The NLP Counter–Example Process (Allergy Process)

by Tim Hallbom


What is an allergy? A quick answer is that an allergy is an overreaction on the part of the immune system. Often, allergic responses can be eliminated quickly using a powerful technique called the Counter–Example Process. In this article I share how we developed this process, why this process works, and how you can use it with others to end allergies, addictions, and other overreactions. Interspersed are examples of using this technique and dialogue recorded in a training workshop.


How This Process Evolved

The idea for the Counter-Example Process grew out of work that NLP developer Robert Dilts did with his mother, Pat, in 1984. Pat had a recurrence of breast cancer. Robert spent four days in a row working with her, only taking time off to eat and sleep. Taking into account her present state and her goal to heal, Robert used every NLP process that might make a difference. She recovered fully and lived a healthy life for another twelve years.

When people heard about Pat’s success, they were intrigued. Could NLP’s psycho-emotional processes be used with “real and physical issues?” Robert had many requests to share what he did with her. So he created a brief workshop on how people might use NLP to work with health issues.

In the workshop, a woman with an allergy asked, “What would you do with my allergy?” Robert hadn’t thought about applying NLP to allergies. But another participant, Michael Levy, who worked for the World Health Organization as an immunologist, said, “Allergies are like a phobia of the immune system.”

A phobia! Robert thought, “Hmmm, In NLP we have the Fast Phobia process which typically helps someone eliminate a phobia in a half hour.” That started Robert’s thinking about how to approach working with allergies. Later he called me up and told me about his ideas for how we might apply NLP to allergies.

I was intrigued because finding new ways to work with health issues is a passion of mine. I initially wrote down Robert’s ideas, abbreviating them on a little yellow Post-it Note (because it was the only paper I had available). I then fashioned them into an NLP technique. The next day I left for for an NLP convention in New York City. I knew that I was going to be with a lot of people trained in NLP, some of whom would, of course, have allergies. They might be willing to experiment.

So, at the conference, I offered what I jokingly call “Street Therapy.” I asked strangers, “Do you have an allergy?” When they replied affirmatively, I would ask, “Would you like to change that?” Most people were willing to let me test this new technique. I had a lot of people wanting to take me up on the offer. I was surprised that allergies were so common.

This conference was held in the Mid 1980’s. A popular allergy at the time was to cigarette smoke. Everett Coop, the Surgeon General of the United States, was publicizing the idea that second-hand smoke was dangerous and unhealthy. I suspect some people actually developed allergies because of these warnings. Some symptoms were very obvious, like red eyes or wheezing. It gave us the opportunity to test the Counter-Example process immediately. So my business partner, Suzi Smith, and I would do this new process with them, then test by having them stand near someone who was smoking. (If you remember, a lot of people still smoked cigarettes at that time.) After this experiencing the process, most people had no allergic response to the smoke!

We experimented with people who reacted to perfume, foods and all kinds of other things. It worked over and over again.

On the second day of the conference, two guys walked by. I asked, (assuming they were attending the NLP Conference) “Have you got an allergy?” One guy said, “Hey! You just hit the jackpot. My friend is allergic to everything.” After we did the process, we learned that they weren’t part of our NLP group. They were just guests in the hotel. The fellow who was allergic to all kinds of things thought it was a little strange, but he decided to go for it. He let me work with him. He had a number of allergies, and seemed to be successful with each one we did the process with.

There is an interesting side note to this story. After this man experienced success eliminating his allergies, he was eager to learn more about NLP. He signed up for an NLP in his home town of Austin, Texas. One of my colleagues who conducted the program in Austin later told me, “I had a weird experience. This guy that you worked with in New York…came to our training and said he was readjusting his whole life.”

Why? Everything this man had been doing, prior to our work was based on his allergies. He had to always stay conscious about his health. He could only eat certain foods. He couldn’t be exposed to certain things. Then, suddenly, he was free to do everything. So he had all this personal relearning and testing to do on his diet. I was delighted that he followed up with NLP to recreate his life in a positive, conscious way.

