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Adapted from writings in the 1980s and 1990s.  Updated Dec 2014.


This Laceweb Action Research into Experiential Learning draws upon and adapts the resources provided through the Handbooks of Structured Experiences edited by Pfeiffer and Jones. This Laceweb action research explored enabler facilitated experiential learning while working with groups in corporate environments as well as social and communal environments from the 1960s onwards. In the 1970s, Pfeiffer and Jones were using a cognitive model of experiential learning based upon a step-wise cycle.

In Laceweb Action Research it was noticed that while people were massively transforming their modes of relating with others and their behavioural repertoire they were doing so without any consciousness that they had in any way changed. This had the advantage that they were not sabotaging their own change work.

It also meant that something other than conscious cognitive processing was happening.

In the 1970s, the Action Research of Bandler, Grinder and others in modelling Milton Erickson’s unconscious transformational processes gave hints of what was happening in Laceweb Experiential learning research. In 1987 psychiatrist psychologist Dr Neville Yeomans from Sydney attended workshops with Steve and Connirae Andres in the States based upon Richard Bandler’s book ‘Using Your Brain for a Change’ and the Andres’ sequel ‘Change Your Brain - and Keep the Change’.

In 1987, Dr Neville Yeomans returned from the States and began experiential learning workshops in Sydney Australia passing on ways of engaging with people at unconscious levels. Neville’s opening hour in his first workshop in Balmain, Sydney was devoted to social ecology, values and ethics. He was lovingly tough, specific and very precise in his engaging with the group. When engaging with others below their awareness one has to be meticulous with social ecology. This workshop explored using Eriksonian processes while attending closely to sensory submodalities. For a discussion on the rollout from the Balmain Workshop in 1987 refer Realising Human Potential.

Below is an introduction to the Laceweb experience. First is a glimpse of the Pfieffer and Jones model that did not account for phenomena appearing in the Laceweb Action Research.


A Traditional Theoretical Model (Pfeiffer & Jones, 1998)




a)    Acquiring cognitive insight

b)    Learning and planning new behaviours

c)    Through a Cyclic Step-wise Algorithm:


1.    Experiencing      (Doing an activity)

2.    Publishing          (Sharing reactions and observations)

3.    Processing          (Discussing patterns and dynamics)

4.    Generalising       (Inferring principles about the real world)

5.    Applying              (Planning more effective behaviour)

























An Alternative Laceweb Model – Eclectic Holistic Mindbody Transforming





a)    Little or no cognitive insight –– people transform without noticing they are different, hence no self-sabotaging of their own and each other’s changework

b)    Transforming to new integrated behavioural complexes that will be spontaneously evoked and used as appropriate to context



The Process


People become immersed in experiencing with others (reference  Coming to One’s Senses – By the Way).


The process engages the following as naturally occurring phenomena:


a)    People’s balancing, sensing, moving and feeling are all massively integrated and interconnected - refer By the Way – Appendix 10


b)    The above are also massively integrated and interconnected with memories and behavioural repertoires


c)    Both (a) and (b) above are largely engaged non-consciously and unconsciously


d)    The facilitated experiential process taps into:


1.    The unconscious integrated patterning linking moving, sensing and feeling

2.    Interrupting dysfunctional patterns - refer By the Way – Appendix 10

3.    Disintegrating dysfunctional patterns, and

4.    Establishing functional patterns for people to experience

5.    Integrating new more adaptive patterns


e)    Having people as appropriate to context:


1.    unconsciously engaging in adaptive behaviours

2.    adaptively achieving outcomes


The Experiential Process


Facilitated by one or more enablers, attendees become immersed in:


a)    Experiences that are:


o   structured,

o   partially structured

o   unstructured


b)    Hypothetical Real-plays




Globalocal Realplay - Healing Nightmares - A Process for Transforming Senior Bureaucrats  


An Example of Hypothetical Realplay


c)    Simulations (simulating realities)

d)    Case Studies (with use of other experiential modes)

e)    Cultural Artistry

f)     Games

g)    Play


Experiential Enabler Processes:


a)    Evolving of attuned mood (stimmung)

b)    Increasing attendees:


1.    Engrossment

2.    Attending

3.    Awareness of Awareness


c)    Attending to attendees:


1.    Contexts

2.    Content


Refer By the Way – Search Terms:


a)    Process and Meta-Process Perception

b)    Preoccupation with Task and Content


3.    Processes

4.    Metaprocesses

5.    Unconscious behaving and communicating


a)    Verbal

b)    Non verbal


6.    Transforming Action


Refer By the Way – Search Terms:


a)    The Disappearing Boardroom Table

b)    Free Energy and the IT Managers

c)    Max Serving Drinks

d)    Maria and Sally

e)    The Upstairs Dorm

f)     The Scorpion Mandala


Enablers’ competence base:


a)    Attending

b)    Awareness of awareness

c)    Eriksonian meta-model and psycho-linguistic patterns

d)    Connexity Perception

e)    Cultural Keyline

f)     Capacity to recognise and utilise unconscious communicating


Refer By the Way – Search the term ‘Max Serving Drinks’


g)    Engaging in Functional Interrupt - refer By the Way Search Terms:


1.    Interrupt

2.    The Cook the Knife and the Scrotum

3.    Thanks for the Thuggery

4.    Swinging Meat Cleavers and Tennis Rackets

5.    The Kombi and the Head Pat


h)   Ecological Use of:


1.    Crowd and audience effects


Refer Cultural Keyline  – Search the term ‘Collective Therapy – Audience and Crowd’


2.    Presupposing

3.    Imbedded Suggestions, Implication, and Imbedded Commands





Realising Human Potential

Coming to One’s Senses – By the Way


Pfeiffer and Jones, 1998. Structured Experiences. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 21, 2nd Edition. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer



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Laceweb Home Page


Other Links:


Healing Ways – Experiential Learning

Globalocal Realplay - Healing Nightmares - A Process for Transforming Senior Bureaucrats  


An Example of Hypothetical Realplay


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