Verbatim transcript of a DVD demonstration by Steve and Connirae Andreas of the submodalities belief change pattern developed by Richard Bandler, available on DVD from NLP Comprehensive.

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


CONNIRAE: The videotape you’re about to see demonstrates an advanced submodalities belief change pattern developed by Richard Bandler. The session itself was taken from the third day of a twelve day advanced submodalities training that we did in Boulder, Colorado, fall of 1984.

All of the participants in this seminar are NLP practitioners, so Tom, the demonstration subject, was familiar with all the basic NLP patterns. However, Tom had no familiarity with the belief change pattern itself.

During the demonstration, you will hear us make lots of commentary and teaching points interspersed with the demonstration itself. Since this isn’t necessary in individual client work, usually that goes much more rapidly than this demonstration does.
After the demonstration, you’ll hear some questions and answers, and discussion of the process, as well as a description of an experiential exercise for people to do.

Prior to the demonstration itself, I introduce the topic of belief change briefly by giving the example of a woman whose belief we had recently changed with this method. This woman believed that she wasn’t pretty. Her mother had installed the belief in an interesting way by presupposition. Her mother had very frequently said, “It’s OK that my girls are not pretty because they’re smart.”

Consequently, this woman felt like she repeatedly and continually had to prove that she was smart in order to make it OK that she wasn’t pretty. So she felt that she had to succeed perfectly. She had to succeed every time. She had to succeed in a driven sort of way that she wasn’t really satisfied with. So at her request, we shifted the belief to become that she was pretty, and the woman reported later that she was very pleased with the results—that now she feels motivated to succeed, but she doesn’t feel driven to succeed.

And now for the demonstration.

OK, so do you have idea of the kind of beliefs that might be useful to pick? What I need is someone who’s got one and you want to change it. [Tom raises his hand eagerly.]

CONNIRAE: He wants it. He wants it! [Laughter.]

TOM: I’m not sure how this is–

CONNIRAE: First, I want to check to see if you’re motivated. [Laughter.] Just kidding. OK, what were you saying?

STEVE: Wire him up.


CONNIRAE: Oh, we have to wire you up.

TOM: OK, good. I’m pretty wired up already.

MAN: If he has questions about what should be changed or could be changed–

CONNIRAE: Let’s get to that later. It’s an important issue. Actually, right now, I’ll say if he’s motivated, it gives me an indication that he’s already pretty congruent about wanting to make the shift. If the person has a lot of questions, we may need to sort out ecology and sort out what would be a useful belief there that you could really congruently want. So this will allow me to do it content-free–probably. Yeah?

TOM: Um, there are some ecology concerns, so it’s a little bit fuzzy in terms of me framing it–verbalizing it.

CONNIRAE: OK. All right, well, I’ll let you get into content then.

TOM: OK. It has to do with money–

CONNIRAE: Indulge.

TOM: –and the belief is–maybe it’s because it’s a belief that–I believe they are ecology concerns. The belief is something associated with no money implies that you are more aesthetic or more–that’s associated with a lot of positive qualities.

CONNIRAE: OK, so “If I don’t have money, I’m a better person.”

TOM: Yeah. [Laughter.] Can you lend me five?

CONNIRAE: Yes. [Joking] All right, well, of course you’re right–no.

TOM: Well, goodbye. [Tom starts to get off his chair. Laughter.]

CONNIRAE: All right, “If I have money, I’m a bad person.

MAN 2: Let’s not fix that one.

TOM: Yeah, really. Jesus. [Laughter.]

CONNIRAE: We’ll help you with it. [Laughter]

TOM: Thank you.

CONNIRAE: Now, what kind of–rather than getting into–I’ll wait to get into the substitute belief for a little bit later. Right now, what I’d like–he responds very congruently, that he has this belief. And you want them to state it in such a way that they go, “Yes, I believe that. This is an absolute belief.” OK ?

Now, you’ve got this belief. Now we want you to find something that you have doubt about, that you’re not sure one way or the other.

And let me give you all a “for instance.” When I was doing this what myself, what I picked was, I wasn’t sure if it’d be a good idea to have another kid or not. Now that’s a fairly major thing, right? At least I think so. But it wasn’t–it’s not something that I’m sure about one way or the other. So it’s something that I don’t have a strong belief about, I’m in doubt about it.

WOMAN: Are you saying that’s a better belief that you–

STEVE: No, no.

CONNIRAE: This is doubt. Content can be totally different; it does not matter.


STEVE: This is page 111 on your notes if you want to follow a little bit.

CONNIRAE: And if you can’t think of something major that you’re not sure about, then go to something not quite so major.
You’re not sure if you can think of something.

TOM: Yeah–[laughs]–no, I’ve got one.

CONNIRAE: Yeah–[laughs]–OK.

TOM: And it’s fairly major.

CONNIRAE: OK, good. And you’re not sure–

TOM: I’m not sure.

CONNIRAE: –about it.

TOM: Right.

CONNIRAE: Great. Now, my next job is to get the submodality differences between belief and doubt. Very much like you did with understanding and confusion the other day. So, Tom, think for a moment about your belief. It’s better–no, “If I’m poor, I’m a better person.” All right?

TOM: OK, that word doesn’t work. “Don’t have money” works.

CONNIRAE: Oh, if I don’t have money–good, thank you. “If I don’t have money, I’m a better person.”

TOM: Right.

CONNIRAE: OK. “If I don’t have money, I’m a better person.” And just notice for a moment how you know that that’s true. What do you see that lets you know that that’s true?

STEVE: Another way of asking the question is what is this belief made out of? You have this belief. Inside, what experience do you have that goes with the sentence, “No money equals better person.” . . . And we’re not particularly interested in the content, but we are interested in the submodalities. How is it represented in there?

TOM: OK, so–

CONNIRAE: You got it?

TOM: Yeah.

CONNIRAE: And you don’t need to tell us–yeah, I just want you to get an experience of it for comparison.


CONNIRAE: Now, get an experience of doubt. So what’s the content you’re in doubt about? You don’t need to tell me, but just think about doubt. And again, how do you know–what lets you know that you are in doubt about this? What lets you know this is not a strong belief; this is doubt? . . .

TOM: OK. Got it.

CONNIRAE: OK. And now, what I want you to do is compare them for me, and tell me what’s different?

TOM: They’re–well, initially what I–the thing about the belief started off with kinesthetic feelings of attachment. It was like–literally almost like arms coming around from behind me [Tom gestures with an embracing movement] or something coming around behind like this that was very much like right there surrounding, almost bubble-like starting behind me and coming like this. [Embracing gesture again. Throughout the session, Tom’s gestures are large and congruent with what he is saying; most of these are omitted in thts transcript.] And let’s see–

CONNIRAE: You also see that? Or do you just feel it?

TOM: I started to feel it, then I was generating an image of it. So an image would be–

CONNIRAE: [Laughs.]

TOM: Interesting–[laughs]. Because whatever this is that’s coming around is split in the middle. There’s a–it’s like there’s a vertical slot like this that’s open. [He gestures in front of him.] I can see through that slot. It’s like standing back from a doorway. And it’s kind of dark in here, then there’s this doorway that I can see through that doorway. And one of the major differences between the belief and doubt is that in doubt, there are two framed images in doubt.

CONNIRAE: OK, in doubt there are two framed images.

TOM: Yeah.

CONNIRAE: And in belief, there’s only one.

TOM: There’s one image and it’s–

CONNIRAE: And it’s around you. Now in doubt, do you see yourself, . . . or not? Two framed images–

TOM: Yeah. I do. I see myself. I’m disassociated. I’m interacting.

CONNIRAE: Uhuh, OK. And what are the two images of? You don’t need to reveal the exact content, but just–

TOM: OK, it’s myself with other people–one other person in each picture.

CONNIRAE: Are the images opposites? Are they the same thing?

TOM: They’re real similar, and they’re very–that’s interesting. They’re minutely different, and I mean down to the point of–most body postures, physical location in space, are almost the same. It could almost be the same setting, the same content of them.
And what I seem to be looking for or sorting for, are real–I’m looking for my responses. There’s two pictures, and I’m with a person in each one–different people, and we’re interacting. And what I’m looking for is how I respond to the person in the picture. So I’m looking for my own responses out there.

CONNIRAE: Oh, I see.

STEVE: Are these opposites in some way?

TOM: I would, you know, just immediately say yeah, they’re opposites. But as I look at them, they look really similar.

STEVE: They’re similar, but there’s something opposite.


TOM: There’s something very opposite about them.

CONNIRAE: OK, what is it? Is the Tom in them is responding opposite in the two pictures?

TOM: Yeah, responding differently and at different times. Like I would label them positive and negative, or plus and minus or whatever–

CONNIRAE: That’s what we were wondering about–

TOM: And those change and go back and forth.

CONNIRAE: –and didn’t want to make it that way if it wasn’t.

STEVE: That’s what we want to check.

TOM: Yeah. And those are–it’s not always that this one’s positive, this one’s negative. This one is sometimes positive, and that one’s sometimes–

CONNIRAE: And sometimes they flip. That’s great. So this makes sense that it would be a representation of a doubt, right? He’s not even sure which picture is positive and which one is negative. [Laughs.]

TOM: Right.

CONNIRAE: They go back and forth.

TOM: Just for a minute I am–then oh, darn.

MAN 3: Is he in both of them?

TOM: Yeah. In the pictures?

STEVE: You’re in both of them. They’re both dissociated.

TOM: Right, I see myself in them.

CONNIRAE: OK. Now–so they’re movies, right? Or wrong?

TOM: Yeah, they are. And it’s interesting, though. They’re movies, but they’re–there’s sections of each–this is interesting–each frame that’s moving. It’s as if they were a slide, and then parts of the slide, mostly me, begin to move. And that’s what I’m sorting for. Those–

CONNIRAE: Parts is like–so there’s a self/context distinction.

TOM: Yeah, right.

CONNIRAE: You move, and the context doesn’t. That’s interesting.

TOM: And it’s distinct parts of self, and that’s how I sort for yes or no, I’m noticing.

CONNIRAE: OK, great. Now, comparing that to belief, in belief, do you have any–do you see yourself, or is it–

TOM: No, it’s–

CONNIRAE: –an associated–

TOM: I’m associated in it, and the sense of it is this wraparound thing is–it’s almost like being encased by a shell, like if you were to imagine a large clamshell, partially open.

CONNIRAE: Yeah. Now, is there anything in here that lets you know what this belief has to do with? Like how do you know what this belief is of? How do you know this belief is “If I don’t have money–”

TOM: That’s interesting. [Laughs.] This is sounding really flaky.

CONNIRAE: Oh, we knew it about you, Tom.

TOM: What seems to be is there are things that I have done in the past that I’ve liked doing that I haven’t needed money for–[Tom laughs.].

STEVE: OK. Got it.


STEVE: So what you see is a selected set of images and pictures.

