_ This piece is illustrative of at least two aspects of Af-x that are important, and are better stated from a client. It also illustrates a point of view that could apply to some other therapeutic approaches when and if the client simply arrives at a private decision to NOT consciously strain for success or improvement, but trust “self” at a deeper level.
Paul (name changed for privacy reasons) was a senior clergyman in a well-known diocese in Sydney. I perceived that he was very intelligent and open to the treatment, although that perception (by dint of the ‘no-talk, no-report’ imperative in Af-x) was through observation only.
At one point through the information delivery, I had said that I didn’t think it was necessary or conducive to good work to discuss the possibility of ‘failure’. His immediate response was that he didn’t see how Af-x could fail. I let that comment go in the interests of continuing unhindered, but it played on my mind for some time afterward. Why would a client be apparently more optimistic about outcomes than I seemed to be, even with my own long-time history of observing an unusually high percentage of success rates?
About three weeks following the therapy, I broke one of my very strongly-obeyed rules and email-contacted Paul. I wanted to know “why” he had said that Af-x couldn’t ‘fail’, in his opinion. I carefully worded the message so that it would not seem that I was fishing for a positive report, but asked the question specifically pertinent to his comment, and wrote in the order of “even the Bible comments on the Af-x way in which adults must mature infant parts”.
His reply is as follows.
Thanks for your note. I enjoyed our meetings and have been pleased to trust/know that the content of the sessions is seeping ever more deeply into my subconscious. Yes, 1 Corinthians 13:11 has much to it.
The question about “failure” arose for me because of the different approach of Af-x to the therapeutic encounter. In other forms of therapy (I use the word loosely) it seems to me that a client might present with a problem which is then addressed in the course of many hours of contact with the therapist. Week by week, the client will test progress by evaluating changes to feelings and attitudes, but if there is no perceived change by some point, the client might well declare that the therapy had failed.
In Af-x, by contrast, for large parts of the encounter the therapist is not addressing the client's conscious mind at all, but the subconscious. For instance, I cannot consciously recall much of what you said in the guided parts of the sessions but I know that it is remembered by my subconscious. And that prompts me to think that I must simply accept the premise of Af-x (which I am able to do) and that transderivational scan that you talked about, and then trust that my subconscious is doing the work, regardless of how I evaluate consciously my attitudes and feelings.
If that is the case, it sounds odd to speak of failure with Af-x. What possible measure of failure could be used? I suppose if I came to Af-x because I wanted to stop smoking a pipe (shocking, I know, but it could happen) but then continued with contented smoking, it might make me think the process had failed. But what if there was some unexpected and (consciously) unsought change, as I’m sure happens with people unwittingly? Has Af-x still failed? What sense would it make to speak of failure given that it is the subconscious rather than the conscious mind that is charged with doing the work? What markers could be available?
I left the second session feeling comfortable and relaxed without knowing consciously what had really been going on. It seems to me that Af-x can offer the client relief from the burden of anxiety about success (a very worldly marker, after all) and instead offer the opportunity to rest comfortably with an awareness that the subconscious is taking care of things all the while.
Rather more than a paragraph, I know. But you did ask! And thank you for asking. I look forward to hearing from you in the fullness of time.
From the Af-x perspective, this response from Paul is perfect in that:
He claimed one cannot fail with Af-x. My own claim, as a died-in-the-wool general therapy cynic, is that if failure actuates, it is most likely a result of (1) a subconscious expectation toward non-success, or (2) a “focus on failure.”
Go with it. Your subconscious knows a lot more than you do about looking after you.