Weak DECISION Styles (Part 1)

it’ll always be wrong!

PREVIOUS: Procrastinators Anon Tools



• First 6 of 18 types of un-sound decision-making (D.M.) styles & their corrections. (No known source) While these types all represent dysfunction, people gravitate to one of these styles as a reflection of their inborn approach to life, along with an unhealthy upbringing.

• No matter what our personal style, ACoAs have a great deal of difficulty making decisions. This deficiency has nothing to do with our basic intelligence, only our damage. An apparent exception are those in the Hero / Rescuer family role – who seem to be able to make decisions easily & continuously. But the hidden worm in the fruit is that they only do it on behalf of others. Decisions for themselves are rare & usually unhealthy

– D.M. is the process of identifying & choosing alternatives, based on our values & preferences &
– D.M. is the process of reducing enough uncertainty & doubt about our options to give us the freedom to pick out the best one at the moment

SOME REASONS we have trouble with D.M.
• not having a clear identity (who am I, how do I present myself, what do I need or want….)
• letting the WIC (wounded inner child) be in charge of considering what to do, who either acts impulsively or is stuck / paralyzedbad decisions
• not trusting the knowledge, judgment & experience we’ve gathered throughout our life

• not realizing we have options to choose from, or better options than we think we have
not having permission to change our minds – about anything!
• being in denial about what we know regarding a person or situation

• fear of making the wrong choice – we think the wrong one will have life & death consequences, or result in severe punishment or self-hate, afraid of taking risks, asking for help, getting good things

• co-dependence: wanting to please everyone, all the time
• growing up with a series of double-binds (paralyzes us)
• not having enough or the correct information to decide accurately
• using CDs (cognitive distortions) in thinking about a problem

➼ As we Recover, some of these reasons melt away, some diminish & some we struggle with throughout life – & which is which will be different for different people.


Double BINDS – Solving (Part 12)

is scary but liberating!

PREVIOUS: Double Binds (Part 11)

SITE: “Breaking the DB

Structure of Binds & DBs
J. Lawley, & P. Tompkins (Chart Below)

Levels: Every person or system has its own built-in self-preservation, & acting to maintain their identity (in unhealthy or healthy ways) – as seen in the family mobile. To do this successfully, the system is able to change at one level (lower) in order to maintain itself an another ‘higher’ level. See DBs, Part 2.

• However, these same processes which keep a system from dissolving or spiraling out of safe bounds can also act to block, brake, constrain,hinder, inhibit or prevent development and transformation
via BINDS: any repetitive self-preserving pattern which never-the-less is inappropriate or unhelpful, & which the person has not been able to change

• Although the organization of each bind is unique, they can be expressed many ways – non-verbally, as multi-layer conundrums, in recursive patterns (repeating itself indefinitely), conceptually – such as the line by Groucho Marx, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member”, & metaphors: “I’m trying to run round a track to overtake my ideal self twice, and the more I develop the more the gap widens.”

As clients become aware of their binding patterns they’re faced with a hard choice: to be forever trapped in the bind OR risk moving into that scariest of places – the Unknown. But as their binds become clearer and clearer, they may spontaneously reorganize, which modifies or eliminates their need to DB themselves or others.

PROCESS – See chart
• Name and locate the parts of ones metaphoric ideas (what’s underneath the beliefs, using “Being stuck is like ….. Because …..” statements)
• Clarify the relationships between components, and the patterns across ideas / beliefs
• Once identified, the patterns themselves can be named, symbolically represented and explored

• Thus the modeling process (gathering all the elements & then subtracting what’s not relevant) continues at a higher, more inclusive level of organization (DBs, #2).
The combination of components provides a Metaphor Landscape, a context in which a pattern of the patterns – the larger organization – emerges, which provides the conditions for change

Note: The “Operational Closure” at each level of this procedure occurs when the various components and their inter-relationships are clear enough so that the whole frame is brought into the person’s consciousness.
Structure of Binds & DBs” w/ FULL explanation of Chart

Double BINDS – Re-Framing (Part 9)

sharng food 

in a whole new light! 

