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no longer bit your nails, how would you see yourself as being different? I don't mean just that you would see yourself with longer fingernails. What would be the value of changing this habit? What difference would it make to you as a person? What would it mean about you? I don't want you to tell me the answers; I want you to answer by creating a picture of the you that you would be if you no longer had this habit.

Now I want you to get that first picture of your hand coming up, and make it big and bright, . . . and in the lower right corner of that picture put a small, dark image of how you would see yourself differently if you no longer had this habit. • . .

Now I want you to do what I call "the swish." I want you to make the small dark image quickly get bigger and brighter until it covers the old picture of your hand, which will simultaneously get dim and shrink. I want you to do this really fast, in less than a second. As soon as you've "swished" these images, either blank the screen completely, or open your eyes and look around. Then go back inside and do it again, starting with that big bright picture of your hand coming up, and the small dark image of yourself in the corner. Do it a total of five times. Be sure to blank the screen or open your eyes at the end each time you do it. ...

Now it's time to test. Jack, make that big bright image of your hand coming up and tell me what happens. . . .

Jack: Well, it's hard to hold it there. It fades out, and that other picture comes in.

The swish pattern directionalizes the brain. Human beings have a tendency to avoid unpleasantness and move towards pleasantness. First there is a big bright image of the cue for the behavior that he doesn't like. As that picture fades and shrinks, the unpleasantness diminishes. As the pleasant image gets bigger and brighter, it draws him toward it. It literally sets up a direction for his mind to go: "from here, go there." When you directionalize your mind, your behavior has a very strong tendency to go in the same direction.

Jack, I want you to do something else. Bring your hand up to your mouth the way you did when you bit your nails, (Jack brings his hand up. Just before it reaches his mouth, it stops and then lowers about half an inch.)

Well, what happened?

Jack: I don't know. My hand came up, but then it stopped. I wanted to put my hand down, but I deliberately held it up there, because you asked me to.

This is a behaviorial test. The behavior that used to lead to nail-biting now leads somewhere else. It's just as automatic as what he did before, but it takes him somewhere he likes better.

This will translate out into experience. As that hand comes up and that compulsion begins in you, the feeling itself will literally pull you in the other direction. It will become a new compulsion. It's not really that you get uncompulsed, it's that you get compulsed to be more of who you want to be.

I did this pattern with a chocolate freak who kept saying she wanted to be "free." She didn't want to be compulsed because it didn't fit with the way she saw herself. After she was done, she couldn't hold a picture of chocolates. It just went "poof." Now when she looks at real chocolate, she doesn't have the old response. The direction of her thoughts is toward being attracted to what she wants to be. It's a new compulsion. You could call this pattern "trade compulsions." I said to her, "Now you're really stuck. You're compulsed to not be able to make these pictures," and she said, "I don't care." She doesn't really object to being compulsed; she just wants to be compulsed in her own way. That's really the difference that makes a difference.

The swish pattern has a more powerful effect than any other technique I've used. In a recent seminar there was a woman in the front row moaning and groaning about having tried to quit smoking for eleven years. I changed her in less than eleven minutes. I even chose what to put in the little dark corner picture; I'm not what people call a "non-directive clinician.1 I told her to see an image of herself politely enjoying other people smoking. I wasn't willing to create another evangelist convert. I didn't want her to see herself sneering at smokers and making life miserable for them.

Now I want you all to pair up and try this pattern. First I'll go through the instructions again.

The Swish Pattern

1. Identify context. "First identify where you are broken or stuck. Where or when would you like to behave or respond differently than you do now? You could pick something like nail-biting, or you might pick something like getting angry at your husband."

2. Identify cue picture. "Now I want you to identify what you actually see in that situation just before you start doing the behavior you don't like. Since many people are on 'automatic pilot' at that time, it may help to actually do whatever has to precede the behavior, so you can see what that looks like." This is what I did with Jack. I had him move his hand toward his face and use that image. Since this is the cue for some response that the person doesn't like, there should be at least some unpleasantness associated with this picture. The more unpleasant this is, the better it will work.

