The Visual Swish Pattern
A powerful NLP techniques for habits, phobias and other common problems.
Phobias, habits, anxiety, negative thought patterns–you name it; the swish pattern can help. The visual swish pattern works with images. If you (or a client) have a disturbing image you want to change, this is the puppy that will get it done for you…
Getting to Feeling Good with the Visual Swish Pattern
Today’s topic is the visual swish, which is great for replacing images that lead us to what we call in the business, non-resourceful states. Now, earlier in the series I was talking about the example of someone who answers the phone and they see a picture of a glowing cigarette ember with some smoke curling up. Then they say to themselves, “That seems good. A cigarette is a good idea.”
Again, that is an unconscious thought process, which leads them to a place where they don’t want to go, which is having a cigarette. We are assuming that the person is coming to you to stop smoking. So what we might do, is we might take that image, once we discover it, and switch it out with an image that helps them to be the kind of person that they want to be.
So they have got this image there that is leading them to a bad place. So you might ask them, “How would you like to feel when you answer the phone? What would be the optimal feeling that would help you not to think about those cigarettes at all?” They might say, “Well, relaxed and confident.” And you could say, “Can you see yourself being relaxed and confident?”
Getting a Resource State
Here is what we do folks. We get that image that leaves them feeling relaxed and confident, and we shrink that image down, and we make it a little dot in the lower left hand corner of that other picture (the picture of the cigarette).
What we instruct them to do is expand that dot out and at the same time shrink the old picture. So they have the picture of the cigarette there, and a little pixel dot of the relaxed picture, and then you swish them out so that the relaxed picture comes up and the other picture disappears. Then, you blank the slate out. You start with the old picture and the little pixel of the new picture. You swish them out. That’s where the name swish pattern comes from. “Swish.” It actually helps to make the noises along with it because it gives them something to go by.
Cementing the New Thought Pattern
You rehearse that until what happens when they try to make the old picture is that the new picture comes up. They have a relaxed feeling. They no longer need a cigarette. So they answer the phone and immediately that new picture comes up because that’s what we have rehearsed in there. It’s important to do this quickly, not slowly. You have got to do it fast because the mind learns better if it goes really fast.
So that is the visual swish pattern. It is a wonderful tool. It is amazing how quickly you can change those internal images and help the client to feel better and accomplish what it is that they want.
PS: Discover more about NLP with my free NLP Core Skills Course.