One of the major techniques and processes in NLP is the phobia cure technique. This enables our NLP Master Practitioners to overcome their biggest fears and help other people do the same. Learn how to assist people to overcome their fear of flying, their fear of spiders, their fear of public speaking….


Flying phobia

I did a phobia cure for a friend. She is afraid of flying, to the point that she perspires going towards an airport. We discussed the worst part of the phobia getting on the plane, sitting down, taking off and into the flight going up. I took the time to get a good understanding. So i thought it best to do double disassociated. I found it useful in my testing to say “give your body, your jawline, your muscles permission to relax and feel that relaxation down your body to your fingertips and all the way down to your toes”. She said it REALLY helped for her to be told to give herself permission, I saw her physiology shift to a much more relaxed state.

I asked her to picture herself in a cinema, screen filling up the wall, watching herself from the reel room sitting watching the movie; and play the movie in black and white – getting on the plane, sitting down, taking off and into the flight going up.  Very quickly I said freeze it, full colour movie now and rewind it as fast as possible. I realised I had to quick, really gentle and assertive in this command and she responded.

We did this four times. More than I expected but enough to really see a shift in her shoulders dropping. I really developed a lot of sensory acuity doing this. Watching physiology ‘release’ the phobia almost. The shifts in tension and breathing as it slowed more, became deeper, clearer.

We future paced it and tested it. Imagine walking around an airport, how do you feel? She said she couldn’t access the fear anymore or her physical responses (perspire, heart rate increasing), but cognitively she wasn’t convinced. And it is still a lot of time sitting in the air (tough cookie huh?!).

So we discussed the feeling of sitting in a chair, I asked her if there is another memory she has of sitting in a similar position, doing nothing, not going anywhere, relaxing? She told me she remembers summer laying by the pool on holiday, the warm sun, feeling very relaxed. So I went on to zoom.

I took her into peripheral vision to relax. I asked her to picture in full colour being on that lounger, the warmth of the sun and the great feeling. The sounds, the brightness, how relaxed she feels. I gently grabbed her thumb as we peaked on this. Then I asked her to put it in the top right corner of her minds eye, small as a stamp and picture in black and white being on the plane, what she sees, and when I say zoom the small colour picture over the grey flight, and “ZOOM”, clear the screen. And we repeated this a few times.

I explained the anchor, to gently press her thumbs between her fingers, it is subtle enough to do on an aeroplane, more so than twiddling her fingers in peripheral ;). She said she felt great. Really liked the feeling of the beach and really now she looks forward to getting on a plane and going back to a beach!

When I started I didn’t think I would use so much of the techniques, nor did I realise how accessible these would be to me ‘on the spot’ to really work with this and get results. She said she felt more relaxed than she though possible.

Wow. I think I shocked myself really doing this. I’m going to keep practicing until they are all absolutely second nature, I don’t think you can do too much of this. I don’t know anyone with eating disorders and I think that it would only be something I would approach after A LOT of experience under the bridge.

My mind is expanding in ways I’m not yet conscious of, and I feel my personal self esteem increase with the results and the sheer joy people are having being my ‘subjects’. It is bringing a lot of laughter and light to some really serious things in other people’s lives. And watching them melt away physically is an amazing experience!


You can get these results and these skills. Take an NLP training with us today.


Phobia of Spiders

I discussed with client there phobia of spiders, asking her what aspects make her uncomfortable.  She explained the way they walk and their legs, also the fact they seem to just appear.  As she described this she paled slightly, shrugged her shoulders and her facial expressions showed she was uncomfortable just talking about them.

  • We discussed briefly logical reasons of not being scared of spiders.
  • I asked her how it would feel to no longer have a phobia of spiders, she said she did not think it was possible to remove this phobia, although she would try anything to get rid of it.
  • I told her this method would not involve any physical presence of a spider, and she would be in control of what happened at all times.
  • I asked her to close her eyes and take some deep breaths (breathing from the stomach, and letting the breath out slowly through the nose), I asked to feel the chair taking her weight and support her.
  • I talked her through the following:

You are in an empty cinema, you can choose to sit wherever you want, tell me when you feel your there.

[She nodded her head). Below you is a screen it is blank.  Behind you is a small window where the projector is positioned in a room. I want you imagine you are floating up above yourself in the chair, looking down at yourself in the chair, please let me know when your there.  [She nodded her head].

You find yourself floating back into the control room.  All that is separating you from the cinema is the window the projector screen is pointed at.  Your standing looking up at the window, the glass is very thick and unbreakable.

In front of you are some controls; play, fast forward, rewind, pause, change to black and white and back to colour, edit picture, one which makes the picture smaller or larger.

