The Emprint Method

by Leslie Cameron-Bandler, David Gordon and Michael Lebeau

DESCRIPTION: This book is intended to change your mind about what is possible for you to achieve. By the time you finish reading the first chapter, you will be aware of the possibility of acquiring a wide range of new skills, talents, and aptitudes. By the time you finish the final chapter, you will have the tools you need to master an accelerated skill acquisition process–the EMPRINT method–that you can use to turn those possibilities into accomplishments.

The purpose of this book, then, is to provide you with tools that will enable you to identify and acquire (or transfer to others) desirable human aptitudes. The purpose of this preface is to introduce you to the approach we used to create the EMPRINT method, as well as to create other methods and self-improvement formats that are described in other books by the authors. We call our approach Mental Aptitude Patterning. Knowing at least a little about Mental Aptitude Patterning will enable you to better appreciate both how we created the EMPRINT method, and how the method can be used to enhance the skills of individuals, as well as of large groups of people.

EXCERPT: It is our experience that almost any behavior can be transferred from a person who already manifests it to a person who does not but would like to–provided that the internal processes underlying that behavior are made explicit and put in a form that can be matched by the learner. Before going further, we want to give you a personal experience of what we are talking about. The following exercise will be most potent if you actually do each step as it is described.

1. Search through your experience and find some occurrence or feeling that you never want to experience again. For instance, you might want to never again be rejected, or to be taken advantage of, or to be without money; or you might want to never again feel angry, or hurt, or incompetent.

2. Spend a few moments hoping that “it” will never happen again.

3. Now take a deep breath and spend a few moments anticipating that “it” will never happen again. If your reason rejects this as a possibility, simply pretend for a moment that it is possible to anticipate such a future.

What was the difference for you between hoping and anticipating that it would never happen again? Comparing the two, you will probably notice that anticipating made you feel certain of being free of future occurrences of that unpleasant experience, while hoping made it seem uncertain that you could avoid the unpleasantness. Thus the subjective experience of hoping to never again be rejected is an unsettling mixture of wanting acceptance and recognizing the possibility of being rejected anyway, while anticipating not being rejected is the pleasant state of knowing that you will never be rejected. The internal process underlying the subjective differences between hoping and anticipating is that when we hope, we simultaneously maintain internal images of both getting what we want and not getting what we want. (You can verify this by calling up some of your own hopes and noticing just what you are imaging as you hope.) When we anticipate, however, we maintain an internal image of only one possibility. (If other possibilities are imagined, they are not imagined simultaneously with the one that is anticipated. Again, we encourage you to explore this by noticing the content of your imaginings as you consider some of the experiences, events, and activities you are anticipating.) Now let’s take our experiment one step further.

1. Select a hope that you currently have. (For instance, that you will remain close to a friend, that you will make a lot of money, that you will travel, that you will master a sport or musical instrument, etc.)

2. Now erase all but one of the possibilities about which you had hope, making a picture of only that one remaining possibility, and notice how your subjective experience changes. (For example, imagine only that you will make a lot of money, or only that you will not make a lot of money.)

You probably noticed that, when you left yourself with but one imagined possibility, your experience immediately shifted toward anticipation of that future. (Whether your anticipation is fearful or pleasant depends upon whether you are imagining only the unwanted possibility or only the wanted possibility.) This pattern cuts both ways.

1. Select some decidedly unpleasant occurrence that you are currently anticipating (making a fool of yourself while on a date, the arrival of a big tax bill, being a procrastinator the rest of your life, etc.), and anticipate it happening.

2. Now make a picture of things not turning out the way you are anticipating (being charming on a date, the arrival of a small tax bill, getting your work done early the rest of your life, etc.), and hold both pictures before you simultaneously. Notice how your subjective experience changes.

In this case you probably noticed that suddenly you were hoping. While previously you were anticipating, say, making a fool of yourself on a date, now (holding beside it the imagined possibility of being charming) you hope that you will not make a fool of yourself (or hope that you will be charming). A substantial difference in subjective experience takes place with this change from anticipation to hope, as you can verify for yourself by experimenting with the pattern. This difference will be manifested in behavior. The person who anticipates being a fool on a date will respond very differently to the possibility of going out than will the person who hopes not to be a fool (or to be charming).

The distinction between hope and anticipation with which you have just been experimenting is one of dozens that we have discovered. Once we understood the underlying pattern, we were able to purposefully (and often profoundly) affect our own experiences and the experiences of others by using this pattern. That is, we have represented the internal processes underlying “hoping” and “anticipating” in a way that can be transferred as an ability to anyone who needs or wants such an ability. Thus a middle-aged acquaintance of ours who lived an unhappy life of almost monastic seclusion became more gregarious when we had him add the picture of a happy marriage to his long-standing anticipation of dying a bachelor. As soon as he added that picture he felt more hopeful of finding a love–a change in perspective that manifested itself as increasingly gregarious behavior.

TOC: Taking Camera in Hand
The Organizing Principle
The Distinctions
Test Category
Reference Category
Compelling Category
The Method at Work
Selecting an Outcome
Identifying the Activities and Operative Formats
Elicitation and Detection of the Variables
Reproducing Competence

REVIEWS: “This approach has important possibilities for therapy, education and business, but above all for anyone who wants to be happier and fulfilled.”
–Changes Bookshop Review

“The EMPRINT Method…spells out [the authors’] technology for mapping and learning competence.”
–Brain/Mind Bulletin

“Anyone interested in increasing their understanding of how people do what they do, anyone interested in acquiring new skills for themselves or others, anyone interested in expanding their horizons in any way would benefit immeasurably from a thorough understanding and integration of the material in this book.”
–Mark Roche, Parents Theosophical Research Group Parents Bulletin