How To Cure A Phobia The NLP Way
How To Cure A Phobia The NLP Way
Are you living in constant fear of getting on a plane, finding a spider in your bed or driving on the motorway? It isn't much fun organising your life round a phobia. Whatever you're scared of, we've teamed up with NLP expert Andy Austin to show you how to use NLP to change the way you think about the thing that frightens you, and then give you some practical steps to help you beat your fears for good.
Step 1: Dissociate Yourself
Start by creating a dissociated mental image (representation, picture, voice, feeling) by imagining yourself sitting comfortably in a cinema. On the screen, put a black and white image of yourself in a situation where you are about to experience your phobia.
To make it easier on you, just imagine one of the last times you experienced your fear. Where was it? What did you wear? Were there other people around you? Get the memory back, but don't go through the experience yet. Stop the frame, just like in a movie, just before you begin to experience your phobia.
Step 2: Change or Alter The Picture
The way you see or hear things will affect your feelings about a situation or thing. You might see the film in a darker or lighter colour… does that change your feeling? In what degree? Now return to the original memory and change / alter some sound or visual aspect of the film. Change the background colour, for example, or the pitch of the sound or the frame of the film. And so on.
Step 3: Dissociate Yourself Again
Now you need to disassociate yourself from your phobia yet again. The way you do so is by imagining yourself floating out of your body (the one that sits in the cinema) and floating above it. Now you have 2 dissociations: You are looking at yourself sitting in the cinema, looking at yourself on the screen just about to experience your phobia.
Step 4: Watch the Film
Hit the “play” button in your mind and watch the Phobia Film in this second state of dissociation - meaning, you see yourself sitting in the cinema, and see that person (you) looking at yourself on the screen having the experience. Remind yourself that you're not IN the picture, but that you're watching it way up from a secure place.
For some reason, your Phobia doesn't seem so intimidating, does it?
Watch the film from beginning to end. At first, play the movie as snapshots in black and white. Watch the complete scene. Then let it play a bit longer, to a time when the bad feelings disappear and you see your younger you in a place of pleasure and safety.
Now freeze the frame of the pleasure time. Rewind the film straight away, as if you are actually in it - so you're doing everything backwards. You will actually experience your phobia from the end to the beginning in a very fast mode.
When you're at the beginning, stop the frame, and quickly associate yourself into the comfortable scene at the end of the film (remember, the pleasure one). As the beginning of the film is where you're about to experience your phobia, by associating it with a comfortable feeling you should no longer feel anxiety.
Repeat the process six or seven times.
To test how you did, simply try to recall the original memory and see if you can get the feelings back. Try as hard as you can to experience your phobia as you did back then. You may very well find that the emotions are not as heavy at all.