The Decision Destroyer*

© 2008

Verbatim Transcript of a DVD demonstration by Steve Andreas of “The Decision Destroyer,” a pattern developed by Richard Bandler available on audio as a download, “Decision Destroyer” from Real People Press.

This transcript is also included in Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works, © Sage Publications, Inc., 2007. Used with permission. See


Hello. I’m Connirae Andreas, co-founder of NLP Comprehensive. On this audiotape you’ll hear a demonstration of Richard Bandler’s powerful pattern, The Decision Destroyer. We consider this pattern to be the most rapid and complete method for dealing with all traumatic imprint experiences that is available to date.

By imprint experiences, I mean significant impactful experiences that caused us to form beliefs about ourselves or the world that influence our behavior in an ongoing way. If we have an experience early in life that makes us conclude, for example, that we are unworthy, or that we are stupid or incapable of learning, this typically colors and influences the way we act from then on. We tend to act in ways that confirm these beliefs.

In the same way, if we had an even earlier impactful experience that we are worthy or are capable of learning, this strong belief can then transform even the most difficult experiences that occur later, so that they support this positive belief.

The Decision Destroyer utilizes this presupposition that earlier events strongly influence our later beliefs and behavior. This pattern guides us through a process in which we make up a powerful, positive imprint experience, place it at a time before the problem experience occurred, and then travel forward through time, letting our experience adjust itself in light of this new positive imprint experience.

Traumatic experiences either become ordinary memories that don’t affect us any more, or they may even become reevaluated in such a way that they are experienced as positive resources. We have used this pattern with a wide range of clients and problems, often with very profound results.

As you listen, you may find it useful to refer to the step-by-step printed outline of this method accompanying the audiotape. This audiotape was originally recorded at an advanced NLP seminar in March 1989. After a few opening remarks, Steve demonstrates this pattern with a volunteer. You’ll hear some additional questions and answers at the end of the tape and you’ll learn how this method impacted the demonstration volunteer.

Steve: We have these brains of ours, and my favorite joke about it is this old one: that the human mind is the only all-purpose, self-maintaining computer capable of being manufactured by unskilled labor. (laughter)

It’s also the only computer around that doesn’t have an owner’s manual. When you get born, there should be a little owner’s manual come out with it-how to program this thing. Most of our brains are programmed at random. We have experiences. If we have lucky parents, or skilled parents, or whatever, we have a lot of good experiences that get programmed in that are positive resources. If we’re unlucky-and all of us are unlucky to various degrees because nobody is perfect-you get programmed with a lot of programs that do not fit the data. They don’t work, or they work halfway, or they work a little bit, or something like that, and because of that you get into trouble. This is one way of going back and reprogramming.

Most ways of trying to go back and dealing with traumas are that you go back to the trauma, and since it is such a powerful trauma, there are so many powerful anchors. It’s like fighting tooth and nail to build something there. It’s like trying to build something during an earthquake, you know? But if you build something before the earthquake and you make it real solid, then it can maybe withstand the earthquake when it happens, so it is a lot easier to do. And in terms of the actual results I can tell you we’ve had mind-boggling results with this one that-boggle our minds, and I’ll tell you about those later if you want.

What I need to do is demonstrate first, and I’ll do this as expeditiously as possible. But I’d like to have someone come up here who doesn’t know anything about the Decision Destroyer, and who has an experience in the past that they know affects them in the present in some way. (Alison raises her hand immediately) Oooh, quicko! Let me make sure that you want to-but you’re number one. So there’s something in the past that you know affects your behavior in the present. Is that correct?

Alison: Umhm.

Steve: And you don’t have to talk about the content. As usual, this is content-free, at least most of the time, unless we get stuck. Sometimes you get stuck. If you know a little bit of content, you can go, “Oh, well, this might work,” and then you can give a little more direction.

So you’ve got something, huh? OK, great. Come on up. Why don’t you sit here, put on a microphone, get wired up.

Before we get into-so this is-let me just double check. Do you have an experience in the past and that somehow affects your behavior in the present in a way that you don’t like?

Alison: Yes.

Steve: Great, OK. Now, first what I want to do is ask you to think of an experience in the past that is a powerful resource to you. Now, it could have been one that was pleasant in the past, or it could have been one that was unpleasant in the past, but nevertheless now serves as a resource. For instance, let me give you a couple or “for instances.”

Alison: I’ve got one.

Steve: When I was a kid I didn’t-my father died when I was 10 and stuff and so there were a lot of times when I had to find my own way. I hated it at the time, but I learned to ask questions and not be afraid to be stupid and ask a lot of questions and find out what I needed to find out. That has served me in later life many, many times. I couldn’t tell you how many times and how much income has resulted from being able to do that and being able to go into a field that I knew nothing about. So that has served as a resource, even though at the time it was unpleasant. Sometimes people think what all people need is a lot of nicey-nice experiences in the past. Not true. What they need is experiences that they’ve learned from and made use of. So anyway, you have a good one-

Alison: Umhm, yeah.

Steve: -that serves as a powerful resource to you now? Good. Now, so that will be one. We’re going to do contrastive analysis here, so everybody knows what that is; so that’s going to be the resource. Then I want you to think of another experience that is very ordinary, like something from this morning, where you got up this morning and you brushed your teeth and did your hair or something like that, something that, you know-pretty ordinary, just run-of-the-mill, OK?

Alison: OK.

Steve: And now I want you to contrast those experiences. And you do know submodalities, right?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: So I don’t have to tell you a whole bunch, and they will learn anyway.

Alison: OK. The resource experience, I’m detached, which is weird, because usually I’m right in there with everything.

Steve: That’s fine, whatever.

Alison: And I can see myself-

Steve: So you’re dissociated. You see yourself.

Alison: Yeah, I see myself.

Steve: OK.

Alison: And the feelings of the situation are just horrible, but it was a beginning of-it was a change point, and out of that came some really good stuff, that’s really important to me now.

Steve: OK.

Alison: And it’s been developing kind of all along.

Steve: OK, compare the two.

Alison: OK, then the ordinary-

Steve: We don’t care that much-let me make this point for all of you. We don’t really care that much about the ordinary one. It’s only to give a contrast for her to notice what submodalities make this experience powerful, what makes this a powerful resource. That’s what we need to know, OK?

Alison: OK. The ordinary one-

Steve: So don’t really tell me-you don’t need to really tell me about the ordinary one, but do make a contrast. Find out which-see, we don’t care about the ones (submodalities) that are the same, right?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: We want to know what is it about the resource that made it powerful.

Alison: Well, this is sort of weird. The ordinary one, it is like I’m associated/dissociated.

Steve: OK, so you pop out-

Alison: And I go back and forth all the time.

Steve: Well, OK.

Alison: The resource one-stuff is in slow motion. (Her voice slows down) Not real slow, but it is slower than real.

Steve: OK. (He writes on the flip chart.)

Alison: It’s ah-

Steve: What else is there about that that makes that a powerful one?

Alison: (thoughtfully) That makes it a powerful one. It is kind of-when I see it (gesturing to her left) there is this knowledge of stuff that has happened since; it is sort of hard to describe, but it is like what is important is that this was a turning point and what has happened since is what is important. (She gestures closer to her left, repeatedly.)

