It is actually not about magic at all, but about psychology. This book contains some eye-opening insights into the relationship between models and reality. It is an attempt to find the common elements in language-based therapy, a meta-model as they call it, in order to advance the state of the field of therapy as a whole. It also presented the case that concrete-ness is the key to understanding a persons model of the I just finished reading an interesting book called The Structure of Magic.
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It is actually not about magic at all, but about psychology. This book contains some eye-opening insights into the relationship between models and reality. It is an attempt to find the common elements in language-based therapy, a meta-model as they call it, in order to advance the state of the field of therapy as a whole.
It also presented the case that concrete-ness is the key to understanding a persons model of the I just finished reading an interesting book called The Structure of Magic. This review will summarize the book by chapter, with my own thoughts added as notes to the side. Warning to the Reader The central task of psychology is understanding human behavior. Human behavior is infinitely complex, though not unbounded.
In a similar fashion, language is also infinitely complex while remaining bounded. This book is based on the insight that human language and human behavior as systems are related.
In particular, Transformational Grammar as developed by Noam Chomsky in the s, has shown that infinitely complex entities can be governed by a finite set of rules. It is possible to describe an infinite number of things using English.
However, all English sentences must conform to the rules of English grammar and syntax. Grinder and Bandler posit that human behavior acts in the same way. Each of us creates a representation of the world in which we live — that is, we create a map or model which we use to generate our behavior. Our model is limited by our physical ability to perceive neurological constraints , our social background cultural constraints , and by our life experiences experiential constraints.
So, no one sees reality as it really is. We always have a limited picture. We can only be in one place at one time, we can only hear so far, and see so far. We are also conditioned by culture to accept certain things, and our own life experiences condition us even more strongly. Has anyone ever got a new car and then suddenly noticed how many other cars on the road were exactly the same? That is an instance of perceiving things only after they enter our model of reality.
Of these three, the experiential constraints are the most profound for the authors. People who come for counseling are typically in pain because their model does not allow them to see or make the right choices in a given situation. Any model of reality can be affected in three different ways: Generalization, Deletion, and Distortion. Generalization refers to the process of applying a singular occurrence to a broad range of related, but different occurrences. This representation can be either internal thinking or external communication.
It is, in effect, a model of a model. As such, it is subject to the three universals of human modeling: generalization, deletion, and distortion. Language is also subject to the three universals of linguistics. Native speakers can always tell if a sentence is well-formed that is, if it follows the syntax and grammar of that language. Native speakers can always tell which elements in a sentence are related, and they can determine the logical semantic relations presupposition, ambiguity, etc.
Syntax and grammar are governed by a finite, regular set of rules which may or may not be known to the speaker. The two key concepts in this chapter are the ideas of the Surface Structure and the Deep Structure. The Surface Structure is whatever the speaker actually says. The Deep Structure, on the other hand, is the full linguistic representation of what the speaker wants to communicate.
It is easier to think of the Deep Structure as the Surface Structure with all of the details filled in. The authors contend that the Surface Structure is generated from the Deep Structure mostly by unconscious action. The Structure of Magic The one commonality of all successful therapy is that the patient changes in some way.
This chapter presents an overview of the Meta-model of therapy. Deletions result in an impoverished model of the world, which results in a limited range of behavioral options in any situation. The process for recognizing deletions at the Surface Structure level is to take a given utterance by the patient and to use our linguistic intuition to try and imagine the same sentence with more noun arguments.
The therapist can then choose between ignoring the deletion, asking for the missing piece of the sentence, or guessing at the deletion. Thus, the first step in acquiring this set of tools is to learn to identify the fact that linguistic deletion has occurred. The pieces that are missing in the Surface Structure are the material which has been removed by the Deletion Transformation. Recovering the missing material involves a movement toward fuller representation — the Deep Structure.
They are the underlying unstated assumptions of a model. All presuppositions should be explored. First, the therapist must work from the Surface Structure to the Deep Structure. Then the therapist must find where the Deep Structure does not correspond with reality. The patient is unable to fit these ideas into his model, and will resist them.
Viewing a process as an event gives the client the false sense that this happening is fixed and unchangeable. Another example of distortion is assigning responsibility to people for actions outside of their control. For example, Bob made me angry. My Conclusions The natural question is, "So what? That is one of the reasons why Jesus was such a powerful influence on his disciples. Amazing how Jesus got as far as he did without a Ph.
D in psychology. I also think that their presentation of the different ways that people typically distort reality to fit their model was helpful. Negatively, I think that they labored under the burden of Transformation Grammar far longer than was helpful. I also think that they are too optimistic about the truthfulness of human beings. They assume that people are trying to faithfully represent their actual remembrances with their words.
These things need to be taken into consideration as we attempt to move some of the findings of this book from the counseling arena to the mentoring arena.
The Structure of Magic I: A Book about Language and Therapy
Main article: Neuro-linguistic programming Bandler helped Robert Spitzer edit The Gestalt Approach based on a manuscript by gestalt therapist Fritz Perls who had died in He also assisted with checking transcripts for Eye Witness to Therapy John Grinder , a professor at the University, said to Bandler that he could explain almost all of the questions and comments Bandler made using transformational grammar. Together, they created what they called a therapist training group.
Neuro-linguistic programming and the police: Worthwhile or not?
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