Well, all that’s very nice, but how can you use this information about sub-modalities to improve your life? There are many ways. Let me give you one simple example. Suppose that you have just lost a lover and are hurting. We both know, with the passing of time, your pain will diminish. An important part of what happens over time is that you naturally, and unconsciously, adjust your sub-modalities associated with this person… from those indicating strong emotional attachment, to those indicating neutrality. The good news is, understanding sub-modalities, you don’t have to wait. You can take one giant-step to neutrality by using the following procedure. If you are ready to “let go,” here’s what you can do:
Picture a neutral stimulus: Call to mind a picture of someone you feel neutral about. Preferably, a past lover you have completely “gotten over,” but any neutral person will do. Set this picture aside for the moment.
Picture your lost love: I know this is a little unpleasant, but call up a picture you have been looking at in your mind’s eye that has been causing you pain.
Analyze the two pictures (neutral and lost love) for differences: Compare the two pictures and determine how the two differ in their sub-modalities (not their content). Make a list of those differences. Not sure what to look for? Here’s a list of a few visual sub-modalities.
Neutralize the lost love picture: Change the sub-modalities of your lost love picture until they match those of the neutral picture. For example, if your neutral picture is a still, black and white picture with a frame around it about 10 feet away from you, and your lost love picture is a large, full-color movie two feet in front of your nose… make your lost love picture a still, black and white picture with the same frame around it and push it 10 feet away, in the same visual field location. The more thoroughly you match the lost love sub-modalities to those of the neutral picture, the more emotionally neutral your lost love picture will become. Once you have matched the sub-modalities, you have created a more neutral picture of your lost love. This is your target picture, T.
At this point, you have three pictures: a neutral picture of someone you feel neutral about, your original lost love picture that causes you pain (we’ll call this one O), and the picture of your lost love that is much more neutral, T. If T is not totally neutral, it’s most likely because you have missed some of the more subtle sub-modality distinctions. As long as T is more emotionally neutral than O, that’s good enough, there’s no need to be perfect. The Neutralizer can help.
Brain Training: Now you are ready to train your brain to automatically think of the more neutral picture, T. Begin by looking at O, and notice, far away and down in the lower right-hand corner, there is a tiny, dim picture of T. Begin pushing O away, and make it get smaller and dimmer as it moves further away. At the same time, bring T closer and have it get bigger and brighter (up to normal levels). Continue until you cannot see O at all, and T is in full view at normal brightness levels. Blank your visual field by going to a uniform brightness level, such as white. Let’s call this pattern the neutralizer.
Break-state:Take a few moments to ponder some of life’s important questions. For example: why is “God,” spelled backwards, “dog”? Is He trying to tell us something?
Repeat your neutralizer pattern four more times. Each time, take less time to complete the pattern. Important: be sure to separate each neutralizer by a break-state in which you think about something else for a minute.
Test. Call up O. If your mind/brain has caught on to the neutralizer pattern, O should automatically transform into T. You may even find it difficult to get a clear picture of O. If you get your automatic transformation, you’re done. If there are other pictures causing you pain, repeat the procedure with each of them.
This pattern is similar to the swish pattern originally formulated by Richard Bandler. There are, however, some very important differences. The swish pattern is slightly more complex and has more going on in terms of what it is eliciting in the user. The swish is a very powerful pattern and can be used for much more than simply neutralizing a feeling. For example, for years I have been using a swish pattern as part of a quite successful smoking cessation program. If you want to learn the swish, why not go to the source? I highly recommend that you get your hands on Bandler’s book, Using Your Brain for a Change, in which he explains the swish andother techniques.
Now, wasn’t that fun!? That’s about it for the library tour. If you’d like to learn about e-therapy, please use the navigation bar at the top of the page to whisk you away to e-therapy essentials. If you need to leave, please drop by “Parting Thoughts” on your way out. Thanks for dropping by.