3. Create outcome picture. "Now create a second image of how you would see yourself differently ifyou had already accomplished the desired change. I want you to keep adjusting this image until you have one that is really attractive to you—one that draws you strongly." As your partner makes this image, I want you to notice her response, to be sure it's something that she really likes and really attracts her. I want her to have a glow on her face that tells you that what she's picturing is really worth going for. If you can't see evidence that it's worth going after as you watch her, don't give it to her.

4. Swish. "Now 'swish' these two pictures. Start with seeing that cue picture, big and bright. Then put a small, dark image of the outcome picture in the lower right corner. The small dark image will grow big and bright and cover the first picture, which will get dim and shrink away as fast as you can say 'swish.' Then blank out the screen, or open your eyes. Swish it again a total of five times. Be sure to blank the screen at the end of each swish."

a. "Now picture that first image. . . . What happens?" If the swish has been effective, this will be hard to do. The picture will tend to fade away and be replaced by the second image of yourself as you want to be.

b. Another way to test is behavioral: Find a way to create the cues that are represented in your partner's cue picture. If that picture is of your partner's own behavior, as it was with Jack, ask him to actually do it. If that picture is of someone else offering a chocolate or a cigarette, or yelling, then I want you to do that with your partner and observe what she does and how she responds.

If the old behavior is still there when you test, back up and do the swish pattern again. See if you can figure out what you left out, or what else you can do to make this process work. I'm teaching you a very simple version of a much more general pattern. I know that some of you have questions, but I want you to try doing this first before asking them. After you've actually tried it, your questions will be much more interesting. Take about

ceeding. Let's not talk about that unless you had difficulty and then came up with something interesting that made it work. I want to hear about when it didn't work.

Amy: I want to stop smoking. But when we tested, I still have the urge to smoke.

ceeding. Let's not talk about that unless you had difficulty and then came up with something interesting that made it work. I want to hear about when it didn't work.

Amy: I want to stop smoking. But when we tested, I still have the urge to smoke.

OK. Describe your first picture for me.

Amy: I see myself with a cigarette in my mouth, and—

Stop. It's very important that you don't see yourself in that first picture, and that you do see yourself in the second picture. That's an essential part of what makes the swish work. The first picture has to be an associated image of what you see out of your own eyes as you start to smoke—your hand reaching for a cigarette, for instance. If you see your hand with a cigarette in it, do you feel compulsed to smoke? Or is it seeing the cigarettes? Whatever it is, I want you to make a picture of what you see that fires off that feeling of wanting to smoke; make a picture of whatever precedes smoking. It might be reaching for a cigarette, lighting it, bringing it up to your lips, or whatever else you do. Try the process with that picture, and report back.

Man: Which book has this process in it?

None. Why would I teach you something that is already in a book? You're adults; you can read, I have always thought it was really idiotic for someone to write a book and then to go and read it to people at seminars. But a lot of people do exactly that, and some of them make a lot of money, so I guess it has some use.

Woman: In a lot of the earlier NLP techniques you substitute a specific new behavior. But in this one you just see the way you'd be different if you changed.

That's right. That's what makes this pattern so generative. Rather than substituting a specific behavior, you're creating a direction. You're using what's often called "self-image," a very powerful motivator, to set that direction.

When I was in Toronto in January, a woman said she had a phobia of worms. Since Toronto is frozen over most of the year, I didn't think that would be too much of a problem, so I said, "Well, why don't you just avoid them?" She said "Well, it just doesn't fit with the way I see myself." That mismatch motivated her very strongly, even though the worm phobia wasn't actually that much of a problem for her. It wasn't even what I call a "flaming phobia." It was an "ahhh!" phobia, rather than an "AAHHGGH!" phobia. She didn't yet have her brain direction-alized appropriately, but that image of herself kept her trying. So of course I asked her "If you made this change, how would you see yourself differently?" The effectiveness of this pattern depends most importantly on getting the answer to that question. This process doesn't get you to an endpoint—it propels you in a particular direction. If you saw yourself doing something in particular, you would only program in that one new choice. If you see yourself being a person with different qualities, that new person can generate many new specific possibilities. Once you set that direction, the person will start generating specific behavior faster than you can believe.