PREVIOUS: Double Binds (Part 8)

BOOK: Double Bind: A Guide to Recovery and Relapse Prevention for  Chemically Dependent Sexual Abuse Survivors, Caryl Trotter 1992

• A frame is a focus of attention you give to something (DBs”, Part 3).
Re-Framing (R-F) assigns another meaning to any upsetting situation, that helps identify, interpret & respond to it in new ways. It’s a powerful tool for solving problems which come from assumptions that insure staying stuck. Re-framing asks “How can I think about or do this differently?” (Also see AGREEMENT Frame)

• Dealing with DBs requires making cognitive leaps by using a broader way of thinking, putting our experiences into a wider context. While re-framing by itself seldom resolves a problem, it offers the potential of “softening it up” so that a solution can be uncovered – one that’s acceptable, if not always wholly appreciated. This shift in thinking leads to self-empowerment, which leads to higher functioning & satisfaction, taking us from no-win to no-lose. (MORE…)

• ACoAs are used to being trapped (‘Learned Helplessness), learned helplessbut eventually in Recovery we can come to value the inherent freedom of dealing with OR resolving our DBs. (also: Seligman – slideshare . While we start out experiencing them as a horrible trap, we can make the shift to seeing them as an opportunity to choose what works for us. There are a variety of feelings (Es) and perspectives (Ts) to each situation (As) – like how each of us grieves a death differently, or how we show our love for someone. This means that we can’t be “wrong” when we’re expressing our True Self, because each of us are unique. The damage is the same for everyone but our essence is specific to us, so we’re free to choose our own style & our own path! (Grieving & DBs)

TYPES of Re-Framing
Context R-F – Figuring out where a ‘problem’ situation or reaction would fit contextbetter – the context that would be appropriate for it, would make it useful, make it a benefit or even an asset or skill. (Dancing in the isles in a conservative church/ synagogue /mosque would be a problem, but not at a Pentecostal or African-American Baptist church)!

Content R-F – Shifting the focus, either on a different part of the circumstance, & asking: “What else could this mean?” OR seeing that the same situation can have a variety of meanings – good, bad or different. (Someone was frowning ‘at me’. Were they annoyed with me? OR maybe they were –content– worried about a loved one
— thinking about a problem to solve
— looking at someone/thing past my shoulder that upset them….
—> none of which have anything to do with me!

Value R-F – Changing the meaning of a word or term, often done in marketing, where a product is given a totally new purpose, a different use &/or value meningpresented to new markets. It can also be the way a phrase is accented, as in the picture.
EXP: Many pre-Christmas retailers will say they’ll help you “Pay less” with special deals, but the Berlin lingerie store Blush recommends a ‘smaller’ holiday gift: “Make your loved ones happy with less!”

DB QUESTIONS: Sooner or later we may run into someone who loves to ask unfair or impossible DB Qs – the kind that try to force the answer the questioner (S) wants, no matter which way you answer. Unless we can step outside the Bind, we’ll find ourselves in a catch-22 – angry & possibly humiliated. These Qs are usually made up of 2 parts: Reference to a ‘bad’ thing or an assumed action PLUS the issue of frequency (MORE….)

• The S starts with an accusation OR assumption about the intended target Trick-Questions(you), then asks if they are ‘still at it’ or ‘will be doing it’. By framing the question as closed, the potential R is expected to only give a Yes/No or other one-word answer, without a chance to address the actual topic.
EXP: “Are still lying? / Have you stopped beating your wife? / When do you want to help us? / How much money can you contribute?”….

• RE-FRAMING: The only sane & self-respecting way to handle this kind of verbal trickery is to treat it as if you heard an open question, so that you respond to the underlying assumption rather than the closed question.
EXP: “What makes you think I’m a liar? / I’ve never beaten my wife and never will / I don’t have time in my schedule to help / I’ve already contribute all I can”…. (Open vs Closed Qs)

Using R-F on Senders (S)
• As we make the effort to avoid playing the DB game (DMs, Part 3), it’s important to recognize the S’s reactions when we oppose or ignore them:
— Re. themselves: ”See how good I am”. They’ll strongly protest that they are not appreciated for the benefits they provide to society, maybe tearfully wonder why their benevolence goes unnoticed, and ask to be understood as an active agent of ‘good’. DO NOT fall for it!
Re. others: “See how bad you are”. The S will try to strike fear into the ‘closed heart’ of an R who wants to get away, accusing them of being out-of-control. And with fake alarm will point out the one who opposes them (R) to anyone who will listen, trying to enlist others in turning the resisting person around!

