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Conversational Reframing Acknowledgements

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  • Conversational Reframing


  • Conversational Reframing


  • ... You and I belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events in each others brains with exquisite precision. Simply by making noises with our mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each others minds.

    Steven Pinker [1994]

  • Mind-Body Competence

    Cognitive-Behavior ManagementNeuro-Linguistic Programming

  • Neuro-linguistics holistically summarizes the body-mind connection between language [words, symbols, etc.] and neurology. It specifies how our neurology [i.e., nervous system and brain] process language and thereby respond to language.

  • Words, while totally powerless to effect and change external reality, have almost complete power to create, alter, change, destroy and invent internal reality.

  • ...neuroscientists have learned that thoughts are electrical impulses that trigger electrical and chemical switches in the brain. Thoughts are not just psychological in nature, they are physiological - electrochemical triggers that direct and affect the chemical activity.

    When given an electrical command - a thought - the brain immediately does several things: It responds to the thought by releasing appropriate control chemicals into the body, and it alerts the central nervous system to any required response or action. Shad Helmstetter

  • Perception differs qualitatively from the physical properties of the stimulus.

    The Soul Illusion

  • "I want you to realize that there exists no color in the natural world, and no sound - nothing of this kind; no textures, no patterns, no beauty, no scent." Sounds, colors, patterns, etc., appear to have an independent reality, yet are, in fact, constructed by the mind. All our experience of the natural world is our minds interpretation of the input it receives. Sir John Eccles

  • Eccles continued

  • NLP talks about various modes of awareness

  • VAK CodingVisual [pictures, sights, images]A [sounds, noise, music, tones]Kinesthetic [sensations, physical feelings of the body]Olfactory [smells]Gustatory [tastes]

  • We experience the phenomenon of sight, sounds and sensations.

  • Above and beyond the sensory level representation we have sensory-based words.

  • Non-sensory based language refers to all language that becomes more abstract as we delete more of the specific sensory words and generalize to a higher level.

  • When we go meta to a higher logical level of symbolization and use more abstract words, we use a different kind of representational system, a non-sensory based modality.

  • In any social environment, we have to use language which then influences and effects the life of the system: enhancing and/or limiting, creating and/or destroying.

  • Our language both reflects and describes our model of the world.

  • Words influence because they evoke us to create representations within our minds at multiple levels.

  • The magic is in the code.

  • Swish

    Cross Mapping Submodalities

  • Swish continued

  • Modeling

  • Modeling consists of using tools that have their origins in Artificial Intelligence [AI], linguistics and cognitive science research with the goal of making a model of excellent behavior, for transfer to other persons.

  • Structures:

    Reference,Deep& Surface

  • Language & Change

  • Language so fills our world that we move through it as a fish swims through water.

  • Some Universals of the Human Linguistic ProcessI. Well-formednessII. Constiuent StructureIII. Logical Semantic RelationsA. CompletenessB. AmbiguityC. Synonymy

  • A transformation is an explicit statement of one kind of pattern that native speakers recognize among the sentences of their language.

  • Transformations [continued]

  • Presuppositions

  • When a persons model has pieces missing, it is impoverished.

  • Impoverished models imply limited options.

  • Biological Constraints

    Physical constraints that are atypical of the species.

  • Neurological Constraints

    Species specific biological constraints common to all typical species representatives.

  • Social Constraints

  • Social Constraints [continued]

  • Social Constraints [continued]

  • Social Constraints [continued]

  • Individual constraints

  • Individual constraints [continued]

  • Generalization is the process by which elements or pieces of a persons model become detached from their original experience and come to represent this entire category of which the experience is an example. Our ability to generalize is essential to coping with the world.

  • Deletion is a process by which we selectively pay attention to certain dimensions of our experiences and exclude others. An example would be the ability that people have to filter out or exclude all other sound in a room full of people talking in order to listen to one particular persons voice.

  • Distortion is a process that allows us to make shifts in our experience of sensory data. Fantasy, for example, allows us to prepare for experiences that we may have before they occur. All the great novels, all the revolutionary discoveries of the sciences involve the ability to distort and misrepresent reality.

  • Every Belief is a limit to be examined.

    John C. Lily

  • Reframing

    The most fundamental goal of applying verbal patterns is to help people shift their perspective:1) from a problem to an outcome, 2) from a failure to feedback, and3) from an impossibility to an as if.

  • The Language of Specificity

    For precision and clarity or to deframe.

  • The Language of Evaluation

    To construct new realities & frames

  • Meaning [semantics] exists only, and exclusively, in the mind.

  • This doesnt mean this ---> It means this!

    Not X --------> but Y

  • The language of evaluation-of-evaluation

    Allows you to outframe all meanings and frames

  • Outframe continued

  • Language describes how we code, in various symbol formats, information.

  • Information is the difference that makes a difference.

    Gregory Bateson

  • Creation of Meaning

  • Giving or attributing meaning to something [to anything] involves and associative process.

  • To identify meaning we have to find the associations.

  • Fire means what the frame of reference tells us it means.

  • External Behavior --> Internal State [EB] = [IS]

  • S/he who controls the frame, controls the meaning.

  • The directions of influence.

  • Directions continued

  • The Meaning of Magic

  • But, but, thats manipulation!

  • Dont believe everything you think!

    Ron Farkas

  • Prevention, development & remediation

  • Nothing in and of itself means anything.It takes a Meaning Maker to construct an association, set a frame, link events and marry concepts.

  • There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically. "May be," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "May be," replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "May be," answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. " May be," said the farmer.

  • This external behavior is/ equals(leads to or causes) --> this internal state.

  • causation statements: how we model the way the world works, functions, relates to itself, etc.

  • equations statements: how we decide and model regarding meaning, what abstractions equate with behaviors, our paradigms of significance

  • value words & ideas: the ideas, events, experiences, etc., that we deem important and significant

  • identifications: what things equal other things, that we identify as the same

  • presuppositions: unquestioned assumptions that we simply operationalize as true

  • Make a distinction between the behavior and the intention.

  • Intervention

  • Deframing

    #1. Chunking Down

  • To elicit this conversational reframing pattern, use the elicitation questions that move a person down the scale of abstraction/specificity.How specifically?What specifically?When specifically?With whom specifically?At what place specifically?

  • Deframing

    #2 Detailing the sequence of the Strategy

  • #2 strategy continued

  • To elicit this reframing pattern, use the strategy elicitation questions:

    How do you represent that belief?How will you know if and when it does not hold true?What comes first? What comes next?How do you have each piece coded?And youre absolutely sure you dont have that in this other format?

  • Deframe Summary

  • Content Reframing

  • #3 Reframe the EB

  • #3Summary

  • #4 Reframe the IS

  • #4 Summary

  • #5 Reflexively Apply EB to Self or Listener#6 Reflexively Apply IS to Self or Listener

  • #5/#6 continued

  • #7 Counter Examples

  • Content Reframe Summary

  • content reframe summary continued 1

  • Content Reframe Summary continued 2

  • Counter Framing

  • Reverse Presuppositions

  • Reverse Presuppositions continued

  • #7 Counter Example Framing

  • #7 Counter Example Framing continued 1

  • #7 Counter Example Framing continued 2

  • Temporal Presuppositions

  • Identity Statements

  • Identity Statements continued 1

  • Identity Statements continued 2

  • Identity Statements continued 3

  • Questions from Cartesian Logic:

    What will happen if you do? [Theorem] What wont happen if you do? [Inverse] What will happen if you dont? [Converse] What wont happen if you dont? [Non-Mirror Image Reverse]

  • Counter Framing Summary

  • The Time Frames

    Before: #8 Positive Prior Intention Framing#9 Positive Prior Causation FramingAfter:#10 First Outcome#11 Outcomes of Outcomes#12 Eternity Framing

  • Before: #8 Positive Prior Intention Framing

  • Before: #8 Positive Prior Intention Framing [continued]

  • If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe[1749-1832]

  • #9 Positive Prior Causation Framing

  • #9 Positive Prior Causation Framing [Continued]

  • #10 First Outcome Framing

  • #11 Outcome of the Outcome Framing

  • #12 Eternity Framing

  • #12 Eternity Framing [continued]

  • Designing Alternative Futures

  • The Time Frames Summary

  • Outframing

  • #13 Model of the World

    Who made this map anyway?