If I had used the standard phobia cure on her, she wouldn't care about worms at all, and wouldn't even notice them. To get somebody to not care about something is too easy, and there is enough of that going on in the world already. If I had built in a specific behavior, like picking up worms, then she'd be able to pick up worms. Neither of those changes are particularly profound in terms of this woman's personal evolution. It seems to me that there are more interesting changes that a human being can make.

When I swished her, I set up a direction so that she is drawn toward that image of herself as more competent, happier, more capable, liking herself better, and most important, able to believe that she can quickly make changes in the way she wants to.

Woman: I think I understand that, but I'm trying to fit it in with some of the NLP anchoring techniques I learned earlier. For instance, there's a technique where you make a picture of how you'd like to be, then step into it to get the kinesthetic feelings, and then anchor that state.

Right. That's one of the old techniques. It has its uses, but it also has certain drawbacks. If someone has a really detailed and accurate internal representation, you can create a specific behavior that will work very nicely. But if you just make a picture of what you'd like to be like, and step inside it to feel what it's like to be there, that doesn't necessarily mean that you are there with any quality, or that you learned much along the way. It's an excellent way to build self-delusions, and it also doesn't give you anywhere else to go.

A lot of people go to therapists asking to feel more confident, when they're incompetent. That lack of confidence may be ac curate feedback about their abilities. If you use anchoring to make someone feel confident, that feeling may allow her to do things she actually could do already but wasn't confident enough to try. That will increase her abilities as well. But it may only create overconfidence—someone who is still incompetent but doesn't notice it any more! There are plenty of people like that around already, and they're often dangerous to others as well as to themselves. I've been commenting for years about how many people ask a therapist for confidence, and so few ask for competence.

You can change somebody so that he believes he's the very best at something he does, when he can't do it very well at all. When a person is good at acting confident, he usually convinces lots of other people to trust in abilities that he doesn't have. It never ceases to amaze me how many people think that if an "expert" acts confident, he must know what he is doing. I figure that as long as you are going to have a false sense of security, you might as well develop some competence along the way.

Where's Amy? Did you finish doing the swish with the new picture?

How long did it take you to do that five times?

Amy: Quite a while.

I thought so. I want you to do it again faster. It should only take you a second or two each time. Speed is also a very important element of this pattern. Brains don't learn slowly, they learn fast. I'm not going to let you do the process wrong and then come back later and say, "Oh, it didn't work." Do it now, and I'll watch you. Open your eyes after each swish. . . ,

Now make that first picture. What happens? . . .

Amy: It goes away now.

Do you want a cigarette? (He holds out a pack of cigarettes.)

Amy: No thank you.

Is the compulsion there? I don't care if you smoke or not. I want to know if that automatic urge is there or not. A few minutes ago you said you had the urge to smoke.

Amy: I don't feel compelled to smoke right now.

Here. Hold the cigarettes; take one out and hold it between your fingers. Look at them; fool with them.

When you do change work, don't back away from testing it; push it. Events in the world are going to push it, so you may as well do it so you can find out right away. That way you can do something about it. Observing your client's nonverbal responses will give you much more information than the verbal answers to your questions. (Amy smells the cigarettes, and her facial expression shifts quickly.) Oops, there it is again; the smell of the cigarettes brought back the compulsion. You'll have to go back and do the swish again, and add in smell this time. In that first picture, when you see someone offer you a cigarette, you'll smell that cigarette smell. And in that second picture, you'll see yourself satisfied that you can smell cigarettes and not be compulsed. Go back and do it again that way.

This is called being thorough. A mathematician doesn't just get an answer and say, "OK, I'm done." He tests his answers carefully, because if he doesn't, other mathematicians will! That kind of rigor has always been missing from therapy and education. People try something and then do a two-year follow-up study to find out if it worked or not. If you test rigorously, you can find out what a technique works for and what it doesn't work for, and you can find out right away. And where you find out that it doesn't work, you need to try some other technology.