Steve: Good. How do you represent that, in a series of slides?

Alison: Almost like invisible steps or something.

Steve: “Invisible steps.”

Alison: It is just little gradations in space.

Steve: And what does it tell you? So there is the one experience that is in slow motion, so when you say slow motion, is it kind of like a slide that moves a little bit?

Alison: No, it’s like a film. And it is not so much as though the film has been slowed down, as much as the action just seems slow.

Steve: I don’t quite know what you mean yet.

Alison: Well, when you think of action that’s been-like a film has been slowed down, the action is unnatural, you know.

Steve: Right, OK.

Alison: It’s like this, you know- Well, this is just-my knowledge of the action at the time was that there was some rapid action.

Steve: OK.

Alison: But in my memory of it, it is not rapid.

Steve: OK. (to the group) Now, I don’t really have to know exactly what she’s experiencing, because she’s the one who is going to do all the work here, but you want to know enough about it so that you can make sure that you can direct her back into-so that I can direct her back into it when the time comes.

(to Alison) OK, that’s good enough. So there’s slow motion, and as you’re watching this movie, so the movie is going fairly slow, or the motion seems slow, although it’s not unnatural-

Alison: It’s sort of a boring movie.

Steve: Sort of a boring movie, OK. Well, that’s good, OK. Then how do you represent what has happened since? (gesturing to Alison’s left) It’s somewhere right here, right?

Alison: Yeah. It is like the movie is out there, (gesturing farther to her left) and there is this history that has built up since then. And I don’t know how to represent the history, except to say that it’s-that there’s a spatial sense-and I do spatial sense a lot.

Steve: Sure. We all do.

Alison: And it’s just there, and I’m here now-

Steve: OK, that’s good enough.

Alison: -and I was there then.

Steve: OK, anything else that is- So slow motion, and-

Alison: No sound.

Steve: No sound.

Alison: Or real muted.

Steve: OK. And how could we quickly code-well, just what has happened since, huh? Which is a consequence of this event, is that right?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: So let’s call it “consequences.” Is that all right?

Alison: OK.

Steve: I mean it’s a lousy word, but just so we both know what we’re talking about and we can do it shorthand.

Alison: Yeah. I’d like to call them “steps.”

Steve: “Steps.” Good, fine. And there are steps since.

Alison: Yes.

Steve: And they are a result of that event, right?

Alison: Yeah, Umhm.

Steve: OK, great. Now, check them out one more time. You’ve already described the location of this one. Just for kicks, what is the location of the ordinary one? Oh, you’re associated into it, right?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: Primarily? So it’s kind of all around you?

Alison: I’m in and out. The dissociated parts of it are-let’s see. I keep flipping into the other one. OK, the ordinary one, when I’m not in it, it’s more like over here than over there. (gesturing to her right)

Steve: OK, got it. OK, anything else? Take one more look. Anything else that makes this particularly powerful, by comparing the two? (pause)

Alison: There is something there. (pause) I guess it has to do with the association. There seems to be some difference there that I don’t quite get.

Steve: Well, let’s just go for it and see. We can always back up if we need to. OK, (to the group) Now, what I’ve done so far is found out what are the qualities of an experience that does have a powerful impact on her in the present, a positive impact, because if you go for a negative imprint you’ll find very different things. Typically color will be dark, and some other things like that, and then if you try and build something earlier with that, it won’t work very well.

(to Alison) Because the next task is thinking about this experience-unpleasant experience you had, that impacts you in a way that you don’t want. What experience could you have had earlier than that, that would have prepared you for that in some way? That if you had had it earlier, you would have been able to sail right through that problem experience?

(to the group) And the rest of you can be thinking about this for yourself. Can you think about times in your life when something tough happened, but somehow you were prepared for it? And so it was still unpleasant, but it was not such a powerful impact.

Some people, for instance, have no idea that death exists in the world as children, until their father dies or their mother dies, or something like that, and it is so overwhelming because they were totally unprepared. If a dog had died earlier, or a friend’s parents had died earlier, and they had thought about it at some distance, or some other experience. The kind of things that people take back are-tremendous variety.

One man had-his mother died, and two days after it-I mean that was tough enough-two days after his mother died someone else told him that it was his fault. Now, what he took back was someone else telling him, right after the mother died, why she died: Because she drank too much, or this, that, and the other, but some kind of reasons that were logical and made sense, so that then when someone else said, “It is your fault,” he could kind of just shrug it off, because he knew it wasn’t true. And this is a guy who had had all kinds of trouble with women and commitment and a whole bunch of stuff-at least in his experience-as a result of this feeling guilty about having caused his mother’s

death. Does that make sense about the kind of thing that we take back?

Does it make sense that if you had a resource earlier than the tough experience, and if it is the right one, and if we build it well and really thoroughly- Because what we’re going to do is put it back there, and then have the person come up through time so that they actually have that resource when they go through that problem experience.

(to Alison) So can you think of what experience you could have had? Roughly how old were you when the difficult one happened?

Alison: It was about three years ago.

Steve: OK, so about three years ago. What experience could you have had, either as a child or as an adult, but previous to three years ago, that would have prepared you for this experience in some way? And you don’t have to tell me; I don’t need to know. Got it? You pretty sure?

Alison: Umhm.

Steve: Great. What I want you to do is take the time to go back to, say, four years ago, or some time like that, some time in your past previous to the three years, and build that experience in these submodalities (pointing to the list on the flip chart). Now, since part of yours is the steps since, you might want to go back quite a ways, at least a couple of years or something, whatever.

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: I mean it’s your brain, so you figure it out. But does that make sense?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: Because you need to have time to not only have had this slow motion event, but also to have built up the steps since, however long that would be appropriate.

Alison: OK.

Steve: So go back and build that experience.

Alison: OK.

Steve: And in this case I want to add a little thing. I want you to build the original experience associated before you make it dissociated with all the things since.

Alison: OK. There’s something I want to add to this.

Steve: OK.

Alison: And I don’t know if- OK, the resource experience was, in a way, not my choice. I mean it sort of happened. There were a lot of things happened-

Steve: That is OK.

Alison: Whereas the problem experience was a choice I made. So when I need to build somehow a choice thing-

Steve: You build whatever you need.

Alison: -into the-

Steve: Build whatever you need. See, this will vary tremendously, depending on what kind of experience it is. You can build in an early experience of knowledge and familiarity. You can build in a feeling resource. You can build in a knowing, just a more vague abstract knowing. You can build in a specific experience of having solved a similar problem. You can do anything you want. This is your life over again. So build in whatever is appropriate for you and go back-you said three years, so go back roughly five years or so.

Alison: OK.

Steve: Build that experience.

Alison: Can I write? It would help me if I kind of just made some notes.

Steve: Sure. Yes, go ahead.

Group member: Did you say for her to build on her-to build the experience-you need to build an experience according to the submodalities of the resource.

Steve: Right.

Group member: Would you repeat the question? I don’t think we could hear that.

Steve: OK. Question was-well, let me just answer the question without the question. The task for her to do now is to, number one, decide on the content of the experience. “What kind of experience would have prepared me for this?”