  • #13 Model of the World [continued]

  • #14 Criteria and Value Framing

  • #14 Criteria and Value Framing [continued]

  • #14 Criteria and Value Framing [continued]

  • #15 Allness Framing

  • #15 Allness Framing [continued]

  • #16 Necessity Framing

  • #16 Necessity Framing [continued]

  • #17 Identity Framing

  • #17 Identity Framing [continued]

  • #18 All Other Abstractions

  • Unreality

  • Self/Other

  • Tonal Emphasis

  • #18 All Other Abstractions


  • #19 Ecology Framing

  • #19 Ecology Framing [continued]

  • Outframing Summary

  • A man wanted to know about mind, not in nature, but in his computer. He asked Do you compute that you will ever think like a human being?The machine then set to work to analyze its own computation habits. Finally, the machine printed its answer on a piece of paper, as such machines do. The man ran to get the answer and found neatly typed, the words: That reminds me of a story.

    Gregory Bateson

  • Analogous Framing

  • #20 Storytelling

  • #20 Storytelling

    Shifting Referential Indices

  • #21 Both/And Framing

  • #22 Pseudo-Word Framing

  • #23 Negation Framing

  • #24 Possibility and As If Framing

  • #25 Systemic & Probability Framing

  • #26 Decision Framing

  • Conclusions

  • Formal Dialogue

  • We are the sum total of what we think!

  • Glossary

    *Neuro-linguistic programming [NLP] has opened the cognitive behavior management field to new opportunities and adaptations. While it is more extensive than this training, conversational reframing is a major part of what NLP is about and what cognitive behavior mentors do [think formal dialogue]. The framework for this training is from a book called Mind-Lines by L. Michael Hall & Bobby G. Brodenhamer and a book called The Structure of Magic by John Grinder and Richard Bandler.

    Since not everything from these books is included and thoughts are included that are not in the books, it is recommend that any serious person wanting to provide the training read both the books.

    I have tried to diminish some of the linguist jargon that is often confusing. There is, however, at the very end a glossary of terms that I did not feel comfortable modifying.

    The object of providing notes is to provide sufficient information to a facilitator to present the material in an orderly fashion. You may also wish to consult the Reframing Technique CBT#34 and the Meta Method CBAT#03.


    The world of science has changed with the Uncertainty Principle of Heisenberg and the observer-created reality of quantum mechanics. As stated by Heinz Pagels in The Cosmic Code:. . . quantum theory requires that what an observer decides to measure influences the measurement. What is actually going on in the quantum world depends on how we decide to observe it. The world just isnt there independent of our observing it; what is there depends in part on what we choose to see reality is partially created by the observer.

    An uncertainty also exists in social interactions. Korzybskis general principle of uncertainty - creates an uncertainty about everyday reality and was one of the underpinning theoretical constructs of neuro-linguistic programming:

    I accept the absolute individuality of events on the unspeakable objective levels, which necessitates the conclusion that all statements about them are only probable in various degrees, introducing a general principle of uncertainty in all statements.*Korzybski thus posits that not only are all experiences unique on the sensory level, but that our interpretation [representations] of them cannot be anything but uncertain.

    Korzybski additionally pointed out that because of the finite speed of nerve impulses and of light, the observation of an event can only come after the event; so whatever influence the observation has can only be on a later event. Thus, the observer created reality is not an effect upon what is occurring, but rather on the interpretation of that event It is not the experience of the event, per se that effects our reality, but rather the interpretation of that experience.

    Actually, there is a long history of uncertainty regarding the separation of perception and reality, starting perhaps with, Chauncy Wright, and carried forward by Charles Pierce, William James and John Dewey [See The Metaphysical Club - Menand]Along with that interpretation, we will be concerned in this training with the translation of that experience to ourselves and others through the mechanics and hierarchy of language. *These terms mean essentially the same thing or at least can be considered equivalents by those who use them. Cognitive is a term that is usually concerned with how we know things and the coding thoughts, ideas etc., that we use in a neurological process. Behavior has to do with what we physically do - the actions we take - including speech - and the internal behavior of thinking about our thinking.


    Neuro-Linguistic programming [NLP] began in the 70s as an in-depth understanding of how language works in the human personality and how our language in a variety of modes, creates our human programs for thinking, feeling, speaking, behaving and relating. John Grinder, a linguist professor with a specialty in Chomskys Transformational Grammar and Richard Bandler, a graduate student in mathematics and computers, who was also dabbling in gestalt therapy decided to observe exemplars in counseling services to discover the behaviors which impacted upon clients. The rules of transformation grammar became the underpinning for neuro-linguistic programming. *The term, itself, was first introduced by Alfred Korzybski in 1936 and was adopted by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the Structure of Magic in 1975. The implications of the name and the early new age or hippie reputation of the founders did a great deal to limit the acceptability of the findings. The use of the term magic didnt particularly help either, because serious scientists do not believe in magic.

    Once one identifies the body-mind relationship of the neuro and linguistic, the follow up is to try to figure out how to program or reprogram this relationship. This construct also offended many who saw the process as manipulative. Virginia Satir, one of the exemplars, would, for example, stop using effective techniques after she saw that they were manipulating the thoughts of her clients. This begs the question of course that all interactions are manipulative, but nonetheless, NLP was seen as a New Age activity and has been generally ignored by many cognitive behavior experts.

    This is too bad as NLP, partly because of its irreverence for traditional thinking and partly because of its linguistic/computer roots has opened much new ground in cognitive behavior management.

    *In cognitive behavior management, the milieu for change resides in the inner logic of the individual. The core beliefs about self, others and future prospects and the leakage of these beliefs which are embedded in the automatic thoughts of self talk. We try to help a client become mindful of what s/he is thinking and to examine these thoughts for utility [more pleasure than pain] and effectiveness. Where distressing or non-utile thoughts exists, we then help the client develop the means for finding more balanced and realistic alternative thoughts and finally adapting themselves to these new thoughts. What we are doing is essentially reprogramming the thought stream through dispute and habituation which impacts on the core beliefs in minor [cognitive error correction] or major [cognitive reconstruction] ways. The potential of neuro-linguistic programming is that both the identification of maladaptive thoughts and the reprogramming of those thoughts can be accomplished in a quicker and more effective [often covert, rather than public/conscious] manner. The basic concept of change, however is the same as other cognitive behavior interventions. *What you think changes the chemistry in your brain. This has been demonstrated effectively by both biofeedback and meditation studies. Thus, an idea becomes something more than a simple abstraction. It becomes a force which influences the body, which, in turn, influence the mind.

    Thinking of ideas as forces is a new and perhaps scary idea. It suggests that the right thought(s) can cause instantaneous change to occur.

    While this proposition may be difficult for us to accept, it should not be since we often see total change in the negative. An event happens which is interpreted as traumatic and instantaneously a persons whole life changes. The effects of these new thoughts are much more far reaching than just what had happened - the loss of a loved one, the agony of becoming crippled, etc. While such events can be psychologically powerful, they still leave capacities available which often never get used again. Yet, because of the ubiquitous nature of such occurrences, we accept it totally.

    Why should we assume that the reverse cannot occur?*When we signal in our mind, via various symbol systems [linguistics, submodalities, etc.], it always and inevitably affects in our body.

    This explains the use of the hyphen in neuro-linguistic. The hyphen helps us to mentally and linguistically map a set of representations that structurally corresponds to the territory. This was identified by Korzybski in his book Science and Sanity, in which he admonishes us that - the map [inner logic] is not the territory [reality].

    Of all of the cognitive behavior management approaches, NLP is the most language driven, although it is not entirely so. *What exactly does this mean?

    The nervous system extracts only certain information from the natural world.

    We perceive fluctuations of air pressure not as pressure waves but as sounds that we hear.

    We perceive electromagnetic waves of different frequency as colors that we see.

