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|Clinicians Digest July/Aug 2008 - Page 6|
Intrigued by the Internet's possibilities, Hollander wondered whether he could design a computer therapy session that worked on a deeper, more unconscious level. MindMentor's basic technique is the NLP concept of anchoring, which ties emotions and thoughts to specific images. In the course of a single session, visitors to Dr. MindMentor's office learn to detach the actions and associations that have been thwarting them from negative anchors and reattach them to positive anchors.
Let's say you feel blocked about writing a paper. Dr. MindMentor asks you to visualize yourself sitting down to work on it and asks you what you feel and think. He asks you for your associations to three different Rorschach-like patterns, and then asks you to imagine how you'd like to feel. After more exercises and visualizations, he shows you three more patterns. Almost always, the associations to the new patterns change from negative to positive. Then you formulate a plan for using your new images and associations the next time you confront the task of writing the paper.
MindMentor also throws in a touch of social worker Frank Farrelly's Provocative Therapy, which holds that by telling people they can't do something, you activate the opposite response. So, when you formulate your plan, a new therapist, ProvoBot, barges into your session and ridicules you for believing you can change. After booting him out, Dr. MindMentor asks how long you'd like to take to practice your changes—a day? a week?—and he promises to e-mail you later to see how things are going. You can also print out the session.
Does it work? In one of Hollander and Wijnberg's first surveys, 1,600 people said that after one session, their problems were alleviated by almost 50 percent. This outcome, says Hollander, would more than satisfy most therapists.