From Carl Rogers To Identity Healing

Tony Mudd Memorial Lecture
Tony Mudd Memorial Lecture

On 22nd March 2018 I had the pleasure of presenting this talk to an audience of counsellors and counselling students at Tyne Met College.

It’s a personal account of the development of the Identity Healing processes that I use with my clients.

The talk is about how a shy introverted teenager who didn’t feel quite good enough developed the process that helped him and helps others.

This 40 year journey includes encounter groups, Carl Rogers, Buddhism, NLP, introductions to inner children, EFT (aka Tapping), how our younger selves get stuck and one way of getting unstuck.

Note: I recorded the talk on my phone so the sound quality is a little bit variable in places.

How One Word Can Make Problems Easier To Deal With

This and that
Image courtesy of Paul Downey

Would you rather have your problems right in your face or at a more manageable distance?

Most people would prefer to have room to breathe and think about their difficulties.

When we think, or talk, about the challenges in our lives we tend to focus on the story of the problem. We get sucked in to the difficulty caught in the swirl of thoughts and feelings about the problem.

But there are two words that can make the difference between being gripped by our problem or being able to hold it at arm’s length.

These words are so familiar that you probably never even notice them.

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Identity Healing – Are Your Younger Selves Suffering?

Younger self
Image courtesy of Emily

If you look at your passport or your driving license you can see your name and your photo. Even if the photo is bad you can tell that it is you.

You appear to be just one person. But is that true?

On the outside you may project an image of calm, capability, or one of the other ways we like to present ourselves to the world. Behind the eyes and beneath the skin it can be a different story.

Have you ever said or heard someone else say?

  • I am not good enough
  • There is something wrong with me
  • I can’t forgive myself
  • Nobody loves me
  • I hate myself

Each of these statements is about an ‘I’,’me’ or ‘myself’. They speak about our identity, who we are.

Beneath what we hope are our socially acceptable exteriors there may be parts of ourselves that are not happy.

These parts: the ‘I’ in ‘I’m not good enough’, the ‘me’ in ‘Nobody loves me’ and the ‘I’ and ‘myself’ in ‘I hate myself’ are sometimes known as sub-personalities. Sub-personalities are parts of our inner selves that step up and wear the mask of our outer selves.

These parts of ourselves are usually suffering.

The ‘I’ in I’m not good enough is not having a good time.

The ‘me’ in ‘Nobody loves me’ feels distress.

The ‘I’ and ‘myself’ in ‘I hate myself’ are both feeling stressed.

These parts of ourselves are often formed in childhood at times of stress. They carry what they felt, thought and did at that time through life in a capsule of that stress and distress.

You may also remember times when it felt as if a younger part of yourself took control of your adult self. It’s as if you had been hijacked by a terrified child or angry teenager. If you’ve had this experience you have felt the presence of a sub-personality.

It’s bad enough that we can carry these pockets of stress and distress within ourselves, but it gets worse.

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Healing Self Blame Through Tapping

Image courtesy of iandesign
Image courtesy of iandesign

If you burnt the toast this morning as you were making breakfast you could say that you blamed yourself for the mistake.

It’s not such a bad mistake, you would probably get over it by lunch time.

But, what if you always blamed yourself for everything.

That would be a very different experience: you might give yourself a hard time about how stupid you are and how you mess everything up. You might find it quite difficult to be happy.

People who are being blamed for things don’t usually enjoy the experience.

It gets worse. At least if you are blamed for something by someone else you could get away from them for a bit of peace and quiet, but if you are blaming yourself then it’s difficult to escape from it.

A client of mine, let’s call him Chris, had a strong tendency to blame himself.

When I had him say out loud ‘I blame myself’ it registered 9 out of 10 as a true statement.

If you wanted to take care of this issue using standard EFT you might start digging around in your client’s past to find the experiences that lead to the formation of this self-critical attitude. That might take a lot of digging and tapping, but there are other ways to work with these issues, one of them is what I call Identity Reconciliation which is a part of Identity Healing.

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Why am I making no progress?

Image courtesy of kylepost
Image courtesy of kylepost

Some people feel like they are making no progress in their therapy or self-development.

Whatever they do, things seem to stay just as bad as before. It can be both discouraging and frustrating, some people even give up trying.

To understand one of the reasons for making no progress (and some ideas to help get unstuck) we need to take an imaginary trip to the seaside in Victorian England.

In the late 19th century the north of England was strewn with large industrial towns with smoking chimneys, dank factories, stinking rivers, polluted air and blackened buildings.

During the factory holidays the workforce and their families would leave the factory towns and travel to the seaside towns of Blackpool or Scarborough to enjoy the novelty of sun, sea and fresh air.

Let’s imagine two such travellers leaving the grimy city for a well deserved visit to the seaside: Miss Change and Miss Same have known each other for years. They grew up in the city, although they are used to the stink and grime, they both want to get away from it, if only for a little while.

Miss Change and Miss Same although they have lots in common do have a difference in temperament that makes going on the same holiday a very different experience.

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Slow Change – An Effective Alternative To Miracle Cures

Tend to the moments, and the years will take care of themselves.
– Tibetan proverb

Image courtesy of bogonfreund
Image courtesy of bogonfreund

Do you want a happier life?

Have you a collection of self help books?

If so, you have probably seen some of the big claims on the covers of these books.

They may say they are:

  • life changing
  • revolutionary
  • transformational.

These are big promises and some people who read the books (and do the work) do find their lives changed, revolutionised or transformed.

However I suspect that doesn’t happen for most people, the miracle never happens and now they have yet another ‘life changing’ product gathering dust on the shelves.

It’s not just books, the same kinds of sales pitches can be found for videos, audio courses, webinars, teleseminars and online courses.

You may have read the book, attended the training, watched the webinar hoping that this is going to solve your problem, or sort out your life, just as the sales pitch promised.

However, when it’s all over you might have thought it wasn’t quite as earth shattering as you had expected.

Waiting for a miracle cure

When I started down the path of committed self-development on my first NLP Practitioner training in 1999, I was amazed by how easy it was to change issues that had previously been stuck.

I started to think that if I could find just the right trainer or therapist, they would be able to spot what was wrong with me and perform a special advanced technique to change that.

Then the clouds would part, the celestial choir would sing, the scales would fall from my eyes and I’d be fixed!


There would be a new me, perfect in every way.

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