Number two, go back in time. And the importance of this is that if you build an experience now, it may not be relevant to your earlier age, particularly if you go back in early childhood. If you build an experience now of blah, blah, blah, and you’re an adult and so on, and then you take it back to childhood, it may be inappropriate.

So you want to go back to a nice, quiet, calm time in the past, when there is no problem, so that you are the appropriate age to build an experience that has these qualities, and in this case, very often, people-usually in my experience people have an associated experience that the qualities here-instead of this being dissociated-is associated. Often, it is associated, panoramic, and so on. In this case, she has her knowing about this resource is the slow movie and then a bunch of, I think, slides, but the steps that have happened since.

So I asked her to build it first associated so that she has an associated experience which she then puts into the slow motion movie. And I’m not sure that that’s necessary, but I just have a hunch that it might be useful, OK?

Group member: Generally we need to develop this- previous experience based on the submodalities there.

Steve: Right, right. See, what we’re doing here is getting the submodalities that make this impactful. It’s like this is something she can’t forget; she always knows. She carries this knowing with her. This is something she carries through time, and we’re going to make it through time by having her come up through time, but first we’ve got to build it back there. How are you doing?

Alison: I think I’ve got it.

Steve: OK. Great.

Group member: Steve? While she is building steps, I have a question. Just a clarification of what you said. Are you suggesting that she regress herself age-wise in terms of building this resource experience?

Steve: Yeah, and I’m asking her to regress in a particular way. I don’t want her to go back through time to that earlier age, because then she has to go through the bad experience. So really I want her to make an end run, leap frog-

Group member: Got it.

Steve: Right.

Group member: But she’s building this, if I am understanding it, as if she were young prior to the-

Steve: In this case, say five years ago. Now often, you need to go back to the small child and so on. But however early you need to go, go that early. OK? How are you doing?

Alison: OK, pretty good. I’ve got ten steps.

Steve: Need a little more (time)?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: OK, any other questions while she is. . . . Well, take a break, I guess. If you think of a question, ask, OK?

Group member: When you say about the ordinary state, you said before that you want that only for the contrast. Can you give me a couple words in view of that?

Steve: Contrast?

Group member: No, no, the usefulness of the contrast in the exercise we’re doing.

Group member: Could you repeat the question?

Steve: OK, what is the usefulness of contrast in this? This is a basic technique that a lot of you people know already; maybe you just didn’t know the name for it. But if this (gesturing in space) were the only thing in the world and I asked you to describe it-and this was the only thing you’d ever experienced-you would not have any basis for knowing how to tell me.

But if I go like this (gesturing separately with each hand) and I go, “What is the difference between these two,” now it’s easy: This one is darker, this one is lighter, this one is bigger-and it is just easier to do.

Group member: I’ve done submodalities before, and I also knew Alison from previous times, and know that she does a lot of kinesthetic processing. When she said “steps,” I was giggling, because I knew that you’d go, “Is that frames, is that pictures?” And for those people in the group who really are not aware of the visual stuff, it might be worth just highlighting that.

Steve: There’s no question I have a bias toward visual. So does our culture, by the way. So most people, in terms of teaching a large group, it’s the easiest way to reach the most people. Absolutely. If you find that the differences here have more to do with kinesthetics-as long as they’re the kinesthetics of movements primarily, and possibly to a certain extent just an overall meta-kinesthetic feeling of resource-and so on, or if there is a lot of auditory in there, by all means use all that. OK, are you ready?

Alison: He has a question.

Steve: He can wait.

Alison: (laughing).

Group member: That takes care of me.

Steve: OK. Go ahead.

Group member: She didn’t comment on any submodalities, like brightness in the picture or where it’s located in her visual frame. Would you-

Steve: You could ask. You could ask. As long as the person has enough-see, basically one of the things you’re doing here is you’re dredging out of their unconscious-or their preconscious or their “not quite conscious” or whatever you want to call it-dredging information out, so that they can use it. Now, as long as she has the basic notion that she needs to build this new experience just like this one, you really don’t need to know every little detail.

Group member: It will take care of it right before she builds it.

Steve: Probably.

Group member: Thank you.

Alison: Actually it wasn’t-it seems to be this- Oh, I can’t remember the word, but everybody seems to think that bright is good and dim is bad.

Steve: I don’t.

Alison: OK, well, you might not, but a lot of people do. And what is happening with me-

Steve: You do take care of other people, don’t you?

Alison: Well, what happens-

Steve: (joking) We’ll work on that next.

Alison: Yeah, listen- (laughter)

Steve: Go ahead.

Alison: What happens when people work on me is that I wind up having- Lots of times dim is good with me.

Steve: Great, fun.

Alison: And bright is not so good, and in this case dim is-it’s more dim than bright. And I did say where it was in my visual field. I said it was here several times.

Steve: Yes, right. Location is definitely there, yeah. Are you ready?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: OK, great. Close your eyes.

Alison: OK.

Steve: And are you now five years earlier? About 1983 or 84?

Alison: OK, I’d like to do 1982.

Steve: Sure.

Alison: OK. OK.

Steve: That’s when you initially have this experience, right?

Alison: Um-hmm.

Steve: Now what I want you to do is come slowly through time for a while as you accumulate these steps. (Alison grimaces.) Mismatch.

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: Have you already got it all built?

Alison: No, I don’t think so.

Steve: Well, I think I can make it clear. At a certain-

Alison: Is something supposed to happen and then I build the steps?

Steve: Well, at a certain point in time you had an experience, and later you had all the steps.

Alison: Right.

Steve: Have you already built the steps?

Alison: Sort of.

Steve: OK, great. In 1982, are the steps already built in 1982, or do you build them over the next year or two?

Alison: For which experience?

Steve: The new resource.

Alison: Oh, OK. Umm. . . . Now they are.

Steve: I’m sorry?

Alison: Now they are. They were sort of hanging out there, like in preparation for this exercise, but I hadn’t-

Steve: OK, now whatever time it is-I just need to get in sync here, get some sense of time. So whatever time it is, you close your eyes, you now have the slow motion memory of the new resource that you built, and these steps.

Alison: Yup.

Steve: That’s what I want.

Alison: Yeah (chuckling). You had said earlier that I was supposed to like-have the experience associated, and then dissociate and build the steps.

Steve: Right. Have you done that?

Alison: No.

Steve: OK.

Alison: And that might take a while.

Steve: How long?

Alison: Probably about 10 or 15 minutes.

Steve: That long?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: Really, OK.

Alison: Because it’s real kinesthetic and it is painful, so it is like-not that I want to stay in the pain a long time.

Steve: No.

Alison: It’s just that I need to build the one experience, then experience it, and then kind of start building the steps out of it. And that’s going to be all kinesthetic and slow.

Steve: OK. Well, why don’t you- (A group member raises her hand.) Do you have a suggestion?

Group member: No, but I’m a little bit confused.

Alison: OK.

Steve: OK.

Group member: Is she building a resource to take care of the experience-

Steve: To prepare her.

Group member: To prepare herself for the experience now.

Alison: Yes.

