Conversation use of PCW Stances for effective change

When I first saw Frank Farrelly working I was totally mystified by what he was doing. It simply made no sense to me at all and all the intensive NLP and hypnosis training did little to help. Frank was working in a multi-layered way “in the here and now” so it was almost impossible for me to track. There were moments when I recognised some of the patterns from my NLP training and then later realised that Frank Farrelly was a big influence on the creation of NLP, having interviewed one of the co-creators.

In 2005 I invited Frank to my house to record his second book “Me and God” and this gave me a chance to talk to him in depth about his work. This was an invaluable opportunity as Frank rarely explained anything in his workshops unless the audience members asked good questions and that was a rare occurrence! Often the questions would be from an NLP perspective or standard coaching/therapy perspective and this “logical, digital, sequential way of thinking wasn’t that useful in decoding Frank’s approach which was working on many levels at the same time in an improvised manner.

To use a musical metaphor, Frank was more “Miles Davis” less “One Direction” Miles would take the listener outside what was normally expected and create quite literally groundbreaking work. Frank Farrelly similarly didn’t repackage/model existing therapeutic approaches, but developed an entirely new way of working in a conversational manner by adopting a series of different stances in client sessions. At first, this may seem unusual, but as Frank pointed out, this is mostly how people engage in day to day conversation anyway. Some of the stances including talking louder or quieter, interrupting the client or telling a story, are familiar to most people. Others such as “ignore the client” or “give bad advice” are unusual to say the least…

In Provocative Therapy and Provocative Change Works, the coach seeks out where the client is most resistant. This is a bit like going to a masseur and working on releasing unhelpful tension. The coach is then able to empower the client to think, feel and behave differently. Each stance will add a different dynamic into the session and sequences of stances can change client thinking in a really accelerated manner. This means that the coach or therapist has to really pay attention to the client at all times and can’t simply run through a series of pre-prescribed questions, regardless of how the client responds verbally and non verbally.

This is a very dynamic way of working and this approach is totally teachable as long as the coach or therapist has an open mind and as Frank would say

“Throw out your professional dignity in the service of the client”

I set up the 1 – 1 PCW Development platform for those coaches and therapists who really want to develop and refine skills and to date we have some excellent PCW practitioners who know how to work using these tools.

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