TOM: And they’re really attractive and pleasant. And they’re limited in a sense that I only see part of them through this opening.

CONNIRAE: So you know there are more–

TOM: Yeah.

CONNIRAE: –examples.

TOM: Yeah, and it’s almost like it were a–like horse blinders, you know, just moving.

CONNIRAE: [Laughs.] OK, now in those images–

STEVE: Horse blinders.

CONNIRAE: –of these fun things that didn’t take money, do you see yourself in those or not?

TOM: No. I don’t. I see–it’s like being in it.


TOM: Like–

CONNIRAE: Like if you’d look at it, you were in that one.

TOM: Yeah, or like I could walk out this door or, you know, just be in it.

CONNIRAE: In that context.

TOM: In that context and doing it.

CONNIRAE: Got it, got it. OK, that’s great. Now, are those movies or slides?

TOM: Yeah, yeah. They’re movies that are fully associated–

CONNIRAE: Does the context move too?

TOM: The context?


TOM: Does it shift?

CONNIRAE: No, does it move–

STEVE: Are the movies–is the whole picture moving?

CONNIRAE: Is there the same distinction between self and context?

STEVE: The whole pictures are moving?

TOM: Everything’s moving, yeah.


TOM: It’s as, you know, normal–

CONNIRAE: You’re in it, OK.

TOM: –sounds and the whole shot.

CONNIRAE: Color, or black and white?

TOM: Color.


TOM: It’s–there’s sort of a horizon line. Sky up here, you know, some kind of wavy horizon line that’s indistinct hills or mountains, and then there’s a definite sort of mid-ground, and then a foreground very close. So it’s–

CONNIRAE: How big are they?

TOM: Very dimensional.

CONNIRAE: Three dimensional.

TOM: Yeah.

CONNIRAE: So is it life size, or–does it seem life size?

TOM: Well, it’s interesting as I look it now. The horizon beyond this range of hills is what I’m looking at. At the moment is it’s really far out there. I’m getting this sense of great distance as I look up at that. But then when I allow my gaze down here, the foreground is very close, very immediate, very large. It’s like, you know, mossy stepping-stones that are almost larger than life. And there’s something attractive about that, about the immediacy of right there, and then something also–the whole thing is really a–


STEVE: What a great movie you could make out of this, huh?

CONNIRAE: Yeah. And again, in terms of the important submodalities, I would guess that 3D is going to be fairly significant–

STEVE: There’s lots of 3D in this one.

CONNIRAE: –emphasis on that.

TOM: And I literally feel like I want to walk out of–between these, you know, whatever this is.

STEVE: You’re very drawn to it.

TOM: Yeah, very drawn to it. Yeah.


TOM: Yeah, the reason I’m drawn to it is I have this other belief or whatever. I have this intuition that as I walk through these–because it’s black around here, right–that as soon as I pass through this interface it’ll be full–yeah, a whole bunch more peripheral vision.

CONNIRAE: More experience.

MAN 4: Sure.

TOM: Right.

CONNIRAE: All right. Good, so we’ve got color, very 3D–

TOM: Thank you for your “Sure,” that really–

CONNIRAE: –big, almost bigger than life in the foreground. Now, is there anything else that seems significant when you compare this experience of your belief with the representation of doubt? Location is different too, right, the primary location? That’s been real obvious. [Tom’s belief is in front of him and slightly to his right; Doubt is in front of him and slightly to his left.] I haven’t asked about it yet.

TOM: OK, comparing them, almost no sound over there. [Gesturing to his left.] There is sound in this one. [Gesturing to his right.] It’s not real crisp and clean. It’s as if you were in something and hearing sounds from outside, but there is a lot of sound in that.

STEVE: Is there an echo or something?

TOM: It was almost muffled like–yeah, a little bit of muffling, echoing.

STEVE: Like you were in a cave or something?

TOM: Yeah, and looking out through the mouth of a cave, No sound in that one. [Gesturing left toward doubt] There’s a–I have a distinct–when I look at this one [Gesturing to his right, toward belief] I literally want to lean forward and it’s like–the sense of it is my upper body wants to begin moving towards it.

CONNIRAE: Get in it.

TOM: This one [Gesturing left toward doubt] I really–it’s a disassociated posture. [Tom leans his upper body back] And I even find myself from time to time in it, and it’s just–kind of slumped down, just almost transfixed by watching whatever’s there.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, and these pictures, are they in 3D–certainly not as much, but does it seem like–

TOM: Not as much.

CONNIRAE: –a flat picture, or some 3D, or what?

TOM: If anything, the distinction is figures. Myself and this other person, and then background. Figures in front–

CONNIRAE: So there are two–

TOM: Two planes.

CONNIRAE: Two planes.

TOM: And it’s figures, and the background, and then the movement. But I don’t notice that as much as the movement of self in context.

CONNIRAE: OK. All right, and are these in color? Did we go over that, color?

TOM: That’s really interesting. What–they’re, if anything like a real pale pastel, but when I sort for movement over there, again, looking at myself, there’s a sense of–it’s almost as if I was watching body parts, like joints, the joint of a knee or an arm. When that moves or a hand raises–when there’s movement of myself in the picture, that part that’s moving brightens. That–

CONNIRAE: It focuses attention on–

TOM: Yeah, yeah, it’s like a–

CONNIRAE: –what is moving. OK, so pastels, and that’s different than over here where the whole thing is–

TOM: Yeah, this is–

CONNIRAE: –in living color.

TOM: –and more saturated I think than my normal awareness. And I would say that’s because everything else is so dark, that I’m really picking up all the visual information I could over there.

CONNIRAE: All right. OK, great. So we’ve got lots of differences, right? And we’ve got his experience in quite a great deal of detail.

STEVE: Just take one last check. Is there any other significant difference? We’ve got a lot already, but just take another look and see if there’s anything else that you notice.

TOM: These two [doubt] are floating in space.


TOM: They’re really–it’s just suspended up there floating. And they’re small and they’re at a distance.

CONNIRAE: Small, farther away.

TOM: Yeah. Really difficult to distinguish any details. That’s maybe why I sort for movement. I don’t know. That’s about all I see in those. They are at a distance. This one [belief] is grounded. I mean, it’s like the foreground in my peripheral vision right here. The foreground of the picture literally comes under my feet. So there is a sense of engagement with it already. Even though I’m not aware of what’s happening down here, there’s a sense of full association with it.

CONNIRAE: Yeah. Good.

STEVE: I’m glad I asked, because that’s a nice piece.

CONNIRAE: So notice how we’ve done a back and forth between asking him about specific submodalities and asking him what differences he notices. And that’s what we usually find the most useful. OK, now what we’re going to do is test for the most, or the perhaps two most, significant submodalities that will carry his experience of belief into doubt. So we’ll find out which are the keys in his filing system that will turn a belief into doubt. What are the markers? And I want to do this before we get into a lot of questions. OK, so Tom, what I want you to do is take your belief, and I’m going to have you change submodalities.

TOM: Just checking it out, it’s still there.

CONNIRAE: Still there, yeah.

STEVE: It’s actually somewhat to the right, isn’t it?

CONNIRAE: To the right, and doubt is a little to the left.

And I’m going to have you change things. Do them one by one as much as possible, OK? And let me–what I want to know is which ones begin to turn your belief into doubt, and how much. Like, “Well, that one did a little bit,” and “Oh, wow, that one really shifts it to doubt.”


CONNIRAE: OK, so the first thing I want you to try is take this image of belief and instead of the 3D, make it be on two planes. Oh no, you’re going to have to dissociate first for that–to do that at the same time.

TOM: To do–

CONNIRAE: Let’s just make it be one plane. Make it one plane so that all of the context is on one plane. You’re here so you’re still associated, but the context is all on one plane. We’ll just do 3D. . . .

TOM: Huh.

STEVE: Try shifting your posture so that one is back. [Tom leans back.]

TOM: Well, my internal experience is–I put it on like a Japanese scroll, flat, painted, rolled it down over the entrance, whited out everything behind it, and now I feel like I’m stuck inside Memphis–mogul with the Memphis blues. There is nothing. It’s like I feel–there’s a sense of being trapped in there. I don’t–I mean, I don’t like the kinesthetics that come up.

CONNIRAE: Does it shift your belief? Are you less sure– As you look at that, do you still have a strong belief that “I’m a better person if I don’t have money”?

TOM: [Laughs.] Little voice said, “If I had some bucks I could buy my way out of here.” [Laughter.] So maybe it is beginning to– [Laughter.]

CONNIRAE: OK, now I want you to–I want to be real clear about this, because there’s a difference in saying “Well, I don’t feel real comfortable here,” and saying, “Well, it changes my belief to doubt.” It could make a shift in his response, but it might not be the shift that we’re interested in. We’re interested in one that goes to doubt.

STEVE: I’d say that’s enough on that one.


STEVE: Let’s try a different one. Right now, try just taking this whole picture over here [belief] and just move it over to here [to the location of doubt].

CONNIRAE: Shifting it over to here. . . .

STEVE: See if the location makes a significant difference. So you take all this content, shift it over there. And then report back. [Laughter.]

TOM: Yeah, that’s doing some strange things. [Laughter.] That’s really doing some strange things.

STEVE: Now, that obviously had some impact, right? His head’s going back like this. OK.

CONNIRAE: Does that shift it to doubt?

TOM: That’s real close–

STEVE: Report back to mission control. [Laughter.]

TOM: Earth to–yeah, it’s not exactly the same. The pictures are still–the pictures. What happened is as I moved it, the walls started moving apart, and the sense of blackness on both sides, I was very aware of, left and right, two pieces. And then the picture that I had, I’d been looking at over there, literally it was like a super–a hair thin line down the middle split in two and began to unfold from that center point. And there were two pictures.

CONNIRAE: OK, so this is an important carrier, right? It’s taking–

STEVE: This is a powerful one.

CONNIRAE: –some other submodalities along with it.

STEVE: OK, come back over here. Bring it back over here. You’ve still got it. [Laughter.] Right?

TOM: All right.

STEVE: This is just testing. We don’t want to mess around with it too much until we’ve really tested a whole bunch.


CONNIRAE: Now, let’s have you change the coloring. Make it all in pale pastels except for the portions that are–have movement. Those are a little brighter when they move.

TOM: That’s—that’s effective.

STEVE: Do some other things change at the same time?

TOM: These–the side walls disappear. They drop away. Thery’re not–originally, I was aware of them very dark and solid. And when I make that pastel and sort for movement through–almost like small pinpoints of light, you know. When it moves it gets brighter. I noticed that. When that happens, this–what used to be dark–just kind of fades.

CONNIRAE: By the way, guess what one of his major meta-program sorts is?

MAN 5: Location.

CONNIRAE: Could be location, but I know that activity is. He’s got a way of sorting for movement in his pictures. And I know from other experiences with Tom that activity is very important.

