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Scott Shimabukuro January 3rd, 2005 01:43 AM

Erickson and submodalities
I recently read that Bandler got the idea of submodalities from Erickson when he observed Dr. Erickson asking the psychologist (who had referred a patient) how he knew which pictures in his thoughts were of actual events and which were imagined. The psychologist responded that the real events were represented in squares in his mind. He then asked the referred patient, who was having difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, to put certain images into squares and apparently had resolved some of her psychosis in this manner. I've never come across this story of Erickson using submodalities in this manner (or similar stories) outside of the NLP literature and wondered if it existed somewhere else. It seems like such a significant contribution. A reference would be great.

Stephen Lankton January 4th, 2005 01:06 AM

Re: Erickson and submodalities
Yes, I too have never heard it.

Odd that those of us who saw Erickson off and on for years never heard or published that story.

michaelj September 6th, 2005 01:59 AM

Re: Erickson and submodalities
Hi Stephen,

John Grinder stated on his forum that he had seen Milton much more than 4 days, just for interest sake.

Scott, I have heard bandler tell that story too. To me, it had nothing to do with Milton understanding submodalities. Milton just did his usual superb job of help someone with a problem do things like someone who didn't have the problem. My understanding of that Bandler story was that it stimulated Bandlers thinking to investigate submodalities, rather than Erickson having an explicit (or even unconscious) understanding of them.

Also, I might point out that Bandlers story was also used metaphorically.

All the best,


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