Steve: Right, right. See, isn’t this what we do as parents? We try and prepare our kids so that when they go to school, it’s not too big of a leap; that whatever experiences you think that your kids are likely to have, that they have as many resources as possible so that when they come to those experiences, particularly the ones that are likely to be somewhat difficult, or at least awkward or something, that they have most, at least, of what they need to do to make the next step in learning.

Learning is easy if you do it in small pieces. If you’re suddenly faced with an overwhelming thing at a certain age, whatever age that might be, then you’re unprepared for it. It’s like going out in Alamoana Beach in Hawaii, you know, where they have these 20-foot waves with a little surfboard; you know, you get creamed. If you have a little practice in shallow water and paddle around, and stand up on the surfboard when it’s not moving and things like that, then you have a chance.

Now, personally, I’m still not going to go to Alamoana Beach, but at least you have a chance, and by building an experience of a resource back then for her- And then the next step, which I’d like to demonstrate, is real simple; it’s a simple step, but I’d like to complete it. (to Alison) So you go to work.

Alison: OK.

Steve: (to the group) Then you bring that resource up through time, and this is a way of reevaluating the problem experience with this resource, carrying it with you, and it’s much easier then.

Group member: But the resource-this is a resource, but even though it came from a sort of an unhappy experience; it became a resource. What if it had been a happy experience?

Steve: Fine.

Alison: Would you still go back then to see what would have prepared you for the happy experience then?

Steve: Now wait a minute. Now I’m lost. See, let me back up to the outcome. The function of this is to change problem experiences, OK? So we start with asking her, “Have you got a problem experience.” “Yeah, I’ve got one that affects me now, in a way that I don’t like.” Then we find a resource in another context. We find out what are the characteristics of it. Now we ask her, what experience could she have had that would have prepared her for the problem experience?

Group member: Oh, OK. All right.

Steve: Got it?

Group member: Yeah.

Steve: OK, I don’t know what clicked, but obviously something did. Something was missing. Yeah.

Group member: That is really exciting. Because when using the “change personal history” technique that’s often my experience, that you try to build a resource during an earthquake and bringing it in.

Steve: Yeah, well this makes it easier. We get better technology every year. That’s why you’re here, right? I don’t want to teach you change personal history; that’s 10 years old, 12. Yeah? Well, anything else while we’re waiting?

Group member: Which decision does this destroy?

Steve: Good. When people have experiences that are very impactful, typically it results in some kind of decision or some kind of belief. “Decision” is not my favorite word, but Richard Bandler made it up and so I’m using it. You can thank-TA (Transactional Analysis) is big on this. You have a bad experience with a woman, you go, “All women are lousy,” or whatever. You have a bad experience with men, “All men are lousy,” or you have three of them (bad experiences) or whatever it is.

People make conclusions, and people make generalizations on the basis of either a single experience or multiple experiences, or sometimes they borrow them from other people, and they build them in their minds and so on; this is a way to go back and change them. (to Alison) How are you doing? Are you done?

Alison: Uhuh.

Steve: Great. It didn’t take 15 minutes; (joking) you lied.

Alison: Well, I don’t know what time it is when I come out of there.

Steve: I know, I know. I’m just joshing you. OK, so go back to wherever you have that experience all built, both with the slow motion movie and the steps. You got that, right?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: Great. So whenever that is, close your eyes.

Alison: OK.

Steve: You can see that slow motion movie out there, and the steps of what-the consequences since then, right?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: Great. Now what I want you to do is, in rapid motion, I want you to come up through time, very fast, reevaluating all of your experiences through time, carrying this resource with you, with this knowing, or whatever that experience is for you, that will reevaluate, and shed a new light, color all the experiences to come. And when you get up to the present, stop in the present, and see yourself going on through time, behaving differently as a result of this. Take all the time you need, as long as it’s fairly rapid.

Alison: OK.

Steve: Then you’ve stopped here and can you see yourself go on in time? Did you see that in the future?

Alison: Yeah, I went into the future.

Steve: OK. Do you like it?

Alison: Yeah, yeah.

Steve: And what happened when you came through that problem experience? You don’t have to give many details if you don’t want to.

Alison: Yeah, it was one of many experiences, as opposed to being a reference experience.

Steve: Yeah. Do you have anything more you’d say about it? How can we test this? I should have asked this earlier. How could we test this here in the room?

Alison: I can’t. (laughing).

Steve: Can’t here, OK, fine. And can you imagine when the next opportunity would be for you to test this? Like how far in the future?

Alison: Probably in the next few months.

Steve: Next few months?

Alison: Yeah.

Steve: OK. Will you promise to check in with me and let me know?

Alison: OK.

Steve: OK, great. Do you have any questions of Alison?

Group member: The resource experience that you used-is it something that you totally fabricated, or something you did experience, but not maybe in that time in your life?

Alison: OK, the one I made up?

Group member: Yes.

Alison: I fabricated it.

Group member: OK.

Alison: Because I had never had an experience like the reference one, so I had to make it up. But I built it from stuff that I knew other people had done, and a lot of little pieces.

Steve: To amplify, you can do either. You can take a resource experience from the present, as long as you adapt it to whatever age you are earlier. You can take some knowing that you have now as an adult and take it back in time and bring it up through time.

You don’t have to fabricate it; you can take one “whole cloth.” You can even borrow it from your future, OK? Or you can borrow it from someone else. You saw someone else do something-which is basically another way of making it up.

See, as long as you make it up with these submodalities it will have the power. She probably still knows that that didn’t really happen, but as long as she builds it in these submodalities and it is ecological, it will have the power to come up through time and reevaluate all those experiences, make them different.

OK, any other questions for Alison? This is for her. Any other questions for her? OK, great, thanks. Oh, you got one? He has one.

Group member: The coming up through time experience. Can you describe your timeline or how you did it? What was your internal experience?

Alison: God. It was kinesthetic, all right, and it wasn’t timeline stuff, but it was kinesthetic, and it was kind of remembering little experiences that might have some relationship in some way to this thing, and then kind of experiencing it, and then going on to another experience, and it was kind of like I was just doing these little steps again.

Group member: And these experiences came up on their own?

Alison: Yeah. Yeah, they kind of popped up.

Steve: Well, it is kind of like driving down a road.

Alison: Yeah, except I do it backwards.

Steve: Trees come by and the houses, different things.

Group member: If you were stuck on that step, how would you allow them to have that experience? I mean I guess sometimes people get stuck on this step of coming up through time.

Steve: I haven’t had one yet.

Alison: The reference, yeah.

Steve: You talk about driving down a road. For me, it’s kind of like the movie 2001 at the end, you know, where- shoosh, shoosh, shoosh, shoosh, shoosh- all this stuff going by. People vary and they should, you know. Go at your own speed. Whatever is appropriate, just- But you want to deliver all the presuppositions that this experience will be carried along with the person in the same way as this one (the original resource) is, and that it will reevaluate and change all those experiences-and there is a lot of unconscious participation here, of course.

Group member: I have had people get stuck coming out. And usually what it winds up being is that they come to some experience that has-that really isn’t relevant and it happens certain-by asking questions about it so-

Steve: It isn’t relevant to the problem?

Group member: Yes, it isn’t relevant to the problem.

Steve: Most of them will not be relevant to the problem. This doesn’t make sense to me.

