When to stop safe expts?

NEVER, is the answer, but I would say that wouldn’t I!

That said, I want to talk about the Discount Matrix as this is a tool you can use to monitor the way in which safe experiments are helping you to promote the changes you want. The main conclusion is that:

when the Matrix helps us conclude that we have minimised any tendency to discount (put down) aspects of ourselves or others, then therapy may not, now, be necessary.

At that point you may feel confident that you can safely experiment without consultation – and you will know where to go if the situation should change.

Read this information alongside the information on:

  • the Johari Window – to record your journey from the unknown into the better known, and
  • Does This Make Any Sense – how did you widen your Window of Tolerance (WOT) and what might you do to widen it further?

Can you connect these two tools to the Discount Matrix. It was used by Jacqui Lee Schiff (1975) in the text:

Transactional Analysis: Treatment of Psychosis. Harper and Row.

Please do not let that potentially scary book title put you off! I want to use the Matrix for a very specific purpose.

1. Existence 2. Significance 3. Possibilities 4. Personal Abilities

Identifying your: Sensations Skillfulness Judging and Acting

Fitting this Matrix into the safe experiment, I translate the boxes from top to bottom, using the numbers above, as:

  1. You and I can do nothing until we recognise there is something to address.
  2. We can do little unless we judge that the ‘something’ is significant to us.
  3. We can begin to design experiments once we can see the possibility of change.
  4. We are experimenting once we identify and use our personal ability to make change.

In practice, as the Johari Window moves from upper left to lower right, so the Discount Matrix does the same. That is, you will do nothing until a problem or issue is seen to exist. You will complete safe experiments once you have designed them and demonstrated that you have to ability to act on choices.

You can make choices only after you have thought about things and made a judgement that something needs to change AND you can see how to go about it.

Do you remember THINK JUDGE ACT from How to Give Yourself a Nudge. Search it out in your researches, if that helps.

THE SAFE EXPERIMENT: How does this work in practice so you can make a judgment about the progress you are making?

Get a piece of paper:

  1. From the work you have done: identify one issue you did not realise existed for you. How did you help the issue come into existence – into your awareness?
  2. From your present assessment, can you imagine something that has yet to be done? This will be something on the edge of your awareness or at the outer edges of window of tolerance (WOT) – between the known and the unknown. If you find something – how significant is it in your life, now?
  3. What are the alternative ways of thinking about the change you might need to make? Perhaps a friend or partner can help you ‘brain storm’, that is, write down as many possibilities as you can without censoring anything as ‘silly’ or unreasonable. Sort out the reasonable and unreasonable only after the event.
  4. What is stopping you making the necessary change? What is it about your skillful and unskillful actions that appears to get in the way? What abilities can you now apply to make something happen?

Now you can see why I say NEVER!! To some extent the task, as described, can go on forever. There is always something lingering there! That said, you will make a judgment: when is enough, enough?

In my view, sadly, the Discount Matrix has not received a lot of attention over the years. It allows us to organise our work in many ways and I cannot list them all here.

Retutn to:


How to given yourself a nudge

The Daily Safe Experiment