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By L. Michael Hall, 2018 Neurons #38 September 10, 2018
Getting Over the Past Series (#4)
NLP calls it “the phobia cure” pattern and sometimes the “visual kinesthetic dissociation” pattern [VKD]. There are problems with both of those names, so in Neuro-Semantics we call it by what occurs in the pattern, we rewind a movie. Hence, The Movie Rewind Pattern. The design of this pattern is to take out the negative emotional charge from an old memory. Doing that with old memories that still trouble you, enables you to get over the past. The memory does not have to be a phobia, just any referent event that disturbs you and undermines your resourcefulness. Here is the pattern.
1) Identify a mental representation that bothers you.
What memory activates strong negative emotions in you? What memory of an unpleasant experience, or even traumatic experience, puts you, as it were, back in that event? When you identify the memory, identify what you see, hear, and sense. What are the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic features of the movie you’re playing in your mind.
• Visually: What do you see? Where? Is it in color or black-and-white?
• Auditorially: What sounds, words from others, words you’re saying to yourself?
• Kinesthetically: What sensations, temperature (cold, warm, hot), pressure, movement, etc.?
2) Step back and observe the old movie.
In your mind, step out of the movie and imagine that you are setting in a theater where you can watch the movie. As you imagine sitting back in a movie theater, which row would enable you to observe comfortably? The tenth row? The twentieth? Now put up on the screen a black-and white snap-shot picture of the younger you in the situation 15 minutes before the event occurred. You now have a freezed-framed picture on the screen which represents what occurred 15 minutes prior to the unpleasant event. As you sit back, take a spectator's position, and watch that younger you from this distance. How delighted are you that you have stepped back?
3) Float back and up into the control booth.
From where you are sitting, imagine floating out of your body and into the projection booth which is behind you and above you. Once you float out of your body and into the control room, put your hands on the plexi-glass window so as you look out, you can see the back of the head of your observing self who is watching the screen. As you take a moment to experience and enjoy this point-of-view take as long as you need to seeing yourself watching your younger you on the screen. You can now see two aspects of you— your observing self sitting in the theater and your younger self in the still picture on the screen. Watching this is often strange the first time, yet you can get use to it quickly by accessing how safe and secure you feel in this control booth.
4) Begin to edit your old movies.
From this observer’s point of view, notice how you can play around with have you code the movie.
• Visually. Make it in color, then in black-and-white. Let it be a movie, then a snapshot. Shift it from bright to dim. From close to far away. As you play with these distinctions, keep the coding that helps you most to think comfortably about that memory, that allows you to stay thoughtful and relaxed. Notice the effect it has on you when you dim the picture of the unpleasant memory.
• Auditorially. If there is a sound track, what sounds do you hear? What tones, volume, pitch, etc. In the language system what words do you hear? Who is saying those words?
• Kinesthetically. What sensations does the person on the screen have in his/her body? Where is it, what is the intensity, weight, pressure? Shift these so you can think comfortably about the old memory.
5) Playing the old memory for the last time.
When you are ready, turn on the movie and let it move from the initial snapshot as a black-and-white movie and play it to the end. Watch it from the projection booth from beginning to the end. If, at any time, you feel tempted to step into the movie— then feel your hands on the plexi-glass so you can stay safe and in control in the control booth. If at any time, you need to fast-forward the movie, after all, you know what happened, just fast forward it a bit and then play it to the end.
When you have let it play out beyond the unpleasant experience, play if a bit further. Let it play it until you see that younger you in a time and place of safety or pleasure. . . . Go to a scene of comfort when you were feeling good about yourself and having fun doing something — at a park, on a beach, with a loved one. ... When you get to that place of comfort, stop the movie and freeze-frame the picture.
6) Step into the movie and rewind it from the pleasure scene.
The next step will occur very, very quick. You will step into the movie at the scene of comfort and rewind it in super-fast speed movement while you are inside it. You have seen movies run backwards, but you probably have never been inside it when it was rewinding. That is what you are about to do. You will rewind the movie backwards at a very high speed so that it take two seconds —2 seconds!
So first get inside the movie. Float inside the scene of comfort ... be there fully. Feel it. See and hear what you see and hear when you are there—feel the comfort. Now from this vantage point of being inside the movie, rewind it. Hear the sound of the movie running backward ... the rush and the confusion of sights as everything goes backwards. It’s a jumbling of sounds as everything zooms back to the moment 15 minutes prior to the unpleasant movie. When you experience this fast rewinding, all the people and their actions go backwards. They walk and talk backwards. You walk and talk in reverse. Everything happens in reverse, like rewinding a movie.
Ready? Step in ... how much do you feel the comfort? When it is at a level of 7 or more, push the rewind button . . . and experience it rewinding . . . zooooooommmmm. All the way back to the beginning. It only takes a second or two to do that fast rewind . . .
7) Repeat this rewinding process five times.
For good measure — repeat five times. When you arrive back to the snapshot at the beginning, clear the screen in your mind. That is, take a break, open your eyes and look around. Good. Now, immediately go into the scene of comfort at the end, and as soon as you step it, feel, see, and hear it fully . . . rewind the movie even faster. As you do this over and over your brain will become more and more proficient and the rewind will go faster and faster until the rewind takes only a second each time. Zoommmm!
8) Test the results.
Now break state from this exercise. Then after a minute or two, call up the original memory and see if you can get the feelings back. Try as hard as you can to step into the scene and feel the full weight of the emotions.
Caveat: If you have difficulty running this pattern, then contact a well-trained and qualified NLP practitioner or Neuro-Semanticist who can then facilitate the process with you.
Sources: Sourcebook of Magic, Volume I. Also, Movie Mind. By Michael Hall
If you want some help in resolving a traumatic memory or a phobia then feel free to contact myself – Abby Eagle using the contact form - top right of this page.