• By re-framing, we can think of Senders as performing a serunmask trickvice – as gifts to help us grow. Their destructive talent is the ‘art of camouflage’, but a knowledgeable person is not fooled by this evil which masquerades as goodness. Stick with the winners & trust your gut instincts. Since you can’t win, don’t try to placate them or explain yourself!, nor be forced out of Abiding, even though the extremes of Fight or Yield are always available. (DBs, Part 6)
“Being happy is the best revenge”

NEXT: DBs – Part 10

Double BINDS – Verbalizing (Part 7)

say what you mean 

& mean what you say!

PREVIOUS: Double Binds (Part 6)

SITE: Escaping from the BD


SPEAK UP about the DB, because “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” (Al-Anon). DBs can only control us as long as the contradictory beliefs remain deliberately ignored (loyalty to toxic family, not trusting our perceptions….), or out of our unconsciousness altogether.

META vs. Congruent communication
Meta  – a special form of communication, sometimes unspoken but always implied info which the R picks up on but can’t prove. It may include non-verbal signals – tone of voice, body language, vocal sounds (sigh, grunt…) or facial expressions – which contradict the spoken words. Can be a key to figuring out what’s really meant in a DM.

Congruent (matching, in agreement) – All the various parts of the communication are consistent, agree with each other, fit together, make sense. If what you’re ‘receiving’ is not self-congruent, be clear that you must not participate in the S‘s game of control, & then you can point it out as best you can.

• We stay caught in DBs when we hide our fear – from shame, S-H & feeling crazy, assuming others will laugh at or belittle us, cut us off….. Questioning our beliefs & talking about them weakens the hold DBs have over us. We can’t afford to let our fear & shame stop us! Instead of being a lonely & passive victim, speaking our ‘truth’ allows us to become an active participant/ partner in helping ourselves, by not isolating with our emotional pain & mental confusion.

• Given the nature of D. Binds, it’s absolutely appropriate & necessary to need other people’ perspective to help us sort out the mess – whom we know to be safe & are not caught up in the dilemma. At the very least they can provide company & encouragement! “A burden shared is a burden halved.”

SAY WHAT YOU OBSERVEsay what you see
DB-ed by OTHERS : When we speak up, some things can shift, if not in the relationship with the S, than for ourselves – which is empowering. We need to be able to stand up for our rights, and say what we see & hear:

EXP: “I’m confused! Can we slow down & figure out what we’re really talking about? You’re sending me two messages where one cancels out the other. SO:
a. You say you love me, but in the same sentence tell me you can’t see me / can’t help me out / can’t go with me…. because you’re soooo busy. If I say it doesn’t feel like you care about me, you ask how I could say such a thing. If I try to explain it, you get enraged , insulting & belittling me SO – there’s no point in responding to you.”
> OR
b. You say you love me, but then you yell, call me bad names, support others against me, blame & shame me. If I say it doesn’t feel like you care about me, you ask how I could say such a thing. If try to explain it, you get all hurt & victimy. SO – there’s no point in responding to you” (More ….)

EXP: “Please say something that will agree with your body language and facial expression”
— Right now you’re tense & frowning, but you say you’re happy to see me. Which is it? Pleased or anxious? — OR
— Right now you’re insulting me but you’re smiling. Those 2 things don’t go together. What are you angry about? Be honest or don’t say anything!

Talking to the S:
• If the S can’t or won’t talk thru the problem with you – at all – work it out with someone else.
• If they blatantly deny your observations & feelings, don’t second guess yourself. Stick to what you know – then you’re free &  clear
• In some cases they may be willing to admit they’re being confusing / controlling, genuinely not realizing they were doing it. That’s good, but they may still not be able or willing to change
• If they are willing to listen, you can state your need for clarity & re-wording – as a wish, and as a desire to eliminate obstacles in your relationship

SAY WHAT’S HIDDENsay what's hdden
DB-ing OURSELVES: We started out trapped by family experiences, & then we continue trapping ourselves because of pain we don’t want to admit to or confront. (See DMs – Part 8 b).

