The evocation remembrance in the explicitation interview

The evocation remembrance in the explicitation interview : similar to the remembrance in the psychotherapy or under hypnosis ?

The importance of giving up the cognitive voluntary control in evocation.

(An answer to a question asked during the RIFREQ colloquium, Montpellier, may 2015)

Pierre Vermersch

 

Someone  asked me if the emphasis upon the past-lived experience was not identical to a psychotherapy practice.

Two answers :

1/ The psychotherapy practice is based on a particular social contract which allows the access to intimacy, acknowledging the psychological suffering of the patient in order to releive or even cure him ; the explicitation interview does not at all practice within this sort of social contract, its aim is not the deep intimacy of the person, it does not target to help for changing but it aims at the description of an acting of a past lived experience to give information to the practitioner/ the researcher or the interviewed himself about his past-lived action.

2/ Nevertheless, there is a sort of ressemblance since, in both cases, we take in account the remembrance of past-lived experience. But every  remembrance work does not necessarily belongs to a psychotherapeutical practice.

Also, they have in common the suprisingly plentytiful past experience access and its re-lived dimension. To understand this nearness, I must come back to the answers I made before, like in my lecture : I emphasised on two opposite ways to reach the past. They are : Recalling, a voluntary and abstract act, and, on the other hand, evocation which is an involuntary and warm act (feeling to live again the past). The evocation process bases upon an involuntary act and is only possible with the withdrawal of the cognitive control which organizes  the voluntary acts.

Yet, numerous psychotherapeutic technics have in common the base on this withdrawal of the cognitive control, the letting-go off from the will to control. We find this in several groupal psychotherapeutic practices which first ask the patients to leave this control. Or also in the psychoanalysis instructions of free association and free expression. Also in the focusing technics when the interviewer proposes to pay attention to the corporal answer (un-verbal) to a question of the client ; or in a directed waking dream which proposes to meet one’s power animal, an old wise man or a house, this  release of control let the realization to succeed in the coming of an image which fits the instructions. Then, more, we think about the whole transe induction specific of eriksonian hypnosis.

The common denominator of all these technics is the release of the cognitive control.

The evocation act aimed in the explicitation interview is involuntary, it comes, it is carried out by the wish to let come back, and a wish is just an intention whose goal is to awake the association field about everything memorized inside of me, consciently or not (awakening of the passive memory). Vice versa, evocation is prevented from happening by each voluntary remembrance, by each effort which compromises it and it is even stopped by every rational, conceptual and organized induction (and so, explain to me, why, tell me the reason why…etc). The evocation act is based on the launching of an awakening intention which let the response come and do not control its production.

Thus, we have a central opposition between « voluntary control » and « let it come » which are exclusive from one another ; either one or the other.

Among all the technics I spoke of, the common denominator is precisely the let go, the giving up of the voluntary control of the thought.

Hypnosis is the clearest case. All the transe induction technic (in the eriksonian hypnosis) is based upon the use of a concrete, sensorial, un-conceptual vocabulary which aims to leave the abstract, conceptual field ; nothing is asked which would need an effort, a will ; « sequences of acceptance [1]» are used in order to let the subject be passive and have the precise target  to erase the sens of agentivness[2] and the voluntary control. The transe induction leads to the release of the voluntary control which allows to get around the consciousness to induce an help to changing, by reframing, metaphor etc. ; but at the same time, while doing that, it creates the condition of the « ungrip it » which sometimes allows the past remembrance to spring up. Thus we read, among specilazed papers about hypnosis, many accounts about the condition of the transe which let the subject find easily detailled autobiographic memories.

But the explicitation interview does not induce and does not try to induce a state of trance.
If the induction of the transe state creates also the release of the voluntary cognitive control, the opposite is not true, the release of the control is not the sign of a transe ! It only is the sign of a change of the cognitive functioning. For the release is of the voluntary control is proper to plenty of numerous acts which are not transe, such as : deep relaxing, directed waking dreams, focusing, active imagination, automatic speech or design etc… These practices aim for different goals except transe induction and the release of consciousness, as hypnosis do.

Furthermore, transe induction does not go with a precise proposal of a finalized purpose ( certainly not !) while the explicitation interview, on the contrary, directly seeks for an act : evocation (I propose you to take the time, to let a moment come back…). It gently creates the conditions of implementing a finalized action based upon an intention which let the result be.

In the psychotherapy practice, it often is a main point for the person to let herself go in order to feel, express without control about what comes and in the same way, in the psychoanalytic treatment, for the instruction of free associating and spontaneous verbalization.

