Changing problems with Cognitive Modelling 2
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The man who couldn't go home - stage 2

<< Metaphor Therapy

This page is the transcript of the second stage in dealing with Bob's drinking problem. He just could not leave the bar and go home when he was supposed to. The Cognitive Modelling in this part consists of teaching the client a simple way of dealing with emotional problems. The client is taken through the Three Dials Exercise and shown how to solve a fairly minor problem, as preparation for tackling their main problem.

The THREE DIALS EXERCISE

For the therapist, this second stage of cognitive modelling is a way of convincing the client that they can make immediate and permanent changes to their own thoughts and feelings. Everyone can do this exercise and everyone gets a positive result. It gives them practice at altering mental images and playing with submodalities, and sets them up for the Swish exercise.

For the client, this stage is designed to give dramatic proof that they can control their own feelings and emotions. The client learns a simple, fullproof way of dealing with any kind of negative emotional experience. It also convinces the sceptics that this weird stuff actually works, and works fast.

SESSION TRANSCRIPT

THERAPIST/CLIENT

COMMENTS

Now close your eyes again, and allow yourself to relax back into the chair.

 

Take a deep breath like before, and settle into a comfortable position. That's good.

Re-invoke the previous trance

Now I would like you to think of an incident from your life, a real incident, something that really happened. Something that happened that makes you feel bad. Not something life-threatening, but something that makes you angry, or sad, or embarrassed or some other feeling that you always get when you think of that memory. Maybe you got caught stealing apples, or the time you said something and she was standing right behind you... something like that. The only thing is that it needs to be something that you can feel the feeling in your body, the embarrassment or the anger or whatever...

 

Think about that and let me know when you have got something..... do not tell me what the something is.... I don't want to know.... I have enough shit in my life without taking in more....

 

Like the coming home late? I feel bad about that. Can I use that?

 

No. Let's leave that till later... Pick something else, everyone has lots of things that make them feel bad, you should be able to find plenty....

 

OK. I have something... I still feel bad... I was in business with this guy....

 

No, stop. Don't tell me. It is better if I don't know about it.

 

OK

 

OK. Now I want you to think about that incident. We will call it 'The Incident' from now on, OK? I want you to really think about the incident, to be there, to be in it, I want to feel the feelings in your body, the feelings you always get when you think about it. Let me know when have the feeling.

 

OK. Its always there, I feel it inside me now.... so angry.

 

Right. Now I want you to see that incident, like you did the horse. I want you see in your mind, see the people, hear what they say, whatever is there, like it is an oil painting hanging on a wall.

 

No. It's real. It's happening. Not like a painting.

 

OK. If it is like a movie that's OK. Just experience that movie. See it all happening.

 

OK.

 

So the movie is playing and you can see what is going on?

Clean language

Yes.

 

Now I would like to put a frame around that picture.

 

It's a movie.

 

Yes, I would like you to put a frame around the movie, just like you put a frame around the horse.

 

OK. There is a frame. Same as before.

 

Now, I would like you look at the bottom of the frame. Look really closely. On that frame there are three knobs... three dials... things you can turn. And these are like the controls on an old TV set. Maybe you can remember that... there was a knob you turned to increase the brightness and one to turn down the sound.

 

These three dials can be turned also. One, the one on the left controls the sound. If you turn it the sound goes down. The one in the middle controls the colour. If you turn that one all the colour washes out of the picture, the reds become pink, the blues go grey and then the whole picture goes grey and white and then black and grey, you know? The third knob, the knob on the right is a magic knob. It controls the size of the frame. Turn that control and whole frame gets smaller, and everything inside gets smaller as well.

 

OK? You have three knobs or controls.

 

Yes. I see them.

 

Now I would like you to mentally reach out and turn down the sound knob, the one on left. Turn it so that the sound goes down, all the way down, and then goes off altogether. There is just silence. If there are people in the picture you can see their jaws going up and down but you can't hear anything. Then I want you to turn the knob the other way, and as you turn it up I want you to imagine the sound starts playing circus music, or stripper music, or some other silly Mickey Mouse type tune. Something really loud and silly. OK?

 

[Laughs] OK it's playing music.

 

Good, Good. Now I want you to reach out to the middle knob, the one that controls the colours. I want you to turn that knob, and as you turn it the colours fade, the whole picture goes grey and white and then black and white and then goes black, totally black, there is just a frame with music and black in it. OK?

 

OK, done that. It's black. Only black.