Remember – we’re human. So many of us have the same kinds of emotions beliefs. When we speak our worries out loud, even if we think they’re trivial, it gives the people around us a chance to say “Me too!”, which they may never have been able to before. Now there’s two – or more – who understand, can commiserate & be supportive

Start by identifying what you need & give yourself permission to do, to have or to feel it, even if others around you don’t agree. List all the things you want & don’t want. The contradictions will point out the DMs you’re telling yourself.

• Ask: “What do I really want in this particular situation?”.
It may be one side of the DB you’ve been in — or something completely different. List all the things you want & don’t want. It’s OK to be conflicted.  It’s also a way to sort out what has more weight.
— Do you want to go somewhere or stay at home?
— Would you rather hang out or work on a project?
— See your family or go to a show?…..
Our personal DBs are about internal conflict – health vs disease, obedience vs disobedience to Toxic Rules, resentment vs forgiveness….

When we ADMIT what we’re trying to hide from ourselvesget help wirh DBs
• instead of try to go it alone,  we can talk to people as peers, rather than below or above them
• reasonably healthy & clear-minded people can help us face our underlying fears & confusion
• we’ll be more accessible (instead of invisible) to others, especially if we’ve been indirect or distant for a long time. Saying what’s confusing will help them understand a little more about how us think & what we need.

NEXT: DBs – Escaping (Part 8)

Double BINDS – Changing (Part 6)


if I’m willing to use the tools

PREVIOUS: Double Binds (Part 5)

SITE: “The Double Bind: The Intimate Tie Between Behavior and Communication” (Re. Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality)

1. Emotional / Spiritual – DBs cause stagnation – the opposite of Life.
LIFE is movement, & all movement has momentum. This means that our reactions & choices cause changes in direction – we’re always ‘going to somewhere’ (Desire) and ‘going away from somewhere’ (Aversion). It’s our normal state, and anyone unaware of this basic Human Design principle is very vulnerable to manipulation. Unfortunately, many spiritual teachings associate desire with shame, & aversion with virtue. ‘Followers’ – who consider themselves sooo higher-minded – take great pride in all the things they abhor, while convinced that needing/ wanting is a personal flaw or sin. Of course, this is also the way to obey several Toxic Family Rules – which makes is easy for D.Binders to use this distortion to capture their audience – including YOU. (review DBs”, Part 1)

• TRANSFORMATION (healing) cannot be forced, but is rather a process, & when or how long it takes is unique to each of us. However, as we know, there are tools that encourage the shifts we want to make. For long-term changes one needs a clear mind – free of enough repressed emotions – to access one’s logic & creativity, in order to make choices or find possible alternatives to the DMs we’ve absorbed. This require the R to have enough S & I, self-esteem & good boundaries – to no longer be overwhelmed by the terror of losing the connection with the S. Some fear is to be expected – so the process requires courage – the ability to take action in the face of anxiety.

One key to resolving D.Binds is to first realize they are an iillusion/liellusion and a lie – just like perfectionism or self-hate. As adult we always have other options. We can find them if we’re willing to explore the beliefs and values that hold the illusion in place, which are based on what we assume is or isn’t real & possible. Mental, Emotional & Spiritual maturity* allow us to embrace paradox instead of running away, by ‘passing through the dilemma of irreconcilable double-binds’. We can only do this if we’re willing to struggle thru the various stages of personal growth. “FACTICITY”, by Elizabeth Michaels offers a sophisticated way of resolving paradox and resistance.

*Maturity: How well we realistically understand situations in their present-day context, are in touch with our emotions as well as in charge of how or when we expressing them, & usually respond from the Adult ego state, with ourselves & in dealing with others. Maturity eliminates Perfectionism! (Review posts)

• A sign of this maturity is finding the middle state which can be called ‘Abiding’ – calmly BE-ing, or NOT-reacting. Reacting (see ‘DMs, Part 2’) is the endless see-saw between aversion and desire, and causes much pain. Firm Abiding is the place between the two extremes – a place of choice, a place of peacefulness & assurance. Being able to Abide in the ongoing presence of a D.Binding control-artist, when absolutely necessary, is indeed a victory! This is not easy but can be done, & is a fundamental way to outwit DBs.

