A Training guide and video by Alan Jones a Qualified NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer with Talisman Training, and Principal and lead clinical Hypnotherapy Trainer with Empowerment Trainings. I would like to extend a very special thanks to Jess for allowing the protocol to be videoed and shown for training purposes. Due to the limits on Youtube this session has been split into five sections. See bottom of article for links to the videos.
Talisman Training do offer public and in-house NLP Practitioner courses that are independently validate by NCFE to level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework which means that as well as getting an excellent NLP Practitioner Certificate successful participants also get a National qualification that employers recognise for either job applications or CPD purposes. (For more details)
If you knew how to eliminate phobias quickly, easily and with little or no discomfort in yourself and others, that would be an amazing and useful skill to have, wouldn’t it?
Fortunately for us Richard Bandler, one of the developers of Neuro Linguistic Programming, has formulated the protocol known as The Fast Phobia Cure which does just that; though the term cure is frowned upon by the medical profession. So perhaps it might be better and more PC to call it the Fast Phobia Elimination Protocol?
So before we get to the How of eliminating phobias, perhaps it would be useful to say what a phobia is. First lets look at Wikipedia’s definition “A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, phóbos, fear or morbid fear), is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one’s control, and if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.
This does seem to be a bit of a harsh definition with the word “irrational” when in fact most phobias are rooted in the Fight-Flight Response of the parasympathetic nervous system of survival, which is not subject to the rationality of the our logical thinking. Phobias are not processed through our rational thinking mind they by-pass it.
Richard Bandler developed the Fast Phobia Cure Protocol following an advert in a paper where he asked people who had had phobias and gotten over them to come and explain how they did it and he would pay them. From the hundred or so people who had gotten over previous phobias he noted the similarities of their processing to eliminate their phobia, in NLP terms this is known as modelling.
When Richard Bandler called it the Fast Phobia Cure, he was not kidding, a phobia can be eliminated within five minutes, though speed of elimination is not the goal here, more simply the elimination of the unwanted reaction to the phobic stimulus is the goal.
Phobia’s come in many forms such as birds or butterflies as well as the more common phobias such as snakes, spiders, small spaces, heights etc. Medical science loves to give these exotic names such as arachnophobia for fear of spiders or agoraphobia which is fear of open spaces etc. In the demonstration Jess has a phobia of people being sick, the fear of Vomiting is Emetophobia. In a long list of phobias this seemed to be the nearest and it might be the fear of being sick or the fear of other people being sick. The unpronounceable name does nothing to help the sufferer; I’m not interested in naming that phobia only eliminating them.
One point from science is that humans are born with two basic fears, the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. This means that all other fears are learnt and can therefore be unlearnt.
So how easy is it to unlearn a response that is deep in your unconscious mind and you may not even know where or when you first learnt to respond in an over reactive manner? Well we use the Fast Phobia Elimination Protocol.
The Fast Phobia Elimination Protocol and the video are for demonstrations purposes only and as a reminder or training aid to NLP Practitioners and above. A word of warning, NLP Protocols can be forgiving and can be used by people with little training successfully under supervision most of the time and it is easy to re-install phobias and make phobias worse with inadequate training and understanding. I have witnessed Master Practitioner, not trained by Talisman Training or any of our training partners do just that. One of the Four Pillars of NLP is Sensory Acuity, this is paying attention to your client’s state and knowing when to move forward, when to back off and or stop and do something else. Besides running a protocol I am paying particular attention to Jess’s state and I am using other NLP processes and skills during the process.
Knowing the source of the phobia is not necessary to its elimination; more important are incidents when the phobic response has occurred. What follows is a brief description of the protocol and a link to a video of me running the protocol with a student with an unusual though not uncommon phobia.
Please remember that Rapport needs to be established first and the video example, which was at the end of a days training in London I did for NLP northeast, so good rapport had been established along with credibility.
The Fast Phobia Elimination Protocol is also known as “VAL Dissociation.”
Elicit from the client the incident that stands out the most to them or the most recent incident that they can remember.
Establish two safe points, one just before the chosen incident and one at a point after the incident when they knew it had finished or when they felt safe again.
Now ask them to close their eyes and to imagine that they are walking into a cinema, the cinema is empty and they can choose their favourite seat. The screen is blank there is nothing playing at the moment.
Now their real self leaves that self sitting in the seat and the real self floats up into the projection room, so that their real self is looking at the back of their head sitting in the cinema seat watching a blank screen, so they are watching themselves watching a blank screen.
Now, as they watch themselves watching a blank screen, tell them that in a minute they are going to play a movie of the incident that they recall, the movie of that incident will be as if somebody has taken a video of them during the incident. What this means is that they will see themselves on screen during the incident. This movie is a quarter of the size of the screen, in black and white and without sound. The movie runs from the safe spot before the incident the safe spot after the incident as a black and white silent movie
Then the real self that has been watching themselves watching the movie now floats down into the body has been watching the movie in the cinema seat. And they both get up and walk up to the cinema screen and step into the movie at the safe point after the incident. The movie now turns full size full colour, and in a moment they will run the movie backwards with them self inside the movie with everything going backwards, including the sound and feeling as well as what they see. This is quite a trip and it will be like going down the tunnel in the Doctor Who movie backwards. Give them some indication as what the sounds will sound like going backwards, For an example of this see the movie on Youtube . They run this movie backwards to the safe spot before the incident at double speed. Had and step out the movie. Fast forward the movie to safe spot after the incident to have them run round to the same spot after the incident, step back into the movie. And again run this backwards full colour full sound as if everything is happening to them backwards and they will see everything through their own eyes, hear everything through their own ears and even feel sensations going backwards, this time the movie is run quadruple speed. Have them step out of the movie at the safe spot before the incident, fast forward the movie to the safe spot after after the incident, and again step into the movie fully associated, seeing, hearing feeling everything as if they were there. Now run the movie backwards at eight speeds. Have them step out of the movie again at the safe spot after the incident, fast forward the movie to the safe spot after the incident and step back into the movie at the safe spot after the incident again run the movie backwards this time at 16 speeds. At this or any of the reversing of the movie you can add silly or funny music (See Youtube video) After running the movie backwards at 16 speed have them step out of the movie and then walked out of the cinema and have them open their eyes.
Now, ask your client to tell you about the incident and notice their responses. If there are any other reactions to the incident, other than a kind of so what or laughter, repeat the above process. Please note the reaction can be one bemusement as they no longer have access to the old phobic response.
The client may be able to tell you about this particular incident, and still feel that there is something more to the phobia left. In this case, take them back into the cinema, back to the seat have their real self float up into the projection room, and at this point asked their unconscious mind to bring to mind any other incidents that need to be cleaned up in order to completely eliminate the phobia. Repeat the above protocol of seeing themselves in a black and white movie and them step into the movie full colour, full size with full sound with any incidents that the client remembers. Repeat until all incidents are cleaned up or there are no further incidents and no reaction.
On rare occasions clients still have a residual feeling and their unconscious mind does not come up with any incidents. There are protocols for these situations and they are beyond the scope of this article and video.
Post note to Jess’s Fast Phobia Elimination processing, some months later her sister was unwell with a stomach bug and being sick and Jess was able to clean it up for her without any reaction.
The video is brought to you with thanks to Jess for allowing the process to be videoed and to be shown for training purposes.
Links to Youtube videos, five in all.