The medium is the message, and language is foul! Marshall Rosenberg calls it Jackal language. Cognitive Behaviour therapy and Rational Emotive therapy, Imago as well as Marshall Rosenberg’s NVC non violent Communication all focus on what I am calling Clean Speech. Both in sending & receiving.
Embedded in our language are the forces of domination! It makes sense. The power structures of domination build a system of ideology to support them and the place for thoise controls to hide are in the cultue in many ways – and almost invisibly in the language. Changing language is potent!
Being non-exclusive in language has made a difference. Look at how we had to deal with the way he meant she in English, I say had, but the fight is not over, but we have come a long way.
Not so with language of love… all day in my work as a relationship therapist I listen to language that attributes blame to the other. The dicipline of the Imago dialogue is great, it handles a lot of it, but there is lots more to develop. This is a science.
What I have not heard anyone say, though they may have, is that “clean speech” is another road to the unconscious. So often the CBT and RET schools deny the efficacy of the relationship as a tool for healing and of the power of the unconscious. Clean speech is essentially to speak from experience, and to uncover its layers. To make the unconscious conscious… in a relationship! Clean speech is a way of working with the transference & counter transference.
Rosenberg Naturally Nonviolent
QUESTION: What is nonviolent communication?
ANSWER: It’s the way of thinking, communicating and using power that helps us connect to one another in a way that we enjoy contributing to one another’s well-being. It’s an attempt to live in harmony with certain values. But since we’ve been educated for about 8,000 years in domination structures, that does not make contributing to one another’s well-being easy.
Great interview with Marshall Rosenberg http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=837
If I’m in conflict with people, I try to hear what needs they have. Now, “needs,” as we define the term, are universal; all human beings have the same needs. So if I connect to what people are needing, I’m one with them. I care about their needs. At the moment that they sense that I am as interested in their needs as my own, we can find a way to get everybody’s needs met.
So more concretely, what would that look like? This man might say, “Our work is not going to harm the environment. Our tests have demonstrated that this is not going to harm the environment.” So, this person shares the same needs that I have. I want to protect the environment. Apparently, he’s concerned about the environment also.
Now, where we might differ is in our ways of measuring whether something is harmful to the environment. But notice our needs are not in conflict. This person doesn’t want to destroy someone’s habitat, and he doesn’t want to be a menace. You see?
More excerpts follow.