Advanced NLP Patterns

Change Personal History

Written by Lee Avery

What we think of as ‘our past’ in little more than a construction within our minds of what we believe happened to us at some time. As any police officer will tell you, what we remember happened and what really happened are often two very different things and our memories are as fixed and rigid as a plate of jelly.

Since our memories are mere constructs we can, should the will take us, change them into something more positive. If we have a traumatic memory our need to hold on to it, re-evaluate it and re-live it is as much as a choice as the time of day we get out of bed.

Just because something happened to us doesn’t mean that we have to live in the past and we can use this pattern to re-encode the way we interpret the event taking the knowledge and learning and clearing the unhelpful negative emotional state.

  1. Identify Destructive Memory

    Find a memory or feeling that is unhelpful to the client and elicit the state that is connected with this memory and create an anchor.

  2. Locate Additional Instances of this State

    Move the client back through their own personal time-line to other memories where they have been in the same emotional state. When earlier memories are found they should also be anchored.

    For this pattern to work effectively you will need to locate and anchor between 3 and 6 unique memories and various times throughout the clients past. Ideally the last pattern you anchor should be the earliest memory of the feeling as this is likely to be the initial trigger for the feeling, or as close to it as you can get.

  3. Dissociate and Create Resourceful State

    Once the earliest recollection has been anchored together with the other events have the client step out of their ‘younger’ self and move back into their current, adult position and get them to think about what resources could their childhood selves have had that would have allowed them to react in a more effective manner.

    In this step the idea is to create a resource set that the client can then imprint on the old memories. Once they have been identified, anchor them together into a resourceful state and ensure that, when activated, they produce a strong and powerful reaction.

  4. Recall & Collapse Anchors

    As the client recalls their earliest memory collapse together the negative and positive states and ask the client to examine the event with the new resources available noting how the past experience is different. Step the client back through the other recollections from oldest to newest, noting how the additional resources have impacted their experience.

    Two issues may arise that will need to be dealt with. Firstly, the client is unable to change the earliest memory; this is usually a sign that the new resources either aren’t strong enough, or they aren’t useful in this context. In either case go back to step 3 and build up the power of the resourceful states or evaluate their effectiveness in relation to the memories.

    Secondly, as you move the client through their time-line they can become overwhelmed by the sheer forcefulness of the old emotions. In this case you will need to collapse the anchor states at each recalled event, accentuating the power of the positive resources at each reminiscence.

  5. Break and Test

    Once all of the historical events have been stepped through Break State and have the client move on to something else. Ideally, this should be a considerable break to allow the client to fully reprocess the memories.

    Test the extent of the change by having the client re-visit some of the old feelings and memories and get them to notice what has altered and how their early selves have re-processed the events with the new resources.

  6. Future Pace

    Looking into future events that are likely to have similar feelings associated with them have the client express their views as to how they will react differently. It can be helpful to trigger the resourceful state as they mentally review prospective incidents.

About the author

Lee Avery

Professional Therapist, Clinical Hypnosis & NLP Trainer with over 25 years of experience in training new professionals and treating clients. He specialises in Trauma related Psychological health issues. After years of running training classes Lee has decided to publish his training materials online to further the accessibility of NLP and Hypnosis. He is an advocate for Clinical Hypnosis Excellence and is constantly looking to improve the professional standing of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy within the medical community.

He also runs Achieving Greatness a software development company producing mobile apps for the mental health community.

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