Re-Valuing the Challenge

Resolving Multiple Secondary Gain and Long Standing Challenges

Process developed by Lynn Timpany 1999


Often clients present with issues that have multiple secondary gains.  There may also be more than one issue, which inter relate with each other.  For example a client suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and an anxiety disorder for more than 5 years.  There was little about his life that wasn’t effected by the problems, which were unchanged despite his trying everything he could find, that might work.  Although in his mid twenties, he lived with his mother, took one subject at varsity, and received a sickness benefit. 


These situations can be challenging to unravel, so many factors are involved.  Any single intervention is unlikely to be enough to change the whole system. 


The Re-Valuing the Challenge process maps out and prioritises the ecology of the change.  It then removes any stress from those areas and amplifies other more ecological choices.  Thus the whole system is gently yet compellingly nudged in the direction of ecological change.




The Re-Valuing the Challenge Process


1.       Gain rapport


2.       Get into a resourceful state


3.       Pre-framing.  Explain the concepts of positive intentions and secondary gain and therefore importance of respecting these and checking out fully all possibilities.


4.       Elicit the possible values of the challenge.  “What’s important about X?  What could X possibly be doing for you?‘  Using a light-hearted, brainstorm type approach works well.  The aim is to flush out any possible benefits or secondary gains that the challenge(s) may have.


5.       Hierarchy.  Have the client rank the values in order of importance.


6.       For each value or at least the top 4.


a)       Remove stress or clear negative emotion.


b)      Identify 3 alternative ways of achieving the positive gain. Check that each alternative is baggage free. 


c)       Crank up the positive feeling.  Use the Amplifying Positive States process to increase the positive emotion associated with each alternative choice.


d)      Future pace each alternative.