The overall intention with the communication module is to free up the whole subject of communication. To have an abundance of ways one can communicate, people to communicate with, and subjects to communicate about. And not having negative reactions to the act of communicating.
1. Talk about anything
Get the client to talk about anything whatsoever. That is to start putting the idea there that one can talk freely and to have her find out what she likes talking about.
"What do you like to talk about?"
"Tell me about ___"
"What are you interested in?"
"Talk to me about ___"
"What are you often talking about?"
"What are you saying about ___?"
2. Methods of Communicating
Explore different ways one might communicate. This is to expand the view of how many different ways there are of communicating, and to start realizing that anything is communication. She should be able to find hundreds of ways. Phones, letters, raised eyebrows, silence, telepathy, pictures, music, satellites, memories, faxes, crying, laughing, etc. Keep her going until she realizes there is an endless number of ways.
"How could one communicate?"
"Tell me some ways of communicating"
"What types of communication do you know of?"
"Mention some communication methods you have observed"
3. Senders and Recipients
Explore the many possible senders and recipients of communication. The types of people who communicate. This is again to realize that anybody communicates and to expand one's view of the world of communication. The client should become able to keep going, listing more and more communicators. Policemen, politicians, mothers, cats, news announcers, fashion models, old people, young people, ants, ghosts, gods, cartoon characters, etc.
"Tell me some people who communicate?"
"What are some sources of communication?"
"What are some recipients of communication?"
4. Model of Communication
Have the client construct a workable model of the process of communication. Preferably by drawing on paper or demonstrating with small items on the table. It should at least contain a sender, a recipient, a message and a transmission channel.
5. Communication Elements
Go over various elements of communication and get the client's thoughts and reactions to each one. Use any question that will promote that, like "Think about __?", "Tell me about __", etc. Discuss the model of communication further necessary.
6. Directions of Communication
Go over thoughts and reactions concerning the presence or absence of various directional flows of communication. First allow the client to get the idea of what is meant and how that would work. Then get into any thoughts she has on that kind of communication. For example, she might have concerns that others are talking about her, or she might have a hard time starting communication with some people. The point right here is mainly to recognize that all these different directions exist and to notice which ones are flowing and which ones are not. If necessary, draw up this matrix and discuss what would go in each box. Allow the client to discover the many possibilities.
||Thinking or other comunication with oneself. Reflexive.
||Communicating to specific other people. Outflow.
||Communicating to other people in general. Outflow.
||Other specific people communicating to the person. Inflow.
||Specific other people communicating with themselves. Reflexive. E.g. thinking about the client.
||Somebody else sending communications to other people. Crossflow.
||People in general sending communications to the person. Inflow.
||Another person receiving communications from others. Crossflow.
||Other people in general communicating between themselves. Reflexive.
Get the client to find many places where one can communicate. The idea is to get her beyond any feeling of scarcity in that regard. One can basically communicate anywhere. Keep getting more places until she could go on indefinitely and realizes that.
"Where could one communicate?"
"From where could one send communication?"
"Where could one receive communication?"
8. Talking or not talking
Examine what is being talked about versus what is not being talked about. There is both communication and non-communication. Open up to the idea that we can change what is what if desired.
"What do others talk to you about?"
"What do others not talk to you about?"
"What would you like others to talk to you about?"
"What do you talk to others about?"
"What do you not talk to others about?"
"What would you like to talk to others about?"
"What do people talk to each other about?"
"What do people not talk to each other about?"
"What should people talk to each other about?"
"When do you talk?"
"When do you not talk?"
"How do you know when to talk?"
"How do you know when not to talk?"
9. Types of communication delivery
Dialogue about different modes of delivering communication, that is, different attitudes or styles. We need to find out what the person feels about others doing each of them, or doing them herself, or others doing them to each other. We are after anything that is stuck or fixed and anything that has a reaction to it. Like, out client might say she doesn't like when somebody is being arrogant. We would then find out first of all what she means by that. Don't just accept a generalization or nominalization, we need to get some perceptions on it. So, what does she see, hear, feel that she labels as arrogance. And where and when and how. Then find out how she reacts to it. Like, does she feel angry, sad, small, etc. And process whatever you find with whatever technique is appropriate. If nothing else, leave with an increased understanding of how that mode works. But more broadly, we would like the person to be more flexible about it, have more choices, and to lose blind, fixed behaviors concerning it.
