NLP Techniques: State Induction

Submitted by Craig on Tue, 04/25/2017 - 01:22

The Idea:

State Inductions are used when an NLP coach wants to produce a neuro-chemical shift in the body-mind of the client. There are simply certain neurological states in which we get our best results. For example, there are times when we need to learn something, focus or concentrate on performing a complex task, relax or forgive someone, or get amped up and motivated for action. In these neurological states, excellence becomes possible.

In NLP, states are neurological conditions with distinct brain waves and chemistry at work. We can invoke or induce these states at will, if we only know how.

There are 3 common ways we access desired states to create them in ourselves:

  • Remembering a time in the past when we experienced the state strongly
  • Using imagination to create a fresh experience of the state in the present
  • Catching that state from someone else who does it well (to get crazy, think of your favorite Jim Carrey movie)

States come and go all the time, like waves in the ocean. We are constantly shifting between states, and each state swells and ebbs like a wave. Sometimes states are experienced as distinct, and sometimes two or more states can co-exist, and amplify or cancel the effect of the others.

Remember that in NLP, we want to anchor behavior to resourceful states, so we must be able to induce the desired state and anchor the new behavior at the very peak of that state.

A master at inducing positive states in thousands of people at once is Tony Robbins. You may have heard help pumping up a crowd with shouts of "yes" and "aye". It really works, if you know how.

The Pattern:

1. Be ready to catch the induced state as it occurs and anchor it when it peaks

Like a surfer trying to catch a good wave, be ready to watch for the induced state and anchor it with your client. Stay in the present. Stay in up-time awareness. You are outwardly focused on the physiology of your client. You are teaching the client how to do this for his or herself.

2. Elicit a time when the client felt the state strongly in the past

For this elicitation, remember to ask the questions briefly, and take the first response. Do not dwell on any one question too much. Watch for a physiological shift.

  • Recall a time when you felt _______.
  • Go back to that experience and see what you saw, hear what you heard, and feel what you felt.
  • Notice exactly what was going on inside of yourself at that time.
  • Notice the energy as it starts in one place and moves through your body.
  • Where does the feeling start, where does it end, and which direction does it rotate?
  • What color would you give this feeling?
  • Are you there yet? Good.

3. Amplify the intensity of the elicited state

When you start to notice a physiological shift, you know you have accessed the state. Now to make the state stronger and more distinct. Here are some ways to amplify high-energy states:

  • Now, double the brightness and sharpness. Add more color.
  • Now, double the volume and the bass.
  • Now, double the feeling as it flows through you in a circuit.
  • Double the speed of the feeling as it flows through you.Now, double it again.

Here are some ways to amplify states of relaxation and learning:

  • Now, soften the brightness and deepen the colors.
  • Now, diminish the volume to a very relaxing level.
  • Now, unwind the tension and continue to allow it to unwind.
  • Now, take those feelings of relaxation and double them, double the relaxation again.

4. Access the physiology of the amplified state

Remember that physiology is an important part of any state, and should be congruent with the inner state you are trying to induce. The mind and body should be on the same wavelength.

  • When accessing high energy states, the client should be standing, pacing or leaning forward in the chair, ready to pounce. Breathing should be higher in the chest, and the pulse should be elevated.
  • When accessing relaxation or learning, the client can be comfortably seated with breathing lower in the stomach. Soft eyes. Soft face. Everything is OK.
  • 5. Calibrate the state

Ask the client to report the amplified state, and contrast it with the originally induced state.

  • How motivated or relaxed do you feel now, on a scale from 1 to 10? (e.g., 4)
  • How motivated or relaxed did you feel when we started, on a scale from 1 to 10? (e.g., 9)
  • How did you get from 4 to 9?

6. Break state and repeat

Repeat the example steps 2 through 5 up to 3 times, each time getting faster and faster at accessing the new resourceful state.

When To Use This Pattern:

Use State Induction patterns when inducing a resourceful state that you want to anchor in yourself or in a client.


Richard Bandler, Tony Robbins, Michael Hall, and others.