NLP Techniques: Collapsing Anchors

Submitted by Craig on Tue, 04/25/2017 - 01:43

The Idea:

You remember anchoring from the foundational NLP patterns, and now it's time to learn how to set two anchors (a negative and positive anchor) on a collision course with each other in order for the positive anchor to cancel out the negative one. The Collapsing Anchors pattern is useful when we observe two radically different states operating within us at the same time, interrupting each other, interfering with each other, or even worse, creating self-sabotage. Examples of opposing states would be:

  • Feeling happy, while feeling anxious
  • Feeling motivation, while feeling hesitation
  • Feeling attraction, while feeling fear

Crashing these two opposing states into each other within the neurology creates a strange starburst of a reaction, resulting in temporary confusion, disorientation, or even light amnesia, after which the force of the negative state is consumed and digested by the positive state.

Personally I don't like the name "collapsing anchors", as much as I like to think of this pattern as negative state annihilation, because I think this is what's really happening inside neurology. Whatever you call this pattern (others call it "integrating anchors"), it really works, but don't try it until you first master setting anchors one at a time.

The Pattern:

NLP Collapsing Anchors

1. Access and anchor the negative state

  • What state do you get into often that interferes or interrupt you when you're involved in something important or critical?
  • What buttons do you have that you find others pushing?
  • Access that state right now... go into it now and see what you see, hear what you hear, and feel what you feel when you're at the height of the state.
  • When you're feeling that completely, now, I'm going to touch you right here (touch the left knee or left palm).
  • Test the negative anchor and calibrate the negative state.

2. Break state

  • Is that smoke on the horizon? Naw, maybe that's just a cloud.

3. Access and anchor the positive state

  • Now, what would you like to experience in that situation?
  • See what you'll see, hear what you'll hear, feel what you'll feel when you're in that resourceful state fully.
  • Now take that feeling and double it... spin it faster... make the colors bolder, and the picture larger. Add your favorite rock music to the feeling, and turn it up!
  • When you're feeling that completely, now, I'm going to touch you right here (touch the right knee or the right palm).
  • Test the positive anchor and calibrate the positive state.

4. Break state again

  • What's your favorite holiday? And what's your second favorite holiday?

5. Fire the negative and positive anchors simultaneously

  • When I touch your left knee and your right knee like this, just notice what happens now...
  • (important: hold the two triggers for a few moments while the collision happens, and allow for the neurological dust to settle).
  • (Important: release the negative anchor a few seconds before you release the positive anchor, to allow the positive energy to fully absorb the remaining negative energy).

6. Test the collapse of the negative anchor

  • Most people say that this NLP pattern feels strangely good... perhaps a bit confusing, but in a good way... and that means it's working.
  • Now when I fire the negative anchor, has all the energy drained out of it? If no, return to step 5. If yes, proceed to step 7.

7. Reinforce the positive anchor

  • Now, I want you to recall that positive state in its full strength. See what you saw here which you heard and feel what you felt you were at the very peak of the positive state.
  • And now as you feel this very strongly, I'm going to touch you right here (touch the right knee or the right palm).
  • That's right. And now you're going to be able to invoke this resourceful state whenever you need it!

When to Use This Pattern:

Use the Collapsing Anchors pattern when you want to rid yourself or your client of unwanted thoughts or states that seem to arise at just the wrong time. When this pattern is done effectively, the negative state will just effortlessly melt into the anchored positive state all by itself.


John Grinder, and others.