Forum Message

Topic: Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind
Posted by: Michael Carroll
Date/Time: 24/12/2002 17:53:28

Dear all

I post below a summary on an interesting experience I had during an anchoring demonstration I conducted at training course I was running.  I have called the piece “Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind. For forum etiquette this post falls into the category of “Applications.” This is the first draft of what will be a more formal article to be published in an NLP journal.

My purpose for this post is to provide visitors with the following -

1. A personal example of an anchoring demonstration I conducted, firstly without calibrating to an unconscious signal and then with unconscious signal (In the subject)

2. To provide NLP’ers with an example of the effectiveness of identifying the real world stimulus for a state a client wants to change. Then by using the real world stimulus as a marker,  the practitioner can create a context during anchoring change work where the resource anchor is paired with the real world stimulus to ensure the collapse has been effective in the actual context that the client seeks to change.

The above makes the change integrated at the FA level, i.e. the client responds differently before she/he is consciously aware of the different response. I read in this forum a post about two months ago  where a person was having a challenge creating  state changes by consciously firing  his kinesthetic resource anchor in  given contexts. Such conscious attempts at firing  anchors are NOT the most useful way  to create powerful state changes with anchoring. When  a person consciously fires an anchor he/she is post FA and into the conscious evaluation of a presenting issue (problem state).

Enjoy the piece, feedback and comments welcome


Michael Carroll


Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind....

On a recent training I used metaphor for a group elicitation for individuals to access an unconscious signal. I told a series of stories with the goal of leading the group into an altered state to focus their attention internally, downtime, so they could have a heightened perception of internal sensory experience i.e. kinesthetics. 70 - 80% of attendees reported experiencing their unconscious signal during the metaphor. The majority of the rest group experienced their unconscious signal through my direct suggestion while in the altered state the metaphors had elicited.

The purpose of this group exercise, early in the training, was for people to begin to pay attention to an involuntary unconscious signal and use it as their personal guide for self congruency and self calibration throughout the training. I also told the group that throughout the course they would be involved in specific activities, exercises and games and during such specific activities their unconscious could provide them with a different signal than the signal they experienced during my group elicitation. I wanted the group to be aware that the unconscious can provide a full range of responses and not over generalise the first signal.

Moving on four or five days into the course I was doing an anchoring demonstration and my unconscious provided me with an interesting experience where I temporarily deleted from my conscious awareness the following suggestions in “Sins of the Father”

1. there is a re-assignment of responsibilities such that the unconscious mind is actively and explicitly involved in the decision regarding the selection of desired state, new resource and/or preferred behavior.

2. there is an explicit way to involve the unconscious mind in these decisions

So I proceeded with a classical anchoring demonstration as follows. The subject had presenting issue where in formal business meetings and brain storming sessions with 5 or more people present – she would be asked to introduce her self, and inform the rest of the people present a bit a about her work and her objectives at the meeting. When such an occasion arose the subject reported she would “freeze” She accessed the state “freeze” beautifully in the demonstration and her physiology and tone demonstrated what she meant by freezing. I helped her associate to the context of the issue - the external stimulus that evoked this state would be words from the facilitator of “lets go around the table and find out a bit about each other” These words or similar words provided the stimulus (trigger) that evoked her “freeze” state. (She could also run the pattern at meetings or before meetings by hearing an internal voice (Ai) suggesting the introductions)

In accordance with the classical anchoring format - I asked the lady to pick a resource i.e. to consciously select a resource and an experience connected with that resource.  I anchored the resource kinesthetically. I then attempted my first attempt at the anchor collapse - – by having the subject mentally associate to the context of the problem and hear the stimulus –let’s go around the table -  and then firing the resource anchor 

I tested the work and I was not satisfied with the result. The problem state had engulfed the resource state. The result was OK - but not what I wanted for the end result demonstration or what the subject wanted. So far what I had accomplished was excellent for teaching purposes because it demonstrated beautifully what happens in anchoring when the resource state is not a strong enough to engulf (collapse) the problem state.

