If you have ever heard of or talked about the Access Consciousness tools, you may know the reaction of other people: “This ‘Access’, what is that exactly?”
What often happens then is the struggle for words. How to explain it all? Access offers so much – how could one explain Access to someone who has not heard of it yet and still wants to know what it is?
Here are some comparisons which can help understand “what Access Consciousness is about” and also clarify some misunderstandings.
Access is a method that you can use to make your life easier. Yes, Access is a method. It is not an “association”; you cannot become a “member.” Its general principle is easy: you are welcome to become involved, and you are welcome to change your mind: That’s why Access has no cancellation policy for its standard seminars. If you have registered for an event you are allowed to cancel at any time without giving a reason and without paying a cancellation fee. That’s it.
Having a choice is one of the principles within the Access method. And everybody has this choice. The use of any kind of force would violate this principle – and it would also be self-defeating. First you educate people that they have free choice and then you force them to do something? That doesn’t make sense.
Most of the Access Consciousness tools are not new to what standard business and life coaching already knows – they are just a little bit different.
Here are some examples.
Nonviolent and open to all
The acknowledgment of other people; having allowance for another person; being willing to accept the other person the ways he/she is without forcing him or her to take on a certain opinion, is also a principle used in the “Nonviolent Communication” introduced by Marschall B. Rosenberg. He was an internationally rewarded mediator who used non-violent communication in his daily work.
Within the Access method it is consistently pointed out that trying to change another person or trying to impose a certain point of view onto someone else is a form of unkindness towards the other person. Everybody is allowed to have their own point of view and to express it freely. It is in this peaceful communion of different points of view that true relationships can unfold and people can learn to treat “other” opinions with kindness. The other person is not wrong or right – they just have a different point of view, and that is totally okay.
Pragmatic and without force
Access Consciousness is a toolbox full of possibilities about how to live your life in a pragmatic way. And pragmatic is also the keyword here: It`s not about believing in something new, but it’s about finding out what is really working for each individual regarding their own point of view.
One of the books, an international bestseller written by the Co-Founder of Access Consciousness, Dr. Dain Heer, is called “Being You – Changing The World”. And that’s the core of Access – be yourself!
The Access tools were designed to help you find out what works for you! It is essential in Access that nobody except you personally can know what is really working for you! It is one of the methods that focuses on your knowledge about yourself – and not about what others think about you. A good facilitator (someone who uses the Access Consciousness tools) will never impose his point of view on another.
Pragmatic does not mean “easy” in terms of lazy, or “egoistic” in terms of “I only care about myself”; the pragmatic way of looking at a situation has a very different meaning when used as a tool of Access Consciousness: it empowers people to resolve problems or difficult situations in a way that works for them, in a way that the problem or difficulty is resolved with ease.
Change through questions
Access is also comparable to other methods. A key element, for example, is asking questions. If you compare this to cognitive behavioral therapy, you`ll find a very similar tool: the Socratic Dialogue.
Here again, the patient is not supposed to be given a certain mindset but new perspectives are opened up through questions.
The difference is that using questions within the Access method is so playful that people are able to learn how to use them in their everyday life by themselves. A therapist is not required. This opens new and easy perspectives for everyone without the need to contact “someone for help” – and that is one of the Access targets: the freedom to choose for yourself and the ability to take care of yourself in a way you enjoy it rather than “feeling” wrong because you “need help”.
Many other methods use questions as a tool. Coaching, for example, often uses the “circular questioning” that was developed in the systemic therapy.
It also serves to initiate a change of perspective. Here the targets are to introduce new thinking processes, to empathize with other members of the system as well as to trigger change. You keep on asking questions in a circle until something opens up and changes.
Let’s get back to cognitive behavioral therapy. They also have the principle: your thoughts design your world, meaning that negative thoughts will create negative feelings and points of view and positive thoughts will lead to points of view that are more positive. The Access method uses a simpler but similar approach: “your point of view creates your reality”.
Furthermore the cognitive behavioral therapy introduces and practices new, helpful thoughts. The Access method seeks to exchange thoughts with open questions that inspires the mind to new viewpoints. But both methods are based on similar principles.
The Access Bars
Another tool from the tool box of Access are the Access Bars. The Bars are 32 points on the head that are lightly touched. The Bars use a similar idea like Cranio-Sacral-Therapy or the Jin Shin Jyutsu method – a gentle Asian acupressure method: the common principle is the same: by gentle touches you activate a certain energy and release blockages and allow energy to flow.
These gently touched points create a deep relaxation – an effect that is also targeted with autogenic training for example. A rested mind is better at thinking! And a rested body can cope better with the challenges of everyday life.
What is Access Consciousness? – No weird witchcraft, more the high art of Self-Empowerment
Access is not witchcraft. And the Access method is not reinventing the wheel. It uses and combines what mankind has known for many, many years already – it just found a way to make it available to everyone, a way to include it in your everyday life. It´s easy, it’s fun, its available to everyone – even for those without a problem!
The methods are designed for everyday use and can be applied without outside help. This makes people independent of classes or other assistance; it empowers people to help themselves, it trains people to trust themselves, trust their ability to know best, what works for them. In Access we call it empowering. That is a big word. What we mean is that everybody is responsible for themselves – including whether and how they use the tools in their everyday life. If anybody does not wish to do so he is free to not use them. It is just a choice.
Maybe that is the reason why so many people who start using the Access tools are so excited and don’t even know where to start when they talk about it. And maybe this article helps you to have more ease when someone asks you in the future “this weird Access, what is it”?
By Susanna Mittermaier & David Kubes
The original German article was translated into English by Nicole Hurter and edited by Anne Maxwell.
Susanna Mittermaier is a Psychologist and Psychotherapist, educated at the University of Lund, Sweden. She is an international speaker, bestselling author and founder of Pragmatic Psychology. Susanna inspires people worldwide to discover their abilities that are hiding behind mental illnesses.
Dr. David Kubes is a lawyer, business mediator and management consultant in Vienna, Austria. Since 2007 he is working international as a consultant in the fields of alternative conflict solutions, management consulting and project development. Through his solution-orientated approaches conflicts are being solved constructively and to the benefit of all involved parties and projects in the development phase are being structured in a way that conflicts are solved before they even arise.
To learn more about Access Consciousness, just go here!