What I've taught you here is a simplified version of a more general swish pattern. Even so, some of you got lost and confused. Another way to be thorough is to swish in all systems to start with. But it's usually much more economical to just do it in the visual system and then test rigorously to find out what else you need to add. Often you don't need to add in anything. Either that person doesn't need it, or she will add it in on her own without realizing it.

Amy, what happens now when you smell a cigarette?

Amy: It's different. It's hard for me to say how it's different. Now when I smell it I want to put it down, instead of smoking it.

Brains don't learn to get results; they learn to go in directions. Amy had learned one set of behaviors; "Would you like a ciga-rette"—"Yes"—light up and puff. Chairs can't learn to do that

It's quite an accomplishment to learn something like that so thoroughly that no one could influence it for years. She has just used that same ability to learn to go somewhere else.

When you start beginning to use your brain to get it to do what you want it to do, you have to rigorously set up the direction you want it to go, and you need to do it ahead of time. Disappointment is not the only thing that requires adequate planning. Everything else does, too. Without adequate planning you become compulsed to do things you don't want to do: to show yourself old memories and feel bad about them, to do things that destroy your body, to yell at people you love, to act like a mouse when you're furious. • . .

All those things can be changed, but not while you're in the situation. You can reprogram yourself later, or you can program yourself ahead of time. Brains aren't designed to get results; they learn to go in directions. If you know how the brain works, you can set your own directions. If you don't, then someone else will.

What I've just taught you is what I often do in a one-day or two-day seminar. The "standard" swish pattern is something that somebody can grab hold of and use, and it will work more often than not. But it doesn't demonstrate to me any competent understanding of what the underlying pattern is. If you give anyone a cookbook, he can bake a cake. But if you give a chef a cookbook, he'll come up with a better product. A really fine chef knows things about the chemistry of cooking that guide what he does and how he does it. He knows what the egg whites are doing in there; he know what their function is. To a chef, it isn't just a matter of throwing a bunch of stuff together and whipping it up. He knows that certain things make things gel into a certain consistency, certain things have to be added in a particular order, and certain other ingredients have to do with changing the flavor in one way or another.

The same thing is true when you begin to use the swish pattern. As a first step toward becoming a chef, I want you to try using the swish pattern again, but find out what happens if you change one element. Last time we used the submodalities of size, brightness and association/dissociation as the elements that change as one picture swishes to the other.

Two of those elements, size and brightness, are elements that change continuously over a range. Anything that can be changed gradually is called an analogue variable. Association/dissociation is what we call a digital variable, because it's either one or the other. You are either inside of an experience, or outside of it; you don't gradually go from one to the other. Association/dissociation will always be one element of the swish. The other two analogue elements can be any two elements that have a powerful effect for the person.

This time I want you to keep everything the same, except you'll use distance instead of size. The first picture will start out bright and close. The second picture will start out dark and far away, and then it will quickly come closer as it brightens, while the first picture recedes into the distance and darkens. This is a fairly small change, and to some of you it may not seem different at all, since size and closeness are strongly correlated. But it is a first step toward teaching you how to use the swish pattern in a much more general and flexible way. Take another fifteen minutes to do the swish with distance, instead of size.

Did using distance rather than size make a difference for some of you? You can use any submodality distinctions to do the

swish, but it will only work well if the distinctions you use are subjectively powerful to the person you are working with. Brightness and size are powerful for most people, so the version I taught you first will work more often than not. Distance is another submodality that is important to many people, so I had you try that one next. But if size, brightness, and distance aren't important to the person, then you have to find out which submodalities are impactful, and design a swish using those.

A couple of years ago I saw three clients for a videotape session (see Appendix II). The first client I saw was a woman who was suffering from "anticipatory loss." I love the names they come up with to describe how people are messed up! What it boiled down to was that if she had arranged to meet someone who was close to her and that person was a half-hour late, she had what she called a panic attack. She lost her marbles and began to step on them. When I asked her what she would like to have from the session, this is what she said:

I have a problem with a fear that is almost disabling to me at certain times. When I have it, I sort of go into panic attacks. What I would like to do is distance myself, so that when I'm in the situation I wouldn't experience the fear to the degree that I have it, where I could control myself and make better decisions.

