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Solutions for Complex Conflict - Page 3
Ending Confusion Martyn Carruthers 2002 Soulwork Croatia / Hrvatska

Transcript recorded and transcribed by Ana Pejcinova, PhD

Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

This transcript was recorded during a seminar in Poland by Martyn Carruthers about helping people resolve deep conflict . A portion of this transcript was cut and posted at
How children create complex conflict.

People suffering obsessions or compulsions often find a predictable structure of underlying conflicts ... a sense of cognitive dissonance and unaligned emotions. Here is an example of coaching a person to explore a deep conflict.

Jan is a businessman about 45 years old.
He and Martyn agreed to explore a conflict about Jan's smoking habit.

Page 1  Page 2  ...  Page 4  Page 5

Conflict Resolution Transcript Page 3

Part 3 becomes Conscious

Martyn: [To class] Note that Jan's physiology is now symmetrical. At this moment I see no sign of conflict. Jan can appreciate a side of him that wants to have fun, and he can appreciate a side of him that wants to live peacefully. My next question may be: how can Jan maintain this state through life challenges? Notice what happens when we explore integration.

[To Jan] Imagine that you can live your life with the beautiful white birch and the clown together inside you, so that on every step you take, you can feel the harmony of the birch and the joy of the clown. How would it be to live your life like that, Jan?

Jan: Super ... it feels ... wonderful [Part 3]

Martyn: Imagine you can take a wonderful step into the future, and live your life in harmony, peace and fun. Maybe it could be wonderful to live with no inner objections ... no conflict.

Part 4 becomes Conscious

Jan: [flat voice and tiny movements of hands, shoulders and head] In such a life there would be no obstacles.

Martyn: [To class] Look at Jan, his body started a series of slight movements, so it seems that another part might soon be conscious. Or maybe I'm wrong; maybe there is no objection. [Saying that is provocation for Jan, whose unconscious twitches become stronger.]

[To Jan] Maybe this change would be perfect for you without any problems.

Jan: Yes. [with weaker and weaker voice] Let's do it.

Martyn: Super! [To class] I taught you all how to deal with Yes, but and Yes/No objections ... here is an example of Yes/No

Martyn [To Jan] Jan, I would be happy to help you make this wonderful step into your future. Jan smiles. [To Jan] Is there something that could stop you living this peaceful joy? [Jan rests his chin on his right hand and raises some fingers of his left hand.]

Martyn [To class] Notice that Jan immediately becomes asymmetrical. Perhaps another part is emerging: signaling with Jan's left hand.

Jan: I think I'd get sick.

Martyn: This is important. A part of Jan (part 1) wants to quit smoking, another part (part 2) wants to smoke. Some sort of integration of those is possible, so let's call it "peaceful life" (part 3) for now. As Jan starts to consider "peaceful life", a fourth part emerges that objects to "peaceful life" (part 3). Remember - this fourth part was latent, in a fog, until Jan considered this possibility.

Now Jan is saying: "Wow, this is wonderful! It's what I want in life." And now another part of Jan objects (part 4), saying "Hey, wait! Stop!!!" This fourth part had nothing to say earlier, perhaps because peace and joy were in conflict, and perhaps peaceful joy could not be considered. Perhaps now that there is a possibility of this basic conflict being integrated, and peaceful joy being realized, part 4 wakes up and communicates something like, "Stop! Wait! This conflict has a purpose!"

[To Jan] Feel this side of you that may get you sick. Where might this part be?

Jan: In my body.

Martyn: Where in your body? [Jan shows signs of trance] Take your time ...

[To class] This fourth part did not communicate until the surface conflict might be resolved ... if this surface conflict is important it should not be lost ...

There is a NLP technique called Visual Squash: we could have one part fully on this side [holds a "part" in one hand] and one part fully on this side [holds a conflicting "part" in the other hand], and then with hypnotic language, [Martyn emphasizes "NO" non-verbally], Jan would be instructed to squash these two parts together. NLP people may use post-hypnotic double-binds to keep those two parts bonded.

[To Jan] So what would be the result if you squash these two parts together?

Jan: [enthusiastic tonality] Good!

Martyn: And this part here, the fourth part, what would it say if these two parts are squashed together?

Jan: [pause] I'd feel that I have no power; umm [pause] I don't want to do that squash.

Martyn: If I am convinced that it's good for you, maybe I'll grab your hands and I'll squash them together physically. If you are partly in trance, it would take a lot of composure to resist my suggestion. What would this fourth part say?

Jan: That it should not work this way, that it is not right.

Martyn: What would happen?

Jan: [neck and chest tighten] I'd choke.

Martyn: [To group] Fortunately, most people seem to be healthy enough to un-squash or dis-integrate such hypnotic commands, and within a few days or weeks, they recreate their conflict. Then their conscious mind says, "Hah - it didn't work!" Therapists often call these people resistant clients! But the people who are not healthy enough to untangle the conflicting parts - obedient or compliant clients - may feel weaker or become physically ill. I was rather well trained in NLP, but now I discourage the use of many NLP techniques. (See NLP Techniques & Personal Ecology).

[To Jan] So, imagine this fourth part of you, Jan, the part of you that wants you to have harmony and joy apart, in conflict. Imagine that you can see this fourth part of you. Maybe it is watching carefully what is happening about this conflict. Maybe ask this part, "What does it gain by keeping this conflict?" Something so important that if you lose it, it may make you sick.

Jan: This part says that I can be friendly to both people who smoke and to people who don't.

Martyn: Does this part want you to be friendly with people?

Jan: Yes [gestures with right hand to Father position]

Martyn: With whom especially does this part want you to be friendly with?

Jan: With my family [gestures with right hand to Father position]

[To class] Notice that every time Jan speaks about this fourth part, he uses his right hand and not his left. Remember who seemed to stand there earlier.

Martyn: Maybe this part thinks that if you stop smoking and live joyfully and peacefully, something not good will happen with your family?

[To Jan] And imagine that you can see this fourth part of you, Jan, what would it look like?

Jan: Like a Chinese scroll.

Martyn: Maybe you would like to thank this Chinese scroll for its wisdom: it wants you to have good relationships with your family. Maybe, in the opinion of this part, if you live joyfully and peacefully, you might lose connection with your family. What do you think?

Jan: This part says that these things, smoking and contact with family, do not depend on each other.

Martyn: Good. So focus on this Chinese scroll, and also keep your attention on the other two parts, the birch and the clown helping each other. What would the Chinese scroll like to say to the birch and the clown together?

Jan: That everything possible, everything that they may want to reach, lies inside a person [points with his right hand to his own chest]

Martyn: Excellent! And what would the tree and the clown say about this concept that everything that they may want to reach lies inside this person? [points at Jan]

Jan: They agree. My whole future ... ummm ... [signs of trance]

Martyn: [To class] It seems that the first level of conflict for Jan is about behavior: "Do I smoke, or do I not smoke?" And the second conflict is about values - about what is important: joy and harmony outside in the world (part 3), or inside Jan (part 4)? This fourth part of Jan seems to communicate to Jan: "If you only find harmony outside, you will be sick."

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To readers: thank you for reading this far. Your attention is a compliment.
Please email us some of your experiences and contact us to resolve conflicts.

Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Plagiarism is theft Martyn Carruthers 2002-2018
All rights reserved. Transcribed by Dr Ana Pejcinova

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email