You can use a list of communication modes like this:
- forceful, muted, enthusiastic, insincere, cryptic, arrogant
"How do you feel about people who are (forceful)?"
"What do you think about people who are (forceful)?"
"How do you know that they are (forceful), what do you notice?"
"How do you respond?"
"Are you sometimes (forceful)?"
"When, where, what?"
"How do you make yourself (forceful)?"
"How do you know when it is time to be (forceful)?"
10. Types of communication response
Explore different ways of responding to communication, different attitudes to incoming communication. We are mainly trying to find fixed, automatic responses that are unwanted. But also we can find out how desirable responses work, so that they can be used more often. Make sure to examine different perceptual positions; one self responding, another person responding to you, other people responding between themselves. We would want to be sure to examine why people respond the way they do. Does anything trigger it? How do they respond that way, what do they actually do to configure that response? What do they think, feel, say to themselves, remember, etc.? Particularly look for anything that needs to be re-experienced, unfixed, integrated, etc. At the least, reframe it.
This is a sample list of responses:
- refusal, enthusiastic, ignore, apathy, shock, interested, boredom, hurt, amazed, disbelief, insulted, invalidated, fear
"What kind of communications do you respond with (fear) to?"
"What is happening then?"
"What do you do? What do you see? What do you say to yourself?"
11. Communication in different domains
Examine communication in widely different domains of life. This is to notice that communication takes place on many different planes and magnitudes. So, bring up examples of each, either that the person has noticed, or can imagine. How would it work, what would be communicated?
"Think of some individual communication"
"Think of some inter-personal communication"
"Think of some group communication"
"Think of some global communication"
"Think of some inter-species communication"
"Think of some psychic communication"
"Think of some spiritual communication"
"Think of some out-of-body communication"
"Think of some communication with the planet"
"Think of some inter-planetary communication"
"Think of some galactic communication"
"Think of some universal communication"
"Think of some communication with all-that-is"
12. Uncomfort communicating to people
This is one of the key communication techniques. We will ask for people or types of people that the client is unwilling or uncomfortable to have communication with. And then we work on increasing the willingness and ability to have communication happen. Our target is any stuck or fixed non-communication with people. We want people that the client resists communication with, that she is trying to avoid. And then we make her do exactly what it is she is trying to do. Not out in life, but just as imaginary exercises. We make our client talk to the person she doesn't feel good about talking to. At first very general communication is alright, but preferably we want her to also be able to give very specific spoken phrases, and even say them as she would to that person. You can elaborate on that as much as you find necessary. You could for that matter put up a chair next to our client and instruct her to imagine the person in that chair and talk to that person directly. You could also play the part of the person she can't quite face and help her do it gradually. Make sure to cover all pertinent perceptual positions; people she is uncomfortable listening to, talking to, or just observing. For each person or type of person you get, work it over until the communication is freed up on that person. Keep getting things that could be communicated or not until things are loosened up, before you ask for another person.
"Who wouldn't you want to talk to you?"
"What would it be ok that ___ says to you?"
"What should ___ rather not say to you?" (or wouldn't want to say)
"Who wouldn't you want to communicate to?"
"What could you say to ___?"
"What would you rather not say to ___?"
"Who wouldn't you want to communicate with each other?"
"What could ___ & ___ say to each other?"
"What would you rather not that ___ & ___ say to each other?"
(Could be done both ways to a total of four questions. Could also be worded as "what would it be unlikely that ..", or "what could you not imagine that ..", or "what would you not expect ..")
"Who wouldn't you want to think about?"
"What would it be alright for you to think about ___?"
"What would you rather not think about ___?"
If the client doesn't by herself come up with active, juicy people, but only selects safe, boring ones, we would pick them for her from a prepared list. The list would be made out of general types of people that might be hot for that client, something like:
- The president, a hooker, a killer, your ex-wife, God, a psychiatrist, a creditor.
