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by Jeff Napier, copyright 2011-2013

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NLP Course #1d: Cause and Effect

Cause and effect is almost like a metaprogram. Metaprograms are scales of behavior that can be used to calibrate a subject and state things in ways that they'll find more acceptable. One of the typical ones is "toward - away-from." You'll find that some subjects state things in an away-from manner, such as "I wouldn't care for waffles," or "I need to get out of here." The subject on the 'toward' end of the scale is more likely to state something like "I'm looking forward to a vacation," Or "I'd like to try the rollercoaster ride."

Most NLP practitioners feel it is counter-productive or not effective at all to try to shift metaprograms.

Cause-effect is not a metaprogram because it can be shifted, and is one of the most important things that you can shift for a vast majority of subjects.

The average person often feels that their lives are the effect of others. The subject may feel that if only the economy was better, or his family had pushed education more, or his father wasn't a drunk, or the tax code wasn't so complex, his life would be better. Such subjects are disinclined to cause change, because they are 'victims after all, what can they do?'

On the other hand, subjects can be moved toward cause. They can come to understand that they are the cause of their circumstances, and with positive actions, they can have positive results. This is an over-simplification, but the general idea as that much of what we do in NLP, is to shift subjects from effect to cause. It may look more specific, such as helping someone overcome a neo-Reichian rights violation, or installing new meaning for a childhood belief, but in the bigger picture, it is shifting from effect to cause.