 

Now, I want you to reach out to the last knob. The one that controls the size of the frame. I want you to turn that knob so that the frame shrinks, gets smaller, and the picture inside gets smaller too. I want you to shrink it to half its size.... then down to the size of a post card, and then down to the size of a postage stamp. And let me know when you have done that.

 

OK, its a little black square now.

 

Now, I want you to put the picture back to its original size, the way it was. And let me know when you have done that.

 

OK, it's back.

 

Right, now I want to mentally reach out with all three hands, and turn all the knobs at once, to make that picture go tiny, black and playing silly music. And I want you to do that three times, and I want you to do it as fast as possible. So do that now and tell me when you have done it.

 

[Mimes turning knobs] OK. Done.

 

So tell me what you have now.

 

A little frame and just black inside. Just black.

 

OK. Now I want you to mentally reach out and take that little frame thing and wrap your hand around it and throw it over your shoulder. Do it now.

 

[Mimes throwing backwards]

 

OK. Now I want you to imagine that frame landing behind you and bouncing and breaking and breaking into thousands of little pieces and being scattered and the wind comes along and blows the pieces away completely scattered. Gone for ever.

Destroy the frame and all its contents

OK. Pieces scattered.

 

OK. Open your eyes and look at me.

 

Now, stand up, turn right around and sit down again.

Break out of state

[Does so, looking puzzled]

 

Now, tell me, what is phone number... backwards?

Clear the mind

Backwards... Oh, I don't know.... no....

 

Just try it, just say your phone number backwards....

 

2... no 1, 2,... 4, 6, 3...0, 1, 0... [struggling]

 

OK what day of the week will the 15th of next month be?

Another mind clearing exercise

Uh? I don't know! I have no idea....

 

It's OK. I couldn't care less what day it would be, I just wanted to clear your mind....

 

Ah...

 

Now I would like you think back to that incident.... the thing that was bothering you.... think of it now, bring it to mind now.....

Testing

[Looks amazed]

 

How do you feel about that incident now?

Reinforcing

Ay.... It's gone.... It's completely gone.... that feeling... I remember the guy... but I don't feel anything.... all the anger is just missing.....

allow the client to experience the change

Yes, It has completely changed, hasn't it?

 

That's amazing... for all this time I have hated the guy... you... my wife and him and his wife and me were in a business together and they disappeared with all the money one day.... I hate him every day....and now... nothing.... like I don't feel nothing....

 

Yes, and you did that.... and I did not even know what it was about, what the incident was even....

 

Uhuh

 

And you know, you can do that same thing with everything that bothers you.

Suggestion

Wow

 

You what is happening is.... if you go on holiday say, and you taste a new flavour of ice cream, and then later you taste it somewhere else the whole holiday comes back, doesn't it? Not just the taste but the people, the sounds, the clothes, the temperature.... everything,... and the feeling. Our minds store the memory as a gestalt, a whole, everything linked together. The taste reminds of the time, the clothes remind you of the taste, and they all remind you of the feeling you had at that time.

Connect the process to personal experience.

Yes, like music takes you back.

 

But it has been discovered that if you change any part of the gestalt, it all falls apart. The taste, people, clothes are still remembered, but separately, and so is the feeling, the feeling is no longer associated with those things. It is no longer automatic, you do not feel that feeling whenever you think of it.

 

What you did with the knobs was to change your picture, to change your memory. You broke it up. It has been found that for some people it is the sound that is important, for others it is the colour and for others it is the size. By getting you to change all three of them - sound, colour, size - one of them was going to work, to make the change that would break up the memory.

 

And by getting you to destroy the thing completely, remember I said it broke into pieces and wind blew it away.... that got rid of it forever, so it could not come back. If you change the image into something else... and then destroy it completely you get rid of it.

Rule

So anytime you think of that incident, all you will remember will be the things that happened, and not the feelings. They are gone. And also, in a day or two that memory will seem like a very long time ago, almost like it happened to someone else. And will forget it if you want to...

Suggestion

So, think of that incident now. Really call it to mind, be there in the picture... remember it and feel it in your body....

Re-Test

I can't ... I can see the picture... but it is gone, in the body.... nothing... so strange....

Confirm the change is on-going

And it will never come back.

Suggestion

That was a demonstration to you... that you can choose how you feel... about anything... you do not have to take what comes... you are in control of your feelings.... control how you think and you will control how you feel.... so you can decide how you want to feel...

 

I never knew that....

 

 

Bob did very well at the Three Dials Exercise. His excellent visualisation skills allowed him to make the changes necessary and he got rid of a fairly traumatic experience.

 

The Three Dials Exercise sets up the client for the next stage in Cognitive Modelling, the Swish exercise.