At my workshop in Russia I talked about “make feels”. Can one person make another person feel something.
Julian Rotter in the 1960s presented his idea of Locus Of Control (LOC) that has been a huge contribution to the field of psychology. And at the workshop we even did the LOC test so participants could work out what was their locus of control.
Having an internal LOC means the person believes they are responsible and in charge of their thoughts, behaviours and feelings
Having an external LOC means the person believes others are responsible and in charge of their thoughts, behaviours and feelings
In more recent times there has been much more talk about the role of relationships in therapy and the central role it plays in how we react and feel, especially with co-creation theory where it is seen that two people co create their reality. This allows us to define a third kind of LOC – a relational LOC as we can see in the diagram below.
Internal LOC = good prognosis for therapy
External LOC = poor prognosis for therapy
Relational LOC = ambivalence prognosis for therapy
People with an internal LOC are quite willing to have personal insight to how they may be contributing to their own problems such as their rackets and the games they may play.
People with an external LOC see others or some situation out of their control that is responsible for their own difficulties. Hence there is a poorer prognosis as in therapy you cannot change others who are not there. All you can do is look at yourself. These people will tend to make ‘change others’ contracts in therapy which as we know don’t work.
“I want my husband to love me more”
“I want my boss to stop being CP to me.”
Those with a relational LOC believe that it is the contract in the relationship that allows us to create our reality and hence be in control of how we think and feel. This could be seen as combining both the external and internal LOCs and hence the prognosis is also effected in a more negative way.