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Logosynthesis by Willem Lammers
Logosynthesis™ is an innovative and comprehensive system for personal development. It is effective in coaching, counselling and psychotherapy, and can also be used as a self-help tool. It enables people to find their innermost life path. Logosynthesis is simple, elegant, effective, and easily conveyed.
Added Jul 22, 2008 | 14,839 Reads
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
-- William Wordsworth, Ode 536
Case example: Sarah, playing music
A typical example is a following sequence from a coaching session I had with Sarah, a 30-year old business manager. Sarah used to get anxious if she had to play the piano in front of people. In the session, she resolved this issue with the help of Logosynthesis, within a few minutes. The literal transcript of this sequence follows here. The transcript starts after I asked her to imagine the situation in which she experienced the fear:
Sarah: I watch myself playing the piano, going all tense.
The coach gives her a
Sarah, after repeating the
sentence, and being
silent for a while:
The coach gives her a second
Sarah, after repeating the
sentence, and being
silent for a while:
The coach then gives her a
after a long
silence, Sarah says:
Logosynthesis offers a logical, coherent, and easily grasped view of human nature. In ancient Greek, Logos means meaning, mind, word or teaching. In Logosynthesis it stands for “meaning” as well as “word”. The Greek word Synthesis means, “putting together” and refers, in our context, to the integration of fragmented parts of a personality into an integrated Self, in which all parts work harmoniously together.
It is not a coincidence that Logosynthesis is reminiscent of Viktor Frankl’s model of Logotherapy. We start on the basis that people are looking for meaning. Frankl was one of the first to include a spiritual element into therapeutic work. Humans are body, mind and soul – biological, psychological and spiritual beings. These three aspects of our existence cannot be separated in everyday life. They are, however, useful for looking at life in its complexity.
Biology represents the aspect of physical survival; psychology stands for the ability to actively create and fill this life; and spirituality refers to the perceived meaning of existence. A higher Self, or Essence, manifests as a person in the context of life on earth, with a task of developing and growing in certain areas, and with the potential to fulfil this task. The spiritual dimension of life can be viewed under the following aspects:
Essence contains our core qualities, and our task contains the challenges for the life we’re currently living. Spirituality will also determine the individually perceived connection between freedom and responsibility. The meaning of life expands beyond the material world and beyond our connection with life on earth, and under no circumstances can it get lost. This meaning can only be derived from the context of being a creature on earth. It will emerge and become conscious from the interaction between Essence on one side and living on earth on the other.
Logosynthesis holds the view that suffering is primarily the result of unawareness of Essence and of our challenges, our creative tasks. Healing will happen automatically once we reconnect all parts of ourselves with our awareness of Essence. This concept of healing differentiates Logosynthesis from other forms of counselling and psychotherapy.
Up to the moment of birth a child has experienced itself solely as an indestructible, spiritual being – invulnerable, omnipotent and immortal as described by Winnicott. In that moment when this indestructible Essence meets the earth life system, the original self is confronted with sensory experiences in a world, which knows the biology of hurt, of pain and of death; a world which also knows the psychology of fear and abandonment. The newborn baby very soon experiences the limits of its physical influence on this new environment. His mind will learn to perceive and interpret the world through the senses, to understand it in the language of his/her environment and to act with the help of the consciously controlled body.
Through this limitation of body and mind the awareness of the original Essence gets lost to a large extent: The world has no actual language for the soul. Our Essence and essential qualities will always be there, but our life experiences will lead to pain and hurt. This induces us to hand our fate over to those we perceive as powerful in the context of our existence on earth, - our parents and those who are mentally or socially superior to us: doctors, priests, teachers and representatives of official institutions. All these have the power to fulfil our physical and psychological needs for food, shelter and affection. Intense sense experiences are stronger and more urgent than the subtle notes of our Essence and their language. Thus we lose more and more conscious access to our true self, to our indestructible Essence.
In the tension between the original self – in its quality of Essence – and the earth life system parts of our all-encompassing awareness become split off, or dissociated, and we generate images of the world around us in an attempt to make more sense of it: imprints and introjects.
