Understanding the TPM Questions: EMOTION (part 1 of 6)

by | Jun 21, 2016

The Questions Used in the TPM Process

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The Emotion Box Questions

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Question One: “How does that [what they have reported] make you feel right now?”

Every ministry session begins in the EMOTION “box.” The primary purpose in the Emotion “Box” is to have ministry recipients connect with their emotions: what they are feeling now. Because our experiential beliefs produce the emotions that we feel, by focusing on our emotion we can more easily identify these beliefs. (Remember: The overall goal of TPM is to identify the lies that we experientially believe and offer them to the Lord for His truth and perspective with the expected outcome of transformation.)

The first step in the process is to connect with and purposely feel the negative emotions. This is usually most easily accomplished through the person being prayed with telling their “story” (a recent event in which they were “triggered” or when emotional pain was felt) and then focusing on how that made them feel. Most people come into a ministry session with something to report that has occurred in their current life situation. When they give their report, emotion usually will surface.

As they are talking through their current situation, you are ready to ask your first question, “How does that make you feel?” Alternatives to this question might be “What are you feeling right now?” or “How is that making you feel?”  If people report not feeling anything, then this is possibly due to a “solution” or they are simply not triggered by anything in the moment. If they are suppressing their emotions then you will move to the SOLUTION Box.

We are asking this question (an others like it) in the present tense as opposed to the past tense. The question is not “How DID that make you feel?” but rather “How DOES that…?” If we ask “How DID that…?” we are inadvertently asking them to remember what they felt at the time of the event as opposed to what they are actually feeling in the moment. The goal here is not to get them to remember what they may have felt, but rather to get them connected to the emotion of their lie-based belief.

Question Two: “What comes to mind as you focus on what you are feeling?” or “Does anything come to your mind as you focus on what you are feeling?”

Once the person being prayed with reports feeling an emotion and appears to be feeling that emotion, then you are ready to ask the second question. Review: The emotion the person is feeling is the “smoke trail” connected to their lie-based current core belief. Core beliefs are what causes us to feel what we feel. Keeping in mind that the current situation feels the way that it does because of what we currently believe and not because of our current situation or our past. The belief producing the present emotion is not “in the memory” even though it was learned in an earlier life experience.

We feel what we currently believe, not what we used to believe. We view both the current situation and the past through the lens of this belief. The primary reason that we feel anything at any time is because of what we believe. In TPM we have a saying: we feel whatever we believe. Every belief was formed in a life experience. Once we establish a core belief it becomes our current and ever present belief.  So then, as each new life experience occurs, we interpret it through our reservoir of core beliefs. In every situation our minds quickly search through all possible interpretations and associate the current situations with our core belief(s). The association with earlier life occurrences occurs in order to make sense of what is happening in the present situation.  Read more about this in the article “The Importance of Memory.”

Without context we will come to wrong conclusions.

To rightly understand how a person came to embrace this current belief, it needs to be viewed in its original context; otherwise, they may assume that what they are feeling is because of their current situation. When people assume that their feelings are being caused by the current situation, they typically blame others, the situation, the devil or God as the source of their feelings. This is the reason we say things such as, “You make me feel…!” or “If you would just stop ______, I wouldn’t feel this way!”  The truth is, we each feel what we feel in our current situation because we are interpreting it through the “lens” of what we currently believe and not because of what we used to believe. It is true that we learned our current belief in the context of a past event, but the event has past, while our belief remains.

Common Mistake

A common mistake made by novice facilitators is to get ahead of the process and ask the MEMORY Box question, “Why do you feel that way?” while in the EMOTION Box. A person might initially say something like, “My husband never listens to me and is more concerned about his work than me.” The right question to ask here is “How does that make you feel?” The person might say, “All alone and unloved.” The correct questions to ask now would be, “As you focus on what you are feeling, what comes to your mind?” However, if the facilitator asks the MEMORY Box question here, “Why do you feel this way?” the person cannot give a valid response becasue she lacks important information that can only be understood in the context of the memory. The person is limited to her current situation and therefore she answers this misplaced question with, “I feel this way because of the way my husband is treating me!” Wrong answer.  Without the memory the person cannot accurately say why she feels the way she feels or how she came to believe what she believes. This is the importance of memory.

Second EMOTION Box Question: “As you focus on what you are feeling, what comes to your mind?”

