Budget limitations. High recidivism rates. Limitations
on units of service. Higher caseloads of difficult clients
and students. These are just some of the challenges
professionals face today. To successfully meet these
challenges, professionals need to convert their
knowledge, education, and experience into an effective
language their clients and students can understand,
identify with, and respond to.
What is Responsivity?
For clients and students to respond to treatment and
education in a meaningful, lasting way, they must feel
seen, heard, recognized, and valued, not categorized or
dealt with systematically. This responsivity
encompasses many different elements, including, but
not limited to, the following.
Those with the worst psychological difficulties are least
likely to learn well intellectually and cognitively. They
tend to learn best visually and tactilely, through story
A person’s development level determines to a large degree what he or she is capable of learning and processing, especially on a
core level. Therapeutic strategies must be adapted to that level.
Trauma is often incurred during the precognitive phases of life, and its maladaptive emotional patterns are set in place at that time.
Treatment and education must reach the older parts of the brain where trauma is seated.
Modern brain research is providing more and more information about how we learn, process information, and change. Positive
and negative brain linkages operate like personal firewalls that activate when threatened, raise defenses, and prevent input. Life
experience also biases response to certain stimuli, as does the way in which people process emotions. Successful programs
must find a way in, without stirring up shame, guilt, and other negative responses.
Repetition and Multi-Pronged Presentations
Many people need repetitions, illustrations, and multiple forms of presentation to understand important concepts from several
Good Assessment and Testing
Psychological testing is a good way to map the core and to visualize the terrain once change has begun. The Millon is especially
helpful because it can show what a client is like at his or her worst. After all, many offenders and criminals display qualities during
an offense that are not visible at any other time.
Leading From Inside
Milton Erickson's work makes it clear that the ego is often too damaged, too defensive, and too insular to be a good ally in
treatment. Many troubled youth are no longer impressed by the egos of role models and mentors. Leading from inside means
joining a client or student in his or her lostness to see what steps are possible to eventually move out of that place toward health
Hermes' Web and Responsivity
In essence, responsivity is about creating an operable arena where therapist and client, teacher and student can exchange
information in a meaningful way. Responsivity results from converting the language of one side into the language of the other and
building connections that allow clients and students to engage more deeply in the therapeutic process.
Responsivity requires a language of change, and Hermes’ Web is the interpreter...the equalizer...the delivery system.
Why Hermes' Web?
How to Use the Web
Hermes’ Web is a colorful, plastic
toy that represents the human
personality, or psyche...
Learn how to use Hermes' Web
Hermes’ Web is open to constant
innovation and can be used in...
Read more about applications
Evidence & Results
Clients reduced their length of
time in treatment by an average of
6.2 months — an approximate
savings of $2500 per client over
the course of treatment...
Read evidence and results
"When I feel recognized and have a
sense that you understand how I am
experiencing my experience (whether
this is how you experience it or not),
I can find your limit-setting tolerable
and even a relief.
If I do not feel recognized, I resent it as
a violation of who I am — which is just
what it is."
— Robert Kegan, The Evolving Self