Glossary: C

Cybernetic epistemology (systems epistemology)

An orientation to pattern and the relationship between parts of a system, rather than usingquantification, and reductionism as in Newtonian physics. Cybernetic epistemology is based on the premise that living systems such as a person, family or ecology function on different rules to the world of physics. (See Epistemology and Systems Thinking).


The generally agreed upon maps within a particular community of people which guide behaviour. These agreed upon maps form collectively a consensus reality for the group and generally operate outside conscious awareness.

Cultural conditioning

The assimilation of beliefs, values and ways of one's culture of upbringing is sometimes referred to as cultural conditioning. We have all been shaped to a greater or lesser extent by the social context in which we grew-up, and by the social, political, economic and cultural contexts in which we live subsequently. One of the benefits of the models Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian hypnosis is the capability to evaluate the various belief systems that one adopted, and to update, change and enrich those maps of reality if so desired. This process brings added flexibility and choice into one's life.


Taking any repetitive behaviour on the part of the subject, and matching that behaviour through a different communication channel. You could speak in time to the subjects breathing. If the person is blinking, you could tap a pencil in time to their blink rate. Cross-pacing builds rapport with the person's unconscious mind and is a subtle, less noticeable approach to building or maintaining rapport than mirroring the subject's behaviour directly.

Criterion (S), Criteria (P)

An individual's or organisation's definition of what is important to them in terms of their particular standards and values.


The situation, time and place within which designated activity takes place.

Content Reframing

Can be of two forms; either changing the response to an experience by changing the meaning of the experience in that context, (meaning reframe), or leaving the meaning of the behaviour the same and placing the behaviour in a different context (context reframing).

Conscious awareness

The conscious mind is limited in terms of the amount of information that can be held at any one moment in time to seven plus or minus two chunks. The size of the chunks is variable. A metaphoric description is the experience of shining a torch around a darkened room. As the light beam moves from one place to another, you notice different items. You can never see the entire contents of the room with the torch light. Like the torch, conscious attention shifts from one experience to another.


The match of a person's body language (gestures, posture and voice patterns) with their verbal output (auditory digital) while they are communicating. Congruence in communication is one of the patterns found in charismatic people. Note though, when a person is communicating with congruency, this is not necessarily an indicator of truth, rationality or sensibility in terms of the content communicated. It means that in the moment, they believe what they are saying. Eg. Hitler communicated congruently, yet many of his ideas (content), were unecological in their effect on third parties.

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