In the beginning, dissociated parts and introjects have their place, in as much as they help to integrate our complex experiences of the world and to enable us to predict what is going to happen. However, very soon they start to prevent us from perceiving new events appropriately and they become hindrances.
Thus a person can learn to react towards an aggressive remark by withdrawing. A father being angry with his child will cause the development of an angry image, an introject, in the child’s personal space. The child will split part of his/her consciousness off and create a dissociated part through this timid reaction. In this dissociated part the child has lost knowledge of intrinsic invulnerability. The next time the father gets angry this introject is activated - and the child will react out of the archaic, dissociated part and will not get caught unawares.
This way the world becomes predictable at the cost of flexibility in responding to the father’s angry outburst. If the grownup does not resolve this developmental pattern it will prevail throughout his life and restrict him in his responses to other adults. A boss reacting abruptly towards a mistake will reactivate the father introject and trigger an emotional freezing in archaic anxiety. In our adult life we keep getting confronted with this kind of reaction, which seems irrational, inadequate and incomprehensible.
These patterns, these frozen worlds, consist of two parts:
Introjects and dissociated parts belong together and cannot be separated. Many schools of therapy perceive these patterns as cognitive structures and try to dissolve them by either aiming to put the introjected messages and people into perspective or by strengthening regressed, dissociated parts.
In Logosynthesis, we look at these dissociated parts and introjects from a completely different viewpoint. We consider them as thought forms, static, energy structures in space, which deny current reality and prevent dialogue between the person and actual events in the here-and-now. This understanding of dissociated parts and rigid introjects as energy structures in three-dimensional space – as opposed to abstract, cognitive parts of mind - is another crucial difference between Logosynthesis and other schools of counselling and treatment.
These frozen energy structures are just as real as the body and physical space. In the eleven-dimensional universe developed by the physicist William Tiller, they include three dimensions. Matter is only one form of energy manifested: We return to Einstein’s E=mc². It is easily possible to find these thought forms in space. We only have to ask someone to remember a threatening or traumatizing event; they will always know straight away where in the space the most important people had been and these will still be seen in this virtual environment.
The methods used in schools of therapy with a cognitive orientation allow these parts to continue to exist. Transactional Analysis distinguishes between groups of dissociated parts and introjects: The ‘I’ in the Child and the ‘I’ in the Parent are seen as important parts of the personality. Not many TA practitioners work explicitly towards an integrated Adult-I.
In Logosynthesis, we take the energy of these frozen parts back to the living self, and dissolve the frozen worlds entirely by removing alien energies from the person’s body, and out of his/her personal space.
The most important discovery in the emerging of Logosynthesis happened during a session with a client, Lenore. She had been traumatized after falling down stairs in a railway station and had a total amnesia of this event even now, six years later. She was deeply insecure, suffered from many physical symptoms, and was strangely disorientated. Trying to put a key into a keyhole she would look for the hole about 20 cm to the right from where it actually was. The body from which she perceived her environment was in a different place to her physical body. In her Swiss dialect she described this as “being next to her shoes”. She reacted very fearfully when I took her words literally and invited her to lead her energy body back to her physical body. However she did attempt to do so and got physically and emotionally very agitated for about 15 minutes. I calmed her down and after that she was able for the first time to describe the events of six years ago. She described precisely how, early in the morning, she had been pushed down the stairs at the railway station by a passer-by in a hurry and had stayed there for some minutes frozen with cold and fear.
We can conclude that these energy structures – dissociated parts and introjects – both exist in space. In another session Lenore described her fear of an upcoming medical check-up. It turned out very quickly that this fear had been caused by an introject – caused by a professor who had treated her very roughly during a previous check-up. The prospect of the next examination evoked the frozen image of this professor close to her left ear. When I invited her to remove this image from her personal space the fear of the upcoming appointment vanished immediately and it took place without further problems.
In Logosynthesis we assume that both dissociated parts and introjects exist as energetic structures in three-dimensional space. This view has not been explicitly advanced in other methods of healing, with the exception of Rapid Eye Technology.
The American psychotherapist Roger Callahan describes representations of certain moments or aspects of a person’s life as energy structures, thought fields, and he based his Thought Field Therapy (TFT) on this assumption. A representation can consist of visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or olfactory sense experiences. They trigger reflex patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour. People react to their colleagues as they did to schoolmates and siblings, and to their superiors as to parents, teachers and priests. Such introjects and dissociated parts transform present situations into former environments or into the nuclear family. Both – past injuries and positive experiences – are anticipated all over again.
