Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Therapy
This transcript was recorded during a
seminar in Poland by Martyn Carruthers about helping people
resolve deep conflict . A portion of this
transcript was cut and posted at
How children create complex conflict.
People suffering obsessions or compulsions often
find a predictable structure of underlying conflicts ... a sense of
cognitive dissonance and unaligned emotions. Here is an example of
coaching a person to explore a deep conflict.
Jan is a businessman about 45 years old.
Martyn agreed to explore a conflict about Jan's
Conflict Resolution Transcript Page 3
Part 3 becomes Conscious
Martyn: [To class] Note that Jan's physiology is now
symmetrical. At this moment I see no sign of conflict. Jan can appreciate
a side of him that wants to have fun, and he can appreciate a
side of him that wants to live peacefully. My next question may be: how can
Jan maintain this state through life challenges? Notice what happens when we
[To Jan] Imagine that you can live your life with the beautiful white birch and
the clown together inside you, so that on every step you take, you can
feel the harmony of the birch and the joy of the clown. How would it be
to live your life like that, Jan?
Jan: Super ... it feels ... wonderful [Part 3]
Martyn: Imagine you can take a wonderful step into the future, and live your
life in harmony, peace and fun. Maybe it could be wonderful to live with no
inner objections ... no conflict.
Part 4 becomes Conscious
Jan: [flat voice and tiny movements of hands, shoulders
and head] In such a life there would be no obstacles.
Martyn: [To class] Look at Jan, his body started a series of slight
movements, so it seems that another part might soon be conscious.
Or maybe I'm wrong; maybe there is no objection. [Saying that is provocation
for Jan, whose unconscious twitches become stronger.]
[To Jan] Maybe
this change would be perfect for you without any problems.
Jan: Yes. [with weaker and weaker voice] Let's do it.
Martyn: Super! [To class] I taught you all how to
deal with Yes, but and Yes/No objections ... here is an
example of Yes/No
Martyn [To Jan] Jan, I would be happy to help you make this wonderful step
into your future. Jan smiles. [To Jan] Is there something that could stop you living this peaceful joy? [Jan rests his chin on his right hand and
raises some fingers of his left hand.]
Martyn [To class] Notice that Jan
immediately becomes asymmetrical. Perhaps another part is emerging:
signaling with Jan's left hand.
Jan: I think I'd get sick.
Martyn: This is important. A part of Jan (part 1)
wants to quit smoking, another part (part 2) wants to smoke. Some sort
of integration of those is possible, so let's call it "peaceful
life" (part 3) for now. As Jan starts to consider "peaceful
life", a fourth part emerges that objects to "peaceful
life" (part 3). Remember - this fourth part was latent, in a fog,
until Jan considered this possibility.
Now Jan is saying: "Wow, this is wonderful! It's
what I want in life." And now another part of Jan objects (part 4),
saying "Hey, wait! Stop!!!"
This fourth part had nothing to say earlier, perhaps because peace and joy were in
conflict, and perhaps peaceful joy could not be considered. Perhaps now that there is a
possibility of this basic conflict being integrated, and peaceful joy being
realized, part 4 wakes up and communicates something like, "Stop! Wait!
This conflict has a purpose!"
[To Jan] Feel this side of you that may get you sick. Where
might this part be?
Jan: In my body.
Martyn: Where in your body?
[Jan shows signs of trance] Take your time ...
[To class] This fourth part did not communicate until
the surface conflict might be resolved ... if this surface conflict is
important it should not be lost ...
There is a NLP technique called
Visual Squash: we could have one part fully on this side [holds a
"part" in one hand] and one part fully on this side
[holds a conflicting "part" in the other hand], and
then with hypnotic language, [Martyn emphasizes "NO"
non-verbally], Jan would be instructed to squash these two parts
together. NLP people may use post-hypnotic double-binds to keep those two
[To Jan] So what would be the result if you squash these
two parts together?
Jan: [enthusiastic tonality] Good!
Martyn: And this part here, the fourth part, what would it say if
these two parts are squashed together?
Jan: [pause] I'd feel that I have no power; umm [pause]
I don't want to do that squash.
Martyn: If I am convinced that it's good for you, maybe I'll
grab your hands and I'll squash them together physically. If you are partly in
trance, it would take a lot of composure to resist my suggestion. What would
this fourth part say?
Jan: That it should not work this way, that it is not right.
Martyn: What would happen?
Jan: [neck and chest tighten] I'd choke.
Martyn: [To group] Fortunately, most people seem to be healthy enough to
un-squash or dis-integrate such hypnotic commands, and within a few days or weeks,
they recreate their conflict. Then their conscious mind says, "Hah -
it didn't work!" Therapists often call these people resistant
clients! But the people who are not healthy enough to untangle the
conflicting parts - obedient or compliant clients - may feel weaker or become physically
ill. I was rather well trained in NLP, but now I discourage the use of many
NLP techniques. (See NLP Techniques &
[To Jan] So, imagine this fourth part of you, Jan, the part
of you that wants you to have harmony and joy apart, in conflict. Imagine
that you can see this fourth part of you. Maybe it is watching carefully
what is happening about this
conflict. Maybe ask this part, "What does it gain by keeping
this conflict?" Something so important that if you lose it,
it may make you sick.
Jan: This part says that I can be friendly to both people who smoke
and to people who don't.
Martyn: Does this part want you to be friendly with people?
Jan: Yes [gestures with right hand to Father position]
Martyn: With whom especially does this part want you to be friendly with?
Jan: With my family [gestures with right hand to Father position]
[To class] Notice that every time Jan speaks about this fourth part, he uses
his right hand and not his left. Remember who seemed to stand there earlier.
Martyn: Maybe this part thinks that if you stop smoking and live joyfully
and peacefully, something not good will happen with your family?
[To Jan] And imagine that you can see this fourth part of you, Jan, what would it
Jan: Like a Chinese scroll.
Martyn: Maybe you would like to thank this Chinese scroll for its wisdom: it wants
you to have good relationships with your family. Maybe, in the opinion of this
part, if you live joyfully and peacefully, you might lose connection with
your family. What do you think?
Jan: This part says that these things, smoking and contact with
family, do not depend on each other.
Martyn: Good. So focus on this Chinese scroll, and also keep your
attention on the other two parts, the birch and the clown helping each
other. What would the Chinese scroll like to say to the birch and
the clown together?
Jan: That everything possible, everything that they may want to
reach, lies inside a person [points with his right hand to his own chest]
Martyn: Excellent! And what would the tree and the clown say about
this concept that everything that they may want to reach lies inside this
person? [points at Jan]
Jan: They agree. My whole future ... ummm ... [signs of trance]
Martyn: [To class] It seems that the first level of conflict for Jan is
about behavior: "Do I smoke, or do I not smoke?"
And the second conflict is about values - about what is important:
joy and harmony outside in the world (part 3), or inside Jan (part 4)?
This fourth part of Jan seems to communicate to Jan: "If you
only find harmony outside, you will be sick."
To readers: thank you for reading this far. Your attention
is a compliment.
Please email us some of your experiences and contact us to resolve conflicts.
Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Therapy
Plagiarism is theft © Martyn Carruthers 2002-2018
All rights reserved. Transcribed by Dr Ana Pejcinova