    We perceive chemical compounds dissolved in air or water as specific smells or tastes.

    It means that these qualities exist in the form that we create.

    *The mind creates the reality in which we find ourselves.

    Furthermore, the mind creates this reality largely from random information, through pattern making which is directed only by special selection devices [epigenetic rules].

    Genes prescribe epigenetic rules, which are the regularities of sensory perception and mental development that animate and channel the acquisition of knowledge.

    An example of an epigenetic rule is our propensity for association - the propensity to link random things together until we finally begin to discover/create patterns or generalizations at higher abstract levels. These patterns or generalizations may be either right or wrong [utile or not], but are one method of helping us to make sense of the world*Generalizations are after all ideas [thoughts about thoughts], which are provisionally useful for naming groups of interacting individual entities. The labels are arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience to a set of items closely resembling each other. The way the ideas are used are also generalized. Louis Menand talks about the changes in thinking that needed to occur in regard to Darwin, and this discussion has meaning for us as well.

    To generalize about groups of interacting individuals we need to drop the language of types and essences, which is prescriptive [telling us what all in the generalization should be] and adopt the language of statistics and probability, which is predictive [telling us what the average individual, under specified conditions, is likely to do]. Relations become more important than categories; functions, which are variable, will be more important than purposes, which are fixed in advance; transitions will be more important than boundaries; sequences will be more important than hierarchies [adapted from Menand - Metaphysical Club].

    Too often individual generalizations deal with shoulds instead of possibilities. *These modalities enable us to communicate with ourselves and each other. We communicate and relate using representations of sensory qualities (images, sounds, sensations [movement and touch] smells and tastes). NLP calls these basic qualities submodalities. From this base NLP then observes a representational hierarchy of language which ranges from sensory to abstract [thoughts about thoughts] that each of us uses to communicate to ourselves and others.

    The basic submodalities can be defined as VAK [Visual, Audio & kinesthetic] or sensory units. *It is important to note that kinesthetic includes what we usually refer to as emotions. This is because emotions start with a bodily sensation.

    Would you turn around [K] and look [V] at the dirt on the carpet? Do you see [V] the dirt that forms the shape of your footprints? Now what do you have to say [A] about that?

    Is there any question about the movie like scenario which those words mentally evoke or the emotions that come along as you visualize the scene? *This phenomenological experience illustrates how our VAK representations operate as a language code for consciousness, information, messages, thinking, etc.

    Hall & Bodehammer refer to languageing ourselves with sights, sounds and sensations. This introduction of language as a verb is done because language is not a thing but a set of processes. By de-nominalizing it [changing it back to a verb], we engage in more accurate mapping and take charge of our languaging. In our language behavior we use symbol systems to create or construct our internal realities. *These empirically based terms code or represent [as a symbol of a symbol] the information that we want to pass on about sights, sounds, sensations, smells and tastes.

    When we talk with sensory based words, we use such phrases as:

    I see what you mean!

    I feel your pain.

    I heard that you were upset.

    Something smells fishy!

    That gives me a bad taste in my mouth.*With more and more abstract language, we can now say things like:

    Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account. George Orwell [Shooting and Elephant and Other Essays - 1950]

    Do you know what he means? There is danger in abstractions. Orwell made that intellectual abstraction from an original piece in Ecclesiastes 9:11.

    I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.*Because we can continue the process of saying more words about words, we can create ever more abstract words and language forms. This creates a seemingly infinite capacity for abstraction, jargon and misunderstanding. *Whether the structure or system is of families, businesses, churches, schools, political parties, or any other social environment, our use of language creates the reality. Therefore, the language patterns offer an opportunity to enrich lives - providing us more understanding about how we effect the life of the systems by the way we talk.


    *This arises through the process of deletion, generalization and distortion from our neurological representation of the things we have seen, heard, felt, etc.

    We will explore this in more detail later, but for the present we can say that when we experience an event, we code it in submodalities and then add sensory representations [words, ideas, etc., which represent this experience in our memory, in what is called deep structure. We then select from these words to convey our experience of the world to others through what is called the surface structure, which is defined by. how we select our words - what we choose to delete, generalize or distort.

    It is the understanding of the use of these deletions, generalizations and distortions which, based on transformation grammar, led to the formation of the meta-model and the beginning of the NLP movement. *We track these references and ideas onto the screen of our mind. We then generalize about those representations, classify them, categorize them, etc. This structures our minds, sends commands to our nervous system, and creates our felt sense of reality.

    *Change the code [the submodalities or the representations] and the inner reality changes. There is not only structure to the magic - the structure of the sensory systems, and the levels of abstraction - but there are also secrets to the magic that puts incantations of growth [and pathology] at our disposal.

    We can help people change both the lower [submodalities] and higher [content/context] of their memory [coding] of the experience and in the process, change the meaning of the experience - which results in changing the value of the experience. *Richard Bandler created the swish as a basic method to alter the submodalities [the basic sensory qualities of how we code and store information in long term memory.

    To do a Swish, you need two situations: One that you don't want to happen again and one that has to happen instead of the first situation. Now visualize the two situations. The problem-picture (a snapshot of the first situation) has to be associated, big and bright and the goal-picture has to be dissociated, small, dark and being situated in one of the corners at the bottom of the problem picture. Now do the swish: The goal-picture grows, gets brighter and replaces the problem picture while the problem-picture fades away. Do this very fast. It has to be done in about a second. You can do this by visually connecting the two pictures with a stretched elastic band and letting it go when doing the swish. Blank your mind and repeat this five times.

    Other Swishs can also be developed. See Technique #31 - Cross Mapping Submodalities*Project the problem-picture into your left hand and the goal-picture into your right hand. Put your left hand in front of you and the right hand behind you. To do the swish, you have to move your left hand behind you and the right hand in front of you in a fast movement.

    The changing of the color, brightness, distance, etc. of the visual image changes the experience and can do so in an instant. The impact of the experience is very like that of the impact of trauma, in that the person feels an immediate difference in themselves and their attitudes toward the world. The NLP movement continues to experiment with techniques which play on this notion.

    In a similar fashion, changing the representations [words] used to describe an experience can also change the experience. *The process called modeling was originally devised by John Grinder and Richard Bandler as a way of codifying excellence. It is important to note that a model is an ideal to be imitated and patterned - the goal was not to find defects. The original models were exemplars who were outstanding in their field. The purpose was to find out as much as possible about what they knew [consciously and unconsciously] and did, to be able to imitate their excellence.

    It was soon realized that the same process could be used to model how people with problems in living do their problems. The leap from modeling states of excellence to modeling problem states is not so large when clients are regarded as excellent at replicating their unwanted behavior patterns.

    The process, because it was focused on really understanding what was going on was not waylayed by filters that were identifying problems, but were rather looking for solutions. *More specifically:

    the theories of transactional grammar as developed by Chomsky and as represented by people such as Grinder; the area of systems thinking, such as started by Korzbski and extended by Bateson; and the field of cognitive science with persons such as Miller, whose models have been put into practice for Neuro-linguistic Programming.

    Modeling will give the answer to the following questions:

    How do perceptual filters of the person work?

    How does the person address structure, context and process?

    How does s/he sort and attend to information?

    *The experience itself, which includes many stimuli that never become conscious is called the Reference Structure. We create a model first in see, hear, feel taste and/or smell codes; qualities which we call submodalities.

    The experience is then represented [coded] in a second structure in the mind by language symbols and this model is called the Deep Structure.

    When we attempt to convey these representation to other people through language, we make certain cognitive errors that distort the experience. The third conversational model, the Surface Structure, results in an exchange that can help the clinician infer more about the Deep Structure and ultimately about the experience itself. The areas of linguistic [cognitive] error are often the places where the individual feels blocked and without choices.

    *Human beings use language in two ways. We use it firsts of all to represent our experience internally - we call this activity reasoning, thinking, fantasizing, rehearsing. We are creating a Deep Structure model of our experience.

    We also use our language to communicate our model of the world to other people - we call it talking, discussing, writing, lecturing, singing. We are not conscious of the process of selecting words to represent our experience, and we are almost never conscious of the way in which we order and structure the words we select. Thus, this Surface Structure allows slippage of concepts and constructs.