After I returned home, one of (my business partner) Suzi’s friends called and said, “My son is getting married tomorrow. I got these new glasses and I didn’t realize it, but the frames which I thought were just carbon, turned out to be made of nickel. And I put them on without knowing when I’m totally allergic to metal.” So her face broke out in these big welts. Naturally, she didn’t want to look that way at her son’s wedding. Suzi suggested that she work with me using the Counter-Example Process.

After I did the process with her, she was disappointed. She said, “You seem like a very nice person, but I need to tell you, my son is getting married tomorrow, and I have a million things to do. And I’m really sorry I wasted my time. And basically what you did seemed really silly to me.” She left. I felt bad.

The next morning this woman telephoned Suzi. She was very excited. “It’s all different!” she exclaimed. “Within an hour all these welts were gone. And I’m wearing jewelry that I haven’t worn in years. And I want to apologize to Tim.” After this experience, she got into NLP and started working with people herself.


So What, Actually, Is an Allergy?

As Michael Levy pointed out, allergies are a kind of phobia of the immune system. Later, he added that allergies are like a “tantrum” of the immune system. Phobias and tantrums are both overreations to something. Allergies, then, in this metaphor are like overreactions of the immune system to things that are not necessarily dangerous or bothersome in and of themselves.

When people are in a crowded room, think of all the germs that are present as people cough and breath and sneeze. They are breathing in those germs! Why do some folks get sick, while others don’t? A doctor on a television show recently said, “Don’t sit on the back of the airplane because the air everyone is breathing keeps getting sucked back through the ventilation system. The air in the back of the plane has accumulated germs from all the seats in front part…you will be inundated with germs and likely to catch a cold.” That doctor was spreading a thought virus.

What happens when your macrophages, the big white cells that travel through your system, identify an invasive virus or bacteria in your body? It will take the virus and actually hold it up or bacteria and actually hold it up (See the June 1986 National Geographic article “Cell Wars” for some stunning pictures of this). Then it will wait for a differentiating immune marker cell to come by and make a molecular fit. If the thing being held up is differentiated for a particular virus, your macrophages will release histamines.

Histamines dilate blood vessels, stimulate gland secretion, and prompt the release of proteins from cells. The dilated blood vessels make it easier to wash away harmful bacteria. The released proteins attract macrophages, which engulf and destroy bacterial invaders. That’s why you get red, swollen, and painful areas, or a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes.

Allergies tend to develop during times when you are in a life transition. You are transitioning from one way of being to another. You are off balance. And your immune system is in a heightened state of alert. An allergic response happens when the immune system mistakenly thinks something that is not harmful to your body is actually dangerous. So, an allergy is basically a mistake on the part of the immune system. Life transitions include such events as starting school, moving to a new place, puberty, leaving home as a young adult, pregnancy, and the like.

Sandy: I first became allergic to things during the final examinations at college.

Tim: That is a good example. You are experiencing this stress and you are ready to transition from school to another phase of life. So, it is a transition phase.

Then there is another question, What if you fail? So you are going through a change in your identity. Who am I here? Am I going to succeed or not?

Sometimes the immune system makes a mistake. During stressful transitions, it might take something from the environment and go, “That’s the problem!” when really it isn’t. The positive intent of your immune system is to protect you. Once your immune system considers something a threat, it never forgets. It keeps reacting by producing the same cells whenever it encounters a certain pollen, dust, or food substance.

Sandy: And you said it was a mistaken relationship, it’s not really a cause/effect, just a mistaken identity?

Tim: It is a mistaken relationship, yeah. Your immune system, which is your identity system, is saying, “You know, that’s dangerous, it’s not me. I have got to get rid of it.” So when you ingest it, it’s goes, “Oh no, this is dangerous, it’s a foreign invader.” It’s not going, “Oh, this is just a piece of pollen.” Because it has made a mistake, it’s saying, “This is a virus or something that is dangerous.”

Sandy: This touches home for me. When that bouquet was brought into the training room, and I saw that lily, I almost went into panic. Because lilies always trigger me but it was right next to the rose, which doesn’t, so I was able to stay calm. But I considered plucking it out. Is that strange?

Tim: We might ask, “Is there anything inherently dangerous with lilies?” I mean how many of you walked into the room and almost panicked when you saw the lily? One person told me, “The marigolds got me. Made me nervous. I didn’t go into the backyard for about a month.”

