The paradox of « the dissociated evocation « . Proposals for a new concept.

The paradox of « the dissociated evocation « . Proposals for a new concept.

By Pierre Vermersch

For several years now, we are developing the exploration of the description of past lived experiences by introducing decentration techniques that appeal to changes of imaginary or actual positions, and which show every time a new subpersonality able to take into account and verbalize what is happening to the interviewee, often adding new information. Generically, I called these subpersonalities: dissociated, thus referring to normal and fundamental ability of consciousness to split as necessary without the subject losing the continuity provided by his relation to himself (maintaining the interexperiencial interconnection) and without getting in a dissociative pathology. Each of these subpersonalities has a perspective about the referenced past lived experience (V1), or sometimes about how it connects to V1 during the explicitation interview (V2), which, in the latter case, allows to create meta-positions illuminating the difficulties of the interview.

Exploring these external positions, or “exopositions” we discovered that the basic principle of explicitation interview, concerning the relationship to the past in remembering, i.e. evocation, seemed not respected in the same manner.

Evocation in its principle is an act based on a re-lived experience, on a nearby closeness with one’s past experience, making what was contained in the past release in a vividly, warm and close way. So evocation is characterized by its precise relationship to a specified past lived (there is no mention of an experience in general), by the lack of effort to recall (which would signaly the implement of other evocation acts and the loss of this evocation as an exclusive act), by verbalization in « I » (the personal nature of my past is actively present, as evidenced by the personalized address in “I”), and the awakening of internal states when they were imperative (bodily tensions, emotions, valencies, pains, proprioceptions, postures that update). So far, everything seemed clear and well defined to identify evocation.

But by implementing techniques of dissociated, with the multiplication of exo-positons, it appeared gradually to us during these dissociated positions remaining connected to the past experienced situation of reference (V1),that the internal states were much less imperative in their effects, or even absent. This does not prevent to »see » these into the past situation but precisely to see does not mean to feel these again.

However, the link to the past situation, the accuracy and the abundance of remembrance seemed to be maintained without additional effort. Worse, when we mobilized subpersonalities which are mentors, i.e. not self-co-identities, but by calling real or imaginary characters who see the past situation, they seemed quite well connected to the past, and even they observed in it and they described aspects that the interviewee, in the starting position , did not remembered or did not discriminated in his past.

We were faced to a “cold » evocation, without the heat of the subjectivity which is peculiar to the usual evocation. Nevertheless remaining evocation since the precise quality of the remembering of the lived experience is retained without effort (the criterion of effort is essential to distinguish between the act of evocation and other recall modes, the lack of effort signals the involuntary nature of remembering).
I suggest to name this sort of evocation a « dissociated evocation. »

This designation seems to me consistent with the implemented dissociation techniques, but also with the vocables and practices of NLP, in relation to notions of « associated positions » and « separated positions. »
An associated position, relative to the past, necessarily contains sensory elements, and always from more than the visual channel (e.g., auditory, of felt, olfactory). If the only information that comes is visual, this is a sign that the person is yet not really associated with the past, or she could be more related. The interviewer then is encouraged to guide her in order to recover other sensory impressions (eg with sensory overlap NLP techniques). Dissociated position is often synonymous with the mere presence of visual information, and one more step is taken in the degree of dissociation when the person not only « sees », but sees from the outside of herself (eg she sees herself).

There is at least one precise technique for the use of dissociated positions that aims to allow the return to past traumatic situations without the person being immediately drawn into a strong emotional reaction or more, a loss of consciousness. The technique is to propose to the person to imagine projecting the vision of her past (traumatic) on a digital medium that can be interrupted at any time with a remote control and view it on a TV screen (distancing, privileged visual channel, easy control). If necessary, it is possible to introduce a double dissociation, offering the person to protect herself by imagining to put « herself » in a far corner of the room, so that she’d be unaffected by what sees her body remained on the chair and watching television. Indeed, we have there a technique of dissociated evocation.

In our experiences of dissociated evocation, what surprised us is the same continued engagement with the past as when the evocation is warm, touching, sensory rich. The coldness of evocation, its distanced quality seems to change nothing to the possibility of operating the reflection of the past, its bringing to consciousness, while the subjective commitment seems at a lower degree.
Searching here to identify this behavior of dissociated evocation is for me like opening a door to new experiences in the next Summer University to check, discriminate and explore its properties.