    *While the linguistic terminology may be difficult and the process of listening consciously may seem hard, as native speakers of the language, we instinctively know all of this stuff.

    To qualify as a native speaker one must learn rules. This is to say, of course, that one must learn to behave as though one knew the rules. [Slobin, 1967]

    The theory of transformational grammar was developed to explicitly describe patterning in human language systems. People have consistent intuition about the language they speak.

    *I. Well-Formedness: the consistent judgment that native speakers make about whether or not groups of words are sentences of their language. II. Constituent Structure: the consistent judgment that native speakers make about what goes together as a unit or constituent inside a sentence of their language.III. Logical Semantic Relations [meaning]: The consistent judgments that native speakers make about the logical relations reflected in the sentences of their language.A.Completeness: Native speakers, when presented with a verb of their language, are able to determine how many and what kinds of things between which this verb connects or describes a relationship. Ambiguity: Native speakers recognize sentences that communicates two distinct meanings - e.g., Maxine took off Maxs shirt.Synonymy: native speakers recognize that both of the following sentences have the same meaning or convey the same message.Susan looked up the numberSusan looked the number up*Native speakers recognize that although the surface structure is different in the transformation message communicated, in the Deep Structure, the two sentences are the same. Some transformations which specify the way in which word order can differ, are called Permutation Transformations [as represented by the sentences under Synonymy on the previous slide].

    Another is called a Deletion Transformation and includes two types Free and Identity. Deletion occurs when the subject is left out or not identified. 1) Ilene hates me. 2) She hates me.

    There is a requirement to solicit who she is.

    Referential indices, which are specifications of who or what we are referencing, are involved in the transformation model in one important way. Deletion Transformations are sensitive to referential indices. *A third type of transformation is by the process of Nominalization. Essentially this occurs when the language changes a process word - a verb or predicate - into an event word - a noun or argument.

    Debbie understands that she decides her own life.Debbie understands her decision about her own life.

    decides -----------------------> decision

    This effectively makes the person referenced not in control. *Certain sentences imply that certain other sentences must be true in order for them to make sense.

    There is a cat on the table.

    I may choose to believe that there is a cat on the table or not, and either way, I can make sense out of what you are saying. However, If I hear you say:

    Sam sees that there is a cat on the table.

    I must assume that there is, in fact, a cat on the table in order to make any sense out of this sentence. Otherwise, I would have to assume that Sam is hallucinating. *By catching and drawing attention to the Surface Structure errors, the counselor opens an opportunity to explore with the client his/her own understanding [model] of the experience.

    Changeworkers may a) accept the impoverished model, b) ask for the missing piece, or c) guess at it. The first option, which actually occurs quite often when the changeworker is neither intuitively excellent nor trained, presents the difficulty of making the process slow and tedious, as it places total responsibility for recovering the missing pieces on the client, who is there for assistance in the process in the first place.

    The second choice is to ask. Either the client supplies the material in the model that has been deleted or the piece is also missing from his/her Deep Structure model. Clients begin the process of self discovery and change as they begin to work to fill in the missing pieces - expanding themselves by expanding their model of the world.

    Finally, the worker may guess. There is, however, the danger that any form of interpretation may be inaccurate. The client must test that the guess fits his/her own intuition and makes sense as an accurate representation of his/her model of the world. *The individuals representation of the world determines to a large degree what the persons experience of the world will be, how they perceive the world, what choices they will see available to use as they live in the world. It is thought that creates feelings and ultimately behavior. Thought is represented in the mind [memory] by symbols or representations. We interpret or give meaning to the new experiences based, in part, by the model or filters we have acquired in previous experiences. The model each person creates to guide him/herself in the world is based, in part, on our interpretation of our experiences. Each of us then, representationally through language and symbols, creates a different model of the world we share and thus come to live in a somewhat different reality.

    There is a necessary difference between the world and any particular model. We can demonstrate some of the reasons for these differences by examining the constraints of perception that affect the process. *A person is born or becomes blind. This constr4ains the experience of sight. Certain biological or apparently biological constraints, such as autism, constrains in ways which we are not completely understood. When a biological constraint is salient to the individual so constrained, s/he will have thoughts about the constraint in comparison of self to others, e.g., s/he will give meaning to the constraint.

    *The central nervous system is designed to limit the amount of information that gets to us. Some examples of these limitations would include sound waves that are below 20 cycles or above 20,000 cycles per second, which we cannot hear although they exist in reality. Visual detection exists only between 380 and 680 milli-microns; above and below are undetectable.

    Our ability to perceive being touched at two points on the surface of our skin varies dramatically. If we are touched in two places on the thumb or on the back will determine whether we can even know.

    The physical world remains constant but our experience of it shifts dramatically as a function of our nervous system. Thus, one way in which our models of the world will necessarily differ from the world itself is that our nervous system systematically distorts and deletes whole portions of the real world. Our nervous system, then, initially determined genetically, constitutes the first set of filters that distinguish the world - the territory - from our representations of the world - the map.*Bandler and Grinder referred to this set of constraints as social genetic filters and it includes all the categories or filters to which we are subject as members of a social system: our language, our accepted ways of perceiving, and the socially agreed upon fictions.

    In Maidu, an American Indian language of Northern California, only three words are available to describe the color spectrum. English has eight [specific] color terms.

    While human beings are said to be capable of making 7,500,000 different color distinctions in the visible color spectrum (Boring, 1957), the people who are native speakers of Maidu habitually group their experience into the three categories supplied by their language. The person who speaks Maidu is characteristically conscious of only three categories of color experience while the English speaker has more categories and, therefore, more habitual perceptual distinctions. *While the neurological filters are the same for all humans beings, the social genetic filters are the same only for the members of the same social-linguistic community - but there are a large number of different social-linguistic communities and numerous subcategories such as family, school, state within a nation, nation within a language groups, etc.

    Unlike our neurological genetic limitations, those introduced by the social genetic filters are easily overcome. One remarkable way to do so is by simply adding novel concepts and language. The very fact that we raise a question, for example, about goals to one who has never considered the future, may be the spark that opens up the panacea of future expectations in a very different way. Unfortunately, a similar but negative impact can be engendered by the suggestion of illness and irreversibility of problems in living. Words matter.*From a constructionist standpoint, our languages for describing and explaining the world (and ourselves) are not derived from or demanded by whatever is the case. Rather, our languages of description and explanation are produced, sustained, and/or abandoned within processes of human interaction. Further, our languages are constituent features of cultural pattern. They are embedded within relationships in such a way that to change the language would be to alter the relationship. To abandon the concepts of romance, love, marriage and commitment, for example, would be to alter the forms of cultural life; to obliterate the languages of consciousness, choice, or deliberation would render meaningless our present patterns of praise and blame, along with our courts of law. By the same token, as we generate new languages in our professions, and disseminate them within the culture, so do we insinuate ourselves into daily relations - for good or ill.

    Is Diagnosis a Disaster?: A Constructionist Trialogue, by Gergen, Hoffman, and Anderson*Gergen, in the dialogue, goes on to state that he finds himself increasingly alarmed by the expansion and intensification of diagnosis in this century. As these terminologies are disseminated to the public - through classrooms, popular magazines, television and film dramas, and the like - they become available for understanding ourselves and others. They are, after all, the terms of the experts, and if one wishes to do the right thing, they become languages of choice for understanding or labeling people (including the self) in daily life [again, the emphasis was added].*Our individual experiences begin to differ more radically, giving rise to more dramatically different representations of the world. This third set of constraints are the basis for the most far reaching differences among us as humans.

    By individual constraints we refer to all the representations we create as human beings based upon our unique personal history and our interpretation of it. Every human being has a set of experiences that constitute his/her own personal history and are as unique to that individual as are fingerprints.