In the world of grownups many people live almost entirely in their heads. This means that they almost exclusively react to inner images and hardly ever experience the value of authenticity, spontaneity and flexibility. Oscar Wilde wrote: “Most people are different people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives are imitations, and their passion a quote”. We do not know any more who really is in front of us, and all the time we are longing for lost wholeness. Throughout history philosophers, priests, painters, poets and singers have in their own way expressed this longing.
This apparent loss of wholeness causes immense pain. However, because we have no words for it, we tend to transfer this pain into our biology or psychology. The body hurts, and mind seems to have needs or gets involved in seemingly important tasks. However, in a tiny corner of our mind we know that something is missing even if our material world seems to fulfil all our needs.
Logosynthesis allows our world to become more transparent. It enables us to distinguish between self and others, between past and present. Logosynthesis aids in realizing and dissolving old ingrained and adapted thought forms and opens the path for the intention of our Real Self, our Essence. Essence only has meaning in the here-and-now. Past and future only exist in form of energy structures, thought forms. They can be altered deliberately, as everyone who has been in psychotherapy or supervision can confirm. In processing experiences, changes in the perception of the past can change the way the person sees future and vice versa. With regard to past and future there are four different patterns influencing life in the here-and-now:
These basic patterns are associated with different ways of perceiving time. The French psychotherapist Janet pictured our normal awareness of time as a bell curve (diagram 1).
A healthy mind will refer to a large extent to the immediate present. Actual reality concerns us most. The immediate future and past are also charged with emotional energy but to a lesser extent. The distant future and events long gone are the least alive. But if a highly emotionally charged event takes place the perception of time shifts and becomes less whole. Memories of these events contain a different time perspective: The person dissociates, and creates a frozen world. Thoughts will move between time shortly before, during and after the event. The person’s perception the event will freeze on the time axis and actual reality will move further and further away from it. We show this in diagram 2 by a second, red curve.
process leads to problems with people around us, and dissociation
goes on. An extremely traumatic experience can be such a burden that
other parts of the personality refuse to deal with the past events
and flee into the future. This happens when the actual here-and-now
reality is not interesting enough to repress the emotions caused by
the traumatic event. The person will then create an alternative world
in the future, in which traumatic events will not happen any more or
never have so. In that case a third curve appears on the time axis,
with focus on the future (the blue curve in diagram 3). This
dissociated image of the future can either be characterized by fear
or by hope. If fear is predominant the behaviour will show signs of
avoiding perceived dangers; if there is unrealistic hope, actual
situations may well be judged inadequately (Diagram 3).
there are two types of interventions in resolving dissociated parts:
After the four basic dissociation patterns – trauma, grief, fear and illusion – have been dissolved the individual, released from the need to keep up old energy constructs, can turn his awareness and energy towards the existential task in the here-and-now. The individual can be released from his past burden and open up to the flow of awareness in the here-and-now.
Addiction is a special form of avoiding emotions caused by unwelcome experiences. We could call it state management: a way of coping with past difficult experiences, easing their emotional consequences. However, addiction denies the person’s responsibility in the here-and-now and therefore also constitutes dissociated behaviour. In Logosynthesis we concentrate on the affective, behavioural, and cognitive consequences of past traumatic events, as well as on inappropriate coping mechanisms.
Logosynthesis empowers people to retrieve their split-off parts. These split-off parts can be stuck in the past as well as compulsively focusing on the future. People also learn to remove the energy of adopted values, beliefs, emotions and behaviour patterns from their energy system and from their personal space, back to where they were initially created or where they can do no more harm. This allows the true self, the unique Essence, to emerge.
In order for this to happen we must realize that most of our emotions, beliefs and thoughts are nothing but frozen thought forms we perceive as real, and that we keep on re-activating these by giving them energy. The first step towards healing is to retrieve our energy through the power of the word, disconnecting it from symptoms, emotions or beliefs. In a second step we return the energy of others, which also is tied up in the frozen world connected with the symptom, back to where it belongs. This, too, is done by the power of the word. This needs an explanation.
