Integral Deep Listening
Physical Symptom Interviewing Protocol
Joseph Dillard, Ph.D.
What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
Choose any physical symptom. How does it make you feel?
If that feeling had a color, what color would it be?
Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.
Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?
Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!
(Character,) would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?
What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?
What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?
(Character), you are in this person’s life experience, correct? They created you, right?_____ (Character), what aspect of this person do you represent or most closely personify?
(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)
(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing? Why?
(Character,) if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how?
How would the life of the person who created you be different if he/she naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?
If you could live the life of the person who created you for him/her, how would you live it differently?
If you could live this person’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle his/her three life issues differently? If so, how?
What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of his/her life?
In what life situations would it be most beneficial for this person to imagine that they are you and act as you would?
Why do you think that you are in this person’s life?
I think ____ has this health issue because…
How is this person most likely to ignore what you are saying to them?
What would you recommend that they do about that?
What have you heard yourself say?
If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?
What recommendations did you hear?
How can you test them in your daily life to test the trustworthiness of this emerging potential and the usefulness of IDL?
For more information about this interviewing protocol, see Integral Deep Listening Interviewing Techniques.