct state (the emergence of the alcoholic part of the person). If no such state shift occurs under these testing positions, then I am satisfied that the work is integrative and successful. If a state shift occurs, then we have not integrated the new behaviors and there is a rogue state running underneath that will binge - that is, the work is not finished. Your concern about the old behaviors being triggered is a valid concern if and only if the work is not integrative (signals were not involuntary...) and the new substitute behaviors that satisfy the original positive intent are not as effective as the original. This is the entire point of the explicit involvement of the unconscious and contextualization imposed by the positive intention.

You asked about Bandler's description - ask him for a legitimate answer - what I can glean from what he is quoted as saying and especially your acceptance of the AA dictum about once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic is the following:

The agent of change has no right to remove a choice (except under very special conditions and then only temporarily. Thus, I agree that the original behavior is still present - however, my appreciation for what the unconscious does is much different than what Bandler claims and you seem to endorse. If the communication with the unconscious has the appropriate characteristics(rapport and involuntary signals) then the ability to drink excessively remains a choice - however, and this is the ethical point - it is a choice not a compulsion.   

In fact, you write,

".A life without the behaviour will take care of the secondary gain' "

is nonsense in my experience - in fact, the regression of someone who showed a classic alcoholic pattern, changes and then drifts back to excessive drinking over some period of time is first class feedback that the conditions mentioned above were not met. The unconscious will not give up a pattern that secures for the person something of vital importance unless there are substitute behaviors equal to or more effective than the original behavior - independent of the additional negative costs or so called secondary consequences, positive or negative.

Test it for yourself - do an alcoholic using the anhoring technology exclusively and note the initial success and then the drift back to original excessive drinking and contrast it with an approach that respects the constraints offered above.

The new code also offers direct ways (e.g. stalking) of disabling trigger points although as mentioned above, these are no required if the above conditions are met

All the best,


Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Book Question03/03/2003 11:39:21James
     Re:Book Question03/03/2003 19:31:46Eric
     Re:Book Question03/03/2003 20:46:54John Grinder

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