Your immune system can learn to instantly respond to danger. It can also relearn quickly that something is in fact, not dangerous. Your immune system is amazing. It changes instantly when it perceives a threat. Just as quickly, it can unlearn inappropriate responses. This is a wonderful thing your immune can do.

The Counter-Example Process is a fast, powerful tool for helping the immune system learn a more appropriate response.

Why Do You Call This Counter–Example Process?

At first this technique was called the Allergy Process. But, as we experimented, we found this process is not limited to allergic reactions. It can work on anything that you are having an overreaction to in some way.

When I first started doing this work, somebody sent me an article that indicated that addictions to certain things or strong cravings were similar to allergies. I had an opportunity to explore this when a woman inadvertently said, “You know, I’m a chocoholic.” “Really?” “Yeah, I got sick last week.” (It was the week after Christmas.) She went on. “Every Christmas my boss gives me this two–pound box of my favorite chocolates—if there is a chocolate in the room and I’m in the room, that chocolate is history.” So she craved chocolate. She would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and drive to the mini market just to get chocolate.

And I thought of that article, and in a meaningful way said, “Ha. That’s just an allergy. I think you can probably change that with this Counter–Example Process.” And so we did the process on a craving. It worked really well. I have done that may times since. If you think about a craving, it is an over reaction of another kind. I don’t know if it is biologically like an allergy or not but the process works in the same way.

If an allergy is an overreaction, what other things might you be overreacting to? For example, do you overreact when you see a certain kind of person coming? If you go, “Yuck, I don’t want to deal with him,” you could think of that as being “allergic” to that person. A social worker who led groups said to me, “During the first couple of sessions I’m really nervous but by the third or fourth session, you know, I’m into it and I feel confident and fully present.” It’s as though he’s having an allergic response because he is overreacting to the first couple of sessions. We did the process using the forth session as the resourceful counter–example and he later told me starting a new group was no longer stressful for him.

So—you can use this process with anything that works by using a counter example as a resource state. That’s why Suzi and I relabeled it the Counter–Example Process.


The Counter-Example Process

The Counter–Example Process is such a quick and easy NLP technique that to write it out is a lot more work than just to do it. It has nine simple steps. Here is a brief summary:

1. Calibrate.

2. Explain the mistake of the immune system.

3. Check for ecology/secondary gain.

4. Find an appropriate counter–example resource and anchor it.

5. Holding the anchor: Have the person watch himself experiencing the counter-example and being just the way he wants to be.

6. Introduce the agent he has been overreacting to while he continues to watch himself being just the way he wants to be (As he was with the counter–example.)

7. Still holding the anchor: re-associate the person. Have him imagine that he is fully present with the agent, but still maintaining the resourceful way of being that he experiences with the counter-example.

8. Still holding the anchor: Future pace—have him imagine future times when he will be fully present to the agent.

9. Test. (If it has been a serious allergy, be sure that the person get a test from a competent physician.)


Your role in the process—”How-To” tips from Tim

1. Calibrate. First we identify the present state. “What’s it like for you when you’re in the presence of the allergen?” Watch for the person’s body language, eye accessing cues, breathing, skin tone, muscle tension and so on So you can identify the state. You will want to see this state looking different (and more resourceful) when you test at the end of the process .

2. Explain the mistake of the immune system. Explain that the person’s immune system has made a mistake about something being dangerous when it really isn’t. The immune system has marked out something as harmful, that is not harmful in and of itself. Let the person know that it can be retrained rather quickly.

3. Check for ecology/secondary gain. Ask, “Is there any good reason you can think of for having this response?” What would the person’s life be like without this? Could there be any negative consequences to eliminating the reaction? If any ecology issues surface, use other NLP techniques to deal with these issues before proceeding.

