Submodalities Model, Part 2: Mapping Across

Following on your proactive practice with last week’s introduction and preparation, you’ll be able to step right in to this fundamental and powerful piece of NLP. Ideally use the same partner to work with, although if you enroll a new one and take them through the introductory portion again, you’ll just learn that much more!

(trios, 15 minutes each)

1. Identify a problem state and an appropriate resource state. “Think of a context in which you feel stuck, or in some way not as resourceful as you want to feel.” (calibrate)
“Now think of a time when you had a resource state that would be particularly useful in this stuck context.” Make sure the resource has the characteristics that you want in the problem state (calibrate).

2. Identify the differences between the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (proprioceptive and tactile not meta) submodalities of both the problem state and the resource state. Do this without content (it will be much, much easier). You can do this either:
a. by contrast “What is different in how you experience the problem state compared to the resource state?” This method will be best for someone who can easily dissociate from two experiences simultaneously and compare them. or,
b. by first associating into the problem state and getting some of the submodalities, and then associating into the resource state and finding out if these submodalities are the same or different in the resource state.
“Put yourself into the problem state for a moment. What are you most aware of?” (This way you find out what is salient to them about the experience, without prejudicing them.) This way will work better for someone who is good at associating but not so good at dissociating and comparing. Keep in mind that your outcome is to get a list of the differences between the submodalities of the problem state and resource state. (You don’t care about how the states are the same.)
Be sure to check the visual and auditory representational systems, and for both internal and external experience. (It is all “internal” experience as you elicit the information now, but in the original context they may see things externally without focus, yet make clear, focused internal images, etc.)
As you go along, make a list on the board of the submodalities for both the problem state and resource state. (Do not include the meta kinesthetic responses to these events.) If the client gives you a nominalization such as “more real,” “salient,” or “better” try to elicit the specific submodalities that underlie those nominalizations. If you can’t easily do this, point out to the group that you haven’t actually specified the submodalities, and that you will just use their word as a way to access that element, even though you don’t know exactly what it refers to.

3. Map Across: “Now put yourself back into the problem state context. Keeping the same content, I’m going to ask you to change the way you experience that content.” Have the subject change visual and auditory submodalities, one at a time. Use hypnotic language to make it easy. “You can allow your narrow focus to broaden until you have a panoramic field of vision, etc.” Be sure to use the client’s words for submodalities, both to pace, and to get the appropriate shift on the inside. If you couldn’t get the client to denominalize a word or phrase into specific submodalities, go ahead and use the word, pointing out that even though you don’t know exactly what it means, it will get this client to access the appropriate submodalities. As soon as the client has finished changing one submodality, move on to changing the next, as quickly as she can easily and completely make the shifts. Watch for (and comment on) nonverbal indications that the client moves gradually into the resource state. If the resource state is not complete, also use any tactile and proprioceptive kinesthetic submodalities you have elicited.
As you map across, begin with either a small enough shift that it will seem easy to the person, or begin with one of the submodalities you think will be a more powerful “driver” that will carry some other submodality changes along with it.

4. Test: “Do you now feel resourceful in this context?” If either nonverbally or verbally they indicate that they don’t yet have the resource fully available, ask them to now compare the “almost resource state” to the “resource state” and identify any submodalities that are still different. Map across with these submodalities, until the state is fully resourceful (still keeping the same “problem” content).
It’s possible that the subject may have chosen an inappropriate resource, so that even when the transition is complete (there is a submodality match between the problem state and the resource state), it is still unsatisfying. In this case you would have to back up to select a more appropriate resource.

5. Test/Future Pace: “What is it like now when you put yourself in that context?” “When is the next time you will be in that context?” (Calibrate to nonverbal response.)

Go over each exercise step briefly after the demonstration. Remind them to gather submodality information without content (to help them from getting lost in content). Make sure to tell them to begin with visual and auditory submodalities when they map across, and use kinesthetic only as a last resort. This will help avoid the problem of trying to use meta kinesthetic responses as submodalities.

Discussion: What generalizations can you make about the difference between problem state submodalities and resource state submodalities in your group? Problem states tend to be more internal, and resource states tend to be more external, particularly with physical skills, such as sports. Resource states usually have more and richer submodality distinctions. There are always exceptions, of course, because different tasks require different resources. A resource state for mathematics will be very internal, though probably very rich in internal submodality distinctions. A resource state for “concentration” may have an entire rep. system deleted, but those that remain are probably very rich with distinctions.
This “mapping across” method is widely useful submodality pattern. It is appropriate any time you would otherwise use anchoring, in order to get a state change. This process accomplishes the same results that you get when you do anchoring really well. This gives you some understanding of what is actually going on inside the client when you integrate anchors and a “resource” state is transferred from one context to another. The submodalities will be different before and after. This also gives you a way to chunk down moving a resource into another context if simple anchoring doesn’t work. For some people, chunking down the resource in this way makes it much easier to transfer it into another context. Since submodalities are smaller pieces than representational systems, they are much easier to change, and you also have much more precise information about their experience.
A submodality shift is what moves you from one step in a strategy to the next. In spelling, for instance, the visual remembered image may need to attain a certain degree of clarity before you can move on to the kinesthetic feeling of familiarity to know that it’s correct.
Keep submodalities in mind if you have the same strategy step by step as someone else’s successful strategy, but theirs works and yours doesn’t. There may be a submodality difference that makes the difference. For example, in the phobia cure you are using a submodality shift: from association to an old memory to dissociation. This allows the person to have the feelings of an onlooker, instead of those of a participant.
One woman had an excellent decision strategy in terms of the actual steps: Vc Ad K. However, she had trouble making decisions when other important people were involved. When we asked what happened when other people were involved, she moved her hand toward her face as she said, “I just get overwhelmed.” We discovered that when other important people were involved, she saw them in her pictures and moved the picture in close. When she did that, the other person loomed so large in her picture that she couldn’t see all the other factors in the decision “in perspective.” When we asked her to think of a decision that involved others and move the picture away from her, she was comfortable deciding she could still notice the responses of others as one factor in her decision without being overwhelmed and “losing sight of what she wanted for herself.”
Q: What order should you do the submodality changes in?

A: We won’t have time to deal with that in detail in this training. However, some guidelines for you to use are: a. Use what is easy for them to do, and in the order that is easiest. b. Emphasize the more powerful “drivers” the ones the client seems to respond to most, and which also carry other submodality shifts along with them. (See Using Your Brain for a CHANGE for more on this.)

Drawn from the original 24 Day Trainer’s Manual, this series visits the material traditionally taught in the classic NLP Practitioner Training.
Copyright (c) 1986, 1987, Connirae & Steve Andreas, (hereinafter, “C & S Andreas”) 2897 Valmont Rd., Boulder, CO 80301. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 1998, 2001 NLP Comprehensive, PO Box 648, Indian Hills, CO 80454

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