GLEN: Watching movies of himself doing his favorite things–

STEVE: And see, the fact that movement generates color.

CONNIRAE: The movement parts are highlighted.

STEVE: Does anything else change? Do you become more dissociated? Are you farther away from the pictures?

TOM: It’s interesting. It begins to be framed. It’s a single picture. It’s not double like this one, but it begins–where this is whited out, as I look more and more at what’s moving here, there’s a sense of–instead of this locked in frame, there’s a sense of–

CONNIRAE: It’s got a different frame.

TOM: Yeah, a different frame that’s more square, and a sense of–yeah, there’s a sense of it floating in space. The foreground has disappeared. It fuzzes out here into a fuzzy frame here. The sense of connection is gone.

CONNIRAE: OK. So that carried some of the movement to dissociation along with it, the framing? That’s a fairly significant one. We want you to be fairly exhaustive in your testing of this, even if you get some powerful ones to begin with. Go through the list and test the others just to make sure you haven’t missed something.

TOM: This one wiped out the dimensionality.


TOM: When it’s pastel, I’m looking for–sorting for light–movements of light.

CONNIRAE: That carried the 3D, too.

TOM: That carried the 3D, yeah.

CONNIRAE: OK. Now–OK, make it back the way it was. So you’ve got– [Laughter.] Pretty soon you won’t want to.

STEVE: Mental push-ups.

CONNIRAE: There’s an interesting thing that happens when you do this much testing, too, in someone’s brain. You don’t tell them– [Laughter] –you don’t tell them this overtly, but they begin to gain a lot of flexibility in there with what they can do.

STEVE: OK this time–you’ve got sound over here, right?

TOM: Yeah.

STEVE: Have the sound volume fade down and fade out until it’s silent. . . .

TOM: Hmmn, that’s interesting. It stopped all movement. There’s no movement then in that, and then it floats it. It affects the dimensionality a little bit, but not much, but it removes the groundedness. These–this dark part then is bound top and bottom, and the frame is literally–it’s floating in space, real similar to what was floating over there. [in doubt] It–and it recedes a bit, gets further away, and it floats when there’s no sound.

CONNIRAE: OK. Get some distance along with that. OK, now make it back. Just be careful who you walk on. [Laughter.]

STEVE: I have to watch out for my focus of attention. [Laughter.]

CONNIRAE: Remember, he [Steve] likes bulges. [Laughter.]

TOM: Yes, it is beginning to change. [Laughter.]

CONNIRAE: OK, now, try just dissociating. So, you see yourself in those situations. [Tom’s upper body shifts back.] We get the subtle accessing cues, right.

TOM: Boy that does it.

CONNIRAE: He’s moving his head this way. [to his left]

TOM: [Laughs.] God, there it goes again. Steve, that’s a weird feeling. Right down the midline, when it goes into doubt, there’s a zip here, then this pulling this way.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, that’s the strongest so far.

TOM: God–

CONNIRAE: That carried location.

STEVE: Now, how much will you pay us not to leave you here? [Laughter.]

TOM: If I can make some bucks, it’s worth it.

WOMAN: Remember our names– [Laughter.]

TOM: Yes.


TOM: Yeah, that one was–what happened was the two sides disassociated, and for some reason, I’m aware that I normally disassociate from about 30 feet behind myself up there and look down. So that started here, and I saw myself in–rather than in a cave, there were two–it was like two big walls with a–you know, a passageway in between. And then that shifted and came up to this location, but I still had the disassociation of looking down and noticing that behind those walls is–what just was panorama through there, began to unfold into distinct–like this was a different geography than this geography. And as I began to focus on those differences, just looking back and forth, there was this split down the middle, and it began to unfold from a central line and attempt to separate.

STEVE: OK, I missed something. You said normally, you dissociate from about 30 feet away?

TOM: Yeah.

STEVE: And this time it was–

TOM: It was the same.

STEVE: The same, OK.

TOM: Yeah, yeah.

STEVE: OK, good.

TOM: When I do that internally.



STEVE: You said that was the biggest shift–


MAN 6: Would it have been–I’m wondering if there’s a sequence phenomena here. If you tried dissociation the very first–

CONNIRAE: It’s possible.

STEVE: It’s possible. You don’t care. All you care is what works.

CONNIRAE: Get one that works.MAN 6: OK.

STEVE: If we were doing a research project, then we’d have to double-blind and randomize the structure and all the rest.

CONNIRAE: Do another belief, and do the other one [submodality] first, and–

TOM: Research subjects make good money, don’t they? [laughter]

CONNIRAE: Right. OK, let’s see there’s some more that we want to try–

STEVE: Would you say–I think we got it.

CONNIRAE: I think so too.

STEVE: When you’re playing, you can play more if you want, but these I think are the major ones–

CONNIRAE: You notice–one confirmation is that this time, rather than asking him, “Did that take it into doubt,” he said, “Well, when it went into doubt, it–”

STEVE: And his head moved over. [to his left]


STEVE: Let’s save the questions. Unless you have something that really has to be asked now.

CONNIRAE: We want to run through the process.

STEVE: Go ahead.

CONNIRAE: Does it have to be– [She laughs.]

STEVE: It has to be–

WOMAN 2: Are you turning his doubt into belief or his belief into doubt?

CONNIRAE: Belief into doubt.

WOMAN 2: Are you sure?

STEVE: We are going to.


STEVE: We haven’t–all we’re doing [so far] is testing.

CONNIRAE: We haven’t made anything permanent yet, either.

STEVE: But notice the way we’ve been testing is not to take this picture [doubt] and add color. We’ve always taken belief and made it change to see what would shift it toward doubt. Now, later on we’re going to use the reverse relation to bring it back–bring something else back, but right now, we’re testing this, and going in that direction. Theoretically, you could just as well test in the other direction, but since the first thing we want to do anyway is go from belief to doubt, we might as well do it that way.

CONNIRAE: Yeah. Yeah, OK. Now, we’re going to start getting real interesting here. [Chuckles.]

TOM: Now?


STEVE: First, we need to identify something else.

CONNIRAE: First, we want to find out what belief you would like to have, in place of the one that you did have.

STEVE: What do you think would be a more useful belief? One that would preserve all the value that’s in this belief.

CONNIRAE: So, enjoying those kind of activities and so on, so it wouldn’t be that you can’t do those things now. It would include that.

STEVE: It would only be if you could do additional things and be less limited by poverty.

TOM: And that’s about what the belief would sound like, that if I had–if it was OK with me to have–you know, money–then that would allow me the flexibility to do what I do, or was doing there already plus a lot of other things. So it would increase my flexibility.

STEVE: How about “It’s OK to have some money”?


CONNIRAE: Or it would–or the belief that it would be a good idea to have enough money to do the things that I really want to do. Or you may want to modify that a little.

STEVE: And these are just words.

TOM: Yeah.

STEVE: What we’re interested in is you getting some representation internally. We don’t care really what the words are, as long as this new representation that you think would be more useful to you or more enjoyable. Because you have some representation internally of what that would be.

CONNIRAE: We’re going to be leery of anything about that he has to make lots of money now or that he can’t do those activities that he could do before. So we want to include lots of choice.

WOMAN 3: How about “Money isn’t preventing him from being a good person”?

STEVE: Too many negatives in that one.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, you want–usually you want your beliefs to be phrased in the positive.

STEVE: There’s two negatives in that one.

CONNIRAE: Does not prevent–

STEVE: You know the old negative embedded commands? “Don’t eat the cake in the refrigerator.” Beliefs can have those too. See this one’s got one in it to start with, right? “No money equals good person.”

CONNIRAE: And, any kind of esthetic qualities or humanitarian qualities that you want to preserve can also be put into that belief about the kind of person that you are and the kinds of ways that you use that money, and for what kinds of purposes you want to use it–that kind of thing.

STEVE: You got something in there?

TOM: Yeah, it’s not a–I don’t have it down to a single sentence, but it’s composed of a lot of those things, that it’s OK for me to make money, and that it’ll increase my flexibility, and enhance my ability to do the kinds of things that I want to do.

CONNIRAE: And notice him developing images associated with this as he’s–

STEVE: Great.

CONNIRAE: Good. Now, do you have one image associated with this or a set of images that you–

TOM: What I noticed is that as I started to generate that, I walked through this–whatever that [horse blinders] was, and now I’m out in that scene and I’m there associated, mobile. I can feel my body moving. The surroundings are–

CONNIRAE: So this is more attractive.

TOM: Yeah, the surroundings are moving as you–you know, as you normally walk. You see through your eyes that things slightly move. I’m aware of mobility. That’s a big one, ability to move through that countryside, whatever is there, a lot of sense of self-control, in that I can go wherever I want to. I’m not limited by this–this looking through that.

CONNIRAE: OK, good. Good, I’ll take it. [Laughs.] All right, now, keep this belief image–the desired belief image and sort of set it aside for the moment. We’re going to use it a little bit later. And now what we’re going to do is run through an installation process to make it so that automatically, in his internal filing system, the new belief will just be what’s there. It’s not going to be something that he has to conjure up over again, but it’s just there in the background. So–and the form of this is going to be taking the belief–the old belief, shifting it into doubt first, and then when it’s in doubt, switching content and bringing it back into belief.

STEVE: In this case, it will be more adding content than shifting. Right?

TOM: Yeah, yeah.

CONNIRAE: He gave us–has given us a really easy way of–

STEVE: –and then you’re going to add in some–

TOM: More, yeah, right.

CONNIRAE: –shifting the content.

TOM: Right.


STEVE: See, in the example of “not pretty,” the whole content shifts totally.

CONNIRAE: In this one, it’s more like walking through that door.

STEVE: This one you’re going to add to. You’re going to add something, else. OK?

CONNIRAE: OK, so here’s what I want you to do. Start off with belief–the old belief, and let me know when you’ve got that there fully.

TOM: It’s easy–yeah, I’m there.

CONNIRAE: Good. And now what I want you to do is dissociate, taking all the time you need to do it thoroughly. . . . [Tom’s head turns to his left.]

STEVE: As you do that, the sounds will fade away. . . .

CONNIRAE: Begin to see those two sides.

STEVE: Colors will fade away to pastel.

CONNIRAE: That’s right. Begin to see two planes instead of–

TOM: Jesus.

STEVE: OK, so you’ve got it over there in doubt, right? Now, add in the additional content that you want to add in there, about additional flexibility.

CONNIRAE: That’s right.

STEVE: So you see yourself over there–

CONNIRAE: –as if you’re walking through. . . .

TOM: This is weird because I got two pictures. I see myself in–that’s all right, I see myself in both. Good, doing different things.

CONNIRAE: OK, yeah. But now it’s the new content.

STEVE: You got that new content added in over there? . . .

TOM: OK, let me–just a minute to do that.

STEVE: The additional things that will be available to you if you have some money. . . .

CONNIRAE: OK? Good. And when you’ve got that, we want you to re-associate.