    The individual constraints, constitute the basis for the profound differences among us as humans and the way we create models of the world. These differences in our models can either be ones that alter our prescriptions [socially given] in a way that enriches our experiences and offers us more choices, or ones that impoverish our experience in a way that limits our ability to act effectively. People block themselves from seeing those options and possibilities that are open to them when they are not available in their models of their world.*The difference between these two groups appears to us to be primarily that the people who respond creatively to and cope effectively with, this stress are people who have a rich representation or model of their situation, one in which they perceive a wide range of options in choosing their actions. The other people experience themselves as having few options, none of which are attractive to them.

    It is important for us to realize that the people in the second group are not bad, crazy or sick. They are, in fact, making the best choices from those of which they are aware, that is, the best choices available in their own particular model. In other words, human beings behavior, no matter how bizarre it may first appear to be, makes sense when it is seen in the context of the choices generated by their model; their inner logic. The difficulty is not that they are making the wrong choice, but that they do not have enough choices - they dont have a richly focused image of the world.

    So the processes that allow us to accomplish the most extraordinary and unique human activities are the same processes that block our further growth if we commit the error of mistaking the model for reality.

    We can identify three [03] general mechanisms by which we can detect areas that many need help. *Generalization may lead a human being to establish a rule such as Dont express feelings. This rule, in the context of a prisoner-of-war camp, may have a high survival value. However, using the same rule in a marriage, limits the potential for intimacy.

    The point here is that the same rule will be useful or not, depending upon the context. *In the structure of the persons use of language we can identify differing types of deletions that occur regularly. The deletion may simply be a shorthand method of responding in which the person is easily able to specify what is missing; or the deletion may confuse the client as well as the changeworker, since the client is unable, when attention is drawn to it, to supply the additional information without help. *However, distortion also can affect us negatively. Heightened emotions can cause anxiety to spy danger in every dark corner or anger to explode at the most mundane slight. Psychosis can be thought of as a great novel that has been accounted as real - a lack of separation between the map and the territory.

    This brings us to the issue of meaning.

    *Hall & Bodenhamer have a great deal to say about meaning [thoughts and beliefs]. In beliefs, they suggest, we formulate a mental map about things. We map out the linkages between things and ideas, we associate various things, events, experiences and what we think about such. So, through our representational thinking about thinking, we examine out thoughts [have thoughts about our thoughts] and create new thoughts [abstractions/generalizations] about utility [pleasure &/or pain]. We construct these beliefs [abstractions/generalizations] as understandings about what things are, how they work, what they mean, their importance, relationships, etc. We give meaning to them.

    Once formulated, our beliefs then shape our everyday realities. Beliefs shape our internal experiences, our self-definitions, resources, hopes, expectations, experiences, accessing of resources, skills, abilities, emotions, etc. This make beliefs incredibly important.

    As our meaning structure, beliefs provide a most salient influence. They command nervous system functions. They govern perception. And once installed, beliefs take on a life of their own. When beliefs are maladaptive, or not utile, such as the paranoid who believes that people are out to get him/her, a change of meaning can be quite profound. One way to change meaning is to reframe either the context or the content.

    *A frame is shorthand for a frame of reference, a perspective or a way of looking at things. When we look at something through a telescope or a microscope, you get a very different view of the object than you get looking naturally. You are likely, with this new view to have different thoughts about the object. What is being suggested is that if you change a thought about an experience, e.g., from the generalization failure to the generalization feedback, your whole relationship to the experience will change as well.

    As the other person you can offer new ways of thinking about the object which may or may not result in acceptance of potential new meanings by the client. The acceptance of these new thoughts, whether provided covertly [subliminally below the threshold of consciousness] or overtly [above the threshold of consciousness] depends on whether the new thoughts are comfortable [fit well] with the person,

    In reframing language constructs instead of submodal qualities [as we did imaginally with the Swish], we can use a hierarchy of language abstraction levels [meta-levels] to help us. *Remember the sensory-based illustration earlier, the rebuke of the child? Turn around. Look. These specific sensory based words can be followed as though they were instructions. Even though you may not have a carpet at the moment you can pretend what that would look, sound and feel like. To influence you we need to provide clear, precise and specific symbols. Because most people dont know how to talk in sensory-based terms and instead go to the abstract, there are precise sensory instruction to follow. Compare:You are so rude to come into my clean house and make a filthy mess. I get so angry at your irresponsibility!?

    This creates a very different kind of confrontation.

    We truly can enrich our language and communication skills when we use more and more specific visual, auditory and kinesthetic sensory-based language components.

    To communicate with more clarity and precision, go descriptive.

    Without the ability to distinguish between descriptive and evaluative language, you will never become truly professional or elegant in language use. *Non-sensory based language has its place, but it must be done with more mindfulness.

    A father sees his teenage son lying on the couch watching TV.


    Suppose the father immediately jumps a logical level to classify that behavior as a member of the class [generalization] we call laziness, with a capital L! [We could go another logical level and generalize all laziness as malingering and then add another logical level and call all malingering a mental illness, etc.

    Now this is important, laziness does not exist in the world - what exists in the world involves simply the sensory information of lying on the couch. The meaning [generalization/abstraction] that we, as meaning makers, give to those VAK signals depend upon our belief, values, understandings, abstractions, paradigms, etc. It depends upon our frame of reference. *Meaning exists as a form of evaluation and appraisal and it exists through bringing other frames of reference to bear upon the sensory movie that we represent. We experience - then interpret [judge, evaluate, appraise, etc.].

    This makes meaning a higher logical level abstraction about the sensory information. Meaning operates as information-about-information at a higher level. It involves meta-level thoughts about lower* level thoughts. For these higher levels, Hall & Bodenhamer reserve and use the term neuro-semantic as opposed to the term neuro-linguistic for the primary level or sensory-based descriptions. This is an arbitrary definition but it provides a useful distinction between the two.

    *It is important to recognize that higher and lower are relational, net determinative. Higher thoughts are not better thoughts, they are simply thoughts about thoughts. *In reframing, we essentially do a horizontal shift at that meta level.

    John isnt being lazy, he simply knows how to relax.

    Both generalizations are about the sight, sound, feel, smell and taste of the perceived behaviors.

    Reframing can transform meaning providing all sorts of resourceful ways to put the best frame of reference on things so that we can operate more effectively.

    We can order and reorder any meaning that does not serve us well - meanings that creates limiting beliefs, toxic ideas and unehancing ideas.

    *Outframe refers to setting up a frame of reference over everything underneath it - a higher level abstraction.

    Consider someone who has encoded his/her brain with memories of a severe spanking as a child. S/he signaled his/her brain with sensory [VAK] and linguistic representation and now, as s/he remembers the abuse s/he received when s/he was beaten with a stick, s/he plays out the old movie as if it was still occurring. S/he was only acting and thinking like a kid and his/her dad flew into a rage and beat him/her. Within this mental movie screen the images, sounds and sensations played over and over along with the words of insult. You stupid brat, youll never succeed in life with that attitude!

    Now suppose the kid grows up and makes several beliefs from those experiences. Suppose s/he reaches the following conclusions:Ill never change. This is the way life is going to be. No need to get my hopes up. Im just a loser and always will be. NEXT PAGE

    *These thoughts about thoughts will then multiply the psychological pain and create even more of a self fulfilling prophecy, setting a high level frame of reference typically outside of consciousness that governs perception, behavior, communication, expectation, etc., so that it actually seeks out and invites more of the same.

    Further, with that belief working at such a high level, working with this individual at the first meta-level will not have much effect or any long term effect. In this case, we need to outframe. So, we go up and find the highest meta frame and then go above that frame and set a whole new frame of mind. [remember the levels 1) laziness, 2) malingering, 3) mental illness was the highest meta frame. We can exceed that by pointing out that all mental illness is simply an error in thinking and requires cognitive restructuring.]

    We need to step back and comment on the previous frame:

    So those are the ideas and beliefs you built as an eight year old. Then on top of that, at 17, you built that stuck and cant change belief. So now here you are at 30, living out these old beliefs. How well do you like those beliefs? Do they serve you very well?

    These are not the thoughts of a grown (wo)man who can look back an recognize them as misbeliefs, and erroneous conclusions. Because children tend to self-blame rather than recognize that their parents didnt take Parenting 101 and never learned to affirm and validate.