You press the play button and you watch on the screen a small movie about a spider it is in black and white.  Please allow the movie to complete.

Now I would like you to change a few things, make the picture small, I want you to play it backwards to the beginning, everything is going backwards.

Now forwards, and backwards [Few times]

This time I want you to play it backwards, but you have edited the picture, the spider is a cartoon spider, with funny legs, making a really silly noise at it moves, it is very small and insignificant. Play this forwards and backwards [Several times].

Now I want the screen to go blank.  Take a few deep breathes and come back into this room.

I asked the client how do you feel about spiders to which she laughed and said all she sees now is this silly spider and she no longer showed any discomfort to talking about them.

I asked her to imagine in a few days she comes across a spider, she laughed and said I would probably laugh at it, I don’t think it would bother me.


Phobia of rats & Phobia of touching the front of the neck

This evening I was privileged to get two people together at the same time, to treat two very different phobias. I wasn’t sure whether as a trainee, and not done this before whether practicing on two people at the same time would be a good idea. The opportunity arose as they discussed it between themselves and fixed a night so that we could all meet, and what happened is in my mind is truly astonishing. I would be very interested to see what you make of client B’s timeline. I am so glad I took my time over the learning of this module, and waited for the right people as I have learned so much from this. What I also found astounding were the things that got brought up, really fascinating. The end results have not only shocked me, but I truly believe that two lives have changed for the better for good.

In order to ensure everything could go well, I thought I would do the whole package as below:

I spent about 5 minutes talking to client A and client B about their phobias and how it effects them in their daily lives.

I spoke about timelines and how it works, showing them my own timeline.

One at a time, I discovered their time lines and have included a picture below. As above I would be interested on your view of client B’s timeline.

Both at the same time, we practiced travelling through their timeline.

One at a time we discovered their timeline first event.

One at a time, timeline negative emotions

Future pace and test

Anchored in a safe place.

One at a time phobia cinema technique

One at time future pace

One at a time test for real – seeing the magic happen
Let me introduce my two clients:

Client A – Phobia of rats.

Tell me about this phobia, and how it effects your life:

I know how this person reacts to rats. We were once watching someone do a presentation, and it involved rats. Within the presentation was an obvious toy rat, but when the container holding the toy was jolted, this person nearly jumped out of their skin, and watching a movie clip with live rats in it was extremely uncomfortable for them. This person speaks about how it effects their leisure life in the activities they enjoy. They like horses and horse riding, and wherever the horses are, if there is a dead rat somewhere, then someone else would have to remove it. If the barn had a possibility of a rat in it then they just wouldn’t go in. What was then shared was a story of them going out to a pub for a drink and a meal, and a rat was spotted outside running across the car park. This person was then unable to go into the pub, and they had to go somewhere else, so there is a real issue here for this person as it effects the things they enjoy.

How do rats make you feel?

It’s a fight or flight thing. I get a bad tickling of the head and have to scratch it like crazy. I feel helpless, I don’t feel irritated, just helpless.

Client B – Phobia of the front of the neck.

Tell me about this phobia, and how it effects your life:

This was a fascinating one as I have never heard of this before, and this person had no idea why or where it has come from. This person cannot have anyone touch the front of their neck, especially the middle from part. Even more, they cannot wear a necklace, wear a polo shirt, or even have cropped hair in case it touches that part. They mentioned even remembering when they were little that their mother had to pin them down just to wash it as they didn’t like it. Even as they spoke, they said that now we are talking about it, I know that there is nothing around my neck, but I feel there is something around my neck

How does the touch to that part of the neck make you feel?
I then asked, what does icky mean to you?
Icky means opening up my throat with a scalpel. Whenever this happens, I have to pinch my throat in places until the feeling has passed, it just isn’t happening.

Discovering their timelines.

I first asked both of them for the permission of their unconscious, to which they both agreed, although client A did hesitate briefly. Discovering their timelines was a fairly easy process, and they both reacted to the exercise very well and didn’t take very long. They were both relaxed and enjoyed doing this. I have made a graphical representation of both of them below. Client A timeline looks a normal through time line. Client B however was very surprising, and it seems to me they appear to have two separated timelines, but they were very comfortable with this. For both past and present we plotted quite a few points starting at days, then months, then years as I wanted to ensure I got their full picture.

Client A – Timeline – Looks like a normal timeline to me.