Since she talked about wanting to "distance" herself, she gave me a clear indication that distance was an important submodality for her. She also talked a lot about people who were "close to her" and "close relationships." Later when talking about what she did when someone was late she said, "I need to allow them some distance—I mean allow them some time." With this woman a swish using distance will be much more powerful than one using size. In fact, I went ahead and tried the standard swish using size to find out if it would work. It had very little impact. Then I used distance, and it worked perfectly.

The most important part of doing the swish in a really artistic way is to carefully gather the information you need to set it up appropriately. When someone talks about something being "bigger than life" or being "blown out of proportion," that's a pretty good indication that size is an important variable to use.

When somebody describes a limitation he wants to change, you need to be able to pay attention to how this particular problem works. I always keep in mind that anything that anybody has done is an achievement, no matter how futile or painful it may be. People aren't broken; they work perfectly! The important question is, "How do they work now?" so that you can help them work perfectly in a way that is more pleasant and useful.

One of the things I do to gather information is to say to the client, "Well, let's say I had to fill in for you for a day. One of the things I would have to do is have your limitation. How would I do it? You have to teach me how to have this problem." As I begin to presuppose that it's an achievement—something learned that can be taught to someone else—it entirely changes the way the person is able to deal with and think about the difficulty.

When I asked the woman who panicked when people were late to teach me how to do it, she said:

You start telling yourself sentences like, "They're late; they may never come."

Do you say this in a bored tone of voice—"Ho hum"?

No. The voice starts out slowly, "Give them another half hour." Then it speeds up as the time gets closer.

Do you have any pictures in there?

Yes. 1 see a picture of the person maybe in a wreck, as if I'm standing there looking on, like through a zoom lens. At other times I'm looking around through my own eyes out at the world and there's no one there.

So in her case she has a voice that speeds up and rises in pitch as time goes on. At a certain point the voice says, "They'll never come" and she makes close-up, zoom-lens pictures of the person in a wreck, or of being all alone.

When I asked her to try making the picture of the wreck, I found that zooming in or out had a very strong effect. When I tested brightness, she said, "The dimness creates distance." That tells me that brightness is also a factor.

Now I want you to pair up with someone and ask him to think of a limitation—something that he considers a problem and wants to change. This time I don't want you to fix it; I only want you to find out how this achievement works. Use the frame of "Let's say I had to fill in for you for a day. Teach me what to do." Do the same thing you did earlier when you found out how a person got motivated to do something.

Whenever someone is compulsed to do something he doesn't want to do, something inside has to amplify to a certain point. Something has to get bigger or brighter or louder, or the tone changes, or the tempo speeds up or slows down. I want you to find out how this person achieves this particular limitation. First ask him when to do it, and then find out how he does it: what does he do on the inside that drives his response? When you think you have identified the crucial submodalities, test by asking your partner to vary them one at a time, and observe how it changes his response. Then ask him to take a different picture and again vary the same submodalities, to see if it changes his response to this other picture in the same way. Find out enough about how it works so that you could do this person's limitation if you wanted to. When you have this information, it will tell you precisely how to swish this particular individual. Don't actually swish them; just gather the information. Take about a half hour.

Man: My partner has two pictures representing two different states: desirable and undesirable. In one of them he sees jerky movement, and in the other one the movements are smooth and graceful,

OK. Do these two pictures create and maintain whatever he considered to be the difficulty? That was my question. I didn't ask about where the person wants to go yet: I only asked how he creates the difficulty. With the woman with panic attacks, she has to get from the state of "Ho, hum" to the state of "freaking out." She starts with a voice and pictures. Then she has to make the voice get faster and higher-pitched, and the picture gets closer and closer as time runs out.

Man: My partner has a feeling of urgency—

Of course. That's the feeling of compulsion. But how does he make that feeling? What is the critical submodality? In essence, what you want to know is, "How does this person already swish himself from one state of consciousness to another?"