So, as soon as we release the voluntary control of the consciousness, we can easily reach the non-conscient field in reply to a particular intention, to let a past event come back or to let come an unexpected answer.

But the becoming of this release of the voluntary control is only one of the necessary condition for a direct access to evocation, and therefore to the practice of the explicitation interview.
The explicitation cares about calling up remembrance by means of evocation, but it is not enough to clarify the details of a finilazed past-lived experience. To do that clarification, we must have a descriptive main thread organized by our knowledge of the universal structure of the past-lived experiences (http://wp.me/p4AqKY-3C ), but also we must know how to ask questions which 1/ do not arouse the return of the voluntary control 2/ relaunch to the stages fragmentation, to clarify the criteria underlying the interpretaion of the taking of information and the complete reconstitution of the chronological unfolding.

Leading an explicitation interview is an active process which accompanies and guide the interviewed and needs a permanent observation and analysis of what is said to orient and stimulate the subject. To create the condition of the voluntary control release is one of the necessary condition.

It is an important one since it is a necessary condition. But this control release is totally insufficient. As such, hypnosis has been given up in the justice inquieries in the U.S. because the person becomes extremely suggestible and therefore the formulation of the questions is most delicate and must not, by any ways, induce ( like speaking of elements not already expressed by the witness himself).

The question of the nature of the cognitive voluntary control is a crucial one on the level of the technical practices towards subjectivity in a first person speech position. The release conditions as well as the degrees of control or of the loss of the control mostly need to be defined.

For the researcher as for the practitioner, the interviewer’s skills to locate the voluntary control and to create the conditions the reducing and even the releasing it, is a necessary ability. But only the one who practiced it for one’s self is able to understand how to do for the other.

There, we have a research theme which go further than the remembrance question and which is decisive for a pychophenomenology achievement.

 

 

[1]  An « acceptance sequence » is made of affirmations which are always true, for example : « you are seated there, you are inhaling while listening to me » etc and to which the subject can only agree. The purpose is to provoke a passive posture leading progressively the consciousness to become weak.

 

[2] To feel « agent of » is to feel responsible of what we do ; in the hypnosis, it is easy to have a subject getting his arm up, without feeling he has decided to do that, even if it is him who moves his arm. We say that it is a loss of agentivity or loss of the sense of being the cause of the movement.

Print Friendly

The evocation remembrance in the explicitation interview : similar to the remembrance in the psychotherapy or under hypnosis ?

The importance of giving up the cognitive voluntary control in evocation.

(An answer to a question asked during the RIFREQ colloquium, Montpellier, may 2015)

Pierre Vermersch

 

Someone  asked me if the emphasis upon the past-lived experience was not identical to a psychotherapy practice.

Two answers :

1/ The psychotherapy practice is based on a particular social contract which allows the access to intimacy, acknowledging the psychological suffering of the patient in order to releive or even cure him ; the explicitation interview does not at all practice within this sort of social contract, its aim is not the deep intimacy of the person, it does not target to help for changing but it aims at the description of an acting of a past lived experience to give information to the practitioner/ the researcher or the interviewed himself about his past-lived action.

2/ Nevertheless, there is a sort of ressemblance since, in both cases, we take in account the remembrance of past-lived experience. But every  remembrance work does not necessarily belongs to a psychotherapeutical practice.

Also, they have in common the suprisingly plentytiful past experience access and its re-lived dimension. To understand this nearness, I must come back to the answers I made before, like in my lecture : I emphasised on two opposite ways to reach the past. They are : Recalling, a voluntary and abstract act, and, on the other hand, evocation which is an involuntary and warm act (feeling to live again the past). The evocation process bases upon an involuntary act and is only possible with the withdrawal of the cognitive control which organizes  the voluntary acts.

Yet, numerous psychotherapeutic technics have in common the base on this withdrawal of the cognitive control, the letting-go off from the will to control. We find this in several groupal psychotherapeutic practices which first ask the patients to leave this control. Or also in the psychoanalysis instructions of free association and free expression. Also in the focusing technics when the interviewer proposes to pay attention to the corporal answer (un-verbal) to a question of the client ; or in a directed waking dream which proposes to meet one’s power animal, an old wise man or a house, this  release of control let the realization to succeed in the coming of an image which fits the instructions. Then, more, we think about the whole transe induction specific of eriksonian hypnosis.

The common denominator of all these technics is the release of the cognitive control.