Logosynthesis addresses Essence directly through the power of the word itself. In psychotherapy, counselling and coaching, that is a revolution. In spiritual tradition, it’s not new at all. In history we can find many examples of creative and magic acts performed through words. Creation, healing and magic take place through words:
Traditional counselling and psychotherapy methods remain in the field of biology and psychology. They do not know the spoken word in its healing and manifesting power. Language is used as an instrument to describe reality and to indirectly influence one’s own world – through conditioning, interpreting, trance, anchoring and cognitive reframing.
Logosynthesis offers specific formats for healing through words. These methods access the individual’s own path in life. Destructive thought forms are dissolved and the energy bound up in them is immediately available for the person in the here-and-now. This healing process reaches the core: The resolution of frozen energy structures allows the Real Self to emerge and express itself.
The process of Logosynthesis has a tangible effect. After a successful intervention the atmosphere in the room changes. It seems to become quiet in a special way: the tragic sounds less intrusive, the birdsong stronger. Silvia, a client who worked with her fear of an upcoming operation, wrote after a session on a Friday:
It is Sunday night by now, and I still have had neither another crying fit nor an emotional low since the session yesterday afternoon. Fantastic! Occasionally I remember that the operation is imminent, but nothing dramatic is happening any more. I have the impression that the Logosynthesis phrases are still floating in my body, establishing themselves. The process in my perception is not complete yet, but the drama has gone. Normality and facts take over.
Normally, the symptom the client works with, does not return. But it may well happen that new aspects of dissociated parts come to the surface. These can then be treated in similar ways. Every now and again the process may not be comfortable, for two reasons:
Professional methods for change in coaching, supervision and psychotherapy may seem quite different at first sight, but they have a lot of similarities. In his book, Willem Lammers identified seven steps that emerge as different stages in the process:
From the point of view of the above principles Logosynthesis is part of a long tradition. Therefore its simplicity may seem deceptive: it only works as long as the seven principles described above are taken into account and applied meticulously.
Training in Logosynthesis
The Institute for Logosynthesis, a subsidiary of the ias Institute for the Application of the Social Sciences in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, now offers training, treatment and supervision in Logosynthesis. It also publishes and distributes books on the subject in different languages. You find a description of my book Logosynthesis – Change through the magic of words on http://www.iasag.ch/index.php?id=332. In German, Worte wirken Wunder, a book on self-coaching with the help of Logosynthesis has recently been published. At the time of publication of this article, translations in different languages are on the way.
It only takes a few days for professionals trained in coaching, counselling and psychotherapy to get acquainted with the principles of Logosynthesis. If you start using the method with clients, it’s necessary to practice under supervision. The Practitioner curriculum contains the following elements:
Training programmes in different countries are published on website of the institute http://www.Logosynthesis.net. The institute offers an intensive course in English each year in July in Switzerland. The seminars are open to qualified professionals, and also to advanced trainees in counselling, coaching, supervision and psychotherapy.
Some comments from participants of a Level I training group:
A letter from a participant, Peter, a few months after:
have used Logosynthesis
a great deal
since doing the workshop with you in the summer, and have found it to
be remarkably effective with a wide range of issues.
i Logosynthesis is a trademark of ias AG and Willem Lammers. © 2008, the Institute for Logosynthesis™ and ias Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaften AG (Institute for the Application of the Social Sciences), Bristol, CH – 7310 Bad Ragaz. The use and free distribution of this article in its present form in print or as a .pdf file is permitted. If you quote this article or parts of it, please use the URL reference http://www.iasag.ch/docs/artikel/intro.Logosynthesis.pdf. This address will always contain the latest version. For information on presentations and seminars of the materials described in this article please contact email@example.com.
ii Willem Lammers (1950) is a clinical and social psychologist, a psychotherapist, and a consultant to people and organizations. He is also a certified Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst (TSTA). In 1987 he founded the Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaften ias AG, now in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, and has a private practice for psychotherapy, supervision and coaching. His teaching activities have taken him to many countries. Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.Logosynthesis.net http://www.iasag.ch.
Added Jul 22, 2008 | 14,839 Reads