Client B – Timeline – This is fascinating. To me this is not a continuous timeline, but two independent ones.  What I believe though is that the responses to the questions were genuine, and this is how I plotted it.
Practice travelling through their timeline

Next we practiced travelling and navigating through their timeline. I started by getting to close their eyes and to relax and be in the present, noticing everything that is going on around them. I then got them to picture their own timeline. I got both of them to floating up, up, up as high as they could, and then to notice where their past is, and where their future is. I then I took them back to their past, as far as they wanted to go, then back to the present then stop.
Breaking state, we then did the exercise again, and this time travelled along the future to as far as they wanted to go, then back again and broke state.

Client B took to this exercise straight away, but client A struggled by saying that too much was popping into their head. I suggested that Client A just hadn’t got up high enough, and so let’s try again. Client B enjoyed the exercise and too wanted to try again as well, so we re-did the practice exercise, but this time I spent more time encouraging them to go higher, and if they struggled, to look up and keep going, and just allow the unconscious to glide them along. This time it went much better and I felt we were ready to move on.

Timeline first events.

One at a time, I then did the timeline first events exercise. What was interesting here was the root causes that they spoke of.

Client A:

When we spoke of when the route cause happened, they came up with the age of 9-12.
When we spoke of the root cause of the problem trusting the unconscious mind, they said:
Parents separated
Forbidden to feed pony as food not meant for him
Wasn’t allowed the food as got too excited
Once went into the stable, and the oats were stored in a big hessian sack, I went in (client struggles a little here thinking about the experience) and there was a big fat rat on oats, standing on hind legs with its tail out, and my hand touched its tail, and it either nipped me, or just brushed it mouth against my hand. As I ran out, my legs buckled as I ran.

I then challenged their age again at this point, as they said between 9-12, so I needed to get it down to a more exact age. They then said maybe 11, so I challenged again, saying allow the unconscious to answered, to which they said 11, no no 12 because – at which point I interrupted again and said no, they are thinking too much about it, allow your unconscious to answer, and got the answer of 12.

Client B:

When we spoke of when the route cause happened, they first said, I wouldn’t have a clue where mine started from. So I said, if you did have a clue what would you say, and they said 3 practically immediately, and I said great, that’s what we need to know.
When we spoke of the root cause of the problem trusting the unconscious mind, they said:
Is it a survival thing, safety and nothing else at this point.

Timeline negative emotions Client A:

As we did the timeline negative emotions exercise, this is what came out of the learnings

First response when we were above the event was – I don’t know really, so I suggested we now go higher and higher, keep climbing, going higher and higher, and then we got this.
A defiant child being naughty but wanting attention.
Knowing that I was doing wrong, but I couldn’t help myself anyway.
Probably quite a hurt child actually.
Boundary pusher.
Seeing what might happen if I did.
Realising that all animals are not nice.
Realising that animals are a big part of my life as I had quite a solitary child.

At this point they said that is about it, so I challenged them to see if there was anything else.

Frightened that I would be found out
Wanting comfort but maybe not
Left to my own devises a lot as mother was otherwise engaged.

When we floated down into the event, and I asked how they felt, they replied with:
Feels really good, really nostalgic and care free and fun.

I felt so please for her at this point as the exercise worked out perfectly, and I was proud that I had managed to get this response. After we had finished, and they opened their eyes, I asked them how they felt now, and they replied with really good which made me so pleased. After a short while, they started to reflect on what happened, and I could see the cogs moving inside their head, there was a little confusion in them, but also a statement of this is interesting – mmmmmm.

Timeline negative emotions Client B:
As we did the timeline negative emotions exercise, this is what came out of the learnings
Not to be afraid
Not going to get hurt
I am in control
Your fine
I’m a baby
I’m a girl
Don’t hurt me.
Please like me
Nothing has hurt my neck
I was vulnerable
Learning that I know best and I know more than my family
My mum was a shit parent
Lots of crying
(at this point, there was a deeper trance going on here)
One of my brothers was nice
If I cried, he would come to me
Very pale white, I could just see legs and arms flying around. – mine
I am on sort of bench – or cot, something flat – a flat surface and I am naked.

When we floated down into the event, and I asked how they felt, they replied with:
Trees, lots of trees, I am outside. I feel warm, I feel OK, and feel fine
After we had finished, and they opened their eyes, I asked them how they felt now, and they replied with really fine, it sounds like someone was trying to strangle me, but I don’t know – but I feel fine. I don’t know but I am ok.

Future pace and test:

Client A:

I said we were to talk about rats, how would you feel? They replied Oh fine

Client B:

I asked if we think about someone touching your neck right now, how would you feel? They replied with the sensation is kind of there, but not as bad. I would flinch but not as much as I would have been. I would jump back and protect myself but, yes if I knew it was coming I would think I could probably do it. I wouldn’t feel great but yes.
Anchoring a safe place.

