Although a phobia can take years to cure by conventional methods, the NLP phobia treatment, which involves dissociation, can cure phobias in one session.
A key characteristic holding a phobia together is that it is a very associated state. A traumatic incident sucks the person back into the past. Post-traumatic stress disorder has the same structure.
A phobia is an externally triggered, consistent, uncontrollable panic response to an internal representation. You actually respond to the picture you have created, not the thing. The thing triggers, it does not cause. This is a major point.
What makes a phobia different from a single painful experience? The fear has become connected with a set of signals or cues. That is a snake or a hose can trigger the panic response for instance.
A phobic response is very different from intense fear. A phobic reaction is traumatic, debilitating, immobilizing and seems completely out of a person’s control.
Phobias can vary enormously for example fear of spiders, elevators, closed or open spaces. We use the term very loosely for concepts such as commitment phobia, but this use is more metaphoric.
A basic phobia treatment procedure
- Establish a strong reliable resource anchor for the person. We want the person to be in a stable and resourceful state. This is important also in case some of the cues trigger a full-blown response.
- Get a small indication of the phobic response, not the full-blown thing. Later we can check to make sure the phobia has no emotional response.
- The most usual technique uses a metaphor of being in a large empty movie theatre with a screen.
- While using the resource anchor go back to before the original traumatic incident and then freeze this representation as a still slide or photograph on a movie screen. A phobic response almost always has a memorable first time.
- The person then floats out of the picture in order to see herself in the photo
- She then floats out of the audience in order to see herself in the audience.
- Then she imagines being in the projection booth watching herself in the audience watching the screen. This creates a double dissociation. That is the person is not watching the screen directly, they are watching themselves watching the screen.
- While dissociated in this way, she can watch herself watching the movie of the traumatic incident.
- At first, the audience member watches the movie forwards. Then she can view the movie backwards.
- She can then change NLP submodalities in playful ways such as using cartoon characters with squeaky voices.
- When the movie is finished, float back from the projection booth into the audience.
- Then float from the audience onto the screen into the end of the movie and run it backwards, associated very fast.
- She can do this more than once, until the emotions are “flat”
- Test by trying to elicit the phobic response
Do not try this at home unless you know what you are doing (at least with full blown phobias). The phobia treatment pattern requires
The key component in the NLP phobia treatment is the dissociation. We need to disconnect from the emotions.
You can use this technique for strong unwanted emotional states or responses that are not necessarily phobias. That is anytime it would be more useful to have a more neutral response.