STEVE: Step back in. The sounds will come up.

TOM: I’ve got to do something first. I’ve got to superimpose those two pictures, because there’s two of me and I can’t–

CONNIRAE: Let them gradually superimpose so that you can easily step in.


STEVE: As you step in, the colors will become more intense. The 3D, sound volume will increase. [Tom’ turns his head to straight ahead.] Eventually you’ll be back over here.

TOM: [Laughs.] . . .


TOM: Yeah, that’s–

CONNIRAE: Good. Now, what do you believe?

TOM: Isn’t it obvious?

CONNIRAE: “I believe–” Amen, brothers–and sisters.

TOM: Yeah, the sense of it is there’s a lot of reorganization. [Tom gestures with his right hand toward the back of his head.] I mean there’s puzzle pieces being moved around, like some furniture in the house being shifted very rapidly. [Laughs.]

CONNIRAE: Good, and that can continue to reorganize itself in the most appropriate way.

STEVE: Great.

TOM: It feels really good. I mean, the kinesthetic is really great. It’s very attractive. I mean, there’s a desire to–a real fluid mobility. A really nice sense.

CONNIRAE: Umhm. And at this point, the nonverbal confirmation is going to be most important. Like as he’s talking about it, he is nonverbally looking over here [to his right] associated. He’s doing the submodalities that are associated with strong belief.

STEVE: He’s giving you all the cues that you earlier got with belief, right? OK, now pause for just a minute. Hold on to those questions. How about that–what happened to that idea of you had to be poor? [Tom glances to his left, toward doubt, and then doubles over with laughter.] Did you see what he did? He looked over here. [to his left]

CONNIRAE: Did you see where he looked?

STEVE: Did you see that?

TOM: Yeah, I’m blown away. I mean, it’s a very powerful piece.

STEVE: It’s over there, right? I just want to get a verbal confirmation from you.

TOM: Yeah, it–

CONNIRAE: What are you looking at now?

TOM: Well, I’m back in the belief thing. As I–

STEVE: Just think about the old belief. [Tom looks to his left again. Laughter.]

TOM: It’s interesting, it’s–

WOMAN 4: Try to look that way [to Tom’s right] when you think about it.

CONNIRAE: It doesn’t go there!

TOM: It doesn’t go there. It’s right there. [Tom points to his left.]

STEVE: So this is testing, right?


TOM: There’s a real distinct difference. That’s a–it’s really OK that that old belief is there now. I mean, there’s something that’s actually—that’s really pleasurable about part of the process of it being in doubt, that sensation of split along the midline and those pictures unfolding like that. That’s kind of an interesting kinesthetic. It’s neat to have it out there, and watch it unfold like that. I mean, the whole process of doing it was very enjoyable, and there’s some enjoyable kinesthetics associated with it. But it’s something that I might drop in on from time to time, just to notice how interesting that is.

MAN 7: You never know.

TOM: Yeah, well put. It’s like that.

CONNIRAE: Good, good. OK, thank you.

STEVE: Number one, questions for Tom. Only questions for Tom, and then we’ll let him go and–

CONNIRAE: Without—I mean being respectful of him. Diane?

DIANE: Do you believe you can have money and be a good person?

TOM: Yes. Yeah. Well, it’s interesting too–now this is, I don’t know–meta-chunks. In a sense, I’ve always known that, but there’s nothing–it used to be that there was nothing I could do about it. It was just something I knew, and it was sort of a “So what.” I knew that–

STEVE: Intellectually.

TOM: Yeah, right, intellectually.

CONNIRAE: It’s like intellectual knowledge, but it’s–

TOM: There’s a sense of the experiential–

CONNIRAE: In terms of the way his brain is responding it wasn’t a belief.

TOM: So that was–I mean, that’s a secondary benefit for me is–a sense of frustration behind having that belief is gone now. Because in the past, the belief that it was OK for me to have money, you know, and it would be all right for me to have money was a very frustrating one, because it seemed as if I never did. Somewhere else, it wasn’t OK. That’s not frustrating anymore.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, OK. Ken.

KEN: What was your sense of how long it took you to totally get it over to that side? My hallucination is it took you on the order of minutes to totally make that transition.

STEVE: You mean back from doubt to belief?

KEN: Yeah.


KEN: I mean, it’s like 80 percent of it happened real quick, and then there was some lingering.

STEVE: The rearranging of the furniture.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, and it’s important that you bring it up because it is important to really let it settle and complete itself, and the rearranging that Tom was talking about.

KEN: To tell you why I ask that, there was a certain muscular movement in your face that stopped almost–well, it’s 100 percent consistently when you were in doubt. And once you did the switch around, in fact, I get it from you every now and again, even now–

MAN 7: It’s still there.

KEN: Is it? You see it too?

STEVE: Be sure what you’re calibrating to.

KEN: Well, see that’s what I’m–that’s why I’m asking, because I don’t know.

TOM: The thing–what–it’s interesting. What’s over there now is there’s a piece–and this may be it, so you can check it out because I don’t know what’s happening here. I don’t know what’s happening out there. The thing–as I began to shift and to think, there were two pictures–images out here of self disassociated, and when I got the instruction to associate, it was like, Uhnnh, “This is going to be fun!” [Laughs.]

CONNIRAE: There’s going to be two of me.

TOM: I’m going to split and far apart, right. I couldn’t do that, so I had to superimpose the pictures, make one self, and associate with that. And as I associated with that, and got the instructions for the new behaviors and, you know, seeing myself in that–being in that situation, then I began to relax into that. The submodalities began to shift. Dimensionality, color, sound came up, and then I shifted over here and there was this–what is there it’s almost like the standard swish of–or the chain swish yesterday. Occasionally I’ll get a representation of being slightly disassociated from that. And when I get that, what I want to do is reassociate. I mean, I’ll sort of see myself–

CONNIRAE: Kind of go towards it.

TOM: Yeah, and I’ll see myself out there in that, looking like I’m having such a ball doing it that there is this–it makes it even more compulsive, but there is this moment of “Oh, I’d better get into that now.”


CHRIS: Tom, what will you do about this shift now?

TOM: Want to buy a house? [Laughter.] What will I do about it? You mean–

CONNIRAE: You usually have to get the money first, and then you buy the house. Actually, you go to the bank.

CHRIS: What will you do in terms of activity, anything? Or just let it settle in, or–

TOM: No, I–the interesting thing, the question about that– Deanna was asking–see I cognitively, rationally knew that it was OK for me to have money. So part of me was just going ahead and acting as if it was, so I’ve got lots of plans that I’ve never been able to implement. I mean, I’ve got–I literally, I’ve got a file folder at home of moneymaking plans. Seriously, and they’ve just sat there. And I’ll add a new one in, but I won’t act on it. I’ll make them up, but I’ll put them–

CONNIRAE: So now what will you do?

TOM: Pull out that folder and get busy. I mean, there’s lots of–see, in a sense, I’ve got not only on paper, but internally–I mean, I’ve rehearsed behaviors and imagined how I’d be and know what I’d do.

CONNIRAE: So you’re ready to go.

TOM: Yeah, there was just a piece–that piece that was missing of being there in it.

CONNIRAE: And that’s a good question in terms of testing later on, how will he know that this belief–that the new belief is in fact guiding his behavior now?

ROBERT: Are there any parts of you that object to this belief?

WOMAN 5: What was the question?

CONNIRAE: Ecology check. Would he check and see if any parts object?

TOM: They’re too busy moving furniture. [Laughter.] It’s true.

ROBERT: That’s the first time I’ve seen this muscle in your cheek stop, is when you went in and asked that question. I saw it start when you were moving from doubt to belief. I saw–that was the first time I noticed it, and then it just maintained that until just now. I don’t see it happening.

TOM: So maybe it that was a really valuable–because as–when I went in to access that, what I noticed was that internally a sense of celebration, images of parts sitting down at medieval banquets, and you know—Hey, whoopee! [Laughter.] So like what are you doing, and then they started moving the furniture.

CONNIRAE: If you do have any doubts about ecology, it’s a real useful–a really useful question. And also just to allow that.

STEVE: Some people have a very drab and humdrum internal life. [Laughter.] But Tom is not one of them.

CONNIRAE: If anyone wants more excitement on the inside, go get his [experience]. [Laughter.]

STEVE: OK, a couple more questions for Tom, and then we’ll play theory and so on.


JACK: I’d like to know if you restate the original belief, when you say that no money is good, is having money bad? Is that part of the belief system–has that changed?

TOM: I’m having trouble understanding your question, so something must have. Could you–

JACK: Do you feel any different about Marvin Davis now than you did previously?

TOM: Marvin Davis?

JACK: The multi-millionaire oilman, he previously had so much money, he created–

TOM: Oh, I see. That’s selective. I think that there is a distinction that it isn’t a blanket “Oh, that means rich guys are good.” People are people, and I have other programs to use to, quote, “Judge or evaluate human being.”

CONNIRAE: One more, Ed.

ED: You also with Tom, when the visual things were changed, did that carry the physiology along with it? Because I’m wondering if the other person tended to lead kinesthetically as to a theoretical thing? Would you want to go for example–

CONNIRAE: That’s not a question of Tom.

ED: Would it make reference to you Tom?

STEVE: How can he answer that?

TOM: If I can have some kinesthetic–

CONNIRAE: If he was a different person, would he have been different? Yes.

STEVE: You’re right. You understand that’s not a question he can really answer. You can get an answer, but it won’t mean anything.

MAN 8: How would you feel about owning a Rolls Royce?

TOM: I would prefer a Jag, I think, with leather seats, but a Rolls would be fine. [Laughter.] OK, thank you guys. [Applause.]

CONNIRAE: Before we go through this step by step and take questions on each specific step, we’d like to know if you have general questions. Now, we’re going to exclude any questions on more complicated forms of this. We don’t want to tell you now how to do it auditorily, and kinesthetically, and how do to do it with schizophrenics.

STEVE: We’ll put you all to work real soon and you’ll find out.

CONNIRAE: [Laughs.] So with that in mind, do you have any general questions about this?

STEVE: If you can take your question and put it into one of the steps on the sheet, 111, there’s–what?

ROBERT: The steps themselves.

STEVE: What about them?

ROBERT: I want to know, do you have to–the way that it works, do you have to take the belief into doubt?


ROBERT: And then the doubt back into–

CONNIRAE: Yes, yes.

STEVE: Because otherwise there ain’t no room for it.

CONNIRAE: See, if you make a direct shift between one belief and another belief–if you’ve got a really strong belief, that’s going to be difficult. You’re going for opposites, and it’s a really strong belief. It’s going to be tough. But if you take a strong belief and weaken it somehow, like move it into doubt, then it becomes easy to shift the content. And then it’s easier to move it back into strong belief.

STEVE: Let me put it this way, let’s say that I have the belief that X is good, and it gets in my way. And I’m going to install the other side of that, which X is bad. If you succeeded in installing the new belief without weakening the old one, what would you create?

