This weekend, I met my adorable week-old nephew for the first time. He is so beautiful and I could easily spend this entire blog entry oooh-ing nd aahhh-ing about him.

However, during the drive home, I was discussing how amazing those early years of life are and how crucial they are to our own development. Many believe that so much of what goes on at that early stage is what programmes us for life. Heck, I work with many people who firmlybelieve the root of their issues lie in the very early childhood. So I thought I’d share with you today, some brief insight from the work of sociologist Morris Massey… Before you groan and switch off, I think you’ll actually find this fascinating…

Quite a lot of modern therapeutic modalities have drawn from the work of sociologist Morris Massey in pointing out three major develop- mental stages through which all of us are deemed to pass. Massey calls these three major periods the Imprint Period which occurs from birth to age seven. The Modeling Period begins at age eight and goes through age thirteen. And, the Socialisation Period starts around age fourteen and goes through age twenty-one.

For no other reason that out of interest, I thought I’d point out these periods because I find them very useful as a rough guide when meeting and interacting with people and private clients…

Imprint Period

The child’s mind acts like a sponge during the Imprint Period (birth to seven). The development of mental filters (a conscious mind) hasn’t occurred at this young age. For this reason, the child will absorb the teachings and the behaviours of their parents and other significant adults. Because most of the learnings during this period locate within the unconscious, many of the memories will exist outside conscious awareness.

This was the idea that eally becomes interesting when encountering my niece and nephew… To see it happening in reality!

Modeling Period

During the Modeling Period (between eight and thirteen) the child both consciously and unconsciously begins to model the behaviours of people around them. Until age seven, the child does not distinguish between himself and their parents. However, around the age of eight, the child begins to notice the difference between himself and his parents. He also becomes aware of the other people around him. He begins to model the behaviour of his heroes. Individual values begin to form at age eight. Massey teaches that our major values form during this period. According to Massey age ten has significance. What kind of significant events happened around age ten in your life to shape your values? Your world at age ten, Massey believes, shaped your values in life. When dealing with people who have problems with values, look for trouble during the Modeling Period.

Socialisation Period

The ages of fourteen to twenty-one mark the Socialization Period. During this stage the developing individual begins to interact with other persons. Relationships and social values form during this period. These relationships and social values usually last throughout life. Time-Lining provides the means to alter these values. If a client has difficulty in the social areas of his life, you may wish to look for the root cause first in this period. Again, such problems may go back to the Modeling or Imprint Periods as well.

All interesting stuff which I have been thinking about this weekend… We’ll get back on the hypnosis trail tomorrow. Yet, so much of what we work with in hypnosis can relate to developmental periods on anyone’s life… I do not really like to strictly adhere to models such as Masseys that I have illustrated here today, though I do find it useful and insightful to study and look at.