Anchoring is a technique used to embed good feelings at a physical, sensory level by building them up and storing them in a part of the client’s body. These feelings can then be called upon to help the client respond to a situation in a more useful way. Anchoring good feelings is used alone and in conjunction with other techniques.

Do certain places make you feel a certain way? Perhaps you have memories tied up with that place, like the happy feeling associated with a street you used to play in as a child, or unhappy feelings you associate with a place you lived in during a difficult year. Anchoring is about collecting and building good feelings, using your memories, so that you can draw upon the feelings when you need them most. Let me give you an example of anchoring…

The problem: The client is trying to quit drinking but they find it a challenge as they reach for a glass every time they sense tension.

The technique: Identify the moment that the client would be reaching for that drink. It could be when her partner puts her down in front of friends, making her feel devalued. It could be the way his partner flirts with other men, making him feel devalued. It could be bad news received over the phone, igniting feelings of anxiety. These are some of many trigger points which could be involved. Once we can identify the change in emotion, it’s time to bring in the anchoring.

Typically, respectful touch of a client’s shoulder, knee or hand is a good place to start for setting the anchor. By anchoring good feelings into the body, and ‘firing’ that anchor, or tapping into those feelings (by touching that shoulder, knee or hand at that all important trigger point), I can help the client to create a new response pattern, rather than the drinking.

What happens is that instead of sinking into a state of anxiety or depression when these negative events occur, the client can learn how to call in those good feelings that have now been anchored, and to change their behaviour response.

In session, I will ask the client to envisage scenarios which would trigger the drinking and at the moment that urge for alcohol comes on, I will fire that anchor as I get them to envisage themselves responding in a more useful way. I will often use anchoring within a hypnosis session to embed that new response also.

Anchoring good feelings is a very useful technique that can be used especially well in conjunction with other NLP and hypnotherapy.