Ming the Mechanic - Category:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Monday, November 17, 2003day link 

 Russian Transformation
picture A new friend from Moscow mentioned to me that my Transformational Processing books are out in their third printing in Russian. And that she's run into many psychologists who're raving about them. Which is fabulous of course. But it is also a little strange in that I didn't at all know they were reprinted. I might have made too casual an agreement with the translator who's representing them on my behalf. But, regardless, the key point for me is that they get into the hands of people who can benefit from them, and not necessarily that I make money from it, although it would be nice. It is also a little strange to be more famous somewhere where I don't understand the language, rather than anywhere where I do. Anyway, after a little searching I managed to find the publisher's site. It is in Russian, but a run through an automatic translator reveals that it in part says something approximately like this:
"In the book by simple and accessible language are thoroughly revealed the principles, technology and the practice of psychological consultation. Its author, being based on the rich practical experience, proposes to the attention of the readers the effective and flexible system of psychological aid, which absorbed into himself the newest achievements in this region. With the aid of this book it is possible not only to be introduced to the theory of psychological consultation, but also to study it in practice, using the proposed exercises; and also to become acquainted with the philosophical bases of the described approaches and technician.

Because of the consistency of construction and the living metaphorical style of the author, this book will interest professionals in psychological consultation, and all those, who are interested in personal development, psychological aid to itself and their close one. In the formulation of the book the figures of the author are used."
Not a perfect translation, obviously, but it gives the idea. ".. the living metaphorical style of the author" - heheh, I like that. And the fact that I can write "simple and accessible" Russian. Apparently you can buy the first book here. 343 rubels.

I'm wondering if I should maybe change my mind and pursue getting them published in English. I never really thought that would be appropriate, as they're in the format of instruction manuals, and I really imagined a rather limited audience for them.
[ | 2003-11-17 12:26 | 9 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Tuesday, October 28, 2003day link 

picture Andy Borrows quotes Milton Erickson, the famous therapist and inventor of clever hypnotic patterns that often helped people change in rather miraculous ways:
"Well, let's pretend... that you're a therapist who works with people. The most important thing... when you're pretending this... is to understand... that you are really not... You are just pretending... And if you pretend really well, the people that you work with will pretend to make changes. And they will forget that they are pretending... for the rest of their lives. But don't you be fooled by it."
Indeed. Any therapist should be very clear on that. But it is a secret. Most people are not so good at pretending if they know they're pretending. We usually need to fool ourselves in thinking we're doing something more. That there are really good reasons for being the way we are. So, if we need to change, we'll often need a whole support scaffolding around our new way of being, which makes it look perfectly reasonable and unavoidable that this is now the way it is. A good therapist will help people feel that it is perfectly reasonable and normal to be a different person from now on. It is all just pretend. But so is everything else.
[ | 2003-10-28 17:05 | 14 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Thursday, August 21, 2003day link 

 Making things possible
picture A little technique for becoming more able to imagine something being possible ...

You know, if you can imagine yourself in a certain state, or you can imagine a certain reality for yourself, it is much more likely to happen, of course. If you want to be a model or a great speaker or a pool player, it helps greatly if you can imagine in great detail and clarity in your mind how that would be. I.e. you can see yourself in that position. And preferably feel, hear and taste it too, and you'll be even closer.

But sometimes the hangup is to even be able to consider it possible. You say "Oh, I could never be a model because I have a mole on my chin" or something. Or you just can't imagine it being possible at all.

There would be many ways of improving that situation, but one of them is to sort of gradually move the possibility from the very general and far away to the very personal and close.

So, first, can you imagine that what you're asking for is generally possible? I.e. do you consider it within the laws of nature, and the realm of things that could happen? Not for anybody in particular, but just as a general phenomenon. Like, is it theoretically possible to be a model? If you don't think so, you're not getting any further. But if you do realize it is possible, in general, you're already one step closer.

Then, can you imagine some people you don't know that it is happening for. Either some imaginary people, or, even better, some specific people far away. Cindy Crawford is a super model, even though she has a mole on her cheek. You might even study their stories a bit and find out that maybe they were ordinary people and somehow they discovered it was possible for them to be super models or great pool players.

Next you can think of people you personally know that have something like what you're asking for. Or personal experiences of observing that which you're focusing on. I.e. you know somebody who's a model. You might study how they are, how the act, how they carry themselves, how they speak. Just get a sense of how those people seem to do what they're doing, and how it is to observe that.

If you succeed in doing that, the jump to the next step is much less. Which is that you imagine yourself being what you want to be. Or doing it, or having it, whatever the case may be. And you can expand on that, and begin to feel it becoming more real.

The thing is that we seem to have a need for our re-imaginings of ourselves to have firm backing. It is so much easier if we can refer to a history of similar things happening to others, if we can draw evidence from people we know, or, even better, from ourselves. We can feel more free in imagining something new if we can convince ourselves that it isn't really all that new, but it is perfectly normal and has been done before by other people, and you've seen other people do it, and it is quite clear how it is done, so ... no problem.

This is deceptively simple. But it greatly reduces the threshold towards embracing something new for ourselves. Start with the very general, because that is really safe and easy. Gradually become a little less general and a little more specific. Each step builds on the one before. The first steps act as beliefs that lay the foundation for the more specific personal steps.

If you want a job, then it makes sense to start with the general. There are millions, or rather billions of jobs in the world. Lots of people have jobs. It is possible to have a job. The more you can accept that, the easier it would be for you as well. For that matter, you might get magical results just by embracing a more freeing general truth.

Some people have a basic belief that certain things are easy or abundant. That's on the general level. They haven't necessarily bothered about figuing out HOW one does it. They just believe that "There's always money enough", or "It is easy to talk to people", and it is reflected in their daily experience.

And then, personal direct experience is a powerful driver towards making something happen. Big changes don't normally jump from a vague generality to a manifested reality. You need to fill in some blanks. And you can do that better if you examine how other people do it, and maybe how you yourself have done it in the past.

So, what I'm talking about is a sequence of imagining, which could be sketched out like this:

Abstract -> General -> Third Person -> Second Person -> First Person

And the point is to imagine and gather evidence to support a certain something which you'd like to be available for yourself.
[ | 2003-08-21 06:23 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 A Communication Model
pictureI believe that one of the major obstacles humanity collectively needs to overcome and master is communication between people who are different, have different ideas, different priorities, different backgrounds, different cultures, etc. In other words, how can two people who are wearing different colored glasses still share a meaningful experience with each other. How can there be meaningful dialogue between fundamentally different world views.

Below is an article from one of my processing facilitator training manuals, which tries to break down the process of communication so that it might be understood better.
[ | 2002-05-31 03:21 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Transformational Processing in Russia
pictureI somehow have ended up with quite a following for my Transformational Processing materials in the Russian speaking part of the world. Which is both wonderful and sort of strange. Well, it is natural enough in that it is the only place where my books have actually been published, by a publisher, in hardcover books you can buy in a bookstore. But it is sort of odd that thousands of people read my words in Russian, and have gone out and had, often marvelous, results with thousands of clients. Odd because I often have a hard time communicating with them, but the stuff really works for them.
[ | 2002-05-29 23:17 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

I just realize that I'm not talking much about my counseling practice here. I suppose that's in part because I mostly talk about things I haven't quite figured out yet, and the focus of my learning is nowadays mostly in other areas.

And I can't really talk too specifically about the juicy details of my client sessions, because they're confidential. But at least I can talk about some of the principles at work once in a while.
[ | 2002-05-15 19:45 | 17 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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