The second question in the EMOTION Box is designed to remind us to focus on what we are feeling in order to allow association to take place. It is NOT designed or intended to send the person looking for a memory.  This is a VERY important point for those of you trained prior to 2013. Prior to this date you would have taken the 2007 edition of the training where you would have learned to ask questions that sent people looking for memory. Doing this was an established part of the TPM protocol. Today we no longer do this. This change is based upon some very important principles and the development of what we call the De-Solution Tool.

When we focus on what we feel, our minds should do what they were designed by God to do; that is, to associate. Association is a mental process of connecting related things. For example, when we read the word “CHRISTMAS” and ponder on it, very quickly, we should remember something. Association is the manner in which we make sense out of life. We interpret each new experience by way of association. When we focus on what we feel, our minds will naturally associate this feeling to a life experience where we felt this same emotion before. If this does not naturally occur in a ministry session then one of two things are at play. 1) The person does not understand the TPM Process/questions and therefore does not know what is supposed to be happening, or 2) The person understands the process and questions and simply does not want to remember and therefore, is blocking association from occurring.

It is crucial that the mentoring facilitator view his or her role as one preparing the person for a life journey of applying the principles and process of TPM. The TPM relationship between the facilitator and one being prayed with is not a “doctor/patient” one, but rather “Mentor/Mentee”. To the degree that the Mentee understands the process and principles of TPM all issues will go away.  Common questions such as “What about when this happens,..” are no longer asked. Equipping the person resolves all issues.

Second Question is Sometimes Misunderstood

Some prayer ministry facilitators initially misunderstood the second question provided in the EMOTION box. Some have protested and even declared that it did not work.  The reason that the question “did not work” for some facilitators was because the facilitator was trying to use it for the wrong purpose. It is not designed to send a person looking for a memory, but rather to determine if the person is doing anything to hinder the natural process of association from working.

The question is not broken, it accomplishes exactly what it is designed to accomplish. In fairness to those who have stumbled over this question, in the former training some of the old questions were worded in such a way that they suggested to the person to go look for a memory. These earlier questions failed to acknowledge the process of association. Therefore, it is critical that the facilitator and the ministry recipient both understand why this question is being asked, and what it means.

Several Important Purposes for the Question

One purpose of this question is to determine if anything is hindering the natural process of association from happening. Association is a God created process that we all use all day everyday. We are continually “remembering”  moment-by-moment because of association. Remembering through association is how we get through the day.  TPM relies upon association as a person connects with what they are feeling and allows their minds to associate them to any related memory without effort. If a person struggles trying to remember, then something is wrong. It is not a goal of the TPM process to get people to remember something. Remembering will occur naturally and effortlessly when they focus on what they are feeling and if nothing is hindering them from remembering.

The person’s emotion is flowing from their current core belief that was initially learned in a life event –that is now his or her memory. The mind should associate the emotion and belief to the related memory naturally. If a memory does not come to mind when asking this EMOTION box question, then trying to get the person to remember is not the answer.

Another purpose for the question is it reminds the person of the purpose for emotion. This question is also the signal for the person to focus on what he is feeling. “As you are focused on what you are feeling…” He should have been taught that emotion is the “smoke trail” coming from the fire (lie). As he focuses on what he is feeling, association should become engaged without effort. A memory should come to mind. If nothing comes to his or her mind, then there is a reason. Now we know where we are in the process and we reach for our De-solution Tool found in the SOLUTION Box.

This question serves the purpose of inviting the person to associate his feelings with any memory where he may have felt this same feeling before without going and looking for the memory. If the person has to look for a memory while focusing on what he is feeling, this is an indication that he is actually resisting remembering. Association requires no effort to do. Therefore, the purpose of this question is NOT to help the person to find a memory or even send them looking for it. Looking for memories is not a part of the TPM process. There is never any need for sending the person on a memory hunt. This idea is a new concept for those who were trained in the early years of TPM.

No More Memory Hunts

Today we know that remembering something is an effortless process that occurs naturally unless it is deliberately prohibited by the person. Even though memory plays an important role in the TPM process, the facilitator should never send the ministry recipient off on a memory hunt. Questions such as, “Can you remember any time where you felt this way before?” or statements like “Focus on what you are feeling and see if you can remember anything” are not needed. The way that God designed our minds will take care of this detail.

Our minds will naturally associate the current lie-based emotion to both our current lie-based belief as well as the associated memory where we have felt this way before. When we choose to connect with and feel what we feel, our minds will automatically do the rest. However, if we focus on what we are feeling and no memory comes to mind, it is not because the God designed mental system of association is not working, but rather because we believe something contrary to our being willing to remember. Trying to remember will not work.