Group member: As they’re coming up through time they’ll go, “Oh, wait a second, that resource would not have made a difference in this particular event.”

Steve: Oh, of course, OK.

Group member: And as soon as they recognize that they can put it aside.

Steve: Oh, OK. Then there must have been some presupposition in somebody’s mind that this would cure everything from dandruff to flat feet.

Group member: Well, sometimes things get into the wrong categories, I think, you know. They just get sorted in there.

Steve: Yeah. When you build this resource, obviously it is only going to be relevant for those situations for which this is relevant, and of course for different people that will vary. OK, well, I have had people talk about that when they come up to the problem experience it is sort of like coming through thick air for a while. It’s like they’re zooming along through time and then suddenly, arrrrrrgh and they pop through. And people vary in how they do it, but it is a very powerful pattern. Do you have any questions about the pattern? Because what I’d like you to do is put you to work on this. Go ahead.

Group member: You didn’t choose specific ecological challenges-

Steve: No, that’s correct.

Group member: Where would you do that?

Steve: Building the resource. Yeah, I’m a little sloppy. It would be a good idea to have an explicit ecological check there. “Do any parts object to your having had this experience in your past?” Does that make sense? Because except for the content of that resource, the rest is all process. This is just figuring out what makes it impactful. Coming up through time is what brings it up with you and carries it with you as part of your self rather than just simply a particular event. Yeah?

Group member: I’ll just share with you my-toughest situation. I have one person who will not do this procedure. And where we get caught is that she is simply intolerant of the idea that she would be coming up with a solution, because her parents should have done it back then in the first place, and she was always expected to work out-

Steve: You’ve got to work on that belief first. (chuckling) Where did she get that one? Does that make sense?

Group member: Yeah. And that’s central- So I’m just sharing that because I do have one situation where I just couldn’t get her to do it.

Steve: OK. Well, sure. If they think it’s Satanism or something like that, then people aren’t going to do it, which is a little different question than the one about ecology. You could build an experience back there that in some way messed something else up, so it would be good to do a little specific ecological check there. That would be a good piece to add.

Group member: Yeah, I notice that you said to go back rapidly.

Steve: Come forward through time.

Alison: Yeah, forward, yeah. What is the reason for that?

Steve: Well, there are two reasons. One is that brains learn fast, and the faster you come, the more the unconscious is going to be involved, rather than conscious plodding along. One is just efficiency; it works fine to do it fast, so why do it slow?

And there is another reason, too. If you saw a movie fast-saw a movie very slowly, like one frame a day, would you ever understand the movie? Some things can only be understood by seeing something go shhhhh, really fast, because then the irrelevant things kind of drop out, and you see the greater flow of something.

I mean if you think of your life, do you think of your life as having had some kind of direction? Some do and some don’t, so

I’m not going to presuppose this. See, for me there have been lots of byways and side travels and so on, and yet if I think back on my life, it’s like there is a real direction to it. Well the only way I can get that sense of direction is by kind of compressing all those days. I don’t know how many days there are in 53 years, but however many days, kind of jam them all together and find out what is the overall direction for all this? Does that make sense?

Group member: Yes.

Steve: OK. Because what we’re building here is something that people will carry through time, and they aren’t always like that.

Group member: Just one question. Her resource was dissociated. When she came up through time, would that mean that as she would recall those experiences, they would be dissociated?

Steve: No, no. You want them to be associated as they come through time, but as they are coming through time she has these dissociated-the slow movie and the pictures carrying with her, just shhhh, coming up like that.

Group member: Didn’t you have her associate into it, even though she has said it was a dissociated resource?

Steve: I had her associate into the first, umm-the event that is now represented-that will be represented here, partly following your suggestion of the importance for her of association and her bringing this out, too. And she needed to also do that with the steps since, right? That’s why it took her longer, as she explained. When she’s got that, though, now she has the structure that is just like this; i is the resource, but then you come blasting up through time, carrying it with you. Do you have any questions on the steps?


Group member: Yeah. Could you just run through the steps fast?

Steve: OK, they’re on the sheet. Everybody got a sheet? Let me go through them. You guys can look at the sheet and see if there is anything- It’s on the back page, right? Because the first page is just kind of- I did this up for the AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) last October and tried to make it intelligible to ordinary non-NLPer humans.

OK, number one, think of the positive imprint. Resource. Got it? Number two-

Group member: Positive for what? For anything?

Steve: Yes. Some formative experience, some positive experience that you know has a positive impact on you in your life today.

Group member: Because you’re looking for the characteristics of it?

Steve: Yes, right. So content can vary widely. If you can pick one that is reasonably similar, you may have a slightly less-a smaller chance of getting something that’s not useful, which is always possible. But basically just something that, boy, you had that experience-somebody fell in love with you, and it just transformed your life and from then on you always knew that that was possible, or anything.

It doesn’t have to be negative, I just want to make very sure that you don’t rule out negative ones, because very often experiences that were negative at the time are powerful resources later, and particularly in the whole therapy field, often unpleasant experiences get a bum rap. Sometimes they’re maybe unpleasant, but very necessary. So it can be positive or negative. I don’t care, as long as it is positive in its results, OK?

Now number two, this is for-see, I skipped number two, basically, by asking who has something that they know is a negative experience and it impacts them in the present. If you don’t have that, then you can do number two. (Step two describes four ways to find a connection between a present problem and a previous negative imprint experience.) Any questions about any of that? Do these words have meaning, or should I run through them?

Three, using the submodalities you found in the resource, their positive imprint, create a new one. And I’ve actually put in the language there: “What imprint experience, if it had come earlier, would have colored your past in a very positive way, so that when you later experienced the problem, you would have automatically responded more resourcefully and interpreted it differently.” Something- That’s not magic, but that’s one set (of words) you can use.

OK, go back before (the problem experience). Build that experience and associate into it and come up through time. And you arrive- number six-when you arrive at the present, stop there and see yourself continuing on into the future. Now, some people like to wander on into their future; that’s fine, as long as they get back here. Variations are at the bottom: Rather than creating a new one, you can find a positive imprint that actually happened later, and place it earlier in time.

One woman, for instance, had gone through 12 years of school or something like that, feeling terrible because teachers told her she was dumb and stupid and would never amount to anything. As an adult at 35 or something like that, she had written a book and she’d accomplished this, and she’d gotten degrees. And what she did was she took that sense of having accomplished that, rather than the degrees, because if you take a degree back to being three years old, it doesn’t work very well. “Here is my diploma from Harvard,” you know? There is a little jarring in there-this is not too ecological. But she took the sense, the knowing that she could accomplish something, the physical sense, just felt it in her body and took that back, and then came blasting up through time with that and then all those teachers looked pretty silly.

See, one way of thinking about what we’re doing here is we’re changing the self/other focus of what is going on. Very often, when you have bad experiences, you think it is a reflection on yourself. You think it is you’re stupid, that you’re inadequate, and often it just was you didn’t have the learning, you just didn’t have the preparation for it. How good would you guys do at Alamoana Beach with a 20-foot wave and a surfboard?

