Basic NLP Patterns

Compulsion Creation (Godiva Chocolate) Pattern

Written by Lee Avery

On the whole, compulsive behaviour is something best avoided as it tends to be uncontrollable. However, the drive associated with a compulsion is something that can be very useful when attempting to motivate oneself to accomplish a goal.


This pattern links strong feelings of desire with the positive behaviour that we are attempting to foster. Ideally this pattern is best used with behaviours that we ‘should’ be doing but which don’t have enough ‘pull’. By tying a craving to an attitude or action we increase our motivation to the level of ‘need’.

The execution of the pattern has several elements in common with the Swish Pattern and practice with one of the patterns often improves a Practitioners ability across both.

The original pattern, developed by Richard Bandler, used the clients desire for Godiva chocolate, hence the common name ‘Godiva Chocolate Pattern’. 

  1. Identify Compulsion/Desire

    Examine current emotions and behaviours and find something that has a strong pull for the client. The more powerful the emotional response, the more effective the pattern will be. Understand that the experience doesn’t have to be related to the new behaviour and it just needs to have a power positive motivation for the client.

  2. Associate into Experience – Source Image

    Recall an event where the compulsion was in full force and associate (step in to) the memory capturing as much sensory information as possible. Here the client needs to be able to instantly step into the experience and expose themselves to the entire force of the event.

    It can be helpful to anchor this state for the client should they have a problem recalling the event.

    Define this event as the Source Image for easy reference.

  3. Clarify Desired Behaviour – Destination Image

    What is it that the client wants to attach compulsive feelings to?  Define the behaviour and then have them create a dissociative image where they are watching themselves ‘do’ the activity. This is the Destination Image.

  4. Set-Up ‘Pull Through’ Swish

    Put the associated, compulsive image (Source Image) in the foreground with the dissociated, desired image (Destination Image) hidden behind it, in the background. Connect the two images with a thread going through the centre of both images.

  5. Swish and Link Experiences

    Looking at the Source Image and absorbing the positive compulsion, create a hole in the middle and ‘pull’ through the Destination Image, expanding it until it covers the whole of the Source Image whilst retaining the compulsive state.

    With the destination Image in front feel the compulsiveness and after a few moments ‘push’ the image back through the hole in the Source Image to re-experience and re-align the motivational emotions.

  6. Repeat Swish until Feelings ‘Fixed’

    Go through the swish process as many times as necessary until the client is unable to think about the desired behaviour without the associated compulsive feelings. 

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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