2. Mental, Practical – “We learn the rope of life by untying its knots.” Jean Toomer, American poet / novelist.
Change ONE part of the Pattern – start with some small part of the bind you feel you can handle. We can’t always choose what happens to us, but many times we can shift how non-smoking/weightwe respond to the variations in life’s complex pattern, at least to some degree.
EXP 1: A woman wanted to stop smoking but was worried about the ‘inevitable’ weight gain. Instead of staying afraid, hopeless & paralyzed, she learned about nutrition & started changing how she ate – before quitting. That made her feel confident enough to give up the habit

EXP 2: Jason is in a less than healthy relationship. He’s caught between
A. wanting to stay & please the other person (so he won’t have to feel lonely & abandoned) – but can only do that if he denies / ignores big chunks of himself (so his mate won’t have a crying fit or tantrum – again)
B. Jason also feels trapped, needs space & wants to be free to be more himself, to not be the ‘good one’, not always be in charge….. but isn’t ‘allowed’, neither internally nor by his mate: “I just want to love you – is that so bad?”DB squeze
• Until he’s strong enough in self-esteem to leave & find a more suitable companion, he can try some small improvements in their routine together. Taking a half hour out of the weekend for a walk by himself, make phone calls privately, go to the store…. & see what happens. It’s OK to let the other person have their feelings (at least some of the time), & take care of his WIC, instead of hers.

RECOVERY EXP: In therapy Maria tackled the issue of feeling suicidal since early childhood, but never blatantly acted on. She learned that the impulse came partially from her mother’s DMs:
A. “You’ll be the death of me – yet” (you’re a potential murderer, it’s only a matter of time, you terrible child)  – AND
B. “Of course I love you – you’re my baby!” (as long as you’re just like me – perfect! So don’t be yourself, ie. the Real You has to die.)

— Young Maria could never be ‘perfect’ (please mom), no matter how hard she tried. She was always doing/being something her mother couldn’t stand – because the child was not like her! By the time Maria was 10 she wished she were dead, but suicide was against her religious training.
— As a young woS & I man she ‘chose’ to date men who were not only emotionally abusive, but also physically dangerous. Maybe they would do it for her! But that never ‘worked out’ & she was left having to face the underlying problem.
In terms of the DB, it came down to siding with her mother’s messages or her own sanity.
“Either she dies or I die”. Maria chose herself. Even so – her mother lived another 25 yrs, to age 90. No matter what – Maria didn’t have the power to kill her mother, and her mother had not succeeded in destroying her!

NEXT: DBs, Part 7 – Verbalizing

Double BINDS – Options (Part 4)

wash the brain 

until I’m free of this poison

PREVIOUS: DB – Frames (Part 3)

SITE: 4 Double-Binds psychiatrists use on mental patients

OPTIONS in dealing with DBs
Once you – the R – have gotten caught in a Double Bind you’re going to have to accept that ‘getting away’ may be painful & slow, especially if the S is important to you & you’re afraid of loosing them.
Remember, people who use DBs need to control others & are NOT safe, most likely a narcissist, & therefore not truly loving. That’s an illusion they create & you buy into. Feeling angry, frustrated & ‘crazy’ – about yourself & toward someone else – are your HINTS that they’re pulling a fast one on you. It might be necessary to move out of their range, which is not easy, but it’s also not the only option.

• Getting relief from a DB situation comes from recognizing & addressing the Conditions which are required to produce it (see “How It Works”= DMs Part 3 and DBs, Parts 7-10). But FIRST – know that you have to ‘chose your poison’ & that there will be some repercussions for the side of the DB you reject. You will need the ego-strength (self-esteem) to bear whatever reaction you’ll get from the Sender, which can include raging, insults, threats, silence, shaming…. Since Ss are control freaks, they’re more likely to hang on & keep trying to keep you hooked rather than dump you. If you stick to not playing along, they’ll either adjust, withdraw or leave.

1. DO LESS: At first, if the pattern of interaction with a special person is so deeply ingrained & your connection to the S is like your childhood & probably symbiotic – you’re likely be too mentally confused (T) & emotionally scared (E) to make radical changes (A). The best course of action is to DO LESS of whatever they’re trained you to do/be, & see what happens. Naturally it will be uncomfortable – not just because of their reaction, but from your own feelings of guilt & fear of abandonment. Remember that guilt is the E. that comes from breaking a rule or law.

2. PICK ONE: Eventually, as you get stronger & with the right support, the most common option is to choose one of the 2 opposing positions presented to you, & stipick oneck to it – the one you prefer & can live with.

