[childhood] events and the meaning you gave those events?”
Let me explain why this is true. Any child in any culture recognizes certain facial expressions as “angry,” which most children would interpret as meaning there is something wrong with me. Why that interpretation and not, what’s wrong with my parents? Two reasons.
First, a child knows on some level he is dependent on his parents for his very survival. If there is something wrong with his parents, then his survival is threatened. Better there is something wrong with him.
Second, children think adults, especially their parents, have all the answers to dealing with the world and children know they know very little about how to deal with the world. Children are always saying, “When I grow up, then I’ll be able to … (or then I’ll know what to do).” So if mom and dad are angry, it must be my fault; there is something wrong with me. Before a child has words this can be experienced wordlessly as: pushed away, black, overwhelmed, not acceptable, etc.
If you don’t get what you want a lot of the time, you might feel powerless even before there are any words for that feeling. If mom and dad aren’t around a lot of the time when you want them, you might feel alone.
To summarize, events in your childhood and the meanings you give those events are the source of the “sense” you formed of yourself at the time and that still exists today.
Steps of the Lefkoe Sense Process (LSP)
1. Close your eyes, look inside, and find your sense of yourself. Don’t worry about putting words on the sense. Your experience might be in the form of pictures, images, feelings, or vague thoughts. Just try to experience it as fully as you can right now. [Give the client a moment to think.] … Now that it is real, please use a few words to describe that sense so that I can get an idea of your experience, even though the words are not your experience.
Client’s description of sense: _______________________________________.
2. What are the events when you were a young child that first caused ________________________________? [describe the sense using client’s exact words] [The events are almost always interactions with parents early in life.]
3. Is it real to you that your current sense of yourself was caused by those events and the meaning you gave those events? [The answer should be, yes.] NOTE: Even though usually events have no inherent meaning for adults, they do for children who are dependent on their parents (or other adults) for their very survival.
4. Is it real to you that the only reason that _____________________________ [describe the sense using client’s exact words] is your sense of yourself today is that as a child you never distinguished between you and the meaning you gave specific circumstances outside of you that really caused the______________________________? [describe the sense using client’s exact words] In other words, can you see that the _____________________________ was [describe the sense using client’s exact words] never inherent in you—it was never who you really are? [The answer should be, yes.]
5. To make this distinction real, if earlier in life the circumstances that originally caused the ___________________________ had been different, [describe the sense using client’s exact words] if_______________________________ [state the opposite of what actually happened] had happened instead, would you have had the _________________________________________________________then? [describe the sense using client’s exact words] If you didn’t have it then, would you have it now? [The answer should be, no.]
6. Close your eyes and look inside. Do you still experience yourself as ________________________? [The answer should be,no.] [describe the sense using client’s exact words]
Note: Sometimes the entire negative sense will be gone at the end of the process. If only some aspects of the sense have been eliminated, do the process again with whatever words describing the sense still feel true to the client. There may be a different source for what remains.
Copyright © 1997-2009 Morty Lefkoe
The other process that can be very useful is the Lefkoe Expectation Process (LEP). Sometimes after all the relevant beliefs have been eliminated one still expects life to be difficult, to not get what one wants, to have anxiety in certain situations, etc. This process can eliminate those negative expectations. Like with the LSP, you should eliminate all the relevant beliefs first, because often that will eliminate the negative expectation. But if the expectation is still there, use this process.
Here are the steps of the LEP.
Steps of the LefkoeExpectation Process (LEP)
To be used to eliminate negative expectations about some area or issue.
1. What is your expectation about _____________________________________?[Insert the area or issue, for example, self, life, relationships, or career
2. ___________________________________________________________ [Insert the expectation given by the client.]
3. What happened early in your life that might have led you to this expectation? [Note: The client usually will say: I expect … to happen in the future because it happened many times in the past.]
4. An expectation is nothing more than assuming the future will be like the past. Can you see that your expectation made sense given the many experiences you had that were similar to what you now expect? [The answer should be, yes.] Can you see that your expectation is a function of those specific circumstances? [The answer should be, yes.]
5. If the circumstances in the past had been different, would you still have had the same expectation? [The answer should be: Of course not.]
6. Describe the differences between your earlier circumstances and today’s circumstances. [If the client has difficulty in doing this, you can assist. One crucial difference is that the client has The Lefkoe Method available now and a lot of beliefs the client had then he does not hold today. Also, in most cases the “earlier circumstances” occurred when the client was a child; now she’s an adult.]
7. Can you see that today’s circumstances are very different from the earlier circumstances that led to your expectation? [Summarize the current circumstances that the client has just stated in #6 above.] [The answer should be, yes.]
8. Don’t tell me what you want, what you wish for, or how you’d like it to be. If expectations for the future are based on current circumstances, tell me what any reasonable person would expect in the future given your circumstances today, namely ________________________________________. [Restate what the client stated in #6 above.] [The answer will be a different expectation.]
9. Close your eyes and look inside. What do you expect about ___________________________ right now? [Insert the answer from #1 above] [The client will describe a new, positive expectation.]
Copyright © 2001-2009 Morty Lefkoe
Thanks for reading my blog. I really appreciate your comments and questions. Please feel free to share my blog posts with anyone you think might be interested as long as you tell people where they came from.
If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to htp://www.recreateyourlife.com/free where you can eliminate one limiting belief free.
To purchase DVD programs that we guarantee to eliminate eight of the most common daily problems, go to http://www.recreateyourlife.com/store.
Follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mortylefkoe and join our fan page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LefkoeInstitute) to get my latest insights on the role of beliefs in our lives.
Finally, to receive notice of new blog posts, please fill out the following form.
Copyright © 2009 Morty Lefkoe