The evocation act aimed in the explicitation interview is involuntary, it comes, it is carried out by the wish to let come back, and a wish is just an intention whose goal is to awake the association field about everything memorized inside of me, consciently or not (awakening of the passive memory). Vice versa, evocation is prevented from happening by each voluntary remembrance, by each effort which compromises it and it is even stopped by every rational, conceptual and organized induction (and so, explain to me, why, tell me the reason why…etc). The evocation act is based on the launching of an awakening intention which let the response come and do not control its production.

Thus, we have a central opposition between « voluntary control » and « let it come » which are exclusive from one another ; either one or the other.

Among all the technics I spoke of, the common denominator is precisely the let go, the giving up of the voluntary control of the thought.

Hypnosis is the clearest case. All the transe induction technic (in the eriksonian hypnosis) is based upon the use of a concrete, sensorial, un-conceptual vocabulary which aims to leave the abstract, conceptual field ; nothing is asked which would need an effort, a will ; « sequences of acceptance [1]» are used in order to let the subject be passive and have the precise target  to erase the sens of agentivness[2] and the voluntary control. The transe induction leads to the release of the voluntary control which allows to get around the consciousness to induce an help to changing, by reframing, metaphor etc. ; but at the same time, while doing that, it creates the condition of the « ungrip it » which sometimes allows the past remembrance to spring up. Thus we read, among specilazed papers about hypnosis, many accounts about the condition of the transe which let the subject find easily detailled autobiographic memories.

But the explicitation interview does not induce and does not try to induce a state of trance.
If the induction of the transe state creates also the release of the voluntary cognitive control, the opposite is not true, the release of the control is not the sign of a transe ! It only is the sign of a change of the cognitive functioning. For the release is of the voluntary control is proper to plenty of numerous acts which are not transe, such as : deep relaxing, directed waking dreams, focusing, active imagination, automatic speech or design etc… These practices aim for different goals except transe induction and the release of consciousness, as hypnosis do.

Furthermore, transe induction does not go with a precise proposal of a finalized purpose ( certainly not !) while the explicitation interview, on the contrary, directly seeks for an act : evocation (I propose you to take the time, to let a moment come back…). It gently creates the conditions of implementing a finalized action based upon an intention which let the result be.

In the psychotherapy practice, it often is a main point for the person to let herself go in order to feel, express without control about what comes and in the same way, in the psychoanalytic treatment, for the instruction of free associating and spontaneous verbalization.

So, as soon as we release the voluntary control of the consciousness, we can easily reach the non-conscient field in reply to a particular intention, to let a past event come back or to let come an unexpected answer.

But the becoming of this release of the voluntary control is only one of the necessary condition for a direct access to evocation, and therefore to the practice of the explicitation interview.
The explicitation cares about calling up remembrance by means of evocation, but it is not enough to clarify the details of a finilazed past-lived experience. To do that clarification, we must have a descriptive main thread organized by our knowledge of the universal structure of the past-lived experiences (http://wp.me/p4AqKY-3C ), but also we must know how to ask questions which 1/ do not arouse the return of the voluntary control 2/ relaunch to the stages fragmentation, to clarify the criteria underlying the interpretaion of the taking of information and the complete reconstitution of the chronological unfolding.

Leading an explicitation interview is an active process which accompanies and guide the interviewed and needs a permanent observation and analysis of what is said to orient and stimulate the subject. To create the condition of the voluntary control release is one of the necessary condition.

It is an important one since it is a necessary condition. But this control release is totally insufficient. As such, hypnosis has been given up in the justice inquieries in the U.S. because the person becomes extremely suggestible and therefore the formulation of the questions is most delicate and must not, by any ways, induce ( like speaking of elements not already expressed by the witness himself).

The question of the nature of the cognitive voluntary control is a crucial one on the level of the technical practices towards subjectivity in a first person speech position. The release conditions as well as the degrees of control or of the loss of the control mostly need to be defined.

For the researcher as for the practitioner, the interviewer’s skills to locate the voluntary control and to create the conditions the reducing and even the releasing it, is a necessary ability. But only the one who practiced it for one’s self is able to understand how to do for the other.

There, we have a research theme which go further than the remembrance question and which is decisive for a pychophenomenology achievement.

 

 

[1]  An « acceptance sequence » is made of affirmations which are always true, for example : « you are seated there, you are inhaling while listening to me » etc and to which the subject can only agree. The purpose is to provoke a passive posture leading progressively the consciousness to become weak.

 

[2] To feel « agent of » is to feel responsible of what we do ; in the hypnosis, it is easy to have a subject getting his arm up, without feeling he has decided to do that, even if it is him who moves his arm. We say that it is a loss of agentivity or loss of the sense of being the cause of the movement.

Print Friendly

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée.