This strategy comes from NLP Master practitioner Steve Andreas. He created this strategy and has used it for his clients for over 25 years.
It has also been used by ‘Our Lady of Peace’ psychiatric hospital in Louisville Kentucky.
One of the doctors there spoke of this strategy as follows: “We have been using the grief pattern in our institution with all sorts of success. We’re working on the toughest kinds of cases, if it works with these people, it can work with anybody” -Mary Ellen Zuverink Ph.D
The strategy takes advantage of the way emotions and their meanings are spatially organized. You can test this out briefly by thinking of something you would never eat. As you imagine that thing, whereabouts do you envision it spatially? To the left or to the right? Up high or down low?
Now think of a food that you love to eat! A food that you can think about and instantly know you could eat it right now if it was available and likely would want more of the same after that.
Now that you have thought of these two gustatory contrasts, notice the difference in location in your imagination as to where each of these items is envisioned. Is the yummy thing imagined in a different spot than the thing you would never eat? What is the organizing principle that your mind, guts, brain and nervous system unquestionably knows which is wrong and which is delectable? This difference in location is a distinction considered to be the main driver that makes this resolving grief strategy work.
You can use this idea for yourself if you wanted to also use your perception of spatial organizing in your mind when you want more clarity about the wrongness of something and the rightness of something else. As an example, you can read through the strategy below to get a more detailed grip on how to use the perception of space.
The Resolving Loss and Grief Strategy 1. Think of the situation of grief/loss Begin thinking about the positive value and the good things about what has been lost. Identify a dozen qualities of the picture so your brain gets the impression that what you’re visualizing is real enough to pay attention to. Notice especially the location and for the other qualities, notice if the experience of it is … ( dark, dull, fuzzy, hard, frame, moving, still, is it in a picture frame, is it high resolution or grainy or like it was a Charlie Chaplin clip etc).
When you’ve called forth this experiential visualization you can layer in the pieces of the next step. Think of a situation of ‘loss’ that your brain codes in a pleasant and joyful way. It could be someone you haven’t seen for a long time – perhaps someone from grade school, college or university, a friend, relative, etc. It may be someone who has already croaked, just so long as you feel connected to, linked to, emotionally coupled with, all the good feelings that automatically causes you to smile when you bring that recollection forth and are lighting up the network assemblies associated to that pleasing memory. The organizing principle of this step is to find the cell assemblies of joyful past and mix and merge them and entwine them and fire those neurons together with the cell assemblies of the lost and grief experience so that the grief experience becomes coded with the group of niceties. Identify the submodalities of this experience (usually closer, colourful, with movement, sound, etc.). Pay special attention to the location of this image. Now comes the ‘mapping-across process’. Change the submodalities of the experience of loss into those of connection. You will probably notice an immediate physiological shift. Calibrate to ensure that the change has occurred prior to the next step.
Thinking of all the positive qualities, attributes, past happy events and memories of this relationship, imagine that these are all represented in some way on a pack of cards, each card representing a different quality. You don’t have to see them clearly – just notice the edges of the cards situated behind this new image of connection. Now, keeping the new image of connection safely in place, imagine these cards streaming out into your future. As these cards begin to settle in the foreground, the middle distance and out into the far future, let them turn into sparkling stars of light. As you walk out into this new future you can enjoy the continuing sense of connection – spreading out to encompass others whom you know, and those you have yet to meet. While keeping the new image of connection safely in place, begin to imagine these cards streaming out into the future – your future.
And as these cards begin to settle in the foreground, the middle distance and out into the far future, let them turn into sparkling stars of light. And as you walk out into this new future you can enjoy the continuing sense of connection – spreading out to encompass others you know, and those you have yet to meet knowing that you know how good it can feel to mobilize yourself to fulfill your life mission.