Human beings live in a “real world. We do not, however, operate directly or immediately upon that world, but, rather, we operate within that world using a map or a series of maps of that world to guide our behavior within it.
These maps, or representational systems, necessarily differ from the territory that they model by the three universal processes of human modeling: Generalization, Deletion, and Distortion. When people come to us in therapy expressing pain and dissatisfaction, the limitations which they experience are, typically, in their representation of the world and not in the world itself.
The most thoroughly studied and best understood of the representational systems of human modeling maps is that of human language. The most explicit and complete model of natural language is transformational grammar. Transformational grammar is, therefore, a Meta-model — a representation of the structure of human language – itself a representation of the world of experience.
Human language systems are, themselves, derived representations of a more complete model — the sum total of the experience the particular human being has had in his life. Transformational linguists have developed a number of concepts and mechanisms to describe how the way that people speak – their Surface Structures – is actually derived from their full linguistic representation – the Deep Structures.
The transformational Meta-models describe these concepts and mechanisms explicitly — they are specific cases of the general modeling processes of Generalization, Distortion and Deletion.
The Meta-model relies only upon the intuitions which every native speaker has of his language. The overall implication of the Metamodel for therapy is the assumption of well-formed in therapy. Well-formed in therapy is a set of conditions which the Surface Structures the client uses in therapy must meet in order to be acceptable.
Using this appropriate grammar for therapy, we, as therapists, can assist our clients in expanding the portions of their representations which impoverish and limit them. This results in enriching their lives in such a way that they experience more options in their behavior, more opportunities to experience the joys and richness that life has to offer.
When integrated with the people-helper skills which you, as a therapist, already have available to you, this process of growth and change is profoundly accelerated. This language of growth, then, is truly an essential part of The Structure of Magic.
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