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SUBMODALITIES in NLP - Part 1: The concept of Submodalities



Submodalities are a concept that emerged in the field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to describe how humans 'code' internal experiences using components of their various senses. Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory are the five primary senses. These are known as representational systems or modalities in NLP. We can make finer distinctions between each of these modalities, called submodalities. NLP Practitioners work with these structures (rather than content) when helping clients create change. Although content is needed to ensure ecology, it is the submodalities that cause behavioural change to happen.


Many of the NLP change strategies rely heavily on submodalities. Submodalities have been used to help people quit smoking, eat more of certain foods and less of others, handle compulsion difficulties, change beliefs and values, increase motivation, go from tension to relaxation, and treat phobias, among other things. Submodalities are thus considered in NLP as providing a crucial therapeutic insight (or metaphor) into how the human mind internally organises and subjectively 'perceives' events, as well as prospective working approaches.


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