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Confirmatory Experiences Following Doyle Traces

The Following Discussion is Excerpted from an Email from Bobby Matherne to Doyle Henderson on January 2, 1997. In it Bobby discussed the importance of using a food dislike for one's first doyle trace, the concept of stopper doyles, and why it is often so difficult to notice when a doyle trace has been successful, among other things. Amanda and Carol are pseudonyms to disguise the identity of the two people. Used with permission.
©2000 by 21st Century Education, Inc

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Amanda who has done several doyle traces. I asked her for any confirmatory experiences, and didn't get much. Fifteen minutes later, however, she reported this reaction to her importunate mother-in-law's statement, "Amanda, you are being selfish.":

"Yes, Carol, I am selfish! That's exactly what I am and very necessary for me to focus on holding two jobs and raising four kids."

She was exultant when she told me, like it was something inside her that she had wanted to get out for a long time.

As you probably know, here's the subtle part of a doyletics trace: with the prominent exception of bad food doyles, when you make a change, you delete something, and it's much harder to experience a deletion than an addition. Removing a bad food doyle is an exception, because deleting a negative response adds a food that you can eat and enjoy. Therefore it provides an ADDITION instead of a deletion. Just being able to take a nibble on food you never put in your mouth before is a great convincer that something real happened during the trace. That's why I recommend to people that they first do a food dislike before attempting to trace anything else.

Rem-ember my reaction when you first said you had lost all your food dislikes? I began to see that as a possible link into people's convincer strategies. The importance is that unless something plugs into a person's convincer strategy they literally DON'T KNOW anything has changed, even though it has.

Now, I learned that from Bandler and Grinder (Richard Bandler and John Grinder). I try always to remember that "one who is a scholar remembers one's sources." God I wish I could remember where I read that to give credit to its source!

Okay, as Calvin once said, "I got side-distracted." Back to my point: as I was writing about my lunch with Amanda, it occurred to me that her being able to stand up to her mother-in-law may have come about because of some doyles that she had removed, that had stopped her in the past. I call these "stopper doyles" or primitive feeling states that, when activated, prevent one from clearly expressing one's inner self. Amanda could not admit that she was selfish unless she had direct access to her inner self in the moment. Amanda was answering the question I'd asked earlier at the table by telling me the story about Carol, and neither she nor I knew at the time it was a direct answer to the question, "How specifically has your life changed since you did several doyle traces?" [Richard Bandler once told me, "When you do subtle work, you must expect change in subtle ways."]

Now the "fifteen minutes later" [see third sentence above] is very important. Bandler told me that he could tell trainees about maneuvers to elicit responses from people, wait at least fifteen minutes, and then USE the maneuver on them and they would not know it. If he tried to use the maneuver within fifteen minutes, they'd say, "Oh, that's such and such maneuver," and they would be pleased as punch with themselves. He found if he simply waited at least fifteen minutes, they'd not have a clue as to what was happening to them.

What Amanda did, in unconscious competence, was wait about fifteen minutes before she answered the question, and neither of us knew of the exact question that was being answered, up until now. [And I can tell you, but for my training with Bandler, I'd still not have a clue.]

~^~ Relief is just a Trace Away! ^~^~

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