Overwhelm/Confusion – NLP terms


Overwhelm occurs when we are unable to gather the thought processes needed to progress because there is too much information. By using the NLP technique of Chunking Up one is able to get out of overwhelm. Chunking up means taking a wider perspective on a situation, a wider perspective on thoughts. Chunking enables people to gather information into groups, thus reducing the amount of information (or chunks of information) and enabling a release from overwhelm.

Confusion is when – all the bits of information are there but they are not organised.  1st step on the way to trance. Chunking up can help confusion by enabling the bigger picture but also chunking down (getting more specific) can also help confusion. Ask the question, “what are you confused about?” and someone will probably say “everything” but if you get specific with them, ask them “what specifically are you confused about?” then they will list a very small number of things from which they then start to recover clarity.

This is part of the NLP language patterns that we train at NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner levels. NLP e-Learning courses at Excellence Assured explain all.  Certify in NLP with us now!

Confusion to Understanding – NLP

Using submodalities to change the meaning of your internal representations and is the basis of “Like to Dislike.”

Once a diagnosis has been made, the question becomes: “What resource do we add so that we maximize the chance for getting a good result?”

With regards to confusion, we can use resources from submodalities (changing image from confusion to understanding).

We might use a confusion pattern if we wanted to create an environment for change and we would employ an understanding pattern when we want to understand something (which seems obvious but we don’t always use the obvious strategy to achieve our goals).



First one imagines the task at hand as a gigantic, somewhat threatening, mass of work.  This leads to feeling overwhelmed which in turn leads to putting off doingthe task.  Often the feelings of overwhelm can be so intense that often one cannot even begin the task.

Take a moment now to think of some task that puts you into “Overwhelm”.

Let yourself make a picture of the task.  Now, notice the submodalities of the picture.  That is, the characteristics of the picture you have made.  You are probably  visualising it at a close distance right in front of your face–and, the picture is large.  Move the picture away from you and make it smaller; this will give you some perspective on the whole thing.  It will also  diminish the feelings of overwhelm which will make it possible to think more clearly and work out how you are going to do the task.