NLP Perceptual Positions

In my previous article (click) I wrote about a doctor on an NLP course, and it was a few days into the course that she came to me asking me to work with her daughter. Asked why, the doctor said that her daughter was going wild, she was not the nice girl she once was.

I needed to know a little more. How old was her daughter? 16. Does her daughter believe she was going wild? No? Who else is involved? Her father and school friends.

As in the article, it was Virginia Satir that broke from the conventional beliefs that the “problem child” should be treated, and that it is the group, the family that should be seen as a whole.

I agreed to see the daughter on the understanding I saw the mother as well, both in this case in separate sessions.

The the exercise Perceptual Positions, in NLP, the client is asked to suspend their own understanding of their reality of the world, to see things from others point of view. They are told that they will be moving around the room they are working in.

Ask the client to imagine a circle in front of them. Known as the First Position. The NLP Practitioner should draw the circle with their foot in front of the client.

This circle when they step inside it will be them. Known as the First Person.

Ask the client to imagine the situation where there is confrontation, the problem, and step inside the 1st circle, First Position, seeing through their own eyes, hearing with their own ears, feeling the feelings as they experience that situation, looking at the person they have the confrontation with.

The NLP Practitioner should draw a second circle in front of the client, Second Position and ask the client to imagine that the person in that circle, the person they have the confrontation with, the Second Person. Ask them to notice what it is like.

Once they have experienced that, ask them to step out of the first circle, that circle that represents themselves.

Now ask the client to imagine that they can become the person they have the confrontation with, Second Person, step inside the second circle, Second Position, the circle the NLP Practitioner drew on the floor, leaving an imaginary themselves in the first circle, First Position.

Once in the second circle, fully as the second person, the client should look back at the first circle, and imagine the other them, the First Person, standing there, and notice as they look through the Second Persons eyes, hearing with their ears, feeling those feelings as they experience that situation.

Notice what could change in the First Person to ease the situation.

Once the client has experience the confrontation from the Second Persons perspective, the client should be asked the to step out of the second circle.

The client should be shown a third circle, Third Position.

The third circle will contain a person known to the First and Second person, maybe also involved. This in the example of the girl and the mother, the third person could be the father.

The client should be asked to step inside the third circle, and imagine fully becoming that Third Person, seeing through their eyes, hearing with their ears, feeling the feelings as they experience that situation.

Notice how the confrontation looks and what could change in the First Person to ease the situation.

Once the client has experience the confrontation from the Third Persons perspective, the client should be asked the to step out of the third circle.

The client should be shown a forth circle, Forth Position.

The forth circle will contain a person unknown to the first and second person, perhaps a Martian, becoming the Forth Person.

The client should be asked to step inside the forth circle, and imagine fully becoming that Forth Person, seeing through their eyes, hearing with their ears, feeling the feelings as they experience that situation.

Notice the whole confrontation and what could change in the First Person to ease the situation.

Once the client has experience the confrontation from the forth persons perspective, the client should be asked the to step out of the forth circle.

The client should be asked to make the changes in the First Person, and step into the first circle, and seeing things from that perspective. Notice what happens with the image of the Second Person.

Step out of the first circle and into the second, and see things from the Second Persons perspective, noticing any more changes needed.

Step outside the second circle and into the third circle and become that person, seeing the situation from their perspective.

Once done, step into the forth circle and become that person, again noticing any changes needed.

The client should be asked to continue going around the circles until the situation has changed.

                                                

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