ROBERT: X is good or bad.

STEVE: Good and bad.

CONNIRAE: The old multiple personality.

STEVE: What would that do to me? See, one of the few ways to deal with that is multiple personality–Jekyll and Hyde kind of thing–someone who flips between two states. One belief organizes the personality in one way, and then something happens and it jiggles and the whole stack gets restacked. And this is not what we want, even if you were able to succeed.

ROBERT: So what’s required in that is to weaken the original unwanted belief?


STEVE: Right.

ROBERT: Weaken that by bringing over into some doubt.

CONNIRAE: By bringing it to doubt.

STEVE: Right.

ROBERT: Then bring it back.

CONNIRAE: Then change content, and bring it back.

STEVE: This is the overall frame. So if you want the big picture: take belief over to doubt, change content or add–in this case, it was add content. Often, it will be a reversal of content.

CONNIRAE: And we’ll talk more about how to do that.

STEVE: And he had that already in the two pictures because they switched back and forth. But in this case, we didn’t want to leave out all the things he enjoys doing when he’s poor. We just want to add in other things. So add in content then bring it back to belief.

ROBERT: Now he believes these added things.

STEVE: Well, the whole ball of wax, it’s everything. Yeah. So that’s the big frame. Any question about that one? Yeah.


LENNY: What if it’s a belief they want and they–is it very consistent that something is already in the category of doubt for them so it’s very easy to shift when your doubt moves that content? Does it feel almost familiar?

STEVE: It might be in doubt, or it might be in disbelief.

CONNIRAE: It’s more typical that it’s in disbelief, I would say. It’s something that they want to believe and they could act differently if they did, but in terms of their behavior, their behavior is based on this one and not on that one.

STEVE: If you want something, do you have it?

LENNY: They might still have it in disbelief.

STEVE: Yeah. But see if you want something, do you have it?

CONNIRAE: If you want something, the very fact that you want it means you don’t have it.

LENNY: True. I’m just thinking I was trying to use a few examples of my own, and it seemed like–

CONNIRAE: Some of them were in doubt.

LENNY: –if they wanted it, it didn’t seem to make much sense that it would be in disbelief. If they didn’t even know if they wanted it, then I could see it would be in disbelief.

STEVE: Oh, no. Think about something that you–right now that you don’t believe is true about yourself, but you’d love it to be true. Like that you had two million dollars.

CONNIRAE: You don’t believe that, right?

STEVE: But it’d still be nice.

CONNIRAE: Now, that would be an unecological one to give people delusions that they had 2 million dollars, but it’s to get across the idea.

LENNY: What about the belief that I could make it, which would seem to be a little more possible.

STEVE: Yeah, but if you want it, do you have it?

LENNY: I would doubt that I would ever get there. I don’t know if I disbelieve it.

CONNIRAE: OK, you may have very few limiting beliefs then. That may be part of what you’re running into, that most of them are in doubt. Well, “Maybe I can,” and “I’m not really sure.”

STEVE: Then you don’t have a belief that you can’t that gets in your way, it’s just you’re not sure.

LENNY: See, I didn’t see any disbelief when you were shifting content–I didn’t know if that’s because you were holding it in doubt and imposing it in there?

STEVE: We just don’t bother with it.


STEVE: I mean, you just stick the new content in, and then bring it back over here. Now, it’s possible to play with disbelief, which is also a belief. It’s just a negative belief, right?

CONNIRAE: That’s important, too, to recognize the difference between doubt, which you really don’t know about, and disbelief, which is a strong conviction. If I believe I am not pretty, that’s not doubt, that’s that I believe I am not pretty.

LENNY: Rather than just being able to say, “I can’t believe I’m pretty.”

CONNIRAE: Or “I’m not really sure.” I’m not really sure if I am or not.

STEVE: If you say, “I can’t believe I’m pretty,” that’s a belief.

CONNIRAE: That sounds more like belief, yeah.

STEVE: That’s pretty categorical.

CONNIRAE: “Can’t” is all or none.

STEVE: If somebody said, “I sometimes think I’m pretty”–

CONNIRAE: That sounds like doubt.

STEVE: –then that tells you doubt, or in between somewhere there. OK ?

CONNIRAE: “Or I’m not sure if”–that’s the kind of thing you’re going for with doubt.

STEVE: Jack?

JACK: Changing the doubt and belief, you said it doesn’t have to be the same context, but what if they are? Like I have a very strong belief, and I doubt it can be changed.

CONNIRAE: But you’re going “meta” on it there, and I wouldn’t do that.

STEVE: Let’s not do that.

CONNIRAE: It’ll confuse things.

STEVE: You’ll get into a long tunnel with no light at the end.

WOMAN 7: Is it important to get the content on the doubt from people, or–


STEVE: No, it doesn’t matter. You can do this totally content free. Ecologically, you have a much better idea if what they’re doing is useful if you have a little content at least.

CONNIRAE: On the belief.

WOMAN 7: On the belief.

CONNIRAE: On the doubt, all you care about is the submodalities. You want to know how they code doubt internally.

STEVE: Right. Notice we didn’t ask for it up here. We don’t need that.

CONNIRAE: On belief, sometimes the way they state the new one gives you ecology triggers that you go, “Wait a minute; that might not be ecological.” And you might want to assist them in rephrasing it.

STEVE: And remember all the stuff about negative commands and negative phrasing, and as much as you can, make this positive.

CONNIRAE: Go for a positive statement of a belief.

STEVE: By positive, we don’t mean good and pleasant. We mean a yes rather than a negative, a no. So I want–

CONNIRAE: “I do want this” rather than “I don’t want that.”

STEVE: I want to believe that this is good, rather than I don’t want to believe that is bad. That is not preventing myself from not ever thinking about it, ever. That kind of stuff. It gets very involved if you do that. It gets very convoluted.


RUSS: In order to go from something strongly believed the person is, you know, “not attractive,” would you have to go through–I mean, the opposite then is also true in that person’s belief–

CONNIRAE: Yes, yes.

RUSS: Can you just move them to doubt, or do you also have to move that strong disbelief to doubt before you can put that–

STEVE: They’re wired together. One is the flip side of the other. It’s like you don’t have coins with only heads on them.

CONNIRAE: If you flip over the head, the tail will go over too.

STEVE: The tail is there too. Gary.

GARY: Tom was an excellent subject, and I’m wondering what would you guys have had to do if he was, for instance, resistant to this process, or if he didn’t have a rich internal life or he couldn’t hold the images the way he could. And those are the kinds of things I think in the real world we’re going to run up against.

STEVE: Well, notice how much he demonstrated though. I mean, I agree, he was a nice subject. He’s got a rich internal life. He’s fairly easy–he can access it quite easily. He can get in there and see all that stuff and feel all that stuff, and it’s there. But you can do this whole thing, and Richard has many times done it real fast with people who didn’t say nothing.

GARY: Right, like hypnosis?

STEVE: You do it like hypnosis. And don’t think it doesn’t happen in the world by other people who are not nearly as skilled and nearly as concerned about doing it well as Richard is.

CONNIRAE: There are some portions of the way Tom responds that actually made it take longer. See because he has such a rich internal life–[laughs]–he goes in, and he really takes his time–

STEVE: It’s “Gone With the Wind.” [Laughs.]

CONNIRAE: –getting into the experience.

STEVE: Right, Cecile B. Mille. Right. [Laughs.] Cast of thousands.

CONNIRAE: There are going to be some other people who will go much faster and won’t report as much, and you won’t see as much nonverbally.

STEVE: But it’ll work just as well.

CONNIRAE: But it’ll work just as well.

GARY: But my question was in terms of you two, when you do have a person like that, are there any different things that you would do with that person versus what you did with Tom?

CONNIRAE: Not in terms of the overall structure.

STEVE: I don’t think so.

CONNIRAE: I mean, sure we’d pace differently, and at that level.

STEVE: You’d have to pay more attention to nonverbals, you might have to list some examples, you know. For instance, your belief could be this, and this could be this, and dissociation and association–

CONNIRAE: For example, maybe for doubt, you see a movie of yourself doing blah, blah, blah, or some people see this.

GARY: Certainly more preparatory work.


STEVE: Probably.


LIZ: What did you do to sort through all the richness because there was so much there I didn’t really know which part to attend to? How did you know which parts to attend to with all of his–

STEVE: Well, some of it’s content–some of it really isn’t submodalities. I wrote it all down here to keep it all sorted a little bit.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, what we’re going for are the major submodalities, rather than the content. Like this bubble surrounding, that’s not really a submodality. The fact that he’s associated or dissociated, that is.

STEVE: It has something to do with association.

CONNIRAE: Some very quickly, like location very quickly carried some of the other things like turning it into two pictures. So sort of– “Why bother checking out two pictures in and of itself.” You already know location will carry that.

STEVE: Now, is this a question of can you get something else that can carry all of these? So any–it’s sort of like first you have all this data and then you can start building [causal] trees, you know. You can just go–in fact, he said–where’s the–oh, here. In the gathering information, he talked about if you have movement–I’m building a little hierarchy here–if you have movement that will make it–that makes color. So that means that if you change this one [movement] you can get this one. [color]
And then we go–what was the first one? Oh, location. So location goes into split frames and a few other things. And gradually you can assemble these into a sort of a cascade, where if you get this one it’ll get this, and that’ll get that and that’ll get this, and something else will–

CONNIRAE: Now, we also began to make some generalizations. We had begun to make some generalizations about typical ways of coding beliefs. There’s certain submodalities that seem more related to beliefs than others. So we have some–that gives us some place to start, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about that now. After you’ve done one, then we can talk about generalizations.

STEVE: It’s like anything else, you know. After you do it a while, you have some guesses as to what will be really powerful. Association and dissociation is often very powerful. Color is often powerful.

CONNIRAE: Shh–[laughs.] Let’s let them find it out, and then–

STEVE: All right. And they may find some surprises in there, too.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, there are always people sorted uniquely. Laura.

LAURA: You also seemed to go early on for some of the ones that got physiology shifts in him as you went through the first time.


LAURA: And that seemed like a real good place to start. And then he really did–it changed a lot when you went through the ones that seemed important just from the change in his physiology.

STEVE: OK, so in terms of when he reported them the first time, when we saw a large physiological shift, go for those. Excellent strategy; good idea.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, same as we talked about with the swish; when you’re going for submodalities, when you see as they’re talking you see big shifts, those clue you in.

STEVE: If they make big gestures or something like that.

LAURA: Forward and backwards seemed to be a big one for him.

STEVE: Yeah, right. Right. Excellent.

CONNIRAE: Now someone else had something, I believe.

STEVE: Maybe it’s time to go through the steps.

