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The KEY Questions: What is my responsibility?

11 June 17

The text came through as I was sitting at a table outside the café with my latte, on an otherwise beautifully sunny day in early August. I stared at it in confusion and disbelief for several minutes before calling my wife to deliver the awful news. Anna immediately burst into tears on the phone, and we spent a few moments vainly trying to console one another. The message could not have been more brief, or final. But I could only guess at the suffering behind these few words.

‘This is to let you know that —— took his own life this morning. Thank you for all you tried to do for him.’

It was from the young man’s mother. She had contacted me a little while before to explain something of his troubles and I had readily agreed to talk to her son and try to help him resolve the problem. He had only to make contact with me, or one of my team, and we would schedule a time and place to meet. I had actually spoken with him a week previously, when he reassured me that he was in good shape. However he couldn’t, or wouldn’t commit to a meeting, so that’s how the phone call ended. Anna had had a similar experience with him and we both felt frustrated that the boy seemed so reluctant to help himself out. Our reaction to his death was predictable enough. Like so many affected by a suicide our sadness was tinged with feelings of guilt. How could we have missed seeing the seriousness of the situation? Surely there was something that could have been done, some simple intervention that could have saved him from himself? We had been waiting for his call. If we had only taken the initiative and called him instead, maybe we could have prevented this tragedy.

It’s something of a cliché or truism in all branches of therapy that the first step towards resolving a problem is to recognize that you have one. It’s the reason why all AA members must stand before the group and admit they are alcoholics before saying another word on the subject of how they got to this point in their lives. In NLP the strategy is a little different. To avoid validating a client’s negative self-belief the practitioner first tries to undermine it, pointing out the deletions, distortions and generalizations in the client’s thinking. To offer sympathy and a ‘shoulder to cry on’ is simply to reinforce in the person’s mind the reality of their situation – their ‘victimhood’ as they see it. This immediately makes the task of re-programming their neurology that much harder. Similarly with the Three Principles my task is to raise my clients’ awareness of the extent to which they are creating their own experience through the power of Universal Thought. To get them to recognize that they can use this power, this gift from Mind, to change every aspect of their lives for the better, that is the goal.

But how easy it is to explain all this to you; how impossible to reach out to that young man, now gone.

Like all of us, I am learning all the time. And it seems the more I learn about life through my understanding of the Principles, the more compassion I have for my fellow human beings. With that, inevitably I suppose, comes a desire to ‘fix’ people wherever I see that they are suffering. But is that really my responsibility? As a friend pointed out to me humorously: if Batman takes a night off, exhausted from his many nocturnal battles with the forces of evil, and on that one night some poor innocent is randomly murdered, can the blame really be laid at the feet of the Caped Crusader?

I am not a crusader, and I’m certainly no superhero, but I want to make a difference to people’s lives. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between the two differing therapeutic strategies. In future I may change my approach a little. I won’t immediately ‘anchor’ a client’s view of their situation by supporting and therefore validating their negative thoughts, agreeing that there is a serious problem to be addressed, but neither will I appear to dismiss or make light of their suffering. I truly believe that I could have helped that young man, and the fact that we were too late to offer him help and advice causes me sadness. One small consolation: I was later able to help his mother with her grief, and she responded well to our discussions.

How do you see your responsibility?



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  • Having attended David's course and then had some one to one sessions with him my approach to my life has changed dramatically and improved. David has a very gentle and empathic way about him, yet managed to challenge my habitual way of being and thinking. As a result of our time together I now practice his "way of being" and I truly find that I am getting far better results in all of the relationships that I encounter. My inner chatter is under control, most of the time, and I am learning to pause and push away harmful thinking . It's surprising how habitual thinking can do so much damage and how, once you really focus on what comes into your mind you start to realise that you can be bigger than your random thoughts. So David thank you for putting me on a better pathway. Looking forward to sharing another journey with the Auspicium family!
    Rowena Wild

  • The course I attended with David Key was marvellous, every moment being filled with joy and laughter. David has a unique talent to teach, unlocking the full potential of every person he encounters. His course opened up an infinite number of ways for me to get the life I want, right now, today, and in the future. It made me realise that thought is fluid and that I can mould it the way I want to suit my day. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in search of a new professional career or for those who simply want a happier life. Thank You!
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  • It took me about 5 years of 'dithering' before committing, and in that time I attended several introductory days from various training providers. David's accessible style and the unforced flow of the day is what persuaded me to choose his company. David provides a training model that helps you become your best self - as a student, as a practitioner, as a person. By 'best', I mean more open, less fearful, more confident, less judgemental - whether you attend the course to make a change personally or professionally, to build on existing success, or with no idea where it might go, simply because you are interested (that was me!) you will be impressed at what you are able to achieve with David's expert guidance showing you how to use your curiosity as a pathway to growth. In the first week following the course, I dealt with several potentially difficult situations both at work and home, coming from a changed perspective - resulting in no conflict, calmer colleagues, less stressed family. And this without actively using any techniques; the biggest change has been inside my own headspace. I can't wait to do the next course. Now that I know, unequivocally, the benefits to be had, I wish I had come down off the fence years ago! Added bonus, a bunch of fabulous new friends. And a final thought about cost; some of you reading this will be struggling to justify spending a chunk of hard earned money "just" for yourself. Well, I will be using these tools every day for the rest of my life - pennies a day investment! I am SO worth it. And so are you!
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  • I first met David at an evening business club a couple of years ago. During his presentation something “clicked” with me and I felt compelled to further my understanding of NLP. I attended the Auspicium free trial day. My earlier feelings were confirmed. This guy knows what he’s talking about and has a passion for helping people. I duly signed up for the NLP and Hypnotherapy practitioner course. What a week. All in the class left in such high spirits with a very different outlook on life. Following on I have attended the NLP and Hypnotherapy Master Practitioner course. Again excellent. There was something about the Hypnotherapy element of the course that I loved so on to the Hypnotherapy Trainers Training (another absolutely brilliant week). All the courses that I have attended have been very well organised, have a great team of trainers and support volunteers. The documentation is well put together and the exercises are all structured to push yourself to show you have a grasp of the given subject. I now have a fantastic group of new friends who I have a deep link with. We still meet up when we can to catch up on what we are all doing. As of March this year I have been participating in the Auspicium Freedom Project. This is a yearlong “conversation” about the 3 Principles – Mind, Thought and Consciousness. It took me a while to “get” it but now just by “doing nothing” I find myself doing more with better results and no stress. There are no models or techniques to learn. We all have the Principles inside us. We just need to be woken up to how to use them. It’s a great journey that will take the rest of my life. David is a superb trainer and fully deserves all the praise he receives.
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  • Before going on David’s Practitioner course, I thought I knew what I wanted, where I was headed and how I was going to get it. All I wanted an additional skill to add to my portfolio. I thought my life was in reasonably good order, nothing that needed fixing. I can sum up my experience of working with David in two words: life-changing. Instead of just learning a new skill, David encouraged us to apply his teaching, our learning, to ourselves. In a very safe environment, I gradually dropped the barriers I had painstakingly built up over a long time. This change happened very quickly and I continued growing as a person, studying 2 more courses with David and joining him on the Freedom project. Why David? He is disarmingly honest, genuine and engaging. He has a very broad knowledge of human behaviour and passes his knowledge on with grace. As a result of working with David, I have changed, and my life has changed. In myself I am very happy and contented person. My marriage is better and stronger. My business plans have taken a different route - one that is exciting and feels very right for me.