One of the Meta programme sets that I have found can have a significant role in the thinking patterns of my therapy clients is that of Past/Present/Future. It seems that if any one of the three is very strong in the context of how they view their life, it can contribute to the issues which have brought the person to therapy. As with all Meta programmes, the rest of the profile is important and certain combinations of Meta programmes seem related to specific therapy issues. However, the time perception meta programmes are of particular interest to me in some clients. Below are some examples of how each of the time focus meta programmes can contribute to a client’s issues:
I often see a very strong Future focus, usually coupled with the Mismatching programme, in clients suffering from anxiety. These clients constantly worry about what might go wrong in the future and rarely take any time to appreciate what is actually happening in the present. They often do not learn from their past experiences. Part of the therapy work therefore is to enable the client to look back and identify both good and neutral things that have happened in their past. This enables them to recognise that the things they were anxious about in the past rarely, if ever, materialised and that, if they did, they were not as catastrophic as they had imagined and they had coped and survived them.
I frequently see a strong Past focus in clients experiencing depression. Most often I see this along with a Mismatching meta programme. Such clients look back and remember almost everything that has gone wrong for them and every mistake they believe that they have made. This, of course, reinforces their depression and the accompanying low self-esteem. By moving first to a stronger Matching pattern, they can begin to recognise times of good fortune and personal success in their past and so see that not everything has been a bad experience. Doing this in combination with strengthening both Present and Future Meta programmes can have a really positive effect on their depression as they start to feel less negative about their past life experiences whilst becoming more positive about current and future events. .
Conversely, some depressed clients have strong Past Meta programme combined with a strong with Matching metaprogramme. These clients view the past through rose-tinted spectacles and believe that all the good times are over. They tend to believe that everything was better in the past, both for them as individuals and in the World in general. They remember all the good times they’ve had and forget any hardships and conclude that those times exist only in the years behind them. Again, coaching to enable them to achieve a more balanced profile across Past/Present/Future can bring about improvements for them,.
Less often, I see a problem resulting from a very strong Present metaprogramme. Such clients tend to struggle with planning and can end up in difficulty when unprepared for events or unable to meet commitments, including financial ones. These clients also often do not learn from past experience and fail to predict what they will need to achieve the things they want or need to. These clients can often identify areas or times of their lives when they have been able to plan, and learn from past experiences. Using this enables coaching to strengthen Past and Future thinking appropriately.
Of course, as with all our work with clients, we need to consider the MindSonar profile in its entirety and work with the client’s priorities. However, as our time perception has a powerful effect upon how we perceive our life in general, I think that this particular Meta programme set worth looking at very closely. Maybe that’s true for all of us – not just our therapy clients.
Have you any experience of the time perception Meta programmes helping or hindering you or your clients? Please share your experiences in the comments box below.