What I wanted to do next was to ensure a sense of security, so I decided to anchor in a safe place in both of them. I explained that I probably won’t need to use it, but if we do, it is nice to know it is there. I explained that there is a small amount of touching, and to confirm that they are OK with that, and both of them agreed without any issue. I also explained that at no point I would make them do anything that they are not comfortable with, and they are free to stop at any time.

Anchoring a safe place in client A.

With client A, I chose a knuckles and allowed them to choose which one. What I did here was to get them to imagine their own safe place, somewhere where they can escape too that makes them feel good. During the exercise I encouraged them to intensify the feeling, intensify the colours, and I anchored in. I did this a few times and tested which worked well.

Anchoring a safe place in client B

With client B, I decided to take a slightly different approach. Because they have a phobia of the front of the neck, I suggested using their shoulder as an anchor as it is close to the neck, but this made them squirm and flinch a bit. Due to this reaction, I suggested halfway down one arm, and what they felt about that, and this time they were much more comfortable and so we went with that. Again I got them to imagine their own safe place, somewhere where they can escape too that makes them feel good. During the exercise I encouraged them to intensify the feeling, intensify the colours, and I anchored in. I did this a few times and tested which also worked very well and so I felt ready to move one.
One at a time phobia cinema technique

I began to explain to them the scenario of the cinema and we got going on doing the exercise, one at a time. This exercise went very well for both of them. I think at this point the phobia within them was already decreased, and both of them we keen to continue. I felt that this was extremely encouraging, and very exciting. In both cases I decided to do the double disassociation by first watching from the front row, then doing the whole exercise again by going up into the booth. I got the learnings from the second exercise and not from the first as I thought this would work best.

Client A:
After the first exercise, the person needed a short pause, and saying that they were questioning. They stated that they were not questioning what I did, but questioning themselves. This was very fascinating to me.
Running through the movie for the second time double disassociated, the learnings were:
Quite a frightened child, afraid to get into trouble.
I think the rat represents my father actually.

Afterwards they said that this is way more complex than a phobia which was an intriguing statement indeed. They then said this is not about rats, I now know it’s not.
Client B:
Running through the movie for the second time double disassociated, the learnings were:
Not to be scared
Green leaves are lovely
Lots of sunshine
Nothing bad has happened to me
I am still alive
I am sat here
Hands – dark hands
( I then asked what can you learn from those hands)
Scary – I thought it was supposed to be positive?
( I replied with whatever comes to your mind, just take those learnings)
Scarey hands, but I am seeing them in black and white
I see a shadow – a grass verge and an old apple tree in my parent’s garden, but that timeline isn’t right – and that’s it.

Their last learning was vaccinating and intriguing as something happened at that point within them. As we finished, I asked them how they felt, and they said confused, I am very confused, as if I have just made up a big story, wanting to be a victim, but that is not it, that is not it at all. I just don’t know.

Future pacing and watching the magic unfold.

This is where the magic unfolds for me, and at this point neither realised what was in store, and how their lives were about to change.

Client A:

I spoke about how they would feel about seeing pictures of rats or watching a move. They replied with not great.

I bought up a picture on google of many different rats, a collage of them all. When they looked at the picture, there was a flinch, and a slight discomfort in the face, but nothing too dramatic. The person then said well a movie will be different, so I sought one out. This movie involved different rats, all doing a few tricks in front of the camera. What happened here was astounding. Not only was this person engrossed in the movie, they said “ I wonder if those rats were trained with one of those clicker things” – that one there looks a sneaky little fucker doesn’t he.

This was amazing, not only were they watching, but they were commenting on how the film was made, and defining the character of one of the rats. I asked if they were ok, and they replied oh fine, this is ok.

Client B:

For me, this was I felt going to be a real challenge. I was going to try and touch this person’s neck, and this person would not even allow their husband to do that, let alone me. I really had no idea how this was going to play. I asked how they felt about me touching that area, and they replied – Not as icky, not squirming, I will probably still block you but I don’t feel as uncomfortable, so go for it.

At this point I went towards them, touched their arm in the safe anchored area and touch part of their neck with no reaction. They then said that was interesting, now try the front part as that is where it is really bad. I then touched various parts of the suggested area, and there was no reaction at all.

After I sat back down, I asked how they now felt, and they said a little uncomfortable, but I didn’t flinch, that is amazing. I need to do a little touch just to get rid of the feeling but that’s it.

What was to come the next day though made me feel so emotional and proud of them both. I posted something on facebook, and they both left comments, and this is the end result: I have erased the names but what a fantastic result for them – their lives have now changed for the better.

Client A has sourced a picture of a rat to post, and client B has had an amazing experience with their husband. This has been a life changing experience for me.

Read how another client got over a fear of manikins.