You’ve got to get prepared for some of these things. But life deals you a bad deal sometimes, and life sometimes gives you those shocks or those hard experiences before you’re prepared for them. This is a way of going back and modifying all that. OK, any questions before I put you to work? Yes?

Group member: Would this work with a phobic response?

Steve: Would it work with a phobic response? I haven’t found anything it won’t work with, including some medical problems, which is really wild. We did it with one guy-Connirae did this in Salt Lake City with a guy who was flying over the Persian Gulf at 40,000 feet and a window blew out.

Now, there is very little air at 40,000 feet and they did not have oxygen masks back then, and in order to save their buns the pilot descended rapidly, went ssshhhooo , like that, down to 10,000 feet, and leveled off at 10,000 feet.

Well, when the window blew out this guy’s eardrums blew out, and when they hit 10,000 feet it went the other way. And this guy had hearing problems ever since. He had operations, he had a tuning fork in one ear and a hearing aid in the other. And the ear that he had the hearing aid in was-it tested at 70 decibels, 70 to 80 decibels, which is hard of hearing, quite hard of hearing. And he did this on something else, but when he came blasting up through that experience, when he came back to the room, he couldn’t hear at all, and then he realized that he had this thing stuffed in his ear. And so he took this thing out of his ear and then he could hear perfectly (chuckling). I mean, we’re getting “out there” with this one, but I just- (laughter)

Group member: What was his problem experience?

Steve: He wanted more health in the present, he wanted better health in the present, so he went back. And for him his prime of life was 19 or 20 or something like that, when he was athletic and he was capable in many, many ways, and he just felt that terrific vigor; he was in good shape and all that stuff. He wanted to bring that up into the present, and on the way he got his hearing, which to me is fascinating and strange, and I have no explanation, but some bizarre things have happened.

So what I would like you to do is take a quick break, get into pairs, do this with each other. Let’s go for a half an hour total-15 minutes each, and if we require a little more time we’ll take it.

(Break for exercise)

Steve: We have all had the experience of going through some kind of little piece of hell or something, and at the end of it you go, “Oh, if I’d just remembered, or if I’d just thought about something, it would have been so much easier.” Yeah? We all have one of those? Well, this is a way to make sure that you pay attention at the time. It’s a way to build in a mechanism so that you can remember something, and remember it robustly so it really affects your behavior, both unconsciously as well as consciously, so that you can sail through those experiences and not remember later and go, “Oh, I should have remembered.” So it probably doesn’t matter exactly what you got here, as long as it is something robust; that will get someone’s attention, that will impact them.

Group member: I noticed that-just in this doing it, going back into this resource pops you out of taking on a behavior as an identity. Because you’re going back with a new identity, your identity as a resource, and then it just shifts like the levels, so that whatever happened was just a behavior.

Steve: Right.Does that make sense for the rest of you? You all know the self/behavior distinction? Let me take a slightly simpler one first.

There is a self/other distinction-at least if you’re not “borderline.” You have a distinction between where your self ends, or your behavior ends, and someone else’s begins, right? Hopefully you all have this. If not, see me later. (laughter)

A lot of the times you go through this and see-in the example I gave of the man whose mother had died and someone told him it was his fault, that event was a comment on, or a description of, himself as being bad, of having caused this thing to happen. Then he wnt back and someone else said, “Hey, look, it wasn’t your fault, it was because of her behavior and this, that, and the other.”

As far as I know it was not his fault. We’re not trying to say-he didn’t shoot her or something, as far as I know. Then when this other person came in and told him this thing, he just shrugged it off. He said, “That’s them. I don’t know where they got that crazy idea, but that’s them, it’s not me.”

And building a sense of self, or your “self-concept,” is one way to carry resources, events, identity through time. If you have a phobia, let’s say Karen here had a phobia of elevators; she doesn’t carry that with her, in a sense. It’s like when she sits on the chair it’s not part of-she doesn’t freak out, because it’s not an elevator; it’s very contextual. It’s a response that is built into her neurology somehow.Excuse me, I better go on to somebody else. (to an empty chair) Let’s say “Fred” here has a phobia of elevators. (laughter)

Excuse me, I get careless. Suppose Fred here has a phobia of elevators. I’m not into covert work here; covert messing people up. Fred here has a phobia of elevators. He only has it when he’s in an elevator, or when he sees an elevator door, or when somebody says “elevator” or something like that, it’s very contextual; there are certain cues, and when the cues happen, then he’s that way. Self-image or self-concept is something you carry with you; it’s across context.

It’s a different kind of generalization. See, phobics generalize to all elevators, and they may also generalize to closets and airplanes and a bunch of other things where they’re enclosed and helpless, or they’re not in control, depending on how they think of elevators. But your self-concept is something you carry through time, and therefore it’s available to you always.

Now, that can be good and bad. If you have a bad self-concept or a self-concept that is not useful, it will carry through time, too. That’s a different kind of generalization than a phobia, and we build it in by presupposition and we go, “And this experience you will carry with you, and it can reevaluate all the experiences that happen subsequently and blah, blah, blah,” so that that does get built in as something that you carry through. And you may not always need it, but it’s always there. There’s a sense of yourself as being competent in some way, depending on what your sense of self is built on, and how it’s built-

OK, couple other questions. Yes.

Group member: I had problems with one particular crucial part of that process.

Steve: OK, good.

Group member: Once we have the positive resource and take it back, it’s the taking it back part I have trouble with, because there is no fixed point with which to take it back to.

Steve: Then just do it arbitrary.

Group member: Well, I always have trouble with arbitrary. I was like-

Steve: Well, what trouble specifically do you have?

Group member: I wasn’t fixing on anything to have that resource with. I mean is it-

Steve: Did you need a milepost or something?

Group member: Yes, exactly.

Steve: Oh, OK, great. Then let’s say you want to take it back to around three years old. You think of some memory that happened when you were three years old, your three-year-old birthday or falling out of a tree or whatever, and then put it in before or after that. You don’t want to mess with the memories that are there.

See, how many of you have discrete memories for every day of your life? (laughter) I haven’t met one yet. There may be an idiot savant somewhere (laughter) who doesn’t come to workshops who literally has every-

Like there’s a guy in a hospital someplace, I think his name is George. If you ask him the-you tell him a date and he will tell you the weather in that town on that date, and if you go back and check the weather in that town, it’s correct; he’s right. Somehow he has parceled it all out so that every day is an individual, discrete thing with certain information in it and certain information not in it.

Now, most of us-at least let me speak for myself, and I think most of you will find this; there are whole years where I can’t remember what happened. I know I must have been three, but I can’t remember anything from three, or something like that. You want to drop memories in where they don’t interfere with memories that are already there. In Erickson’s famous description of the “February Man,” where he built a past using much this technique, really, only in more laborious way, and doing a lot of trances and stuff, then perhaps a richer way. He put this lady in a somnambulistic trance, which she had no memory of later, and he appeared after birthdays or before birthdays, or after this or after that, so he’d find a milestone and then come in before or after, when she had no particular memories that it would conflict with.

See, if you put someone in trance and they remember very clearly their third birthday, “Wow, what a party, and I got this purple tricycle and, Oooo, wow!” and then you install something in there, there is a lot more chance to have something unecological happen. You know, if you have a stranger come to your third birthday party and you go, “Who the hell is that!” (laughter) it’s just much more likely to jam and conflict with the other things that are there.