EXP: SO – between “I encourage you to go back to school / I discourage you from going back to school” – YOU choose the one YOU want to do, even if you understand & maybe even sympathize with the other person’s feelings, needs, fears….

EXP: SO – between “I disapprove of you when you have not cleaned your house ‘perfectly’” (you’re such pig) and “I disapprove of you when you think you’ve cleaned everything thoroughly (I can always find something you missed) – YOU can choose to NOT drive yourself crazy over-cleaning before mother’s visit, since you’re not going to be acceptable either way!

EXP: MASH’s Klinger tried to get out of the war on medical grounds, SO –
A: he pretended to be crazy – BUT was told that –
B: only crazy people would want to be at war
Result – he was never allowed to be discharged for medical reasons.
NOTE: This is a DM – the word “crazy” being used on two different logic levels. However, Klinger did not fall into the trap. In an impossible situation he chose the ‘crazy’ that suited him & went merrily on his way.

3. “And now for something completely different” (Monty Python): Look for a 3rd kobayashi marualternative which suits you but does not deal with any part of the DB, like cadet James T Kirk did on the Kobayashi Maru test. There may be a middle way between compliance & escape, especially important when you’re in a relationship with a S you’re not ready or willing to leave (boss, spouse, parent, adult-child….).

a. It can be done by directing the S’s attention to a point outside the DB. In the medical example from ‘Double Messages’ Part 3, instead of getting angry, defensive or wounded, one could say: “Let’s just focus on understanding my present symptoms & how to treat them.”

b. It can come from noticing a missing part of the DB – a loophole – as a possible exit from the trap.
EXP: Carla on Cheers always turned an insult aimed at her – back on the speaker, by changing the meaning of their words. No matter how obvious the slur, her response would usually be “So what’s your point?” LOVE IT!
EXP: from the Calvin & Hobbs cartoon, using Tropes:images
> Teacher: “Explain Newton’s First Law of Motion in your own words”.
> Calvin: (writing) Yakka foob mog. Grub pubbawup zink chumble spuzz. (to camera: “I love loopholes!”).

c. It can be done by changing one part of the pattern
EXP: An artist was commanded to paint a flattering portrait of his one-eyed king. He would be executed if he failed to show a faithful likeness, but would meet the same fate if it revealed any imperfections in his majesty. All was well when the royal portrait was finally unveiled. It showed the king taking aim with bow and arrow – with the bad eye firmly closed.
EXP: A woman wanting to stop smoking but not gain weight afterward, was encouraged to find a food plan that would ‘protect’ her. She re-tooled her diet & exercise style first – & then quit. Changing one part of her life-pattern made room for other parts to shift more easily.

4. SLIGHT of MOUTH* – If physical detachment is not possible, the pattern can be dented if not broken, by commenting on or questioning the essence of the D.Messages leading to the DB.
EXPs of what to say:
• “Thinking in no-win terms creates no-win results. Is that your goal?”
• “What are you trying to accomplish? You can’t have both, so which do you really want?”
• “You only believe that because you haven’t considering the impact or consequence of what you are saying”
• “Have you noticed that your statements put me in a no-win situation?”
• “How do you figure out or explain the difference between those opposing ideas?”
• “If those ideas belong together, do they only apply to you or to everyone?” (More)

*Slight of Mouth, a cousin of the magician’s slight-of-hand, was created in the 1970s by SOM-Mouthfounders of NLP as a tool for persuading people to change their beliefs or actions. It’s a powerful set of re-framing patterns, consisting of 14 precise ways to speak to others, which can create or force a particular outcome, & see EXP of Sleight of Mouth” by Robert Dilts.

NEXT: DBs – Facing ourselves (#5)

Double BINDS – Frames (Part 3)


but I’m innocent!

PREVIOUS: BDs (Part 2) – Logic types

SITE: Framing:…Least recognized daily Mental Activity

Frames are cognitive shortcuts used to help make sense of complex information. If you look out of 2 different windows at a landscape – you’ll see 2 (maybe very) different aspects of that world. It hasn’t changed – only your perspective – your FRAME. The ‘view’ of ourselves, others & the world around us comes from our beliefs about those 3 categories, based on what we believe to be our value, skills, talents, potential….. (for ACoAs those are not positively weighted!) These views will limit our options in life, OR open up all sorts of possibilities. (see Input-Output chart in DMs, Part 1)

• Framing Theory can help make sense of how DMs lead to DBs, because it explains that – “how something is presented influences the choices people make”. If you don’t ‘set the frame’ -for yourself & with others- someone else will, & whoever does – controls the situation by creating the context for everything that happens in the interaction.

