The Feedback Loop

There is an ongoing loop of great importance that takes place in a processing session. The simplicity of a session could be said to be that the facilitator does something, notices the result and then does something else. A skilled facilitator is one who is good at thinking up what to do, and one who is fast at adjusting to what she observes.

Transformational Processing is based on taking the appropriate action needed to help the client change. It is not something that is done blindly. The reason there is a facilitator there and not just a book or a computer is because somebody needs to notice and analyze what is going on with the client and take the action that would work best.

The facilitator and/or the client has a certain outcome in mind when following a process or doing anything else in session. The outcome might not be very detailed and specific, but there must be some idea of where we are headed. The facilitator must have a goal for each activity being done.

Based on her analysis of the situation, the facilitator will choose a technique to apply. We can't be sure that it is going to work. All we can do is to pick the best tool we can think of for the perceived situation based on theoretical knowledge, experience and common sense.

Next the facilitator needs to notice the feedback she gets. Some results will happen based on what she did. The client will probably respond and answer. The facilitator needs to notice as thoroughly as possible what is happening. Any and all perceptions are valid input. The client's body language, tone of voice, statements, etc.

Then the facilitator must analyze the feedback in relation to the desired outcome. Was the question answered, are we going in the right direction, is the technique working, is the client progressing? Evaluate if something needs to be changed, and if so, what would be the key element to change?

Based on her analysis, the facilitator does or says something again. It is not just a repeat of what she said or did the last time, it includes the feedback from the previous actions. And the loop starts over again.

The faster a process facilitator can do this loop, the better she can attain maximum results at all times. If she only knows after a session is over if things went well or not and her course correction won't be done before the next session, well, that is not going to be as effective as if she will be able to analyze every 5 minutes how things are going. A good facilitator would be perceiving and analyzing all the time. She will know how each question worked, she will know exactly how things are going.

In training there are several skills that need to be developed to do this well. One is to notice what is happening in front of you. Noticing how people look, sound, and feel, noticing what they are actually saying, etc. That is done mostly by keeping your senses open, staying in the present, with your attention on the client. But also, it helps to have developed as many distinctions as possible in advance, so you know what you are looking for. If you have a word for something, it is easier to notice it. Various parts of this manual will supply you with more distinctions about what you can perceive.

Another necessary skill is to think quickly on your feet. There is not time in a session to sit and contemplate each response the client gives. You need to keep doing something. Often it is better to keep moving than it would be to stop and try to construct the perfect thing to do. So, you need to be quick at making decisions. And you need to be willing to make decisions that aren't perfect.

You also need to be able to do many different things; you need behavioral flexibility. You need to be ready to do whatever it takes to move the client on. You need to be more flexible than the person in front of you. So that no matter what she comes up with, you will know what to do. You can not develop a robotic routine of always doing the same thing and expect that you can handle whoever comes in. You need to be ready to do totally different things and always stay a step ahead of the client.


- Take a dictionary and decide to find the word "Clearing" in it. First try deciding in advance exactly what actions you will do to find it, how many pages you will turn, etc. Then do it in the way you would usually look up in a dictionary, i.e. start somewhere and notice where you are and then adjust to the feedback. Which method works best?

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