    *Animals code information from their environment and keep such information in mind for future use.

    However, most animals have no capacity to share the information directly to others of their kind. Human animals have perfected such communication in a manner which allows it to be used internally [to talk to oneself] as well as externally [to talk to others]. *Perception operates only upon difference. All receipt of information is necessarily the receipt of news of difference, and all perception of difference is limited by threshold.

    Differences that are too slight or too slowly presented are not perceivable.

    Knowledge at any given moment will be a function of the thresholds of our available means of perception.

    Thus, any reframe must provide novel, new information based on a different and unknown way of looking at the experience. It is apparent empirically, that novel information may be accepted more readily when the client trusts the changeworker. Trust, of course, is an abstraction/generalization combining thoughts such as comfort, caring, warmth, etc.

    *We use the process of framing and reframing for the purpose of altering reality. When we do so, we transform the external expressions like emotions, behaviors, speech, skill, relationships, etc., to a trigger.

    Korzybski would say that it changes the logical fate within our mental capacities.

    When we change an executive frame of reference, it changes the future.

    As you digest the words, the ideas will be metabolized in your neurology.

    Such references may be real and historical, personal or impersonal, conceptual like beliefs, imaginary like expectations, realistic or unrealistic, etc.

    Reality begins with our thoughts about the world. Apart from our associations, nothing means anything, Apart from our thought, events occur and things happen. *First, we link an external event, person, action or behavior up with some internal representation [or thought].

    Our linkage may or may not be reasonable, rational, productive, useful or valid. But once linked, that is what the thing means.*What does the generalization fire mean?

    It all depends upon what any given individual has connected, linked or associated with it. This sends us back to experiences. Have we seen and experienced fire only as a campfire when having a good time - associating fire with food, marshmallows, companionship, songs and fun? Then the external behavior [EB] of fire means [relates to, causes, connects up with] the inner state of fun, delight, joy, togetherness, attraction and excitement.

    If our experience was of burning, feeling physical pain, seeing a home destroyed the inner state of hurt, pain, loss, grieve and/or aversion is likely. The very word fire, may cause the person to smell burning flesh.

    What does fire really mean? *Because meaning only and exclusively arises when consciousness comes along and connects a thing to an internal reference - this creates a frame.

    In fact, we cannot even understand the External Behavior [EB] or event apart from the frame.

    We cognize the event via our sensory-system languages as well as by our higher representations. *This structure of meaning provides the basic frame of reference which we all use in attributing meaning to things. It explains not only how humans make meaning, but how animals can also experience and develop associative learning and understandings.

    The secret of this is that things get connected to things. Things of the outside world [events, behaviors, people] get associated with internal feelings, mood states, ideas, understandings, values, etc., and when they do - we develop a meta-level phenomenon that we commonly call a belief. *Who does control the frame? This is an interesting conundrum, since the person who controls the frame usually does not know that s/he controls the frame, and in fact, often feels controlled by the meaning that the frame evokes.

    Another part of this conundrum is that human life is an interactive process and while we cannot control another persons frame of reference, we can significantly influence it; even to the point of substituting a frame without the individuals knowledge that we have done so. How well our replacement works will be contingent on how utile the replacement frame is - and that can only be determined by the individual. *Since human beings are able to have thoughts about thoughts, we have a potentially infinite [universe may be the highest possible generalization - unless or until you ask the question What is around the universe?] meta-hierarchy to work with.

    Once we have established the basic frame [EB -->IS], we can then set a frame above that frame [a meta frame or an outframe]; or we can set a frame of reference [thoughts] prior to it. Parents do this for kids regarding experiences [events] yet to come - Now dont fall into the fire - that would be terrible!. That is called preframing. You can also postframe - Yep, if you burned yourself in a fire once, you are likely to do it again and again. This also operates as a post hypnotic suggestion.

    When we undermine the EB -->IS equation, then we can engage in deframing. Asking specific questions about the EB or the IS tends to pull apart the thought construction.

    *We additionally have three other methods of reframing:

    Content Reframing consists of using Complex equivalences and Cause - Effect statements. We redefine the content laziness to mean something else.

    Counter Reframing counters the content. This involves the mind thinking about its own thoughts. We ask: What happens to your ideas in those cases, times and events where it does not fit?

    Finally, Hall & Bodenhamer suggest Analogous Framing in which we move, shift from inductive and deductive thinking as well as horizontal and counter thinking as we move to abduction as Bateson [1972] called it. We do this through story telling, metaphor and narrative. We essentially say - forget all of that and let me tell you a story. *One of the many metaphors on magic used by NLP is the slight of hand/slight of mouth metaphor. In a slight of hand move, a magician distracts those watching. S/he will do one thing that captures the attention of the audience while simultaneously doing something else. A similar thing can occur with communication. It involves a distraction of a listener by leading his/her consciousness in one direction, while making a conceptual move of some sort in another direction. This results in the generation of an entirely new perception.

    What corresponds linguistically, or conceptually that distracts a persons mind?


    Conscious minds seem to have a thing for content. Just invite another human being into a discussion about content and you can do all kinds of things in altering, changing and transforming context, and when you do they will never notice. *And your point is.?

    Given the nature of communication and relationship, we cannot not communicate, we cannot not influence, and we cannot not manipulate.

    When we manipulate someone to that persons disadvantage, it may work momentarily, but it will not work over the long term. Remember the individual ultimately controls his/her own mind and the critical decision determinant is utility [brings more pleasure than pain].

    When we fool someone into thinking in ways that actually make them feel better about themselves, others and future prospects, the question of manipulation becomes somewhat moot. After all, they can always choose to remain miserable, and some people, because of the secondary gain, do just that. *The examination of beliefs, it appears can occur consciously [publically/consciously] or nonconsciously [covertly]. Certainly, the new beliefs generated by trauma are rarely consciously analyzed. Yet, while they give pain, they are continued - where is the nonconscious examination. Beliefs exist as concepts or mental constructions. They arise as learned and invented ideas - conceptual understandings [usually generalizations] about ourselves, others, the world. etc., so while they may lead to various external realities [actions, talk, behaviors, etc.], they do not have that kind of reality in and of themselves. Because these constructions exist as ideas, then other ideas can affect them and, done properly, can do so powerfully. Part of the learned behavior is the belief that we are supposed to suffer when tragedy occurs. We are supposed to be distraught and it is a measure of our love and caring for others that we respond to their loss. In addition, there are certain benefits [not needing to take responsibility, people reaching out to you, etc.] that may continue to support the mental state. *When we help people examine their own beliefs, we can do so for large groups of people through cultural restructuring, for individuals and small groups developmentally or for individuals or small groups remedially. We would do the prevention work completely sub rosa, while the developmental and remedial activities are more likely to be conscious efforts in which we are telling the client specifically what we are doing. Typically in remedial reframing we make a persons frame of reference conscious and explicitly overt.

    While the major purpose of cognitive intervention is to change [enhance] the meaning of the persons experiences, another is to teach them the skills to inoculate them against future maladaptive thoughts. Conversational reframing avoids the time and effort involved in this conscious work of reorganizing the contents of consciousness.

    Since we presuppose a basic communication principle that significantly governs interpersonal relationships - the use of these techniques can be used without additional requirements in school, home and community. We can work covertly, delivering reframing constructs into consciousness. *Meaning arises from and operates according to the frame that we put around any event or situation.

    If the frame controls or governs the meaning [which then controls the emotions, states, experiences, expectation, behaviors, etc.], then framing things in ways that make solutions possible provides a very powerful intervention at a level which lies outside of our consciousness. *The story illustrates the importance of context or frames. It also facilitates our understanding that meaning does not lie in words, actions, stimuli, etc. It lies in the evaluative understanding of a meaning maker and that every meaning maker constructs meaning using some reference point or frame.

    Part of the process of helping is to determine the internal logic which causes the individual to interpret pleasure or pain around a given experience.

    If beliefs are such a port of entry into our reality, how do we go about identifying an operating belief?*We have numerous linguistic markers or key words which mark out the mental maps we call beliefs. The central ones include: is, makes, causes, equals, equates to, leads to, etc. So to identify beliefs simply listen for:*We can use simple questions to elicit causation maps and meaning attributions.

