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Eleventh International Ericksonian Conference by Dr. Rachel Hott

Back from the Ericksonian Conference, Rachel Hott, co-director of The NLP Center of New York had the opportunity to present at the Ericksonian Conference in Phoenix this past December. Her topic was “Using Trance Phenomena to Frame Your Therapeutic Interventions.” This is something that she teaches in our Level II hypnosis training. She had 22 people in her presentation and it was well received. Of course besides presenting, she was able to attend four days of training.

Two NLP highlights from the conference were Steve Andreas’ presentation on “Regret; A Matter of Balance” and Robert and Deborah Dilts’ titled Working with Archetypal Solutions.

Steve Andreas offered several suggestions of how to work with your self when dealing with regret. He explained that there was a distinction between regret and guilt. In this situation, regret was an opportunity for a person to act upon and it has to do with the self. Guilt was more about something that occurred with another person. When you think of regret you can think of something you did or didn’t do. The exercise is not about getting you to no longer regret something but to find a way to take the sting out of the memory. That is why he named the presentation Regret: A Matter of Balance.

He called his first technique the Perspective Pattern. Basically think of something you regret. Notice if it is something you did or didn’t do. Once you have identified this category, place that regret memory to the side. Steve literally moved his hand to the side as if you were placing the regret memory off to your right or left. Now think of at least six examples of something you did or didn’t do that you are fine with. If you had selected a regret that is based on something you did do, then think of six examples of something that you did do that you feel fine with or vice versa.

In the demonstration some participants ask Steve if they should discuss the examples and he said that he prefers to have the structure of the experience rather than the content. So for this process see what it would be like to identify six examples of something you did do (didn’t do) that you are fine with. Find a visual symbol for each one and imagine placing them in a circle in front of you. Then bring the original memory, the one you had placed to the side into the center and notice what that original memory is like now.

The next pattern is called Corrective Action. Think about the thing you regret and ask yourself what corrective action could you take now? In this situation it is about taking action and making a commitment to your self about doing something different. If you cannot take corrective action for the past then be aware of what is happening in the present and future so that you will learn.

The next pattern follows corrective action and is called Learning. Ask your self what have you learned from the decision you did or did not do. As you discover what you learn from this experience you use the learning as a reminded of the NLP Presupposition that there is no failure only feedback.

If you want to read more about Steve Andreas’ discussion about regret you can go to his website. His book Transforming Yourself will also have a discussion about regret in the appendix. He also mentioned the book, How We Know What it Isn’t So by Tom Gilovitch as an excellent resource book.

The other NLP presentation was by Robert and Deborah Dilts. It was titled; Working with Archetypal Solutions. They did a demonstration, but then led the large group through the process as well. If you are guiding someone they say to make sure you get into a coach state which, which includes being centered, open, aware and connected. They encouraged standing up for this process because they believe that it is essential for the body to be involved in the integration of the experience.The exercise was basically to set up three steps. This is based on a Virginia Satir exercise. The first step-How do you feel? Anger, Fear, Sadness (The exercise is designed for a non resourceful state, but if you want you can try it with a resourceful feeling as well). The second step-How do you feel about feeling that way? (Welcome that feeling)The third step-What resource do you need to hold the feelings (welcome, state of centered, openness)? Just let it come to you.

Basically you begin in step one and then walk backwards to step two and then backwards to step three. Once you are in step three, really let the resource come to you. Rather than consciously deciding on what resource you want, trust the unconscious and just let a resource emerge. Once a resource has come to you, walk forward into step two and feel what it is like when you bring that resource into that state, now move into step one also bringing that resource. Let your self find a physical movement, some way to bring that it into step two and then take that into step one. The physical movement is like an anchor and a way to incorporate the resource more deeply. Notice how you feel differently than when you began the process.

In our Level I practitioner training we do something similar to this technique called Stuck-Meta-Resource. We have found this technique to be quite helpful for our clients and students.

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