However, if there is nothing (belief) keeping the process from working, we will remember. When we focus on what we are feeling and are aware of the natural God created process of association, a memory should come to us. If it does not, then we are doing something to keep this from happening. Our choosing not to remember is our “solution” to a perceived problem that remembering causes. We do not need Jesus to do anything for us or rescue us from anything in this moment since we are the one creating the problem.

We do need His truth, but first we must identify what we believe that has caused us to not remember. The facilitator will need to emphasize that he is not asking the person to try to remember, go look for anything or to “think of a time where you felt this way before.” If the person is feeling what he is feeling, then this question is only looking for one thing, “… does ANYTHING come to your mind?” Anything is the key word here. Anything includes nothing. Everything is important. The primary purpose of this question is NOT to find a memory, but rather to identify any “solutions” that might be in place that would hinder the person from remembering.

The person’s “solutions” at this juncture would include anything that he may be consciously or unconsciously doing to keep the memory from surfacing. When a “solution” is at play we use the De-Solution Tool to help the person identify what he believes that has shut the process down. Because the ministry recipient has been instructed in how his mind works, he will be aware that a memory should come to mind naturally and effortlessly. He will also be aware that if no memory surfaces then it is because of his own doing. Orientation about all of this is crucial. To the degree that the ministry recipient knows and understand the TPM process and principles, the session will flow with greater and greater ease.

Click here for a fuller discussion about this question.

Association is a natural God created process.

Have you ever met a person and immediately felt that you were not going to like them?  Association has just occurred! Apparently, your mind has associated something about this person with another person from your past with whom you have had an issue. You may not make the association connection at a conscious level, but there is something in your “gut” that says to “move away from” this person. Can you see how our associations may skew how we view others. That “gut feeling” is flowing from a belief which is neurologically linked to the memory where it was first embraced. So as we focus on our feeling, we should naturally connect with a related memory.

So we see that association is a God designed process and how our minds naturally work when not hindered. It is important that the facilitator take time to explain this question in the context of how our minds are designed to work. It is important that the facilitator explain that all that is required at this juncture is that the person focus on what he is feeling while being aware that his mind will naturally associate. If no memory surfaces, then there is probably something believed that is keeping it from happening.

NOTE: This second question requires careful explanation and orientation before the session begins. It is important that the person understands that you are NOT sending him on a memory hunt, but rather encouraging him to focus on his feelings and to allow his mind to do what it was designed to do: associate the feeling to the belief and the memory where the belief was initially learned. He also needs to understand that whatever comes to his mind is important and needs to be reported, even if what comes to his mind is “nothing”. The facilitator must learn to “read” the situation and rightly follow protocol.

Because the ministry recipient has been instructed in how his mind works through association, he will be aware that a memory should come to mind naturally and effortlessly. He will also be aware that if no memory surfaces then it is because of his own doing. Orientation about all of this is crucial. To the degree that the ministry recipient knows and understand the TPM process and principles, the session will flow with greater and greater ease. Keep in mind that the facilitator should be referring the person to the website and to this very article to read on his or her own.

 

Last Resort

As a last resort when you are not in a position to give additional orientation concerning this purpose of this second question, you might ask, “As you are focused on what you are feeling, does any memory come to your mind?”  This question is not asking him to try to remember, look for anything or go on a memory hunt. It is a “Yes” or “No” question. “Yes I remember something” or “No, I don’t.” Again, this question is used only as a last resort.

If the person continually misunderstands what you are asking, this may indicate an orientation problem. You may discuss in greater depth how God designed the mind to work through association, and how “solutions” can disrupt the association process. Encourage them not to go looking for a memory, but only to focus on what they are feeling and expect association to occur. When we understand how our minds associate and do not resist remembering, memories will surface as we focus on the emotion.  This is how God created our minds to work.

Asking this question actually limits people because it focuses people entirely on finding a memory instead of anything that comes to their mind. The best approach is to provide good orientation and explain carefully what you are asking. The “anything” that might come to mind would include nothing, the current situation, random thoughts, a black wall, demonic faces, or what they had for lunch. All of this is important for the recipient to report since it reveals the “solution”,  a way the recipient keeps from remembering.

When the Questions Don’t Seem to Be Working

Two Reasons for Why TPM “May Not Work”

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Click one of the links below to learn more about the questions in that “Box”

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