GLEN: Just want to make a brief comment. When I’ve done this stuff before–when things have gotten really complex like this started to be–that by itself caused me to say, “I don’t know what I’m doing here,” because it looks–there’s so much information. And what was nice about this is that still very simple things control that–


STEVE: That’s right.

GLEN: And there are these really keys, how complex they are.

STEVE: Right. And usually, you know, you just go one at a time. And it may take you a long time, and you go through the first ten and–

CONNIRAE: And I recommend making a list on paper, because most of you if not all of you will find–will got lost if you don’t. You’ll waste time.

STEVE: Now you might not get a single one that does everything. You might want to get–you might find two. This one gets this batch, and this one gets this batch. And between the two of them, it carries it all over. And even though we had one that pretty much carried everything, as he was doing that, you notice I started adding in some of these other ones that we found that were useful: “As it moves over there, the color will–

CONNIRAE: And that can be useful to make sure you get all the changes.

STEVE: –wash out of the picture,” and so on and so on. So even if you get five or 10 different ones that are all powerful, you can always pack them all together in hypnotic language and get the whole thing. Chris.

CHRIS: How many people has Richard tested with this, or around the country, and what are the results? Do you know?

CONNIRAE: You know Richard better than that.

STEVE: You know Richard, come on.

CONNIRAE: [Laughs.] You’re really asking? He would never do–

STEVE: It’s all ready to be written up in the Journal of Comparative Psychology.

CHRIS: I don’t mean that way, I just mean the way in which he does it–the context in which he does it, which is he goes in a room, works with people, in this city and that city.

CONNIRAE: He goes in bars and does it too, you know. [Laughs.].

STEVE: I’m sure he’s done hundreds because he’s very thorough–at least.

CHRIS: Hundreds, and he’s thorough. Has he watched the results for people? I mean, when he does this?

STEVE: He watches for five-minute follow-ups. [Laughter.]

CHRIS: Has anybody–

CONNIRAE: Done long-term?


CONNIRAE: Not in a systematic way. I mean, there are people that we’ve changed beliefs on that we still know them, you know, and so we know that it’s lasted and so on for a period of time, but–

STEVE: We just take 10 percent of the gross. [Laughter.]

CONNIRAE: Right, they can set up–

STEVE: If not, we’ll take it [the change] back!

CONNIRAE: You can set up a business doing this, changing people’s beliefs about money, and then you take five percent.

STEVE: Really. Take one percent; you’d still do pretty well. OK, let’s go through systematically. And if there are other questions, we’ll– So, first–and let’s refer back over here so you have a content example. First, you get the belief.

CONNIRAE: And have them–think about it and state it in such a way that it is an absolute conviction. “I believe this is true.”

STEVE: And the specific words are only an indicator for an internal experience, right? So don’t be too fussy about the precise words, but get something that they can congruently agree to; this is something that they have now, they believe now, and they’d rather it were different because in some way it limits them, or gets in their way, or has fallout that they don’t like. Yeah.

TIM: Did you say conviction?


STEVE: Well–

TIM: What if they said, “Well, I’m not sure,” and their behavior is fairly consistent in terms of–

STEVE: They don’t believe anything?

CONNIRAE: There’s always something that they are sure of, and sometimes we just have to phrase things differently. Sometimes you have to add a qualifier in a statement, and then they can absolutely agree to it.

STEVE: See if someone has a counterexample strategy like the grid person we had up here the other day–

TIM: That’s what I was thinking of.

STEVE: –then you have to go “usually,” or “almost always.” You have to qualify it because they won’t ever agree to a totally unqualified statement, but they’ll still have beliefs that are strong motivators and determiners of behavior.

WOMAN: I think that I have a similar question, and that is that he said he knew that wasn’t really true on some level, but–

STEVE: It wouldn’t change his behavior.

WOMAN: Well, I know, but where’s the distinction between belief and doubt. Because of the behavior change? If it doesn’t change your behavior?

STEVE: Yeah, sure.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, with doubt, you’re not going to have behavior in only one way. With strong belief, you will.

STEVE: I mean, think about all the things that people know intellectually are true, but it doesn’t–

CONNIRAE: They don’t act on them.

STEVE: –apply to their behavior, you know? I mean, you know, you can have the worst sexist in the world who says, “I know men and women are really equal,” but, you know– And then everything they do is obviously–that they’re–the belief that they operate on is something very different.

MAN 10: Doctors who smoke.

STEVE: Doctors who smoke. [Laughter.] OK, yeah, there’s a lot of things like that. OK.

CONNIRAE: OK, and if you are wondering about yours as you pick it, call one of us over, and we’ll come and assist you in refining your belief.

STEVE: Now, when they say that sentence, you want to direct them to their internal experience. They have some internal experience that represents that sentence or that yields that sentence.

CONNIRAE: How do you know that’s true?

STEVE: What is that belief made out of?

CONNIRAE: What do you see that lets you know? And we’re going to ask you to start visual on this. It’s just the easiest way to do it, and we’ll get into variations more later.

STEVE: Then, you go to doubt. What’s something you doubt–of more or less equal impact, in other words, in terms of its impact on your life.

CONNIRAE: Something important, but you just aren’t sure.

STEVE: That’s probably not that crucial, but you might as well make it as similar as possible. Because if you get things that are real, real different, there may be some other contaminating differences that do not have to do with–

CONNIRAE: With doubt.

STEVE: –what you’re going after.

WOMAN 8: Could you give an example how it could contaminate?

CONNIRAE: Well, let’s say if you take something that’s really not important to you at all that you couldn’t care less about–

WOMAN 8: Oh, OK.

CONNIRAE: And you get–

STEVE: “I doubt if the doorknobs on the Motel 6 in Thornton are made out of brass.”

CONNIRAE: I’m not sure about–[laughter]–then you might be getting submodalities for, “That’s not important to me,” instead of for doubt.

STEVE: This is more of a chance to go haywire, so you might as well–the more you can have something similar, the less you’re likely to seize on something that’s really a difference that isn’t related to what you want.

Now it may be that all your doubts are identical and the one about the motel and the brass doorknobs has the same structure as something else, but it might not, or there might be some content contamination in there, or something. Yeah.

MAN 10: You customarily will go after the content of the belief that they want to change.

STEVE: You don’t have to.

CONNIRAE: In really working with someone, I would, just to make sure it was ecological. Now, you don’t have to, for this.

STEVE: If you want to do it in here, and you want to keep it–you want to do it content-free–if I’m the person who wants my belief changed, and I don’t want you to know about it, fine.

CONNIRAE: That’s your prerogative.

STEVE: We’re going to trust you that far, but be careful.

CONNIRAE: Don’t tell them. [Laughs.]

STEVE: OK? “So, you’ve got doubt, now, what is it made of. How do you know you have doubt about that particular content?” So this is just setting it up, right.

CONNIRAE: How do you know you’re not sure?

STEVE: There are two experiences.

CONNIRAE: “As you look at that image, what lets you know that you’re not sure?” that kind of thing.

STEVE: And as they already do that, you can start calibrating. How does the person represent those things?

CONNIRAE: Some differences will be obvious, like location differences, just from that step.

STEVE: Now, you do contrastive analysis, which you did already with confusion and understanding, right? Is there any question about that? “How are they different?” And if they don’t mention some differences that you think might be there, mention them and ask.

So here we’ve got the differences now. Now it’s time to test. Test arbitrarily; take anything you want.

CONNIRAE: Test one at a time.

STEVE: Find out which ones [submodalities] drag the other ones along. Which are the key ones, the lynch pin, the–

CONNIRAE: The carrier.

STEVE: –the keystone, the carrier–the carrier frequency. What drags everything else along? Any questions up to there? Tom?

TOM: So in that process, as you do that and elicit those, you should then put it back? [the way it was before]

STEVE: Yes. Right, because now you’re just testing. You don’t want to change [anything] until you know how this thing works.

CONNIRAE: So when you shift location, you bring it back, and then do another one.

STEVE: Absolutely. Good, thanks.

CONNIRAE: Any questions on testing? Yeah, Nelson.

NELSON: Well I guess–is there a step between four and five?

STEVE: I don’t think so.

CONNIRAE: Are you thinking of one? [Laughs.] I don’t see one.

STEVE: That’s an interesting question. Let me think, is there a step between–

CONNIRAE: What do the rest of you think?

STEVE: –four and five. No, there’s no step between four and five.

NELSON: What about four and a half? In other words, doesn’t belief have to be changed before we start the new belief?


NELSON: Where is that?

STEVE: That’s where we–let’s see.

NELSON: Oh, you’re not changing anything, yet.

STEVE: We’re not changing anything yet; we’re just gathering information.

CONNIRAE: You’re just finding out what belief they want to have. What belief would you like if you had it to–so that they have some kind of representation for us to stick in later on.

STEVE: See, one through five is setting it up.


STEVE: It’s like the swish. You set up the pictures. You get them all set.

CONNIRAE: And then–

STEVE: And then–

CONNIRAE: You install.

NELSON: The new belief before you swish into it.

STEVE: You want to know, so that you can say put that new belief in.

CONNIRAE: And they’ll know what to see.

NELSON: Got you, OK.

STEVE: OK? You don’t want to have to stop in the middle of this thing and go now what new belief would you like to have in here and da da da.

CONNIRAE: Because remember, the brain learns quickly, but not slowly. So if you take too long in there figuring out what new belief to put in, you’ve probably lost it.

NELSON: You’re building a house of cards–

STEVE: No. We’re making a–

NELSON: –and it would happen pretty fast.


STEVE: Have you ever made a sandwich?


STEVE: Usually I lay the bread out, and I get the mayonnaise out of the refrigerator, and I get the bologna, and then I make the sandwich. Then it’s boom, boom, boom. One through five is getting all of the stuff out of the refrigerator.

NELSON: And the idea of getting the new beliefs in, so when they get to that point, or they may not have one.

STEVE: Usually they do.

CONNIRAE: Yeah, but you create one if they don’t. It’s setting up all your dominos and then knocking them over.


NELSON: So take out the step between four and five.

STEVE: OK, good.


ROBERT: Ecological concerns about what new belief would you like.


MAN: What would you generally do there? Well, the belief I want to have is–I don’t know–something that ends up harming them or other people.


CONNIRAE: All of the usual ecological checks are important there. You think about all the ways that this could go wrong. Make sure that they’re taken into account in the person’s belief. Watch them nonverbally to notice as they talk about it. Are they giving you nonverbal clues that they’ve got some objection?

ROBERT: Do I directly ask them, “Is there any way this might get in your way?”

STEVE: Sure.

CONNIRAE: That’s one way.

STEVE: There’s a million ways of checking for ecology that you should know. Let me give you a couple though right off the top. If someone says, “The new belief I want is to be smart.” In other words, it’s an endpoint–to be rich, to be successful.

CONNIRAE: “I want to believe that I am smart.”

STEVE: Don’t give it to them. Give them–convince them–

CONNIRAE: You’d rather give them something like, “I want to believe that I can use feedback in the world to continually improve my abilities and skills.”