    Since we want to be sure that we actually have a limiting, non-enhancing map before we try to fix it, these questions effectively assist us in converting the sentences and statements that we hear into their complex equivalents. Suppose someone says You are staring at me. We have half the formula - since staring is an obvious external behavior [EB](You can picture a person staring). So we ask for the persons meaning. These questions invite the person to specify the meaning that govern the statement.

    How does this create a problem for you?What makes it so?How much of a problem does this create?What does this mean to you?What other meanings do you give to this?

    *When the client says something to the effect of When you are late, I know you dont care about me! - it is clear that s/he is equating being late with not caring.

    We may have to probe to discover these equations, since often we will only get one side. S/he doesnt care about me?

    How do you know s/he doesnt care?

    What would s/he do if s/he did care?

    *Once we have determined the meaning of experience, we add value with our emotions. We feel strongly about something, either good or bad. These feelings follow the meaning thoughts and do not precede them. Even fear is based upon a prior experience in which the object of the fear has been given meaning which is fear causing. Only a few experiences, a baby dropping through space or a loud noise, seem to bring about a predetermined fear. And if this is actually so, the person is operating on an epigenetic rule. *Korzybski describes the process of confusing belief maps with territory as identifying. When the person begins to identify him/herself as equal to one of his/her beliefs, she is limiting his/her options.

    Our maps are always inherently fallible and limited constructions which are liable to error.*To develop skill in hearing these linguistic distinctions we have to move to a meta position. That is, we have to go above and beyond the statements and words that we hear in everyday speech and think about them in terms of their function. We can then inquire about the kind of words and patterns that we detect.

    What representational signals do these words elicit?What affirmations does this presuppose about an idea?What frames of reference do they imply?What operational beliefs drive these statements?What does the person assume as real for this to make sense. *We need to distinguish between what a person does [the behavior] and what a person seeks to achieve by those actions [the persons internal representations: meaning and purpose]. This encodes the inside and outside worlds. It also separates the behavior from the person. Every behavior has a Positive Intent. At some level all behavior is (or at one time was) positively intended. It is or was perceived as appropriate given the context in which it was established, from the point of view of the person whose behavior it is. It is easier and more productive to respond to the intention rather than the expression of a problematic behavior.No matter how seemingly odd, or mean, or outright wrong, to the person engaging in that behavior, it makes sense, and they perceive it as a way of getting some outcome they want.

    People make the best choices they can with the information they have in consciousness. People would obviously not choose to do something self-defeating or foolish if they knew the consequences in advance, or had a better choice.

    Consider the positive intention(s) behind the behavior(s) associated with the issue or situation. What could be the positive intentions (protection, attention, establishing boundaries, etc.) behind the behaviors of the other person and/or your reactions?

    *Along with the identification of areas of concern and learning to probe to get further information, we also need to learn to intervene in ways that are helpful. Now we can expand the directional framing process.

    *When we undermine the EB -->IS equation, we engage in deframing.

    We begin by chunking down the level of abstraction scale that we find in the language in order to become more specific and precise about the details that make up either the structure of the formula. Most beliefs, by their, very nature, lack specificity.

    Specifically when, where, how, who, in what way, etc?

    With this focus you can easily deframe the language of any limiting belief statement. Simply make it your aim to index its referents to person, place, time, event, etc.

    Reducing or chunking down the component pieces of a belief system puts us in the role of modeling how a person attributes meaning to his/her experiences which in turn creates mind-body states. *Consider the linguistic category of an airplane. The word transportation chunks up from an airplane inasmuch as it represents a more global and abstract category. transportation describes a class wherein airplane functions as a member of that class. Airplane describes one form of transportation. Yet because we have many forms of transportation, including airplanes, transportation operates on a higher abstraction than airplane. When we chunk down from airplane, we begin specifying airplanes. When we do that, airplane now becomes the class word and Cessna functions as a member of that class. *In the process of chunking down, we not only discover the pieces and components that make up and formulate the clients subjective experience, we also find the strategy that runs it as a program.

    We use the term strategy here to indicate how we sequence our internal representations [VAK & words] in such a way that when we put all of the ingredients together it creates an algorithm for producing subjective meaning.

    We ask for both the evidence and the process that comprises the strategy. In doing so, we discover how a person constructs the limiting belief program. *Consider the strategy of the following formula:When she looks at me and narrows her eyes, I feel judged and put down.

    The equation might be: EB eyes narrowing --> IS feel put down.

    The strategy that creates this experience might go:

    Visual perception of her facial expression with special focus on her eyesAuditory rehearsal of the words - Shes judging and criticizing me!Auditory rehearsal of self evaluation - I dont measure up.

    Kinesthetic sensations of stomach tension, ache in the back of the neck and head.

    Auditory reinforcement of remembering other times of criticism. *Of course, strategies occur at lightning fast speed so that most of it does not occur in our consciousness. We only notice the final kinesthetic feelings and emotions. As strategies streamline, this process becomes so quick, so automatic, so immediate that the person only has to do one thing to evoke the entire gestalt. Suddenly, s/he feels depressed, angry, etc.

    Consider: Stress causes me to eat chocolate

    How fascinating that stress causes you to eat chocolate. And how specifically does this process work? You feel tension and discomfort in your body, where specifically? Your stomach. So then you seen an image of a box of chocolates and you start telling yourself that you would really like to have some. So what tone of voice do you use to say that? And then you taste the chocolate in your mouth? Then what happens? Oh, you tell yourself that the stress causes this, that if you didnt have so much stress you wouldnt be doing this?

    *When you simply explore what a person means by their unspecific terms [nouns, verbs, nominalizations, etc.], it tears apart the old structure and de-programs the old strategy.

    Conversely, when we do the same thing with productive and empowering beliefs, it strengthens the program by refreshing the frames. If the meaning is empowering, it will be rediscovered and reinforced by the process.

    In other words, if the thoughts are supportable, they are supported; if they are unsupportable, they are questioned and altered. *At the very heart of meaning, we have the semantic equation [EB = IS]. This equation codes:meanings of causationmeanings of equality, andmeanings of identify

    The equation summarizes that as we move through life, we experience events [External Behavior: empirical see-hear-feel-taste-smell stimuli] and then to those events we attach meaning [Internal States: thought-emotion]. We do so in a variety of ways that we can summarize as causation, linkage or association and identity. cause that leads to and creates effectslinkage that associates a thought-emotion to an eventidentifying as personal and impersonalThese neuro-semantic constructions are our maps of the world, our personal reality. *Here we create new meaning and frames about the behavior by redefining the EB of the equation. We simply give it a new and different meaning or label.


    Saying mean things makes you a bad person.True enough, although actually Im not uttering mean things. I am attempting to express some things I believe to be true - its not mean, its assertive.

    Cancer causes death.Well, yes in a way, Actually, it is more accurate to say that cancer causes a weakened immune system, not death.

    In redefining we assert X doesnt mean Y, it means Z [a different attribution or label].

    In these cases, we have structurally left the EB the same, but changed the meaning, which if accepted, modifies the IS.

    *To elicit this pattern so that you can shift the old EB by equating it to other meanings, ask yourself the following questions. These will operate in your mind as flexibility expansion questions.

    What other meanings could I give to this behavior?

    What other meanings have others given to it?

    What significance does this behavior hold in other cultures?

    If you did see it this way - what would you see [or have] instead?*While in #3 we reframed the potential IS by reframing the EB, we can directly address the IS by giving another meaning to the behavior.


    Saying mean things makes you a bad person.

    What do you mean by bad - Hitler was bad. Executing people makes you bad.

    Cancer causes death,

    If you want to know what really causes death - consider a firing squad.

    Stress causes me to eat chocolate.

    What really causes stress is eating chocolate since it adds to your weight and fills your body with sugar.

    *In redefining the IS we have repeatedly used the linguistic environment.

