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Topic: Re:Content vs Process clarification
Posted by: Todd
Date/Time: 13/11/2003 03:54:21


I am not John or Carmen, but I'll cut in ;-)
Good to be chatting again :-)

Check out WITW pages 334 and 335 for a good example of this distinction that clearly separates content vs. process.

Then see pages 339 through 343. Note especially #3 on 343. This points to the blurring of the distinction as well.


As for me, I am still of the opinion that the distinction is relative which is precisely what is  pointed out in WITW. I also think that we can develop a principle whereby the client leads in the introduction of material, then we make the distinction relative to their presentation. Although this is not a formal or intensive definition, it is actually what we "should" be doing in NLP already!

The stuff on page 340 really clarifies what I am attempting to say here.


Another way that I think about this, which is decidedly weak formally, but useful practically, is in terms of object relations.

When the client presents something to me verbally, they are describing objects and their relationship to one another. If I am attending to the content I am engaging in making meaning which is a primary focus on the objects (semantics). If I am attending to form then I am paying attention to relationships (syntax) that exist among or modify the objects, regardless of the specific objects. (note that I still have to pay attention to the types of objects described, but this is a higher logical level up.) That's why the content is almost irrevelant. In fact, as long as the client creates a syntactically correct sentence, I don't even need to know what the words mean (only their class)! What I just described is an alternate description of the meta-model. It's all form-based interventions.

I also relate this to mathematics. A formula shows you the relationship amongst variables. Plug in some values and you can get an answer for a specific case, but the formula itself "doesn't care" what values you substitute. It will hold true as long as you put the right class of numbers in.

Conversely, if I know enough about the applications of a formula, I can look at a set of values in a specific context and identify the appropriate formula for use in the context in which they occur.

Client presents problem. I ask, problem of what form (L.L. Up?) If I can answer this, then I can utilize the appropriate formula in this instance. NLP "formulas" are simply transformative over time rather than fixed in time like a mathematical formula.

This approach is a good fit with the presentation of pattern criteria presented in Whispering also.

Have I muddied things up even more for you?
If so, how specifically? ;-)

bye for now,


Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Content vs Process clarification07/11/2003 13:44:56Jon Edwards
     Re:Content vs Process clarification07/11/2003 22:12:44nj
          Re:Re:Content vs Process clarification08/11/2003 19:33:23nj
     Re:Content vs Process clarification13/11/2003 03:54:21Todd
          Re:Re:Content vs Process clarification14/11/2003 14:49:13John Grinder
               Re:Re:Re:Content vs Process clarification14/11/2003 16:16:50Jon Edwards
               Re:Re:Re:Content vs Process clarification17/11/2003 01:52:13Todd
               Re:Re:Re:Content vs Process clarification17/11/2003 10:59:07nj
               Re:Re:Re:Content vs Process clarification25/08/2004 01:11:59student
          Re:Re:Content vs Process clarification22/08/2004 11:43:24nj

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