Man: What makes it different for him is wrapping the picture around him. He pulls it in and around himself and steps into the picture and looks at the picture from his own eyes.

OK. Good. That's how he gets into the state he doesn't want to be in.

Man: Yes. He first gets into that state, and then dissociates by stepping out of it, putting it back over here to his left, away from him, and stands at a distance of several feet away from it,

OK. So association/dissociation is the critical submodality There aren't that many choices, so we are going to find some repetition. What other critical submodalities did the rest of you find?

Woman: The width of the picture, along with brightness, were critical. When the picture narrowed and dimmed, she felt constrained.

That makes sense. If you get skinny pictures, you feel constrained.

Woman: What she did was like a synesthesia.

These all work by synesthesia. That's what we're experimenting with. Think about it. When you change the brightness of an image, it changes the intensity of your feelings. These are all synesthesias. What we want to know is how they are related, so we can use that relationship to build a swish.

What you need to know in order to build a swish for her is whether or not narrowing any picture makes her response stronger, and whether dimming any picture makes her response stronger. You see, it may be that she uses the word "constrained" because she doesn't like the particular choice that she's left with in that picture. If she sees a choice she likes and the picture narrows, she may describe the feeling as "purposeful," or "committed." If narrowing and dimming make her response stronger, you can build a swish for her by starting with a narrow, dim "problem state" picture which gets wider and brighter as the desired state picture gets narrower and dimmer. That will sound strange to most of you, but keep in mind that everyone's brain is coded somewhat differently. What makes the swish really elegant is designing it so that a particular brain will respond to it strongly.

The other alternative is that making this particular picture of few choices narrow increases the intensity her feeling constrained, but that making an image of her with choices gets a stronger response if she broadens it. In that case, you could have the problem picture narrow down to a line, and the solution picture open up out of that same line. So you'll have to go back and find out more about how it works before you'll know the best way to design a swish for her.

I'm telling you about these possibilities so you begin to understand how important it is to tailor your change method to each person. You want to create a direction where the old problem image leads to the solution, and the solution image creates a response of increasing intensity.

Man: My partner had a picture with a double frame—one black and one white—and the image is slanted instead of being straight up and down. The top of the image tilts away from her when she panics.

What changes? Does she bring the image up straight at some time? If the image goes back at an angle and has a border, then she panics?

Well, it's not just there. It has to come from somewhere.

What we are looking for here is what changes. Once she gets to the picture you described, she has panic. But the image has to start out being somewhat different. I hope she doesn't panic all the time! How does she get there? Does it have to do with the changing of the picture's angle? Or is the angle fixed and something else changes?

Man: It starts out being straight up and down, and as the situation changes, it becomes slanted.

So as the picture tilts, so does she. When it reaches a certain angle, she panics. Does the picture have the double border when it's vertical?

So the border is not a critical element, it just happens to be there. Does anything else happen as the picture tilts? Does it change brightness or anything like that? Does the speed of the images change?

Man: No. The sound also becomes sort of blurred and buzzy.

And you are sure that nothing else changes visually.

Good. I'm glad you're not sure. It seems like just tilting an image wouldn't be enough. You can go back and ask her. Have her take a picture of something else and tilt it and find out what happens. If just tilting any picture is enough to make her feel "off-balance" and panic, you could have the first picture tilt down to a line while the second picture tilts up to the vertical. Or you could tilt the first picture down, and then flip it all the way over to show the second picture on the other side. Take her for a real ride! Have you seen the video effects on television in which a square comes out and flips around? As it flips around it ends up being a new image. You could do it that way. Are you all beginning to understand how you can use this information to construct a swish that will be especially powerful for a particular person?

Man: My partner's problem was caused by the fact that he lost the background of what he was looking at. It just began with a lot of people in a background, and when he got to a critical place, the background was all gone; there were just people there.

Was there a change in the focus, or the depth of field?

Man: It just disappeared. I guess it's out of focus. It's not there.

But the things in the foreground are clear?

Man: They are as clear as normal; they are not changed.