So I tried again – using the classical prototype-anchoring format i.e. I asked the client to select from consciousness a different resource state. I attempted the anchor collapse, again anchoring the resource kinesthetically and collapsing into the auditory stimulus of the problem state. The result was similar to my first attempt.  I was still not happy with the work although in the testing phase the subject’s physiology and auditory descriptions suggested she had moved on somewhat. Through my calibration I was not convinced the change was a  long term one.

The learners at the course now had 2 good examples about what happens when the resource state is not strong enough to fully collapse the problem state.

Equally as important the learners had 2 beautiful examples of limitations of the conscious mind in selecting the resource.

It could also be suggested the learners had 2 examples of bad timing and weak calibration with respect to creating, firing and collapsing the anchors. I have reviewed the work and don’t think the above is the case, but of course its possibility.

Anyway on with the story…

Carmen and John’s article “Sins of the Father”  and the book Whispering in the Wind came to my mind. I had a brief chat with myself for being so silly and missing a major thrust of what New Code NLP is all about i.e utilising the unconscious in NLP change work..  I had already made my mind up prior to the training to incorporate the suggestions made in Whispering and Sins of the Fathers into my classic code demonstrations, but some how in this case I forgot. Very silly indeed. Or was it?

Maybe my unconscious mind was giving me real life opportunity to have this experience in front of a group of people to reinforce the message. Maybe my unconscious mind was helping me offer the attendees contrasting examples of what occurs when a subject uses the conscious mind to choose a resource compared with when the unconscious mind offers a resource.

I smiled internally- felt my own unconscious signal – and continued with the work.

So then I said to the lady-
1. Access  your unconscious signal – she demonstrated to the group through her physiology that she was accessing her signal

2. Then I asked her to access her signal again – and let the unconscious provide a resource that would preserve the positive intentions of the present behaviour of “freezing” but would also satisfy her outcome to “flow” in the situation of making group introductions

In an instant she went to a very different state with wonderful non verbal cues. She lit up like a Christmas tree. I was quick enough to capture the state with a kinesthetic anchor and then did the collapse pairing the resource state with the auditory stimulus - with very visible results.

We tested the work rigorously- by evoking the real world stimulus (in PP1 of problem state) for problem state of fear in public introductions– i.e. the verbal instruction of lets go round the table and all sorts of similar phrases. The results were positive in the sense the stimulus of  “lets go round the table” (and other variations of the phrase)  evoked a new state she labelled calmly confident. We did some future pacing again using her unconscious signal as means to for congruency tests to generalise calmly confident to other areas of her life where calmly confident would be useful.

This was a powerful affirmation for me and the group for the power of the unconscious mind providing with resources. I am very pleased we captured the piece on video film as well.

I urge all visitors to continue to explore and deepen your conscious/unconscious mind relationship. I also suggest a read or reread John and Carmen's article “Sins of the Fathers” which provide excellent detail on how to update classic code change formats with new code principals

Regards to all

Michael Carroll

Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 24/12/2002 17:53:28Michael Carroll
     Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 24/12/2002 18:28:19John Schertzer
          Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 25/12/2002 00:44:50Michael Carroll
     Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 25/12/2002 00:45:19SMH
          Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 25/12/2002 01:07:32Michael Carroll
     Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 27/12/2002 21:52:28Lewis Walker
          Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 28/12/2002 02:22:54John Grinder
          Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 03/01/2003 00:24:19Michael Carroll
               Re:Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 03/01/2003 20:57:20Lewis Walker
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 16/01/2003 01:03:03Michael Carroll
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 16/01/2003 07:40:16kc
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 17/01/2003 00:25:16Michael Carroll
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 17/01/2003 08:51:22kc
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Anchoring with the Unconscious in Mind 18/01/2003 23:12:20Robert

Forum Home