Understanding the TPM Questions: MISCELLANEOUS (part 6 of 6)
ANGER Box, SOLUTION Box, and the LOST Question
This article will give a general overview of two remaining locations on the MAP or Boxes found in the TPM Process. There are other articles that expound on these areas in fuller detail so we will be brief here. We will also look at the “LOST” question at the end of our discussion. This is the question you ask if you do not know where you are on the map.
The two additional locations a person may find themselves on the “MAP” are in the ANGER Box or SOLUTION box. There are times within the ministry session where everything seems to come to a grinding halt, stall out or seem to lose direction. When this happens the person is probably either in the ANGER Box or the SOLUTION Box. We should not view these moments as hindrances or the person being blocked, but rather as simply the path they have taken based upon their belief and choosing. There is nothing you need to do to rescue them from anything. They are where they are by their choice, based upon their belief (The Belief and Choice Principle). They are not actually stuck, but making a choice not to move forward based upon what they believe and are doing.
Being “stuck” can be expressed by the person feeling angry, not feeling anything (suppression of emotion), no memory coming to mind or any form of distraction a person might come up with. No matter what the person’s solution behavior might be, all solutions are self-induced and belief supported.
When people appear to be “stuck”, it is always because they have made either a conscious or unconscious decision not to move forward. This decision is based upon something they believe about moving forward, such as, “If I remember what happened to me, I will become overwhelmed, out of control, or die” or “If I let myself feel what I felt, it will be more than I can bear,” or “Feeling something only leads to more pain.” These beliefs express a perceived problem that they believe needs to be “solved.” Their solution is their remedy for their perceived problem. For example, if they believe that to remember some particular life event would be overwhelming, they may choose to block it out. The belief supporting the memory block might be, “not remembering keeps me from being overwhelmed.”
So we see that people stop moving forward when they perceive there is a problem that needs a remedy and create a solution to resolve it. Other than a person feeling angry towards God, all other reasons for their stalling out can be addressed using the three questions in the SOLUTION Box. If they are angry toward God then we have a different set of questions to ask. These questions are in the ANGER Box.
When the “Solution” Becomes the Problem
The problem with our solutions is, the very thing that we designed to solve our perceived problem, has become a problem in and of itself. We believed that blocking out our memory would keep us from becoming overwhelmed, but now nothing comes to mind when we focus on what we are feeling. We thought that by suppressing our emotions we would not have to feel badly, but without emotion our ministry session stalls out. We believed that by being angry we could protect ourselves from being hurt, but our anger has isolated us from those we love. What I designed that I hoped would help me and protect me, is keeping me from moving toward God’s freedom.
The questions in the SOLUTION Box are designed to identify the belief behind our solution behavior. Once this belief has been identified, the person may be in the proper position to receive the Lord’s perspective. If this is so, the Spirit will persuade the person of the truth and freedom will follow. Once the truth is received, the perceived problem should be resolved, and they can then continue to move forward in the TPM process.
We sometimes refer to the SOLUTION Box questions as the “De-Solution Tool.” The De-Solution Tool deals with the “solution” hindering forward motion. The De-Solution questions are discussed in a separate article. There are several articles discussing the concept of solutions that will also be helpful. Click “HERE” for more information about these three questions.
Anger in the Ministry Session
When anger surfaces in a ministry session, there are questions specifically designed to address it. Sometimes it is obvious to the facilitator that the person is angry and yet the person will not identify it. The best way to deal with anger is to train the person to be aware of any anger and acknowledge it when it is being felt. Nevertheless, once anger has been identified you may need to ask an additional question to determine who the person feels anger toward. Anger felt toward people, the situation or things is dealt with differently than anger felt toward God. There are specified questions in the ANGER Box that may potentially be asked when dealing with anger. The anger questions are discussed in a different article.
When the session seems to stall out, it is always because of the same thing: consciously or unconsciously, the person has chosen not to move forward. When emotions disappear, no memory comes to mind, anger surfaces, or when the person says he is “lost,” does not know what is going on, is confused, or “hits a wall,” it is evident that he is attempting to solve a perceived problem. It is vital that the facilitator understand the “Belief and Choice” principle and recognize that this recipient is responding in this way due to a belief.
Typically, anger (other than anger felt toward God) is an emotion that works to “protect” the person in some way from more vulnerable emotions, such as fear, anxiety, helplessness, powerlessness, being out of control, etc. Typically, you do not find people who want to feel afraid, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, or abandoned. Generally, all these vulnerable emotions are viewed as problematic and not beneficial. Thus, when people are angry, it is for a purpose, and it is serving them in some manner. This is why people are slow to let it go. Without their anger, they are left holding the problem the anger was “solving.”
For example, if a person believes that being angry holds the person who hurt him accountable for what he did, then letting the anger go is not an option. If a person believes that being angry protects him or her from being hurt again, then letting the anger go would make them vulnerable to harm.
Anger toward God is different from any other anger. Anything that a person believes that has him angry toward God is a falsehood or a misunderstanding about God. Once the false belief (lie) is identified, the person is immediately in the BELIEF Box and you are ready to ask the BELIEF Box question. You would NOT use the De-Solution Tool when dealing with anger felt toward God.
Lost and Found Question
Finally, there is one question available to help you find your way if you ever get lost during a session. Being lost can occur for different reasons. For example, the ministry recipient simply may not be giving you the information needed in order to know where they are. Perhaps, you are not adequately equipped in some area of the process, or possibly you are not being attentive to what is going on. This question is simple and really does not require any discussion. It is “What is going on?” This question is asked when the ministry recipient has not given you enough information to identify the box location. What the person shares should provide what is needed to get your bearings.
All in all, there are about fifteen questions that are used when applying the TPM process. These questions have been tested for over twenty years by thousands of ministry facilitators, who have proven their effectiveness. These questions have evolved over the course of two decades and are tried and true. If you want to do a pure form of TPM, then you will not need to come up with any other questions. If you become aware of a “need” to become creative, to diagnose a problem, or to probe the recipient for “more”, then something is amiss.
If you find yourself struggling with a question, then you may need additional instruction and/or an in-depth review of the principles.
Click One of the Links Below to Learn More about the Questions in that “Box”
or to Proceed to the Next Article in this Series