Collapsing an anchor

This is the process for collapsing an anchor on another person.

The script assumes that you have already practised the exercises Setting an anchor and Creating a resource anchor. You really do need to get familiar with these first.

Below are some examples of negative anchors that you could collapse:

  • Getting uptight in a traffic jam
  • Someone who just seems to wind you up
  • Something your spouse does that annoys you
  • Bored shop assistants
  • Supermarket queues
  • Telephone answering systems
  • Computer crashes
  • Cringing when hugged by a colleague or friend.

Talk it through with your friend and come up with some of your own. These are situations that trigger an unwanted response which probably means that you don’t handle the situation well.

Remember, this process should not be used on serious issues.

Steps to collapsing an anchor

  1. Get in rapport.
  2. Set the frame. Agree with your client just what you are going to do and which anchor you intend to collapse.
  3. Elicit, calibrate to and anchor the unwanted state or experience. Do not stack. You could even just use a verbal anchor for the unwanted state.
  4. Break state. This is to dissociate the client from the unwanted state. Until they are dissociated from the unwanted state, they will not be able to identify what resource is needed to change the experience. Ask ‘What do you want instead?’
  5. Decide which positive/resource state(s) are needed. It might take a combination of several different states to move the client from the problem state to the desired state. Ask ‘What would really blow it out?’
  6. Elicit the positive states one at a time and stack them on a different anchor to the negative state. Make sure that the person is in a fully associated, intense, congruent state before stacking that state on the anchor.
  7. Test the resource anchor and calibrate. Make sure it is much more intense than the negative state to be collapsed. If in any doubt at all, stack more positive states on the resource anchor, and then stack some more.
  8. Break state.
  9. Collapse the anchors:
  1. Instruct the client to imagine the context of the problem state
  2. Fire the problem state anchor
  3. Observe the problem state emerge
  4. Immediately fire the resource anchor while continuing to hold the problem state anchor
  5. Hold both anchors and observe the integration (the client’s physiology and facila expression will go through change and then stabilise and look much like the positive state)
  6. Release the negative anchor
  7. Hold the positive anchor for five seconds and then release.
  1. Repeat this process a few times. The integration should occur faster each time until the negative state anchor has no effect or even a positive effect. You could have to do this between one and five times.
  2. Ask the client to imagine a time in the future where the particular experience that used to trigger a negative state will happen and watch how they react. (Do not use the negative anchor to test, as this may reinstall it.) You should see the positive state come up if the change has become automatic and unconscious. If not, do the collapse anchors again and also check that the client is genuine about wanting to make this change. There may be some other issue getting in the way, such as some consequence that is undesirable to the client.