Recently the Allergy Process was mentioned to me as if there was only one version. No, no, no! 🙂 There are two distinct versions, and here are the tried and true exercise formats for both of them!
Counter Example Process
Note: This is written for an allergy, but you can use it in any situation where you want to have a more resourceful relationship with something in your environment.
1. Calibrate. Ask “What’s it like for you when you’re in the presence of the allergen?” Watch for the person’s physiology, eye accessing cues, breathing, etc
2. Explain the mistake of the immune system. Explain that her immune system has made a mistake about something being dangerous when it really wasn’t. The immune system has marked out something as dangerous, that’s not, in and of itself. It can be retrained rather quickly
3. Check for ecology/secondary gain. What would her life be like with-out this? Are there any positive or negative consequences? Use what-ever NLP techniques you need to at this point to deal with ecology issues before proceeding
4. Find an appropriate counter-example resource. Find a counter-example that is as similar to the allergen as possible; that the immune system responds to appropriately. Anchor that response and then hold that anchor throughout the whole process. Make sure the person is associated as you set the anchor. If possible let the person come up with her own example of what is similar
5. Have the person dissociate. Using a plexiglass shield from wall to wall is an easy way to establish dissociation. While holding the anchor, have her see herself over there on the other side of the plexiglass having the resource. Use all your fluffy language suggesting that she is “the you you want to be,” and that her immune system operates appropriately
6. GRADUALLY introduce the allergen. As she is watching herself over there behind the plexiglass, have her slowly introduce the allergen, the thing that used to create the problem. Introduce it as a gradual process giving her the opportunity to get used to it. Wait, at this point, until you see a physiological shift. It’s like the immune system says, “All right, I’ve got it. I’ll changes the notches on my flag so it doesn’t match up with any of the T cells I have
7. Re-associate. Bring her back into her own body and have her imagine she is in the presence of the allergen as you continue to hold the resource anchor
8. Test. If you can actually test carefully on the spot, do that. If not, recalibrate to see if the physiology, eye accessing cues, breathing, etc. have changed
Foreground/Background Process Summary
(Developed by Robert Dilts)
1. Identify a limiting response that occurs in a specific context (allergy, the sound of a dentist’s drill, an annoying voice tone).
a. Calibrate to the physiology associated with it.
b. What is foreground? What are they most aware of?
2. Find an appropriate counterexample resource, either a time when the person should have had the response, but didn’t, or a similar context, that is like the limiting one.
a. what is foreground?
b. What is the person most aware of?
3. Identify something that must occur in the limiting context and in the counter-example that is outside the person’s conscious awareness.
a. What is background in both? (i.e., the way the soles of the feet feel, the weight of their clothes, etc.)
b. Anchor this feature.
c. While holding the anchor, have the person focus on what she is most aware of in the counter-example experience.
Your goal is to create a strong association between what is most in the person’s awareness (foreground) and something that they are not attending to (background).
4. Release the anchor and immediately have the person remember and associate into the previously limiting experience.
a. Calibrate to the physiological response.
If the limiting response still occurs, recycle through step three with a different counter-example and strengthen the association between the foreground and background features.
5. Future pace by holding the back-ground anchor while the person thinks of future contexts.