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Interrupt the Pattern to Enable Change

Uncategorized Oct 22, 2017

Now that you understand the patient's world, now that you've aligned with the patient, now that the patient has taken responsibility, and now that you've built a rapport with the patient, you need to shake the patient out of old ways of thinking. This is Step 3 in the 7 Steps Toward Helping Clients Master Change. To refresh your memory: the first step is understand people's world (speak their language) while the second is to create a base from which they can accept responsibility.

By this point, after you've worked with the first two steps with your patients, if you've built rapport and they trust you, then you can use pattern interruption to break that cycle of victimhood and self-denial. This third is creating a pattern interruption: shake them out of their old habits and old ways of thinking.

Generally, such a pattern interruption hits them with a boom. It's as if you were driving along and, on coming to an intersection, you suddenly snap out of it and say to yourself, "How did I get here?" You didn't realize that you were driving without thinking. That's how most people go through life.

Imagine going through that intersection without realizing where you are and getting T-boned by another vehicle. Whoa! It's a shock! This certainly interrupts the pattern.

Statements or questions that interrupt the pattern established ways of thinking tend to be very confrontational. Why? Because such statements or questions need to be so. They have to be confrontational to break someone's mental, emotional, neurological-emotional pattern, and this can seem shocking.

When you hear these questions, you might say to yourself, "I can't say that." It's not whether you can or you can't say such things—it's how you go about preparing your patients to hear them (or to be shocked into change). The more the patients trust you, the easier it will be to break the pattern of their old, unconscious way of thinking. Once you've established rapport and then you've shocked them out of their older way of thinking, they're more likely to respond, "Okay, I see it." You have to provoke somebody. Not provoke in a bad way, but interrupt an emotional freight train, and derail it from going in that old direction.

In my next post, continuing this discussion of Step 3, creating a pattern interruption, I talk about how you provoke people into breakthroughs where they realize that what they've been doing hasn't served them.

I'd love to hear about your experiences in doing this: how have you created pattern interruptions and broken the old ways of thinking in some of your patients? What happened? Thank you for sharing.

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