• Each different kind of frame has several parts, making up the whole:
– Commercial Transaction: seller, goods, buyer, money
– Communication: message, messenger, audience, medium, images & context
– Group Therapy: therapist, clients, personal problems, suitabFRAME Cartoonle location ……

• Controlling our frame is not necessarily bad. In fact we all do it every day – parent to child, teacher to class, boss to employee…. It’s only bad when the frame is designed to ensnare /control another person or group.

D.Messages are used by one person or entity to force a frame (point of view) on another to only see something in a skewed way. Then X can herd Y into a mental & behavioral tunnel – like cattle – with nowhere to run. “Heads I win, tails you lose”.

• Our personal reality is constantly changing & always includes our active participation. It’s made up of the events, experiences, objects, processes & facts we encounter, & can only be fully understood in context. In NLP terms, the Frame is the ‘immediate moment’, inside the ‘overall interaction’, the META-frame. Normally, each frame (moment) effects the next & the next….to infinity, same as ‘context’ in DBs #2.
D.Messages cancel out the possibility of going from one frame to the next – preventing our ability to move to the next moment.

• Frames take time to develop since they’re based on repeated experiences, forming expectations of how things will turn out or how we think they’re supposed to be.
D.Binds rely on the Victim’s (R) ability & desire to figure out what the Perpetrator (S) wants, but then thwart that possibility.

• The effects of normal framing are like optical illusions. Do we see the glass as half full or half-empty? Did you illusion& your ex ‘break up,’ or did he/she ‘dump you?’ You hear a noise at the front door – are you scared (you’re all alone) OR feel happy (expecting your lover)?…. Part of the way we figure out our environment is by deciding what to include in each experience: which parts are relevant & which can or should we ignore?
D.Binds take away our ability to make those decision or have options.

• The specific words we use, when combined with the setting (DMs – #1), create a feedback loop that guides & shapes our interaction with others. The choice of language for each type of basic frame is crucial, because its verbal images, story lines & emotions can evoke higher-level moral & theoretical frames.
D.Messages include lower level components but disregard logic & morality, leaving us at the mercy of the puppet master.

• A valid frame is made up of a group of logical & related ideas, and all the pieces must be known in order to understand the whole. (If you only hear one side of a phone conversation you can’t know what it’s really about.)logic frame

— Equally – to understand any one piece of info, the whole system (context) has to be understood. (If you only hear the word ‘whore’ you don’t know if it’s an insult, a metaphor, part of a story, a religious reference….).

— On the other hand, individual words can represent a whole category of information, so introducing one idea (a past ‘moment’) can bring to mind a complete picture – from our store of memories & experiences. But the words, phrases & images have to be understandable & logical.

EXP: ‘Dope’ can mean a narcotic in one frame, & “that’s good” in another. In one frame both meanings are positive (as with users), but in a completely different frame ‘dope’ is harmful, & using the word to mean ‘great’ makes no sense (as with ‘straights’).
D.Messages juxtapose opposing concepts as if they belonged together, which makes them both irrational, & the misuse of language sets the stage for confusing & then controlling another person.

EXP of an invalid frame: In group therapy Lina complains that after only one year of marriage, her husband ‘unfairly’ divorced her, even tho they love each other, because his teenage daughter from a previous marriage violently objects to their union. The group is confused. Why didn’t she fight for her marriage? Why couldn’t they work it out? Why is the father so effected by the girl?….

Lena LEFT OUT of the presented frame – that:
a) her husband is an active alcoholic, & won’t get ‘help’ of any kind
b) his first wife is Lena’s oldest sister, so she’s known him for many years
c) her husband’s daughter is also her niece, whom she helped raise from infancy! confusion
No wonder the girl is upset! AND why Lena was in a BD!

D.Binds are neither meaningful nor useful, because they create unsound frames that violate the rules of logic, and are severely slanted to only suit the Sender. (How we think…)

 DBs (Part 4) – Options