Here is an example of an “ecology problem: The woman who reacted to the eyeglasses had friends who were allergic to things, too. So she did a Tupperware-like party for allergies. Suzi and I used this opportunity to test the process further. We worked with person after person. One woman who was on the verge of changing started acting hesitant about making a change. Suzi asked, “What’s going on?” This woman was unconsciously trying to self-induce an asthmatic reaction. She wasn’t sure if she want to be free of asthma. Her grandfather had invented a sort of inhaler that helped her. The inhaler was commercially successful for her family. But not only that, Grandpa had invented it for her. It represented his love and caring to her. Now, do you see some ecology problems? What would it mean if she no longer needed to use it?

So we had to do a little reframing. What would her grandfather really want for her —no longer having asthmatic reactions or having to use the device? (She said, after thinking about it, “He wanted me well.) Even if the process worked for her, and no longer needed her grandfather’s invention, the device was still valuable for lots of other people.

4. Find an appropriate counter–example resource. There are two types of counter examples that can be used as resources: a. A time when the person was in the presence of the allergen and had a resourceful response, or b. Something similar to the allergen to which the person has no allergic response.

5. So the fifth step is to see self with the allergen through the glass.

Participant: I’m still concerned about Step Five. They are seeing themselves with the counter example?

Tim: She is seeing herself being okay, her best self, with the counter example, while you are holding the anchor. Then you let go of that still holding the anchor. She then sees herself exposed to the agent and still being okay. Just like she was with the counter example.

6. Introduce the allergen. As the person is watching herself over there behind the Plexiglas,” have her see herself in the presence of the problem agent, the thing that used to create the problem. At this point, wait until you see a physiological shift. It’s like the immune system says, “All right, I’ve got it… I’ve learned a new response.”

Participant: Is Step Six looking through the glass as well?

Tim: Yes.

Participant: And do you hold the anchor?

Tim: I am holding the anchor throughout the whole process—all the way through the future pace.

7. Re-associate. Drop the Plexiglas and bring the person back into her body. Have her imagine she is in the presence of the allergen as you continue to hold the resource anchor. Have her associate into being fully present with whatever the “allergen” was. Finally, you drop the Plexiglas.

Participant: Do you drop the anchor as well?

Tim: Nope. You hold the anchor all the way. This is what makes it work. You want to hold that state stable all the way through the future pace.

8. Future pace. Have her then imagine a time in the future when she will be in the presence of whatever it was that she was reacting to. (Now Tim drops the anchor.)

9. Test. If you can actually test safely on the spot, do that. If not, re-calibrate to see if eye accessing cues, posture, muscle tone, breathing, and skin tone have changed And look more resourceful, like she did when exposed to the counter-example. If the person has had a severe response, get her to agree to get tested appropriately by a doctor.


First Demonstration

Tim (to Sandy): All right, so what are you allergic to in addition to lilies?

Sandy: Grasses, trees, molds, everything, but lilies really trigger me.

Tim: Okay, so lilies might be a good place to start?

Sandy: Yes.

Tim: But are there certain plants that you are okay with?

Sandy: Roses.

Tim: So, do you like roses?

Sandy: I do.

Tim: Do you like the smell?

Sandy: Yes.

Tim: So have you have reached down and smelled a rose?

Sandy: Many times.

Tim: And you like that?

Sandy: Yeah.

Tim: So we are just going to anchor that. Image you are smelling that rose. You know what that is like. And when you smell a rose your body knows exactly how to deal with it in an effective way, doesn’t it?

Sandy: Yes.

Tim: (Tim anchors the state of smelling a rose.) Okay, excellent. And just kind of let that go.

(To Group): So I just anchored that. And I want to just test the anchor. (Tim lets go of the anchor, then reactivates it.) There it is. Can you all see it? So I want to make sure that the anchor is there.

(To Sandy): So now what I would like you to do is imagine from the floor to the ceiling that there is a big thick piece of Plexiglas, like they have at the shark tank at the aquarium. And we can look through it way out there into the distance and you can see Sandy out there with a rose, smelling a rose and enjoying it and having her immune system function exactly perfect with that. Do you have a sense of that? So her immune system knows just how to be perfect with that rose. You can enjoy it. Be with a beautiful object in nature, right?

(To Group): That looks good, does not it?

(To Sandy): So let that go, still looking through the Plexiglas over there. Let that picture go and in the same place see yourself over there smelling a lily with the same ability and quality. Keep doing it. Seeing yourself way over there with this fully present to you.

