Back in the ’90’s I had a roommate who was a very bright young fellow. He had studied a lot of Tony Robbin’s work and seemed to have a positive attitude. Robbins originally learned NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which was developed in the 1970’s by Richard Grinder and John Bander, who studied successful people and wanted to find out how they did what they did.
Recently I had an opportunity to put some of the NLP practices I had been studying to use. I had been talking to Cat, one of Foretel’s psychics. She wanted to improve her readings. I asked her how she would feel about having more readings.
This triggered a very traumatic memory from a previous life that still had a huge emotional charge to it. I will not divulge the content of this experience, but I
can still outline the process we went through to defuse the emotional intensity of it. I knew that changing the sub modalities of this experience would change the feeling of the experience, so that was the direction we used.
In NLP it is possible to separate the content of an experience from the structure of it. Sometimes it is important to change the content, but most of the time changing the structure of the experience is where the most work is done.
Changing sub modalities changes the structure of the experience and thus the feeling a person has about it. Our internal experience usually comes to us through three primary senses – visual, auditory and kinesthetic or feeling.
Sub modalities are like the controls on your TV or stereo. For example, visual
sub modalities would things like image size, location in your field of view, brightness, contrast, color, whether it is still or moving, and so on.
Auditory sub modalities would be things like volume, tone (bass/treble), tempo, where the sound is coming from, location in space, and so on. Kinesthetic sub modalities would be any aspects of feeling – temperature, pressure, whether it feels spacious/open or closed, lightness or heaviness.
When working with sub modalities, usually when an internal experience is bigger, brighter, and louder, it has intensity that is more emotional. If you wanted to reduce the emotional intensity of the experience, you would make it smaller, in black and white, and make the sound quieter. (These are just examples.)
Since this was obviously a traumatic incident for Cat, I guided her to reduce the
sub modalities of the visual, auditory and kinesthetic aspects of the experience so that they felt better for her. I did not think it was possible (or wise) to try to get her to feel “good” about this experience, mainly because it was so traumatic.
Rather, the goal was to make it more manageable for her so that it didn’t bother her so much. We could work on feeling good later. To begin with, I asked her if she was in the experience or not. She said she saw herself in the image, which means she was dissociated from the experience. Then I asked her how big the image was.
She said it was life size. I asked her how small the image would have to be for her to feel better about it. She made it the size of an 8×10 photo. I asked if the image was in color or in black and white. She said there were red lights on her and a lot of red in the image. She made the image brown, and the sound quieter.
Then I had her describe the auditory and feeling aspects of the experience, and she changed those sub modalities so they felt better for her. Each time after asking Cat about the various sub modalities of her experience, the key question
was “How would this have to be in order for you to feel better about it?” We worked with one sense at a time – visual first, then auditory, then kinesthetic.
Every time she changed something, I would ask her “how does that feel now?” This gave me feedback on how she was doing. We worked in this way for probably 20 or 30 minutes. In the end, she wound up with an 8×10 photo (still image) of the experience, with a brown tint to it, with the foreground area darkened so that she could hardly see it.
When I asked her where the best location was for this picture, she put this
picture away in a locked cedar chest up in an attic. When I asked her how that felt now, she said “unsettling but not terrifying.” That seemed like a huge change to have made in one just one session.
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