One of the biggest misconceptions about Frank Farrelly’s work is that the coach or therapist is trying to be funny. I talked about this a great deal over the years when Frank stayed at my house during European workshops. He used to groan at how many people failed to appreciate that humour may be a consequence of working in a provocative manner, BUT the coach or therapist is never trying to be funny.
The Provocative Change Works model or PCW is now very well established globally and this year Russia will be the 14th country where I have presented the model. The biggest challenge is to get students to focus on working in the here and now and to refrain from simply running a series of techniques or reducing Farrelly’s work to what one student wonderfully described as “Frank Lite”
Both PCW and Provocative therapy require the ability for the coach or therapist to work in an improvised manner and to steer away from many of the formal structures found in other talk therapy approaches. This conversational way of working has in my experienced proved to be highly effective with a wide range of client problems. The conversational nature of the interactions mean that the sessions often appear like a discussion between old friends. Under the surface of what seems like an ordinary conversation there is a great deal of precise work that assists to empower the client into discovering new behaviours.
All this is done without trying to be funny, which makes for a far more useful honest human interaction. If you want comedy, my advice is to go an see a professional stand up comedian whose job is solely to entertain an audience. If you are looking for any provocative style training personally I would avoid anything that equates “provocative” with “being funny”