Is it like looking through a lens? With a lens you can get one part to be clear and the other parts are blurred. Is that sort of what you are talking about?

Man: No, it isn't. It's as if he put a mask over everything except the people involved, and everything else disappeared.

And the people are standing on nothing?

Man: I guess the chairs and things they were sitting on would be there, but everything else in the room was cleared. The concentration was apparently on people.

OK. But you don't know how it was done—with focus or whatever?

That is the part you need to know. You want to know how the transition occurs, so that you can use that method of transition with any picture.

Woman: The fellow I was working with had a still slide, with no movement or color. When he first sees the picture, he talks in his own voice, and it's a mid-range tone of voice: "Hmmmm, not bad," the tone going down and up. Fairly quickly the voice changes and becomes monotonous and low. That's when he feels bad.

The picture remains constant? It doesn't change at all? I find it a little difficult to believe that while he changes his tone and tempo of speech, the slide remains constant—that the brightness or something else about it doesn't change—because I simply haven't found it. That doesn't mean it's not possible, but I find it very unlikely. People can lead auditorily, but usually something else changes along with the voice. Let's assume that he's looking at a picture and he just talks himself from one state to another by changing his tone of voice. That will work. You will also need another auditory parameter if you are going to do an auditory swish. Probably the tempo will change. There will usually be more than one parameter that changes.

Man: If you are looking for another variable, and could get one in another modality so you had one visual and one auditory submodality, would that mixture work?

It can, but most of the time you don't need it. You could do that if you really couldn't find a second submodality in the same system. The reason I'm emphasizing the visual system is because the visual system has the property of simultaneity. You can easily see two different pictures together at once. The auditory system is more sequential. It's hard to pay attention to two voices at once. You can do a swish auditorily, but you have to go about it a little differently. If you learn to be precise in the visual system, then when you start dealing with the auditory channel it will be easier to adapt.

Man: The reason I asked that is because with my partner the pictures change, but also as she steps into the picture, she can hear herself. I'm wondering in doing the swish whether it would sort of nail it shut by adding an auditory piece.

Yeah. "Nailing it shut" is a good way to think about it. If you do a swish with only one submodality, that's like nailing two boards together from only one direction. A dovetail joint has nails or screws going into it from two directions at once. If you pull one way, one set of nails holds it; if you pull the other way, the second set of nails holds it. That's why it's important to use two powerful submodalities simultaneously when you do the swish. People usually won't vary more than one submodality at a time on their own, and you'd have to vary at least two at once to undo a swish.

If you're doing a visual swish and there are also auditory components, typically the person will demonstrate the auditory shifts to you unconsciously as she tells you about the two pictures. Then when you are telling her to make the pictures, you can do the auditory shifts externally with your voice, without mentioning it. In order to do that well, you need to be able to speak in someone else's voice.

The skill to be able to copy someone else's voice is simply a matter of practice, and it's a talent that is well worth learning to do in this business. After a while you discover that you don't have to match someone perfectly; you just have to get a few distinct characteristics. You need enough so that if you do somebody's voice, he won't notice whether he is talking to himself or you are. It's the old pattern of, "Well I went inside and said to yourself ..." I used to do that a lot in workshops, and very few people noticed.

I want you all to go back to the same person you were with a few minutes ago, and find out the one or two analogue sub-modalities that are most important in creating the limitation. Some of you already have that information, but a lot of you don't.

Next I want you to get that second picture of how he would see himself differently if he no longer had the limitation. This picture must be dissociated, and the first picture will always be associated. Association in the first picture and dissociation in the second will always be one element of the swish.

Next you'll build a swish using the two analogue submodalities you've identified as important (instead of the size and brightness you used in the standard swish). First have your partner make an associated picture of the cues, using whatever submodalities create a strong response (a big, bright picture). Then have your partner make a dissociated picture of themselves as they would like to be, beginning with the other extreme of those same submodalities (a small, dim picture). When you swish, the submodalities will change so as to rapidly weaken the response to the first picture at the same time that they strengthen the response to the second picture. Come back in about half an hour,

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