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Human growth, developmental stages, Piaget, Erickson, Reich...

Each person is
responsible for
his/her own life
and maturity...
a supportive,
environment can
help a person
develop this.

According to humanistic psychologist, Erich Fromm, love is not something that people stumble into, but rather an art which requires knowledge, effort and experience.

As our modern Western society has become more individualistic and consumerist, the rate of major psychological depression has risen steadily (Cross-National Collaborative Group 1992) Our modern lifestyles have alienated us from ourselves, others and nature. Some of us have lost sight of our burning for transcendence and unity with something larger than ourselves and cover it up with consumerism and "having fun".

We have gained more and more freedom over the ages. Why then is it that we grow more anxious and alone?

What about the Noble human capacity to overcome hardship and despair - futility of one's personal actions - spiritual and philosophical aspects of human nature.

We are conscious people with certain needs, existing within a network of societal demands. A way to fight the loneliness and isolation resulting from our biological drives and societal pressure is by acting in a loving way to help others.

When we transcend the demands of ordinary life and instead create an active, positive identity involving productive, respectful love of others, we can rise above and transcend the pressures and forces in our personal lives and become spontaneous, creative and loving citizens of this planet.

On NLP changework, developmental stages, beliefs and being human

As humans, we largely pattern our life experiences to support our beliefs. We create and sustain our own maps of reality. Unfortunately many of the fundamental life decisions that make up the fabric of our belief system we decided before we were 3 years old, at a time when not much of our "higher brain" functioning was available. For instance, the frontal lobes - which allow us to do long term planning and to fully realize the consequences of our actions - is not fully developed till we are about 21 years old.

Developmental psychologists describe stages of development that the human organism's brain and biology grow through as one evolves from the"critter" level, fight-flight stages that Wilhelm Reich described as "Organismic rights" (right to exist, need, be autonomous, separate, love and love sexually) through the oedipal/Electra, magical thinking, early socialization and concrete operational stages of the neo-Freudians, such as Erikson, Piaget, Vygotski and Joseph Chilton Pearce.

Nature seems to present us with windows of opportunity - during which each of these stages is mastered, matured and stabilized. The degree to which one has successfully mastered each stage can have deep impact on the development and maturation of succeeding stages.


Reichian Developmental Organismic Rights.

Imagine being a newborn infant and having to rapidly adapt to the brave new world beyond the womb. Wilhelm Reich observed a series of stages, through which each human, growing organism passes on their way to full body maturation.

Early last century, there was a German psychologist and radical protégé and [futurer] of Freud. As a precursor to the developmental stages theories of Jean Piaget, Wilhelm Reich described Reichian Organismic Rights, which give us another way to view the relationship between the growing human neurology and the belief structures this neurological system supports. Reich identified basic patterns of tension and developmental immaturity, and spoke about how they manifest in the body. These patterns are called body armoring and express unconscious structures of hope and contracts of love, fear and belonging.

[What is the shadow side of each phase of development and what is the "illusion of release" that keeps the belief system stable?]

Reich spoke of the potential of human development possible during each developmental stage and the kind of systemic dysfunction that might result due to unsuccessful evolution and maturation of each succeeding developmental level. The tension of un-potentiated potential in each stage can result in "body armoring", a sort of muscular tension signature, unique to each person.

Body armoring, streaming energy and health

Reich defined bodily and emotional health as the unhindered flow of the body's own energies." He named this sensation "streaming". The body/movement therapies that have their roots in the work of Reich have the potential of reaching into us to the core energetic patterns we may have adopted in earlier stages of our childhood evolution and maturation and changing the energetic structures of those patterns. This form of bodywork can be an interesting addition to more traditional NLP counseling sessions.

Our bodies and neurology go through stages of physical/biological, sensory-motor, emotional, cognitive and perhaps Spiritual growth. Our bodies are a map of how we adapt and grow through those life stages. Like "Chi" or "Prana" from the Eastern traditions, "Skan" from the Lakota means "That which moves". The Chinese healing and martial art traditions speak of a place of silliness from which arises the thought "to move". This thought turns into an intention, which informs and orchestrates the chi, which then propels the flow of physical body movement (via the blood circulatory system and other chi pathways).

Like kinks in a hose, the natural flow of this life-force energy and vitality within and through us can get distorted by life's ups and downs and traumas or tragedies. The muscles of our body become a library of the various ways in which it has supported and given expression to the various moods and emotions of our life experience - the "physiology" we are always looking, hearing and feeling for as NLP practitioners.

The "streaming" energy Reich talks about can stream along the length of your body. For many people, it might be blocked by bands of holding patterns, shaping the very structure of your own body and posture. We mold our bodies and they become perfectly adapted to support and express the particular belief systems and patterns of our lives.

Freud, Reich on sex, Organismic rights and healthy biological and psychological functioning

Reich expanded on Freud's basic psychoanalytical theories and added an interesting wealth of observations about the body and a person's emotional and sexual health. He talks about a series of developmental stages that a human being moves through, during which the individual can work out certain basic human rights - with varying and unique degrees of success.

When we are challenged, encouraged, informed and supported through these stages we expand and are biologically, emotionally and cognitively ready and available for the opportunities, challenges and changes of each succeeding stage. When we are less than fully successful at navigating through a stage, the results get stored in our bodies as "body armoring" and the energy stuck in the pattern and the un-evolved parts of us are not fully available for the next stage. Here are his "Organismic Rights," which we review and discuss:

  1. the right to exist,
  2. the right to need,
  3. the right to be assertive,
  4. the right to be independent and
  5. the right to love and be loved sexually.

Types of NLP Services Provided:

Affordable personal change consultations - private individual and couples sessions and small group experiences:

  • Personal NLP-based counseling for relationship, conflict resolution, career, personal growth and lifepath issues
  • Also individual Chi Kung and Tai Chi instruction for relaxation, increased flexibility and health improvement
  • Therapeutic deep or subtle bodywork, with or without NLP techniques applied
  • Available for classes, group lectures, talks, demonstrations or ongoing group meetings

Personal and Corporate NLP consultation services for businesses:

  • Matching people for jobs, interviewing and hiring by discovering the ideal characteristics and "metaprograms" suitable for a particular job and the metaprograms and personality characteristics of job candidates
  • Modeling business success to teach to other staff, employees
  • Teaching effective communication and rapport skills to managers, sales people and staff
  • Inspiring group dynamics and team building

Other technical services. Using NLP perspectives, principles and in formation gathering techniques to:

  • Interview and clarify client needs, target audience, and project goals
  • Redesign websites
  • Fine tune web pages for search engine optimization
  • Inform and mold Internet marketing and search engine submission strategies