Learning Styles And "True Love"

This article from Charlie Badenhop nicely illustrates one of the fundamental aspects of NLP, which is that we think about things in different ways based on or sensory preferences.

What do you think draws you to some people, while keeping you separate from others? Would you be surprised if I told you it might have to do with the way you learn?

I had a couple see me for counseling a number of years ago.

The wife was dressed quite stylishly and exuded a strong presence the moment she walked in the room.

Her husband on the other hand was dressed quite casually and I wasn’t sure if he had combed his hair since getting up. He had earphones on and was still listening to music as he entered my office.

The “problem” they presented was – after five years of marriage, they were both feeling they didn’t have much in common, which included liking very different leisure activities.

The clearest statement the wife made about her model of the world was, “Beauty and order gives me a sense of both exhilaration and serenity, a feeling that all is well.”

The husband, who was a voice coach, said that “Listening to good music is one of my greatest pleasures in life. Music is the language of the gods.”

After watching and listening, I realized they were very much the same in their common interest and appreciation for “beauty”. It was how they went about appreciating and expressing “beauty” that created their seeming “problem”. The wife loved graphic art and fashion, the husband loved symphony music and jazz. In a classroom they would almost certainly exhibit different learning styles. The husband would likely be content listening to a lecture, while the wife would likely prefer slides, graphs, and other visual stimuli. Why is this? Because the sensory experiences of everyday life you are most drawn to, are the sensory experiences that will best help you to learn. Makes a good deal of sense doesn’t it?

As it often does, “luck” played a part in my work with this couple. In between sessions I saw an article about an upcoming show at a gallery that involved a live interaction between a video artist and a jazz pianist. The video artist flashed images on a large screen in “conversation” with the improvisations by the pianist. I suggested they attend the performance, and report back to me on their experience.

Can you guess what happened? The husband loved the music and had little memory of the video graphics. The wife was just the opposite! The good news is they both enjoyed themselves immensely, which was an important change for the both of them.

Over the course of time, I taught them how to expand their common love of beauty, by discovering in the world of their partner, aspects of beauty they had been failing to notice. One method we used was this: I had the wife list what led her to experience “beauty” in the visual realm. She came up with terms like “majestic”, “bold” and “the tension between symmetry and asymmetry.” I then had the husband share with his wife, music he liked that he felt had these same qualities. Later we reversed the process. The husband made his list and the wife found corresponding visual art. It was gratifying to see how they rediscovered their appreciation and love for each other as they found “beauty” in the realm of their partner.

There was one more experience I suggested they share with each other at home – taking turns expressing “beautiful touching” with each other. This turned out to be the icing on the cake, as they both once again experienced how their partner truly added to the richness of their life.

 (c) Charlie Badenhop, 2006. About the author: Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from Charlie’s thought-provoking ideas and various self-help Practices, by subscribing to his complimentary newsletter “Pure Heart, Simple Mind” at http://www.seishindo.org/_self_hypnosis_index.html

The Great North Run 2007

I’ve had the great good luck (!) to get another place in the BUPA Great North Run on behalf of St Oswald’s Hospice. This will be the fifth time I’ve run in the world’s largest half-marathon and I’m looking to redeem last years painful performance by improving my race time and gathering more sponsorship for St Oswald’s Hospice.

If you are looking to give money to a masochist then you need look no further. Please sponsor me, it’s a very worthwhile cause. You can do this quite painlessly via my fundraising webpage. If you have friends who like to give money to masochists on a mission, please let them know, St Oswald’s be happy to accept their help.

Thanks a million.

EFT in Saltwell Park

I’m running two EFT Level 1 courses in the Training Rooms in Saltwell Park in Gateshead. The all day trainings are on Saturday 28th April and Saturday 12th May.

The Level 1 course is a great way of getting started in EFT, after a day you’ll have a reliable technique to relieve anxiety, neutralise trauma, reduce cravings and relieve physical symptoms for yourself, family and friends. All this and the opportunity to go and feed the ducks in the lunch break.

You can find more details about my courses, contents, venues and dates on my training page.

Being perfect

During one of the EFT Cafe meetings a friend and I were discussing the problem of having to be perfect. ‘I must be perfect’ is quite a common theme and I have a way of dealing with it which I’ll mention at the end of this post. I mentioned to my friend that I’d got the idea from Carl Rogers and I’ve just looked up the quote from Rachel Naomi Remen that prompted the idea.

Years ago, I was invited to a seminar given by Carl Rogers. I had never read his work, but I knew that the seminar, attended by a group of therapists, was about ‘unconditional positive regard’. At the time I was highly sceptical about this idea, but I attended the seminar anyway. I left it transformed.

Roger’s theories arose out of his practice, and his practice was intuitive and natural to him. In the seminar, he tried to analyse what whe was doing for us as he did it. He wanted to give a demonstration of unconditional positive regard in a therapeutic session. One of the therapists volunteered to serve as the subject. As Rogers turned to the volunteer and was about to start the session, he suddenly pulled himself up, turned back to us, and said “I realise there’s something I do before I start a session. I let myself know that I am enough. Not perfect. Perfect wouldn’t be enough. But that I am human, and that is enough. There is nothing that this man can say or do or feel that I can’t feel in myself. I can be with him. I am enough”.

I was stunned by this. It felt as if some old wound in me, some fear of not being good enough, had come to an end. I knew, inside myself that what he had said was absolutely true: I am not perfect, but I am enough.

Rachel Naomi Remen “The Search For Healing” in R Carlson & B Shield ed (1989) “Healers on Healing”

How do I use this when people or I need to be perfect. I tap in the following way.

Even though I have to be perfect and I’m not good enough …..

Without stopping I do the three rounds with the following reminder phrases

  • I have to be perfect ….
  • Perfect is not good enough
  • Good enough is perfect

You may need to experiment with this but I find it unglues the ‘I have to be perfect’ belief quite nicely.

Coincidentaly, many years ago I attended a long training in the Person Centred Approach in which Carl Rogers was one of the trainers on one of our weekend modules. This was just a couple of years before his death. It was kind of strange to be in the company of someone quite so well known, and revered, I have a book he kindly autographed.

Although what I do now looks nothing like Person Centred counselling I have a fondness for the principles of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard that were the centrepiece of his approach, and a great respect for the man. It’s ironic that it’s taken the practice of EFT & NLP to develop my empathy, and so forth, to a reasonable level. I wonder what he would have made of that?

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