This post is a tutorial for NLP practitioners who want to learn to work with submodalities. The issue was raised by a student enrolled in the iNLP Center NLP certification training. In response, iNLP Center developed the following.

Scenario: Client is talking about a problem (stuck state) and you want to begin to elicit submodalities so that you can begin working with them.

Questions NLP practitioners can ask:

When you think of this problem (when you are in this stuck state) what do you see, hear of feel on the inside?

Do you remember that last time you experienced this problem (or this state)? (If you get a yes answer) Put yourself back into that situation as if reliving it. Now, what do you see, hear or feel on the inside when you’re in this state?

Ask: What stops you from reaching this goal? When the client responds, ask: What do you see, hear or feel on the inside right now?

If the client responds by talking about what she sees, say:

Ok, you see an image in your mind’s eye. Good. Now:

Is the image on the right, left or middle of your field of vision?
Ask the client to point to where the image is.
Is the image close up, to you, far away, or a mid-range distance? How far away in (feet, inches, meters, centimeters, etc…)
Is the image a still picture or a movie?
Is the image bright, dim or somewhere in between?
Do you see yourself in the image, or are you looking through your own eyes? (Associated/Dissociated)
Is the image life-size, larger than life-size, or smaller than life-size?

And so on…..

If the client responds by talking about what she hears, say:

Ok, you hear something in your mind. Good. Now:

Do you hear a sound like music or a noise, or a voice in your mind?
Where is the sound/voice coming from? The right? Left? In the middle of your mind?
How loud or soft is the sound/voice? Loud, low volume or somewhere in between?
What about the pitch? High pitch? Low pitch, or somewhere in between?
What kind of tone does the sound/voice have? Soft, harsh, soothing, mellow, rough, shrill or other?
How fast is the sound/voice. Fast talking, or fast beats, fast-paced – or slow-paced, or mid-range?

And so on…

If the client responds by talking about what she feels, say:

Ok, you feel something in your body. Good. Now:

Where are you feeling this? In your head, throat, chest, belly, or somewhere else?
What shape is the feeling? A square, circle, cylinder, a blob or some other shape?
What temperature is the feeling? Hot, cold or somewhere in between?
What size is the feeling? How much area does it cover?
Does the feeling move at all? Does it pulsate, swirl, oscillate or move in any way?
How deep is the feeling? Surface of skin? In the middle of your body?
Is the feeling 3-dimensional or flat? What 3-D shape is it, if 3-D?

And so on…

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