External Stimulus Threshold

A threshold is a line between two states of mind: bearable and unbearable. Sometimes, in order to change a behavior, you have to induce the triggers and resourceful states at the same time, making sure that the resourceful states win in each “threshold battle.” This is a pattern to do just that. It involves two practitioners and one client. The reason you want another person helping you performing this technique on a client is that you could concentrate on your client’s abreactions (strong emotional reactions) while firing the anchors, and your colleague will role-play the undesired behavior’s triggers. 

Identify the un-resourceful state and its most influential stimuli. 

You should work with your client ahead of time to recognize exactly the series of events that take place right before they find themselves already engaged in the undesired behaviors or states. 

When questioning your client on internal events, make note of their eyes accessing cues. 

Your colleague will need those to induce the states later on. 

In addition, write down verbal communication scripts if they are important for the induction of the undesired states. 

For example, if your client has presented a problem of non-proportional or inappropriate anger towards his son, check if it’s something that the son is saying verbally and write it down. If hearing the words, “Dad, are we there yet?!?!” is a trigger, note the tonality, but also the syntax of the words themselves, digitally. Focus on one habitual state or behavior, not more. 

Break state.

Ask your client some neutral questions to break the state. 

Ask them to walk around for a bit or do any other physical movement to forget about 

Anchor resourceful states and stack them.

Now work with your client and anchor as many resourceful states as possible. 

Use the problem state as a guide—

What could be a good contradicting state to the negative one? 

Include comforting states such as “composure” or “gratitude.” 

Stack anchors by using one master anchor for each one of the positive states. 

Stacking anchors simply means that you anchor the same way while inducing different states each time. What happens is that eventually, when you fire the master anchor, your client gets a rush of all the positive states “stacked” on that trigger. 

Be careful when you choose the location and manner of the master anchor. You want to make sure that this is not something that can cause an inner conflict later on in the session. Do not use popular anchoring locations, such as the back of the hand or the shoulder or knee. These are known in Neuro Linguistic Programming, but you never know what has happened in your client’s life and body until they met you. 

Anchor the master trigger where you are certain there is no way for disturbance by any other internal process. 

Test the stacked anchors a few times by firing a master anchor, breaking state, and repeating. This is a step you do not want to hurry up. Work slowly and thoroughly, maintain a high level of sensory acuity and take note of every abreaction you get from your client. 

Take special care if the abreaction appears when you fire the master anchor. If it does, you were too careless in choosing the master anchor! An abreaction at this stage means that the master anchor is also inducing some conflict in your client. When that happens, go back to step #2, stay there for awhile, talk with your client about anything other than the subject of the session, and then work on this step again. 

Do not worry, even the best NLP practitioners get these challenges, and as a flexibility test you should welcome these challenges and work through them. You’d be a much better change-maker because of such incidents. 

Role playing the un-resourceful states.

Allow your colleague to step in and work with your client to recreate the scenarios which hold triggers for the un-resourceful states and behaviors. 

Give your colleague the eye accessing cues worksheet and any other useful information that could be used in the role playing. 

Trigger the stacked anchors. 

As your colleague keeps the role playing going with your client, fire the anchors! 

Do exactly what you did at the end of Step #3, when you tested the stacked anchors, and fire them all. 

Stay focused and maintain sensory acuity because this is a hard and long process for all of you. 

Continue until no abreaction is present. 

Abreactions are those minute subconscious “hiccups” that signal you, the practitioner, that your client has some emotional reaction to whatever is going on in the session at that time. 

When you cease to notice these abreactions, it means that your client has passed the threshold point and his mind is now pretty much set on using the resourceful states as a reaction to the events that used to trigger the undesired behaviors and states. 

Future Pace the resourceful states.

First of all, break state. 

Let your client rest for a few minutes, and then fire the anchors again and Future Pace for upcoming opportunities.