Welcome to The NLP Connection, Christina M. Hall, Ph.D.

The Society of NLP. The NLP Connection.

The Paradoxical Nature of Change

Exploring double-binds, loops and paradoxes

Paradox doesn’t exist in nature where there is only movement and change. Everything moves naturally from stage to stage. Paradox results from the ways in which human beings conceptualize, analyze and describe process. In this way, process is made static.

"The limits of my language are the limits of my world."
(Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Language creates boundaries and fragments process into artificially separate parts, thereby making a process into an object. This is one of the very processes of thinking that results in problem formation.

“Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.”
(Benjamin Lee Whorf)

We will explore a model that considers reflexivity (a loop in which something refers to itself) to be a natural feature of human systems. Some of these loops are problematic. Loops that become problematic contain a double-bind, which is an alternating situation between ”yes” and ”no”. As long as the solution is considered within this duality, someone is caught in an illusion of alternatives. Such “double-binds” result in “friction, frustration and conflict,” because neither is really a viable solution and actually perpetuate a problem.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
(Einstein)

Instead of continuing to alternate back and forth in order to choose one alternative, change is accomplished by shifting to a higher logical level of thinking. Such change lifts the situation out of the double bind, placing it in a different frame that expand the range of possibilities.

“Change your thought and you change your world.”
(Norman Vincent Peale)

Particular areas of exploration and “paradoxical” intervention will include:

  • Poly-Contextual Mapping: Identify double-binds that produce problem states and learn how to open up possibilities where there seemed to be none.
  • Structure of Integration: The Polarities of Balance: Experiment with the Interdependence of Opposites to create generative change.
  • Structure of Paradox and transcending the paradox: chunk up and out of the double-bind using Meta-Chaining.
  • Transform Conflict into Creativity: Utilize innovative counter-example strategies to chunk out of problematic double-binds, opening up greater flexibility in thinking and in action.
  • CHI Strategy: Transcend the dilemma of either-or thinking to liberate the expansion of choice.
  • Diamond Strategy: Reorganize beliefs to build a solid foundation of resource and accomplishment, advancing your personal development.
  • Aikido Strategy: Experiment with a simple and artful path of discovery by acknowledging with awareness, inner power and compassion the situations of life as a springboard to greater freedom and perspective.
  • Lotus Swish Pattern: chaining swishes as an unconscious future-pacing pattern to accomplish outcomes in ways that actualize greater potential.
“When you rule out the impossible, everything can be believed,
thereby making available a limitless and infinite array of new possibilities.”
(Albert Einstein)

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