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The Quantum Cheshire Cat

By on August 3, 2014

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for metaphors to offer my clients, so this story immediately got my attention when our friend Valerie Oula pointed it out to me. Quantum physics provides the fundamental building blocks of the universe, including our own experience.

Researchers have been able to separate a quantum attribute of a particle from the particle itself. If this sounds too abstract imagine playing pool, putting spin on the cue ball, and having the cue ball go one way while the spin goes another! Or separating the Cheshire Cat from its smile!

Now let’s think of this in a coaching context. If it’s possible to separate the spin from the ball, or the smile from the cat, isn’t it also possible to separate a person from their problem? What happens to a client with anxiety if they step out of their chair while their anxiety stays there?

Of course, this is called ‘dissociation’ in hypnosis or NLP and we use techniques like this all the time. Think about V-K dissociation, the fast phobia cure, the backward spin or the allergy cure. But it’s all-ways nice to have a scientific and fun metaphor to pre-frame it for the client!


Read about the experiment by following the link below:

The phenomenon is named after the curious feline in Alice in Wonderland, who vanishes leaving only its grin. Researchers took a beam of neutrons and separated them from their magnetic moment, like passengers and their baggage at airport security. I’ve often seen a cat without a grin, but a grin without a cat! BBC News – ‘Quantum Cheshire Cat’ becomes reality

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