This technique helps people think and act more independently by eliminating codependent behavior.
Think of a person that you feel you are over-involved with.
For this pattern, the ideal person is either failing to engage in some important self-care, such as managing an addiction, or is not adequately controlling a harmful behavior, such as abusiveness.
Experience from a metaphorical point of view the connections between you and the other person.
Explore the sub-modalities with which you represent these ties.
You might want to start with the feelings in your body and see how images can emerge from these feelings. People often see things like ropes or apron strings.
Imagine not being tied to the relationship. Clarify the ecology of these ties, and any underlying positive intentions.
a. Imagine that these ties fall away or dissolve in a way that frees you completely from the relationship. Notice all objections or ecological concerns that arise. Notice any secondary gain that the seemingly negative aspects of the relationship offer. This may require some digging and humility.
b. Explore the positive intentions of any part of you that is uncomfortable with eliminating the ties.
State the desired outcomes and the commitments you experience in the relationship.
Consolidate this information into clear statements of desirable outcomes and meta-outcomes of the ties in this relationship, and the relationship in general. Clearly state what you give to the relationship, and what you sacrifice in order to maintain the ties.
Create your ideal self that experiences high-quality relationships.
Generate an image and sense of an ideal self, in which you experience your constructive desired outcomes and make your most meaningful commitments, while receiving profound benefits in the form of constructive, meaningful relationships that include a rich, positive, harmless primary relationship.
Notice any negative reaction you have to the words used: rich, positive and harmless.Imagine this ideal self being completely at ease with and motivated by these words. Imagine any negative assumptions about them becoming dry and crisp, and falling away. For example, an association between “harmless” and “boring” would develop clear boundaries as a concept that is tagged to the ideal person, and flake off, dropping away like a dead leaf.
Draw upon what you gained from step four in doing this step. Place an image of this ideal self in the appropriate position in your mental space or visual field.
Connect the ties to your ideal self, and imagine experiencing the benefits of this self.
a. Connect the ties to your ideal self. Observe yourself experiencing the benefits. Desensitize the related discomforts. Return to your sense and image of your ties to the other person that you selected for this pattern. Imagine disconnecting each tie and reconnecting it to your ideal self. See all the benefits that you have identified in these steps as being created by this ideal self through proactive, assertive, persistent behavior. Notice any negative associations with these words: proactive, assertive, and persistent. Have them flake away as before.
b. From first position, experience the benefits. Focus on the support for your integrity. Associate into this ideal self, and imagine experiencing all the benefits of constructive, harmless relationships that inspire you and create a rich world for you. Notice things like others’ approval and support. Notice how it comes from the relationship, not from you allowing violations of your boundaries. Notice how comfortable other people are with you when you’re defining clear boundaries, and you’re being assertive, being proactive, and being persistent in pursuing your dreams.
c. Savor the positive feelings of these benefits. Give yourself the gift of some time to soak in the good feelings that come from imagining all this. Savor these feelings like savoring a hot bath.
Enhance your boundaries with the other person in a detailed way that affirms your realism about them and your adult integrity.
a. Have your constructive experiences nudge the other person towards their ideal self. Imagine that each of your assertive, proactive, and persistent dream-fulfilling acts, and that each positive, supportive experience that you have with other people sends out a wave of gentle force. These waves move the other person that you identified for this pattern. Each wave moves the person toward their own ideal self; an ideal self with consistently constructive behavior and clear boundaries.
b. Desensitize your attachment to whether the other person makes constructive choices. Notice the attachment that you experience with the idea that this person MUST choose to associate into this ideal self. Allow that attachment to become clearly defined and crisp, and to flake away. This allows the other person to make their choice, free of your past denial and magical thinking.
c. Imagine inner strength while fully connecting with your deeper codependent attachments and fantasy. Imagine having the inner strength as your ideal self to allow this other person to be who they really are instead of your fantasy version. Allow yourself to experience not knowing what choice they will make. Notice how deep the attachment to the fantasy version of this person goes into you. Fully connect with your discomfort about not knowing what choice they will make, and with your attachment to your prior fantasy version of this person.
d. Desensitize your deeper codependent attachments. Allow your discomfort with not knowing, and your attachment to your prior fantasy version of this person to gently clarify and become crisp, protrude, and flake away. Allow your ideal self to fill the remaining hole with healing energy that closes and returns you to your normal shape.
In the upcoming interactions with this person, notice any changes in how you manage your boundaries and how well you remain connected with your reality. Notice whether your positive attitude and behavior bring out a different side of this person. Notice how giving up on your fantasy of this person helps you make more realistic decisions about how to relate to them. Notice any ways that you elicit and enjoy benefits from other relationships.