Something that upsets you quickly?

Having flashbacks?

Want to de-sensitise to it?

Here, red10 ‘s Will Sudworth explains a do-it-yourself technique from Neuro Linguistic Programming that can help you desensitise to triggers.

Can you remember a significant time you were triggered?

Have you experienced what psychologists call an SEE: a Significant Emotional Event?

Is it giving you flashbacks?

Or does something happen and, against your will, your brain takes you right back?

Can you visualise it?

If so, then there’s a technique that may be able to help you, from Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Do you remember audio cassettes?

You’ll know that a few decades ago, instead of playing vinyl records from the past, and instead of streaming music like we mainly do today, we played music on audio cassettes.

I remember saving up, then buying a new album and playing my favourite song over and over again. Eventually the song quality would start to fade on just that particular song.

This technique is very similar. It gives us a way of replaying that SEE over and over again, till the negative emotion is removed.

What if I don’t want to see that event ever again?

The chances are that the event was traumatic and the last thing you want to do is see it again.

This approach uses techniques that deliberately detach you from the event, making it easier to see it, whereby one of the easiest ways to desensitise is to see the event over and over again, using these special techniques.

If the event is too traumatic for this, then please skip this approach and seek experts with other techniques.

Okay, I’m ready, what’s the technique?

Before we start, on a 0-10, where 10 is high, how strong is the negative emotion you experience with this event? After repeating this technique a few times, you’ll be encouraged to score it again.

  • Now, imagine yourself in a movie theatre.
  • On the screen is a black and white movie, old style. No sound, just like those old music hall movies. It’s your significant event and you can see yourself in the movie.
  • Watch the movie, in your imagination, from start to end at normal speed.
  • Pause the last frame. Make the movie colour. Imagine yourself leaping into the last frame of the movie, into your own body back then: so you can see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt.
  • Now rewind the movie at 10 times the speed – it will look curious to you. This in itself helps the event have less hold on you.
  • Having rewound to the first frame of the event, now imagine yourself returning to your seat in the movie theatre. Make the movie black and white again, with no sound. Play the event again, at normal speed, seeing yourself in the movie.
  • At the last frame make it colour and step in again, yet when you rewind this time – rewind it at a different speed, perhaps super fast.
  • Keep repeating this forward-rewind process, over and over again. It normally takes half an hour or more of repeating it, in a process that is very much like wearing out the audio cassette.

If the event is being stubborn, you could add some funny music to the rewind. Despite how serious the event was, it loses its power if you at the point you can make fun of it or find it humorous in some way.

What score would you give the negative emotion now?

Keep going until you get to zero.

How did you get on?

Let us know how this clever yet straightforward technique worked for you.

If you’d like help, please reach out to us. red10 has multiple one-to-one coaches qualified in these advanced NLP techniques and if we can help, then we’d like to.