I've noticed a lot of posts to this forum that seem to convey the same general thought - am I doing the steps of the PhotoReading method correctly? I think that this stance is antithetical to the way that the system actually works (or at least how it appears to me to work).
The PhotoReading system seems to be more a set of general principles - deep relaxation, divergent gaze, strong and focused purpose, a multi-pass approach to absorbing/activating the written material, etc.. I think that a lot of people get caught up in the mechanics of trying to PhotoRead and miss out on actually performing the task of PhotoReading. It's stated numerous times in the book, home study course and seminar that you play with the system. You tweak things and learn how to make them work for you.
In the video that Learning Strategies puts out, Mr. Bissonette talks about PhotoReading being like a machete, and that you're taught a basic swinging method with it, but after that you make it your own. I think this is fairly accurate. By playing with the system, you learn to access memory in ways that you do not usually associate with reading tasks. I think the only way to learn this is by tinkering with the system until you have an "AHA!" moment and it really clicks.
Concerning the book, home study course and seminar - I've done all three, in that order. I started out with the book and had some success. I wanted more and tried the home study course - which is exceptionally well done. My wife then signed me up for the seminar and I got a chance to experience that facet of the training. The seminar is the best way to learn, I will admit, but at the same time everything is contained in the book and home study course. What does lack in the book and the home study course is the interaction of students, allowing you to feed off of eachother's experiences, and a coach who can say to you - "Relax...what you're doing is fine."
My advice to any beginning PhotoReader is to simply play with the system. Until you develop proficiency with it, use it on material that you're curious about but that isn't vital to you (e.g., not for a job, etc.). Just some thoughts.
Craig M. Parsons-Kerins
-The East Coast Omni-Heurist!