STEVE: I want to believe that I can search around and find a business that will make me rich. Or something that is directed toward means and the ends.

CONNIRAE: Not “I want to believe that I have the right thing to do right now.”

STEVE: Because again, there are too many people in the world who believe they have competence already, and so they only–all they want is confidence. And their [lack of] confidence may be really accurate feedback that they don’t have it [competence] yet. So any time you build a belief that has a gap between where they are and where they think they are, that’s not the kind we want to go around installing.

MAN 11: It’s more the means.

STEVE: The means, remember–and the swish, again. It’s creating a direction–not that you are already at that endpoint that you would like to be. You create that picture and you create it dissociated, “out there,” so that people will find ways to get there. OK? OK, so we got it all set up now, right? One, two, three, four, five, got it? Now–

MAN 11: You mentioned before how it’s represented in terms of submodalities the new belief. Is that–

STEVE: The new belief? Oh, yeah. Just to find out–later on, it’s a way of testing. If the new belief is in some kind of–something is a whole lot like doubt or it’s real different than belief, it’s a disbelief or something else. It’s just interesting information for you. It’s not required for this pattern. It can give you additional information that you can later use for checking.

MAN 11: You would check if it’s coded differently from the way it was before?

STEVE: Right, right. Whoops, there’s another one. Lynn?

LYNN: Did you just say that new belief needs to be dissociated so they’re drawn toward it?


STEVE: In the swish.

CONNIRAE: That’s the swish.

STEVE: I want the new belief to be directed toward means rather than ends.

CONNIRAE: That’s what we talked about in terms of ecology. It’s not that I believe “I am the most wonderful person on earth”; it’s that “I believe I can learn; I believe I can–”

STEVE: We don’t want to create beliefs that are contrary to your best assessment of reality. How’s that for a way of putting it? Not that reality is real, but if you look at someone and, you know, they’re such that the belief they want is radically different from what you can assess they are, don’t give it to them.

CONNIRAE: So they come in yelling and screaming at their kids, and they go, “I want to believe I’m a wonderful parent.”

STEVE: Some people do it, and they go back, and they yell and scream at their kids, and they totally believe they’re a wonderful parent. And since their belief is so certain, they don’t listen to anybody.

CONNIRAE: So you might want to install, “I want to believe–

STEVE: I mean there’s lots of that out there already, right?

CONNIRAE: –that I can notice ways of becoming better and better as a parent. I want to believe that it’s possible to always improve the way I am as a parent.”

STEVE: I’m going to start a new religion, and the religion will be called “Feedback.”

MAN 12: Amen. [Laughter.]

CONNIRAE: Amen, brother.

STEVE: [In a preaching tone of voice.] Buttressed by five million years of evolution! [laughter.] Seriously, that’s what life is all about. It’s about feedback from the first little critters that twitch when light hits them and they don’t twitch when light hits them–when light doesn’t hit them. And so they head for the dark places, and that’s where the food is. From that on up to human beings, it’s feedback and more and more of it, and more and more information. And the connection between action and the information that comes back.

That’s why we’re all here. What we’re doing here may not have much to do with it. And that’s what NLP is all about. One of the things that distinguishes NLP from other methods, both on a theoretical level, and hopefully on the practical level, is feedback. Not just going–doing a swish on somebody or doing a belief change on them, but noticing all the channels of information that you have, to confirm that what you’re doing is what you think you’re doing.

CONNIRAE: And what you want to be doing. OK, so now for the– We’re about to hand out the offering plate now. [Laughter.]

STEVE: That’d be fun.

CONNIRAE: Belief change process.

STEVE: The indispensible church.

CONNIRAE: Now is where you use the information you gathered to knock the dominos over. Belief into doubt first, just use whatever key submodality or submodalities will take the belief content into doubt. Any questions on that one? That one’s fairly straightforward.

Now the second one, change content. That one we need to say a little more about, because the way that Tom was able to do it will not work for most people because his was not a totally different content, it was just adding in elements into what he already had.

Now, a lot of people have totally different content. It needs to be a totally different picture. So what you can ask yourself is “How can I easily and gracefully give this person a way of making that shift so that it seems easy and graceful and natural to them?” So you–

STEVE: For instance, let’s say that someone believed they were ugly. “It’s OK my girls aren’t pretty because they’re smart.” “I’m ugly.” “I’m not pretty,” whatever. And they have a single picture for that one. That’s their initial belief. You take it into doubt, and let’s say it’s something like Tom’s where there’s two pictures. This is a fairly common thing; that there are two images in doubt. And often, one will be, as we asked him, one is the positive and one is the negative of whatever it is you’re in doubt about. “It might be true, might not be true.” “Well, could be ugly, could be pretty.”

CONNIRAE: So you see both options. So once you’ve got your submodalities moved into doubt, in this case–let’s say distance does it. So you see–up close, you see this one picture of yourself ugly. But when you move it farther back, it turns into two pictures of ugly/pretty because that’s doubt for you. Now, in this case, you’ve got a very natural way of moving the new belief back up. You just simply move it closer, but you take the pretty one this time as you move it back in.

STEVE: Now sometimes–

CONNIRAE: Another person once had blinking on and off for doubt. The light would blink on and off, and one blink would be the pretty and the next blink would be the ugly, and then the pretty, and then the ugly, and so on.

STEVE: So alternating pictures, and sometimes they’re like this so that one flashes and this one’s all dim, and then this one flashes and this one’s all dim. So you wait until the right moment, and then you go–

CONNIRAE: And when it flashes, you bring it back into belief.

STEVE: Now when you come back, you use the same submodalities that you used to change it down the other way. So whatever you used here. Like with Tom we used primarily dissociation.

CONNIRAE: Dissociation.

STEVE: And also location, color, and sound.

CONNIRAE: But the dissociation was the key. So the same thing that we used to take Tom’s belief into doubt we used in reverse–

STEVE: Do the same thing over here when you go back.

CONNIRAE: –to get it back into strong belief after we’d switched the content. Now, one more possible way of shifting contents here. Let’s say your doubt doesn’t have these two pictures in some way, it’s just a single representation of doubt. Maybe it’s fragments that aren’t organized. Mine sometimes is like that. It’s fragments of pictures that aren’t organized in any way that would lead me to a conclusion. So now what can I do to shift? Can you–what could I do?

STEVE: So there’s– Is there content visible in these pieces of pictures?

CONNIRAE: Yeah, so I see different contents in kind of a–

STEVE: Like a collage.

CONNIRAE: –collage, fragments of unorganized information.

KEN: That’s the belief–moved the belief into fragments or disorganized.

STEVE: Well yes, you do that, and now you’ve got this one and the–

CONNIRAE: How do you change contents now from doubt–

STEVE: Now we’ve got lots of little uglies in here, but it’s in pieces, for instance, OK.

KEN: Take a piece at a time, and then–it’s easier to do it all at once.

CONNIRAE: You can turn the pieces over one at a time, and as they came over, they–

STEVE: Now, as you turn them over–you see what we’re going for is not just to change them, but how do you change them. What submodality would you use to change them? Now, you could use–let’s say they’re like puzzle pieces. You know, sometimes there’s a puzzle, and you turn it over and there’s another puzzle on the other side? So you could just go flip, flip, flip, flip.

CONNIRAE: Have your brain do it all on the inside.

STEVE: Or, what else could you do?

MAN 13: Erase it.

STEVE: You could erase it. Slide in a new one. You could peel off this one.

CONNIRAE: So have a line come over with a new one.

STEVE: On TV, they have a thing where they pull off a picture, and there’s another one underneath. You could have this picture–

CONNIRAE: A couple of other really standard ways are to have the whole thing get so bright it whites out. Use one of your analogue submodalities. Get so bright it whites out and you can’t see what it is, and then when it comes back in, it’s the new content.

STEVE: Or so dim that you can’t see the content, then come back in as a new one.

CONNIRAE: Or so small you can’t see the content, then it comes back.

STEVE: Have it go off to infinity, and it’s a dot, and then you bring it back.


STEVE: Or you can have this fuzz out. You can defocus. You can have it all become like you’re looking through water, and then as it comes back, it has the new content.

ROBERT: And when it has the new content, it has the same submodalities as it had–

STEVE: Yes, it’ll still be correct and–whatever this is, you do whatever you do to–

ROBERT: Reverse it?

STEVE: –away to a little point, and then back with new content.

CONNIRAE: So, you just make some kind of gradual change that is easy for that person. If you have one that you love, and you try it out and they’re acting like it’s hard, try another one.

STEVE: See, they may give it away right in here. [doubt] They may have something in here. Doubt may be fuzzy. If it’s already fuzzy, then just make it more fuzzy.

CONNIRAE: So just fuzz it out more and have it come in the new content.

STEVE: It’s something they already do. The more you can make it align with what they [already] do, the easier it will be for them to do it. OK?

ROBERT: How are you adding the new content into that?

STEVE: Into this?

CONNIRAE: Usually you’re not adding it in; you’re changing it.


STEVE: In this–the more usual case is that you’re reversing it. This is ugly, and the new content is pretty.

ROBERT: Oh, I see. That’s where I got confused with it.

STEVE: See, with Tom’s, it was adding it in. And that was appropriate because it wasn’t that the things he was already doing were destructive, as far as I know. He seemed to enjoy them congruently and so on.

CONNIRAE: So it might–

STEVE: It’s just that he wanted more–he didn’t want to be limited by money.

CONNIRAE: More choices, so it might be changing from I believe I can’t learn NLP to I believe I can learn NLP–opposite content.

MAN 15: OK, so in the doubt–when you’ve got the belief “I can’t learn NLP,” whatever it is. OK, you come to the doubt–into the doubt submodalities, basically, with that belief that now–

STEVE: That content.

MAN 15: –that content is now somehow going to be screwed up, probably, because you’ve moved it over into the–

STEVE: It’ll be different.

MAN 15: It’ll be different, sorry. OK, it’ll be different, and then you work with–

STEVE: –some other submodality to change content.

MAN 15: To change it, to change the content–

STEVE: Right.

MAN 15: –to the belief that you want, take it back to the belief side.

CONNIRAE: Guess who’s a location person? [Laughs.]

STEVE: Almost everything in this pattern is stuff you’ve already done, except this step of changing content. And it’s really a fairly easy step, and there are lots of ways to do it. And we don’t care how you do it as long as it’s fairly easy for the person to do. You’ve already done the contrastive analysis. You’ve gathered information. You’ve already had the thing of accessing cues and noticing submodality shifts externally, getting the differences. You’ve already done moving from one thing to another, from understanding to confusion and back again. So really this is the only additional piece–is the switch of content here and back.

MAN 15: That’s just a swish back in a way. You’re just describing a swish back.

STEVE: You can think of it that way, but for right now, don’t say it.

CONNIRAE: It’s like one piece of it–

STEVE: I agree with you.