So what you want to do is drop it in one of those places where, you know, no particular things were happening. You kind of know where you were living, and yeah, you were kind of going to school at that time, but there was no particular memory like this to get in its way, and there’s lots of room there to just build it in. Does that make sense?

Group member: That very vagueness of no particular thing.

Steve: Yeah.

Group member: It made it difficult to build those powerful submodalities into a scene-by-scene basis.

Steve: What made it difficult?

Group member: Well, because there was nothing to fix on. I need a milepost to build.

Steve: OK, all right, but now you know, right? (Group member looks doubtful.) I mean you can kind of figure what house was I in, you know, can you remember your parents at the time or something like that; somehow to get into at least the ballpark where you want to go. And it doesn’t matter that much where you put it, as long as it doesn’t mess up something that’s already there. OK, a couple more.

Group member: This is an aside question. You said you have a self-esteem or self-concept that generalizes through time, as opposed to the way a phobia generalizes. It seems that in agoraphobia the difference between that and other phobias, is that it generalizes through time in a way that most phobias don’t.

Steve: It’s a good question. I don’t have the answer. I haven’t studied them, but I think it would be a good one to follow up.

Group member: Can you repeat questions?

Steve: Yeah. The question was, “Is agoraphobia more like a self-concept thing that generalizes through time?” and I think it’s a good question. Agoraphobia, where people are afraid to go out of the house or they’re afraid to go anywhere, they’re not fixed on a certain stimulus. That’s really kind of a question for tomorrow-bring it up again tomorrow, because I know there are at least two kinds of agoraphobics. Oh, heck, I’ll do it now. One kind is-people who have an individual phobic experience and then start generalizing, it starts eating up their whole life; sort of like these computer worms that you get into a computer and it eats up data and stuff, and particularly if it’s something-See, if you’re phobic of airplanes, you know, there aren’t airplanes around the corner, but if you get-

Group member: You know when to have it.

Steve: You know when to have it. But if you walk around a corner and you’re suddenly frightened by a dog, you know, big-ever seen a big police dog, and you get too close to his police car? Have you ever seen that? It’s something else to see all those teeth that close to your face. (laughter) It’s something else. Now, if you kind of have that on your mind and you’re walking down the street and there’s a car, you think, “Oh, it could have a dog in it,” and then you walk along and there’s an alley and you go, “There couldbe a dog there,” you can start generalizing like that, and it starts with a single phobic stimulus and then generalizes like that.

Those you can usually get with the phobia procedure.

And I think there is another kind that I can’t tell you nearly as much about, which you will not get with the phobia procedure, and Icannot tell you-that’s a good question, and it’s really more one for tomorrow when we’re talking more about generalization.

OK, anything else about the Decision Destroyer? Yes.

Group member: The business with the mileposts.

Steve: Yes.

Group member: I have a little difficulty with that, too, trying to figure out what was a couple of years before the thing. And I sort by place.

Steve: Good.

Group member: And what I wound up doing was imagining a place where I lived two years before.

Steve: Sure.

Group member: Put myself in the kitchen and then started making up-

Steve: Well, now we’re adding fine points. How many of you know the five meta-program content distinctions? Not too many. OK, well, let’s just run through them real fast, because it’s relevant here, and what the heck, we’ll connect it. There’s location, person, thing, activity and information.

Group member: What do you call them?

Steve: Five; they’re “content distinctions.” They’re ways of sorting your experiences that you have through time. Some people add time to this, but I’m deliberately leaving it out as a separate distinction, because to me it’s very different.

But to do it very simple, I won’t take long on this. To do it real simple, if someone walks up to you on the street-let’s say that I walk up to you on a street corner and I say, “Hi,” and then I say your name, so obviously I know you, but you look at my face and you do not recognize me. What do you ask to try and find out where you saw me? See, I said “where.” I gave it away. (laughter)

You see, it comes out in people’s language all over the place. People will tell you this, but it’s, again, one of the ways that peope generalize is to do a sorting of experiences. And some people will say, “What were we doing? What did we do together?”

Other people will say, “What did we talk about?” I will go first-I will go, “Where do I know you from?”

Group member: Person would be, “Who do we both know?”

Steve: Sure. “Who do we know?” “Who do you know,” and things. Some people are real thing-oriented. “Are you the guy with the Cadillac?” Or-

Group member: Like if you have your police uniform on.

Steve: Whatever, yeah, exactly. So it’s the-

Group member: What’s the information one?

Steve: Information? What did we talk about? See, and everyone has a kind of a hierarchy in these. For me, location comes first. I’m very much a location person. Then I go to information, real information sorter; those are my two primary things. People don’t matter. Things don’t matter. (laughter) Actually, after that I probably go activity. People are next, and things don’t really matter to me much except as they serve the other ones, OK? So if I need a car to get to my location, then that car becomes important. Otherwise, cars are not that important to me. And everyone will have a certain kind of hierarchy of these things. Any quick questions on this?

Group member: Would these change from context to context?

Steve: I’m sorry? Would these change from context to context? They tend to be across context. I’ll give you a nice example of it. Leslie Cameron Bandler is very much a person sorter, and she was at our house and looking out at our backyard and the kids were out in the backyard. And she said, “Oh, it’s so beautiful,” and me, I look out there and I see our cliffs and our pine trees and I go, “Yeah, love those cliffs.” And she goes, “What cliff? I’m talking about the kids.” (laughter) You know, because she was seeing the kids out there; that’s what she noticed. It’s the old story of the farmer goes by the field and sees one thing and the woodsman goes by the field and sees something else, because they’re sorting for different content.

Well, the reason I brought this up is in terms of the mileposts. If you are a location sorter, as you mentioned, then you go, “Well, where was I living then? If you sort by person, then you would go, “Who was I with then?” or “Who was around?” or “Who were the special people?” And if you go things, you know, “What car did I have then?” You could do that. Or “What house was I living in?” That tends to be location or some overlap there. Or “What were the things I was doing? Oh, that was the year I was playing hockey,” or something like that. And information would be, “What was going on then. So “Who did I know?” That’s more person.

OK, does that help any, in terms of doing the milepost thing? Basically, you have five ways of doing a milepost. OK, anything else about the Decision Destroyer? Yes.

Group member: What happens if-what should you do if, as you’re going through time, you find that experiences are influencing the resource state instead of vice versa, like making the resource experience weaker?

Steve: Go back and build a better resource. And you can build it better in two possible ways: One would be content, so that you simply have the content more robust. See, the guy that I mentioned-I like to use the same examples, just because it kind of ties your experience together. The guy who somebody told him that it was his fault that he killed his mother, basically, it was his fault that his mother died. If he built in a resource of someone else saying, you know, “You didn’t kill your mother,” number one, it’s a negative, which is not as powerful as a positive; number two, it’s not very explicit.

If he had sat down with someone, if he built an experience of someone sitting down with him, holding hands with him, looking into his eyes, telling him and talking about his mother in great detail until he knew from the guy’s looking back that-from his nonverbals and so on, that he was really certain that he really knew that, that would be building content robustly, OK?