13. Uncomfort about subjects
Here we are after any unpleasant things to talk about. Try to elicit subjects that the client doesn't want to talk about, or that makes her feel bad. We are not after her specific secrets, we are after what generally makes her uneasy. And with anything we get we will work on increasing the level of communication about it. That is, we will get her to talk about. Talking about why she doesn't like talking about IS actually talking about it, so that is a little trick here. Also, try to find what is actually going on, why she gets uncomfortable, what the mechanism is and what is behind it. And process that with whatever technique is appropriate. Find many subjects and for each one work it over until it is freed up. Address this from several perceptual positions also; receiving communication, giving it, watching it, etc.
"What don't you want to hear about?"
"What is it you don't want to hear about ___?"
"What happens if you do hear about it?"
"What wouldn't you mind hearing about ___?"
"What don't you want to talk about?"
"What don't you want to say about ___?"
"What would happen if you did talk about ___?"
"What would you like to say about ___?"
"What shouldn't others talk about?"
"What shouldn't others say about ___?"
"What could others say about ___?"
"What don't you want to think about?"
"What shouldn't you think about ___?"
"What could you think about ___?"
If the client doesn't willingly come up with subjects she is actually uneasy about, we'll feed her subjects from a list. Appropriate subject would be death, going to the bathroom, sex, intimate body parts and so forth. Use wordings that are a stretch for the client but that do not overwhelm her. She should be willing to comm about "blow-jobs", "shit", "corpses", and whatever. Don't step too much out of her vocabulary. The idea is to free up her willingness to communicate, not particularly to say "dirty" words.
14. Uncomfortable situations
Elicit situations where the client is uncomfortable communicating. That is, the environment or the circumstances limit her ability to communicate well. Then isolate what it is about those circumstances that is the issue, and deal with it appropriately. We are looking for stuff like "when I haven't taken a shower", "when I am asking for something", "if somebody is taller than me", "when it is full moon", pretty much any kind of circumstance.
"In what kind of situations would you feel uncomfortable communicating?"
15. Limits to communication
Here we examine if there are limits to how much communication is acceptable. Try to establish if there is some principle governing her tolerance. Anything can come up, fixed ideas are likely. If she can accept any amount of comm we won't pursue it for very long. That is unlikely to be true, however.
"How much talk would you be willing to listen to?"
"Tell me why?"
"How long would you be willing to talk?"
"Tell me why?"
"How much talk could you stand others exchanging?"
"Tell me why?"
16. Why not communicate
Work on locating fixed ideas that might stop communication. Discuss the question. Pursue any hint of a fixed idea. Take up unpleasant feelings or anything else that might be a reason for not communicating. If there is not much that is hot you could also simply get a lot of quick answers from the client.
"Why shouldn't you listen?"
"Why shouldn't you talk?"
"Why shouldn't others talk?"
"Why shouldn't you listen to yourself?"
The inability to lie will hinder communication. Becoming more able and willing to do so will free up the imagination and ability to communicate. So, simply ask the client to make up lies and have her keep doing so until she is perfectly alright with that. She might somehow object that that is not an ok thing to do, and you can work on that fixed idea.
"Tell me some lies"
18. Saying anything
Have the client just say things without limiting the scope in any way. Often people are uncomfortable being vulnerable and just blurting out whatever is on their mind. This is an exercise to get over that. So, have her keep saying things without any prior hints and preferably without making a system out of it as a way of avoiding it. If she starts working out logical or "good" answers, speed it up. Demand instant answers with no thinking.
19. Meaningful communications
Ask the client for meaningful and meaningless communications. Don't set up any precise definition or guideline for what that would be. The idea is to make her realize that anything is meaningful or meaningless depending on what she says it is. Don't tell her that at first, though. Let her struggle trying to come up with good answers until she realizes that it is all up to her.
"Say something meaningful"
"Say something meaningless"
20. Something more
Get rapid answers to a series of questions asking the client to give different kinds of statements. Work through her attempt to give good or logical answers or to find a lot of meaning in this. She should become at ease just quickly giving answers without holding herself back.
1. "Say something nice"
2. "Say something mean"
3. "Say something smart"
4. "Say something dumb"
5. "Say something funny"
6. "Say something un-funny"
7. "Say something interesting"
8. "Say something boring"
9. "Say something strange"
10. "Say something new"
11. "Say something old"
12. "Say something you've heard"
13. "Say something you've never heard"
14. "Say something you want to hear"
15. "Say something you don't want to hear"
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