CONNIRAE: –and other people are going to make dissociated pictures if you say so right now.

STEVE: For right now, keep them separate. Later on, play the game of “Yeah it’s really all the same stuff.” In some ways, everything that Richard and John and Leslie have taught for however many years, it’s all the same stuff.

CONNIRAE: Change, right?

STEVE: But there are different things you can do with it, and sometimes it’s useful to keep it sorted out for a while, so it doesn’t just get all mush [in your thinking]. OK ?

CHRIS: What do we do exactly–or what did you do exactly with Tom when he changed the content? I don’t get–

STEVE: Well in this case, we added it in. See he had content in here.

CONNIRAE: Have him add in more.

STEVE: And we just added some other pictures in there. He already had a whole bunch of pictures, and we just added a bunch more content.

CHRIS: Add to his flexibility at that point.

CONNIRAE: You could talk about it that way.

STEVE: Well, it’s other things that he could do if he had money.

CONNIRAE: It was seeing things that he could do.

STEVE: He had this limited bunch of stuff.

WOMAN 9: Oh, so there are pictures.

CONNIRAE: Yes, yes. This is concrete experiences.

STEVE: Sure. Now, you might find somebody who in there–when they get to doubt, the only way they know what’s there is there’s a little voice that says, “This is doubt about X.” OK? Then you can have the voice fade off into the distance and come back. OK? If you get into any puzzlement about this at any point, ask one of the assistants or one of us, and we’ll come in and help out. This is the only new piece, really. All the rest of it you’ve had.

MAN 16: I’m sorry, one more question. On the doubt side, what’s confusing to me I guess is that on the doubt side, you’re really changing it into the belief–into the new belief.

STEVE: No, you’re changing–

CONNIRAE: –the content of the new belief–

STEVE: Think about it this way–

CONNIRAE: –not the submodalities.

STEVE: –if you believe this [X] then that’s all there is. Then you disbelieve this [not X] If you move it down here, doubt is some alternation between this thing and its opposite, usually. More often this will be some kind of representation of this thing and its opposite. So all you’re doing is you’re turning over the coin when it’s in doubt here, and then when the coin is turned over, then you bring it up like this, and now the other side becomes belief. Because if you doubt that you’re ugly, then it’s like you doubt that you’re pretty. You don’t know either one. They’re both in there implicitly. So it’s not really–it’s not dragging something in that doesn’t really belong there; you’re just making explicit the other side of the coin.

CONNIRAE: The other side.

STEVE: OK? OK, I think you’ve got enough.

CONNIRAE: Let’s–we need to go over testing real briefly.

STEVE: Oh testing, great.

CONNIRAE: Do you have a question?

STEVE: Let’s do– Tom.

TOM: Yeah, that image in doubt, that was a dissociated picture, and then when you move it to belief–

STEVE: Whatever it is–

CONNIRAE: For you, it was.

STEVE: For you, it was.

CONNIRAE: But not for everyone.

STEVE: For you it was. It’s not necessarily. There are no rules here about association and dissociation. In the swish, there’s this heavy rule of start with association go to dissociation. No rules here; go in and find what you find. Whatever their belief is made out of, start there. Whatever their doubt is made out of, go there, switch back and forth.

CONNIRAE: The major ways to test are to ask them afterwards–not using any of your anchors or anything–how do they think about their new belief now. And then you watch nonverbally to what submodalities they have at the same time. A further test is to ask, “OK, well, now how does that old belief seem to you?” And then you watch again for the submodality cues. And usually, they will–the old belief will either be in doubt, but often, it’s shifted over into, “I believe it is not true.” It’s not in doubt anymore. Now, that’s the one that’s not true. So it may not have the same submodalities as strong belief–or excuse me, as doubt–but still, it is not strong belief. Does that make sense?

STEVE: Tom, is your belief still there?

TOM: My belief is there.

STEVE: Yeah? Well, we’ve got a 30 minute follow-up.

CONNIRAE: Although the belief change pattern is simple and easy to do when you understand it, its results can be powerful and far-reaching. For this reason, it’s important to really know what you’re doing when you use this kind of a pattern. Beliefs tend to be organizers of behavior that go across context, and this means that if you change someone’s belief, that change will also go across context. We suggest that you be very cautious in trying out this pattern, particularly if you don’t already have a considerable amount of NLP training. One way that you can be careful in using this pattern is to completely respect any hesitations, any objections on the part of a person that you’re working with. Usually these hesitations are an indication that you have missed something that’s very important, or they’re an indication that the belief you’re trying to install would actually make the person less of a human being rather than more of a human being.

There are several characteristics of a good belief. One is that it is stated in positive terms rather than negative terms. Another is that it’s stated in terms of an ongoing process, not in terms of an endpoint. For example, the belief “I am not a warm person” violates both of those characteristics. It’s stated in terms of what you’re not rather than what you are, and is stated in terms of a state, an endpoint, not a process. In contrast, the belief “I can learn to become a warm person by trying out different things and noticing what response I get,” does meet both of those characteristics. It’s a process; it’s stated in positive terms.

In addition, that particular belief has another important characteristic. It includes feedback about the response that I get with what I’m doing. That’s really important, because often a belief can be limiting because it does not include feedback. It can be dangerous because it doesn’t include that kind of feedback.

There are many other fine points that are essential in getting positive results with this pattern. Certainly if the belief that you’re trying to install in someone is the wrong belief, you’re not going to have a positive impact on your clients. Also, there are other skills that can make the difference between succeeding or not succeeding with the pattern. They include having the verbal and the nonverbal patterns for gathering information about a person’s submodalities.

Next, we show you a follow-up interview with Tom that was taken three months after the session on belief change that you just watched.

TOM: Hi, Connirae.

CONNIRAE: And thanks a lot for coming back to–

TOM: Absolutely.

CONNIRAE: –discuss the belief change that we made three months ago now. I think the thing everyone will want to know is has it made a difference?

TOM: It has made a difference, absolutely.

CONNIRAE: You’re sure of that?

TOM: Yeah, absolutely.

CONNIRAE: Great. And how are things different in a way that you attribute to the belief change?

TOM: For me, it’s space. Yeah, space. It’s like the way that I most usually think about it myself is in terms of the future, possibilities, things that are open to me now to think about, to plan for, to work towards, that weren’t available three months ago. A lot of possibilities have opened up.

CONNIRAE: That sounds really good. Can you tell us a little bit more about how that’s different from how things were before?

TOM: Well, sometimes it’s kind of hard even to remember exactly the way I used to think about, you know, money, in the past.

CONNIRAE: I guess you don’t mind that.

TOM: No, really. What happens for me when I do do that–when I recall that–mostly I get a feeling, and it’s a feeling of constriction that I–and the way that I recall it is that there are only certain kinds of things that were OK for me to think about vis-á-vis money. And that as I look at those now, I can see that they were really constraining me a lot, and they had been doing that for a considerable period of time. And now, that’s changed.

CONNIRAE: OK, that certainly fits with what you were talking about in your experience in the belief change itself, narrow–

TOM: Yeah, exactly.

CONNIRAE: –and broadening out. So it sounds like that stayed with you, that broadening sense of possibilities.

TOM: Yeah, well, and it’s funny too. I mean, now–I hadn’t really thought of this, but occasionally I will kind of flash back, or remember those submodalities or whatever, that constraining, and then what was beyond that, where I feel I am now, and the constraint, that old belief, I still have a feeling for what that is. So in a sense, it’s a guide now for me sometimes when that comes up. You know, I can notice that there is another way to think about this. And when I think about it in another way, things open up. So it’s–does that make any sense, that I can–

CONNIRAE: So, are you saying that from time to time you have a bit of the old feeling and that that leads to the new feeling now?

TOM: Yeah, and I–yeah, or I’ll have–I’ll think about doing a certain thing or implementing a project or whatever, and there will be considerations, or you know, sometimes a voice, whatever it may be, that seems to be constraining. And it’s like I’ll go back into the submodality change–the experience of that–and it ties together, and then it expands, and I find myself thinking about it in another way. So it’s in a sense, if anything, those old–that old whatever it was–has become a motivator. When I fall back into that, it motivates me. Because I’ve already been through it, I know I can do it. So there’s that sense, that feeling of sureness about what I’m up to, and that’s nice.

CONNIRAE: Great, great. Now, you’ve talked about having a sense of more–that more is possible. Do you have any indication that you are actually going to do some of these things, or does it seem like–

TOM: Yeah, yeah. No, that was a big one. Actually, throughout the whole submodalities workshop for me, one of the things that I noticed during that was that there was a–literally a gap between where I was and where I wanted to be, and it was like terra incognita, literally a blank. I didn’t have–I didn’t know what the steps were to fill in to where I thought I wanted to be in the future, and now that’s changed.

I can–I really do attribute a lot of it to the money–that change work, that now I can either do backward planning, locate myself some place in the future and look at the steps I need to go through to get there clearly, and it feels comfortable to do that. And from the other end here, I’ve already begun to implement a lot of those steps. I’m actually putting together the first steps–

CONNIRAE: Great, so not only you see the steps, but you’re beginning to–

TOM: Yeah. Right, so it’s kind of coming together from both directions and moving me into the future, and it’s nice.

CONNIRAE: That sounds good. Is there anything else that you would like to say overall about your response to what’s happened? Is there anything that was surprising to you about how things are different? Anything that you’ve kind of gone, “Oh, that’s different now.”

TOM: I have a lot of those. I think the thing about it that strikes me the most is that it–I think I was expecting some, you know, bolt of lightning, you know, “Aha!” And it hasn’t been like that. It’s been a real–a kind of a gentle ongoingness to it. I mean, it’s like I’ll think about things and begin to plan things in a new way, and it’s like well, “Of course.” I mean, that’s—“This is the way it works.”

CONNIRAE: It seems second nature.

TOM: Yeah, second nature. “Well, of course, this is the way it works.”

CONNIRAE: “No big deal,” this is–

TOM: Yeah, right.

CONNIRAE: OK, that sounds good, in some ways better than a bolt of lightning.

TOM: Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, much more there’s a sense of concreteness. And the other thing about it, I mean I understand that these are not really specific kinds of things, but there’s a sense of continuum and ongoingness now. And it’s like the future is much more–not only approachable, but–so it’s a lot more attractive to me now, without that constraint that I used to have.

CONNIRAE: OK. Well, thank you very much for letting us know what’s been going on in the last three months.

TOM: Absolutely.

CONNIRAE: And I imagine as more times goes on, more and more of those steps will have–

TOM: Yes, yes, yes!

CONNIRAE: –will become a part of your past, as well as the future.

TOM: Yes. Thank you.

CONNIRAE: You’re welcome.

END TRANSCRIPT The videotape from which this transcript was made contains a wealth of nonverbal information that is impossible to describe in this transcript. The DVD is available from NLP Comprehensive in Evergreen, Colorado.