Group member: That’s what I was talking about when you said that. That’s what I was talking about. What you just said there was what I was talking about, not knowing mileposts. Can you talk about the resource that he got after his mother died and bringing it back in time? But without creating an experience such as somebody sitting down and talking with him-it just floated in the air.

Steve: Oh, yes, absolutely. Well, that I call building an experience rather than a milepost. For me, milepost-

Group member: That’s what I was talking about.

Steve: OK, great. OK, does that make sense? In terms of building an experience that’s really robust content-wise.

Group member: You just have the person make it up?

Steve: Yeah.

Group member: Is that why-

Steve: You could have a cop come in and say, “I’ve known your mother for years. You don’t know me, but I’ve known your mother for years, blah blah blah blah” or whatever. You build it out of whole cloth.

You know, the other way you build it robustly is this way (pointing to the list of submodalities). It’s possible you really missed something really crucial here (in the process submodalities) that really made the difference so that even though the content is robust and the content is detailed, the way it is represented is weak, so it doesn’t have sufficient impact. This is really in response to the question here about what happens if the resource gets-starts getting contaminated or “wears out,” or something like that. Does that make sense? There are two basic ways, content and process here? Yeah.

Group member: Yeah, I was just wondering about the resource building, too. When I built my resource, the first one, you know, I was just thinking about the positive imprint. Then when we got to Step Three I didn’t need to do it, because I already had built it; it was the same one.

Steve: Oh, you used the same one.

Group member: Yeah.

Steve: Oh, fine. That makes it easy.

Group member: Yeah, it does. It makes it a little easier, but then I-probably because of the demonstration. But I was wondering in terms of if I’m working with a client, and we’ve already talked about what the problem is, and then they start with-well, not doing the thing of the positive resource-is that possible that clients would do the same kind of thing, or we just have to do with two different times ?

Steve: Yeah. However, it would be limited in that the client may not have had that kind of resource. See, the beauty of this is you can build anything. You can build a little green man coming down from a spaceship if you want to. I mean you get into reality distinctions there, and I don’t really want to really push people too much toward psychotic hallucinations. We want to have hallucinations that fit with the rest of their lives.

And that to me is one of the beauties of this, and the universality of it, is that you can build anything, anything that you’ve even seen or heard of or guessed at, and build it in and bring it up through. And if you use really powerful submodalities, it won’t wear out; it will carry through and it will-if you had some really horrible experiences, as I mentioned, sometimes the air gets thick as you’re coming up through and you go aauumm before you pop through, because something has to go through and reevaluate as you’re doing that.

But this has been one of our favorite patterns, ever since we’ve learned it. After you’ve done some other work, this is a way to make it generalize throughout their life, all the way through. See, as we learn more and more about brains, we learn more and more about how to make things not only stick-see, it’s one thing to make a change stick. It’s another thing to make it generalize, and in some people you just make the change and they generalize all over the place and you just go, “Wow!” But this is a way to make sure that it happens, even with people who don’t normally or naturally generalize in this way.

Anything else here?

Group member: Yeah, I found that going back and going rapidly through various experiences more than once was bringing me a resourceful state that was stronger and stronger and it goes-

Steve: Great. So you did it how many times?

Group member: Well, we did it something like five or six times and it was great. It was-growing stronger every time.

Steve: Great.

Group member: Clearer, clearer.

Steve: Clearer, OK.

Group member: What did she do?

Steve: I’m sorry. She did it over and over again, so she came up through with a resource and it was nice, and then she went back and came up through again and it was nicer, and she went back and came up through again and it was nicer-five or six times.

Group member: Did she go through faster each time?

Group member: It was coming like faster, yeah.

Group member: Uhuh.

Steve: OK, it came through faster.

Group member: Sort of like, “swish”(laughing)

Steve: OK, another question. Yeah.

Group member: One of the things that I used as a resource was my having already experienced something, so I knew what would happen. I took that back as a vision, knowing what was going to happen eventually.

Steve: Yes. It’s the unexpectedness often, of things that happen to you. You just don’t expect that that would ever happen to you, and then wham-o, it happens to you and poom, it’s hard. Just having some sense that it’s even possible makes all the difference, even if you don’t put it in as a vision or an expectation.

Group member: Does it matter if you build the better resource experience and then take it back, or go back first and then build it?

Steve: It doesn’t matter as long as it is compatible with your age at the time and the context of that; that’s the only thing. I think it’s written up that you build it and then you take it back. And what we found out then is that a lot of people had to make adjustments. See this handout is now four months old, so it’s ancient history.

We found out the people would build a resource now, but they were thinking of themselves as an adult and so on, and then they need to stick it back when they’re six years old and then they have to go and shrink down and make whatever adjustments are appropriate in order to fit back there.

And so my way of doing it now is to go back there and build it then, and then you’re building it in the context in which you are building it. You can do it associated, you can know what’s around you, what trees or buildings or whatever, and it makes it more-fit in with whatever your life was at that time, and congruent with it, so that you don’t have to go back and then make adjustments.

The gal I talked about who-this happened with the gal who had written a book. First what she did was “I’ve written a book,” and her knowing of having written a book, and then she took it back to six years old and she goes, “Wait a minute, I haven’t written a book,” right?

So then she had to go back and adjust to simply having a sense of being successful and having ability, and that she could take back to six years old. See, if you’re building weird stuff in people’s past, they get junky minds. Some of the new-agers do some of this stuff. I hope I don’t offend anybody here, but you can build your mind junkily, and we don’t want you to. We want you to build it nicely, build it congruently and build it resourcefully, and robustly, and all that good stuff.

Anything else? Last chance for the Decision Destroyer. One more.

Group member: I chose the experience of-a recent experience that I wanted to change, then realized that I had made similar experiences and decisions previously in my life so I went to the first time that I remembered that decision and then went through forward to catch them all.

Steve: Good. See, that’s what this does; this is efficient. That’s why I love-I’m a technologist; I love efficiency and effectiveness and stuff that really works. And rather than just get one experience- How many of you have worked with people on some kind of issue and you work with one and you change that one, and then they go, “Well, there’s this other one,” and so you work hard and you change that one, and then they go, “Well, there’s this other one,” and then you work on that one, and you keep going over and over again on the same kind of issue? Have you ever noticed that? This is a way not to do that. This is a way to get them all.


Connirae Andreas: Seven weeks after this demonstration, we called Alison, the demonstration subject, and asked for her report. She said that over the next few weeks she had noticed a definite shift in her attitude. She said, “Before, I had my guard up all the time, and now I don’t. It’s very nice.” About six months later she reported that her response was totally different in the context in which she had had the most difficulty. You may be interested to know that although Alison had some background in NLP, this method is usually equally fast and effective with those who have no background.

This entire session is available on audio download, “Decision Destroyer” from Real People Press

The Decision Destroyer is also taught in the book, Heart of the Mind, by Connirae & Steve Andreas.

If you have enjoyed this transcript, you may be interested in this and other audiotapes or videotapes of NLP methods available from NLP Comprehensive, or Real People Press,  

*This transcript is one of a series available on the web:

Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works © Sage Publications, Inc., 2007  used with permission  see