 

 

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The paradox of « the dissociated evocation « . Proposals for a new concept.

By Pierre Vermersch

For several years now, we are developing the exploration of the description of past lived experiences by introducing decentration techniques that appeal to changes of imaginary or actual positions, and which show every time a new subpersonality able to take into account and verbalize what is happening to the interviewee, often adding new information. Generically, I called these subpersonalities: dissociated, thus referring to normal and fundamental ability of consciousness to split as necessary without the subject losing the continuity provided by his relation to himself (maintaining the interexperiencial interconnection) and without getting in a dissociative pathology. Each of these subpersonalities has a perspective about the referenced past lived experience (V1), or sometimes about how it connects to V1 during the explicitation interview (V2), which, in the latter case, allows to create meta-positions illuminating the difficulties of the interview.

Exploring these external positions, or “exopositions” we discovered that the basic principle of explicitation interview, concerning the relationship to the past in remembering, i.e. evocation, seemed not respected in the same manner.

Evocation in its principle is an act based on a re-lived experience, on a nearby closeness with one’s past experience, making what was contained in the past release in a vividly, warm and close way. So evocation is characterized by its precise relationship to a specified past lived (there is no mention of an experience in general), by the lack of effort to recall (which would signaly the implement of other evocation acts and the loss of this evocation as an exclusive act), by verbalization in « I » (the personal nature of my past is actively present, as evidenced by the personalized address in “I”), and the awakening of internal states when they were imperative (bodily tensions, emotions, valencies, pains, proprioceptions, postures that update). So far, everything seemed clear and well defined to identify evocation.

But by implementing techniques of dissociated, with the multiplication of exo-positons, it appeared gradually to us during these dissociated positions remaining connected to the past experienced situation of reference (V1),that the internal states were much less imperative in their effects, or even absent. This does not prevent to »see » these into the past situation but precisely to see does not mean to feel these again.

However, the link to the past situation, the accuracy and the abundance of remembrance seemed to be maintained without additional effort. Worse, when we mobilized subpersonalities which are mentors, i.e. not self-co-identities, but by calling real or imaginary characters who see the past situation, they seemed quite well connected to the past, and even they observed in it and they described aspects that the interviewee, in the starting position , did not remembered or did not discriminated in his past.

We were faced to a “cold » evocation, without the heat of the subjectivity which is peculiar to the usual evocation. Nevertheless remaining evocation since the precise quality of the remembering of the lived experience is retained without effort (the criterion of effort is essential to distinguish between the act of evocation and other recall modes, the lack of effort signals the involuntary nature of remembering).
I suggest to name this sort of evocation a « dissociated evocation. »

This designation seems to me consistent with the implemented dissociation techniques, but also with the vocables and practices of NLP, in relation to notions of « associated positions » and « separated positions. »
An associated position, relative to the past, necessarily contains sensory elements, and always from more than the visual channel (e.g., auditory, of felt, olfactory). If the only information that comes is visual, this is a sign that the person is yet not really associated with the past, or she could be more related. The interviewer then is encouraged to guide her in order to recover other sensory impressions (eg with sensory overlap NLP techniques). Dissociated position is often synonymous with the mere presence of visual information, and one more step is taken in the degree of dissociation when the person not only « sees », but sees from the outside of herself (eg she sees herself).

There is at least one precise technique for the use of dissociated positions that aims to allow the return to past traumatic situations without the person being immediately drawn into a strong emotional reaction or more, a loss of consciousness. The technique is to propose to the person to imagine projecting the vision of her past (traumatic) on a digital medium that can be interrupted at any time with a remote control and view it on a TV screen (distancing, privileged visual channel, easy control). If necessary, it is possible to introduce a double dissociation, offering the person to protect herself by imagining to put « herself » in a far corner of the room, so that she’d be unaffected by what sees her body remained on the chair and watching television. Indeed, we have there a technique of dissociated evocation.

In our experiences of dissociated evocation, what surprised us is the same continued engagement with the past as when the evocation is warm, touching, sensory rich. The coldness of evocation, its distanced quality seems to change nothing to the possibility of operating the reflection of the past, its bringing to consciousness, while the subjective commitment seems at a lower degree.
Searching here to identify this behavior of dissociated evocation is for me like opening a door to new experiences in the next Summer University to check, discriminate and explore its properties.

 

 

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