Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t WorkJanuary 9, 2009
The Roots of Marin NLPJanuary 9, 2009
OPEN FRAME: Re-Imprinting Technique Tips
by Carl Buchheit
Recorded and first published in 2008
Note: These are transcripts of Q&A sessions lead by Carl Buchheit, co-founder of NLP Marin. They have been edited for clarity.
How do you help a client tolerate their fear when they are experiencing past pain? In this discussion, Carl describes useful re-imprinting techniques upon being asked about "baseline states" by a Masters student who had just participated in a class on that topic.
Question: My question is about baseline states, which we were talking about today. In some of the practice that I've done it's kind of difficult for some people to maintain those baseline states because they're so charged. How do you use your techniques to get somebody to stabilize sufficiently, even though these states are so hard to be in? How do you get someone to stabilize long enough to allow for things like 're-imprinting' and so on?
Carl: OK. Thank you. To respond to the first part of that: We don't usually seek to put someone into a baseline state experience, except for practice and learning purposes if they're students.
To respond to the second part of that: How do you make it possible for someone to be present with the past pain...to be present now, with the negative feelings that go with past pain? Those negative feelings are being generated and experienced right now, although the pain is in the past, right? The events are in the past; the pain is now.
One generally does this [help a client stay present to that pain] through the magic of rapport, rapport, rapport, and by using language that constantly makes the distinction between the person now, and the person who's having the experience then. So the simplest and most useful technique is to always speak to the person (who is the client) as "you", and speak about the previous self as "she" or "he." "So, what is 'he' experiencing?" "What is 'she' experiencing?" "If you step in there for a moment and come on back out (just a quick little recognizance), what's it like? What is he or she experiencing? What is he or she deciding? What's it like? Come on back."
And so, through the direction of association and dissociation, the use of the correct kinds of pronouns, and waving your hand around (pointing to the past and pointing to the present, and sometimes, even using your hand or your body as a barrier between the past and the present), you can actually kind of push that past pain back up on a past timeline - an imaginary past line of time - and it becomes fairly straightforward for the person to be able to stay there with you.
It's also a question of the client being willing to participate with you in this revision of a really important meaning in their world. They're usually really enthusiastic to do it. They're experiencing the edge of a lot of fear, but where they are - on the edge - is quite bearable (if it's properly done) and there's general enthusiasm for the mission, because they have a sense of the good things that will come out of it.
Practice, practice, practice. Rapport, rapport, rapport... and proper waving.