Re.: creative counseling

Ed, I based my statement on how you do therapy from your book
"Freedom From Stress." The impression I receive from this book is
that you work in a top-to-bottom fashion. You ask people what is
important to them and then ask them to rank order these areas. If
marriage is one of these areas, you ask them questions for
finding out the principle level perceptions and goals for this
area. Then you ask them questions for finding out the program
level perceptions to achieve each principle level perception.

In your post you say that you do not work this way and went on to
describe how you do work. Your therapy principle level
generalizations are, based on your post: Be creative and
spontaneous. Be a teacher, teach them about HPCT. Be sensitive to
signs of conflict and harmony and focus on these areas. Encourage
people to believe that they can solve their problems. At this
level of generality, I would be surpised if we really differed.

At a more specific level you say: "To look for the single or
major reason or cause for what people do within their network of
reference levels is rather misleading." In the clinical example I
described on CSGnet, I did try to understand the experiences of
the man during the night when he was caught with the babysitter.
Is this what you mean when you say I am analytic? Does HPCT not
teach us to look for controlled variables? I did look at his
specific actions and tried to identify what experiences were
being controlled by them. So, here is where we may differ.

I must admit that it is not easy to do this in a clinical setting
as is obvious from the example. But if HPCT has anything unique
to say to therapists, it is: Identify controlled variables by
means of the method of levels and the test for the controlled
variable. In a clinical situation this is much harder than in an
experimental situation. If we give up doing this, I am not sure
of how HPCT therapy is really any different from other therapies
out there.

I know that when you ask people " What do you want?" in the
exploration phase of your counseling and when you ask people "Is
it working?" in your evaluation phase, that you are moving in the
direction of finding controlled variables. Maybe I simple go
further in this direction through the explicit use of the method
of levels. Asking people questions like you do certainly disturbs
them and invites awareness to what is going on inside them.


To: Ed Ford
From: David Goldstein
Subject: Re.: Creative Counseling
Date: 05/25/92