Hierarchy of Criteria Technique

Criteria at different levels of one's "hierarchy of criteria" often bounce back and forth between "self and "others," and move successively closer to core values by shifting to deeper 'levels' of experience. That is, behavioral level criteria (e.g., "to do or achieve something for others") are often overridden by those related to capabilities (e.g., "to learn something for myself). Criteria at the level of capability are overridden by those at the level of beliefs and values (e.g., "to be responsible to others," or "follow the rules"). Beliefs and values, however, will be overridden by criteria at the level of identity (e.g., "to be a certain type of person," or "to maintain personal integrity").

Different levels of criteria are also often associated with particular representational systems or submodality qualities associated with their "criterial equivalences." Knowing about these different aspects of criteria can help you to 'pace and lead' or 'leverage' various levels of criteria in order to overcome conflicts and achieve desired outcomes more effectively. In the following procedure, spatial sorting and the counter example process are used to identify different levels of criteria, and their representational characteristics, in order to help transform inner resistance to establishing a new pattern of behavior.

Before beginning, lay out four different locations, side-by-side, as shown in the following diagram.

Location 4

Location 3

Location 2

Location 1

Spatial Layout for the Hierarchy of Criteria Technique

1. In Location #1 identify a behavior that you want to do, but stop yourself from doing.

e.g., Exercising consistently.

2. Step into location #2 and identify the criteria that motivate you to want the new behavior.

e.g., I want to exercise in order to "be healthy" and "look good."

Identify the sensory representation or 'criterial equivalence' used to determine the criteria. e.g., an image of myself in the future being healthy and looking good

3. Move to Location #3 and elicit the criteria that stop you from actually doing the desired behavior.

(NOTE: These will be higher level criteria because, by definition, they override the criteria for motivation.) e.g., I do not exercise consistently because there is "no time" and "it hurts. "

Identify the sensory representation or 'criterial equivalence' used to determine the criteria.

e.g., a feeling of stress and tension associated with having no time and being sore

4. Step to location #5 and elicit a higher level criterion that overrides the limiting criteria of step 3. For example, you could ask, "What is something that is important enough that I can always make time for it and would do it even if it hurts? What value does that satisfy that makes it more important? "

e.g., "Responsibility to my family

Identify the sensory representation or 'criterial equivalence' used to determine this criterion. e.g., I visualize my family looking safe and happy, feel good about it, and tell myself how important that is.

Location 4

Location 4

Identity

Highest level criteria that overrides limiting criteria

Location

Belief

Capability

Location I Behavior

What slops you? Motivating criteria Behavior you want for the behavior hut are not doing

Location I Behavior

What slops you? Motivating criteria Behavior you want for the behavior hut are not doing

Sequence of Steps for the Hierarchy of Criteria Technique

5. You are now set up to use the following sequence of techniques:

a. Leveraging - Keeping in mind your highest level criterion, go back to location #1, bypassing locations #2 and #3. Apply the highest level criterion to the desired behavior in order to override the limiting objections. For example, you can say, "Since my behavior is a model for my family, wouldn't I be showing more responsibility by finding the time to keep healthy and look my best?"

b. Utilizing the 'criterial equivalence' of the highest criterion - Step to location #2 and adjust the qualities of the internal representation of the criteria associated with the desired behavior so that they match the 'criterial equivalence' you use to determine your highest level criterion.

e.g., Visualize yourself being healthy and looking good, see your family looking safe and happy, feel good about it, and tell yourself how important that is.

c. Pacing the limiting criteria - Step from location #2 into location #3 and explore options that will allow you to achieve the desired behavior, that will match the criteria on all three levels and doesn't violate the limiting criteria. For example, uIs there some kind of consistent exercise program that doesn't take much time, wouldn't be painful and in which I could involve my family ? "

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