    What IS really means . and

    What IS real causes is

    This facilitates thinking about the IS and re-labeling it with some other behavior [sensory outcome]. *In NLP the person or thing doing or receiving the action of the verb is referred to as the referential index. So when we switch the referential index, we apply the statement [the action of the verb] from one object to another.

    In the statement the dog bit Tim - Tim receives the action of the verb [bit]. That makes Tim the referential index. In saying the dog bit we refer to Tim. We switch the referential index dramatically when we say - Tim bit the dog. The action now has a new reference.

    To prepare yourself to make this conceptual move, you need only ask yourself:

    What if as a listener I applied this back to the speaker, or to myself?

    Who else could this statement or belief refer to?

    When we apply the action of the verb to another person or object, we invite the listener to check out his or her belief, to see if it has universal application or not. This can interrupt double-standards in beliefs and ideas that we apply to generally and globally. And typically, poor or limited beliefs involve just that - making a specific incident or group of incidents too general.


    Saying mean things makes you a bad person.

    That really is a mean thing to say to me!

    Cancer causes death.

    That belief of yours has surely spread like cancer. I would find it interesting to see what would happen if the belief died out.

    By applying a belief statement to the person saying it, or listening to it, we essentially test the applicability of the belief in other contexts and references. Consequently, the formula of meaning that informed and drove the other persons reality breaks apart, de-frames and fragments. *Example:

    Losing weight means suffering.

    To you perhaps, to Oprah it means making a living and doing a new show.

    Here we not only switch the referent, but provide a counter example. *In applying the EB or IS to oneself or to a listener, take the formula of the belief [or some criteria in the belief] and simply apply it back to its creator. Switch the referential index and see if the other person will receive the formula applied to them or someone unintended.

    This works in part, because humans desire congruency in our lives. Leon Festinger [1957] discovered from his studies of cognitive dissonance that when beliefs and behavior conflict, something has to give.

    Essentially, this theory says that the need for consistency will arouse a tension-like state of dissonance in an individual when there is a discrepancy between two or more cognitions that are in a relevant relation to each other and of importance to the person. When consistency does not exist naturally, it must be created by the restructuring of the ill-fitting elements. Dissonant cognitions must be changed or consonant ones added. [Ruch and Zimbardo, 1971]


    Saying mean things makes you a bad person

    Only a bad person could say a mean thing like that!

    Cancer causes death.

    Thats a pretty deadly belief to hold onto - it can only lead to a dead end street.

    Your being late means you dont care.

    It seems a little late to tell me, dont you think?

    To give more leverage we could include the IS side of the statement.

    Lately, I have been wondering if you cared?

    *To elicit this pattern, keep asking the application questions:

    What would happen if I applied the criterion or meaning to ?

    While we attach meaning in numerous ways, we primarily attribute causation, association and identification. We humans talk about: what causes whatwhat links with whatwhat identifies with what

    This does not account for all of the facets of meaning. Yet for our purposes, it identifies the central and most crucial meanings that govern our lives. These meanings determine our neuro-linguistic and neruo-semantic states: the states out of which we live our everyday lives.

    *You see things and you say, Why, but I dream of things that never were and say, Why Not? George Bernard Shaw

    In counter framing we use some of the same patterns as we used in context reframing, but we use them slightly differently. The intent does not change, but the process does.

    *Connirae Adreas developed a twist on #5 - Reflexively Apply EB to Self/Listener and #6 - Reflexively Apply IS to Self/Listener. In reversing presuppositions, she added qualities and while it has some similarities to Counter Exampling [#7], it differs from it. In Counter Exampling, we look for one example where the limiting belief does not hold up. In Reversing Presuppositions we ask ourselves: How is the whole thing actually the opposite of what you thought it was?

    Example: a woman had a potentially life threatening illness and needed to relax, but was a work-o-holic. She said: I need to rest, but if I rest I will be lazy. I should work hard, I shouldnt be lazy.

    The response: You know how to work and to really work hard, it comes naturally to you. You dont have to work at working, do you? But if you rested, that actually could be harder than working? Because at least you are familiar with working all the time.

    *So conversely, to learn to rest would actually be more of a stretch for you, and harder work than if you were to do what you have always done.

    She so completely reversed the presuppositions that it turned the previous belief inside out.

    This process demonstrates that we all have the resources we need to solve our problems. If we can create a resourceful and enhancing map of the territory and then try it on so that we begin to imagine what tomorrow will look like, sound like, and feel like with that perspective, we actually begin to construct and experience a whole new world.

    The ability to succeed primarily depends on a good map. We have enough plasticity in our neuro-linguistics that if we begin with a good resourceful map for navigating the world then that map will not only orient us to our resources, but indeed can begin to create those resources.

    *Again, we addressed this pattern earlier. This is where we offer a new piece of conceptual reality for the mind that does not fit the the old generalizations and beliefs.

    Oh this stuff is just too hard to learn, I dont think Ill ever learn this!

    How did you learn that?

    Bandler and Grinder tell a story of a woman who contended she just couldnt tell people no. So they asked her to come up to the front of the workshop and told her to say no to every request that the other participants would ask her. But she refused. In refusing to say no in that way, she had to say no to the seminar leaders. They had put her in a [benevolent] double bind wherein she demonstrated the very skill she asserted that she did not have.

    *As you listen closely to find examples of the principle that people generally tend to demonstrate what they say they cant do, you will begin to see it everywhere -

    I have no particular expectations

    How did you develop that expectation about yourself?

    I dont have any confidence

    My, you sound pretty confident about that!

    These counter examples further demonstrate how this pattern provides us an easy format for setting up benevolent double binds. By simply bringing up undeniable evidence to the contrary. At other times, we ask a person to do the very behavior which will then deny their generalization. In a sense, in counter exampling we track the person backwards to experiences which prevent them from [or make it hard to] maintaining the old generalizations.

    *Such questioning also provides a standard of comparison.

    I cant learn things like this!

    Do you mean that you learn more slowly than others? Could it be that you simply take a more methodical, in-depth approach to things?

    This reframe dissociates the person from his/her behaviors as it simultaneously validates him/herself as a person.

    I believe there is no change.

    Have you had that belief since birth? No? then you mean you began life without it and then changed?*We can also use temporal presuppositions to take a problem away [conceptually] from a person. We do that by coding the time element as in the past.

    Now what was it that you thought at that time that created what, at that time, you felt as a problem?

    In that response, there are four temporal presuppositions as phrases and have conceptually created distance from the problem. Simultaneously, the response subtly presupposes that some change has already occurred. As the listener, you can feel the effect of this kind of response.

    *Consider the statement - I am depressed!

    What is the formula or equation. On the surface, it seems that we only have the statement of an internal state [IS] namely depression. What serves as the EB here?

    In some sense the surface statement has failed to detail a triggering event. Perhaps the situation has continued for some time and the original trigger has faded into the background.

    The only verb we have is a passive one which means that here we have an am as a state of being or an identity. So this person uses this of identity to summarize everything about self with the existential being I. The belief can now take the form of an identify complex equivalence. Structurally the formula has the form:Person/Self/I -->/= depressed

    *This kind of identification statement becomes especially dangerous and insidious as a complex equivalence because identity [as a belief and conceptual way of constructing the world, typically exists on a higher logical level than most other beliefs. It operates as a belief about a concept - the concept of self.

    The way the person presents the statement I amcodes and represents themselves as a nominalization. This creates a frame of reference about self as a static and unmoving thing.

    Obviously, we need to denominalize -

    How do you currently, at this moment, experience this emotion of depression? How and in what way are you more than this emotion? What else are you? How else can you define yourself?

    Explore the evidence for the belief. - How do you know that? What lets you know that it represents depression and not patience?

    *If the person gives you another generalization [which might be expected] - I just feel that way - explore that as well.

    How do you know that feeling represents depression and not calmness?

    And again we can expect vagueness - Because I lack energy.

    Energy to do what? At what times? According to what standards?

    In this way we move the person to step back and reexamine the experience out of which the generalization came. Once we have deframed sufficiently, they can re-map from that experience and create a more enhancing belief. We put the self-construct back into a form that represents process and movement and frees it from the static a permane