(To Group): How does she look?

(To Sandy): There you go, that looks different now, doesn’t it? Now image coming back into your body, kachunk. Let the Plexiglas go.

Sandy: Okay.

Tim: So imagine that I’m holding a lily and you can smell it. How is that?

(To Group): It looks really different.

(To Sandy): Okay, so when is the next time you might be around a lily? Got a sense of that? So imagine taking this with you. In the past, how long would it take before a symptom came on with this?

Sandy: It was immediate.

Tim: So immediate—and what happens?

Sandy: My eyes would itch, my nose would run, I would start sneezing, the roof of my mouth would itch, I would get congested.

Tim: Okay. And the longer you were around it the worse it got.

Sandy: I couldn’t breathe, like being able to take a deep breath. No way.

Tim: Okay, so get a sense of being with the rose again. Do you have a sense of that?

Sandy: Yeah.

Tim: Lovely. Okay, one more time. See yourself way out there with the rose and you are fine, through the Plexiglas. Then being with the lily. There, that looks different, doesn’t it? So imagine being your body. One more time, image I’m holding that lily and take a little whiff of it. Is it safe and appropriate to test it gently? Yes?

Sandy: Yes. Do I smell the lily? Do I get to smell the rose first? Okay, alright.

Tim: Okay. Don’t overdo it. You always want to test it gently at first.

Sandy: Do I get to smell the rose too?

Tim: Yeah.

Sandy: Oh good.

Tim: So what is happening? (to group): Now she is going to be snorting the lilies.

Sandy: Well, I’m breathing just fine. I’m able to breathe deeply.

Tim: And in the past you said that your reaction would have been pretty immediate right?

Sandy: Yeah, yeah.

Tim: Well, thank your immune system. And just drop inside and ask your immune system to generalize this to all the pollens and grasses and molds because they are just a mistake as well. And give yourself a sense of appreciation because your immune system is a remarkable thing. Every little macrophage can go, “I get it. That’s just debris.” Okay, lovely. Good work.

Sandy: Thank you.


Second Demonstration

Tim: So, Charles had kind of a general allergy. He wasn’t clear; it was something in the air, right?

Charles: I know dust does it. I don’t know what else does it.

Tim: Okay, well, let’s do it with dust. Dust is really a common one. And it’s usually not just the dust. It’s the tiny mites in the dust that are microscopic. So, you are allergic to dust. So, what’s it like if there is a lot of dust floating around here? I want to calibrate it a little bit.

Charles: It is at maximum when I vacuum because the filter is not perfect, it lets some dust out and I end up smelling the dust.

Tim: So, image there is a bunch of dust in the air because you have been vacuuming.

Charles: Yeah, then I have to wipe my nose a lot.

Tim: Imagine doing it now. Get a sense of it. We want to calibrate it. Okay.

(To Group): See the tension around here (pointing to Charles’s face). His color changes. You can start to get some of it by imagining.

(To Charles): So let it go.

(To Group): That is usually a good sign, by the way, that this process will work. So, we have identified the present state. We have calibrated it. This reaction is going to be your final test for whether or not the processed worked, so you will want to calibrate at the beginning. We will always, always, always do that.

(To Charles): Is there any good reason for this dust allergy?

Charles: I don’t think so.

Tim: Does it get you out of housework?

Charles: No, it doesn’t get me out of housework. I have to do it anyway.

Tim: Then you’d have to suffer anyway, right?

Charles: I suffer anyway.

Tim: So, drop inside and just check. Is there any part of it that is for any good reason you can think of?

Charles: I don’t think so.

Tim (to Group): If we have any ecology problem, it will come up later anyway, but it is often useful just to ask. Sometimes people will suddenly get an understanding. “Ah well, it keeps me from having to do something.” One guy who was allergic to dust was a professor at Stanford. He gave a lot of lectures to high-powered people. And sometimes he’d get this allergy. Then he could use it as an excuse if he didn’t perform as well as he wanted to. He would say something like this: “Well, I had this allergy. Otherwise I would have been great.” So we wanted to find another way to deal with that.

(To Charles): So what’s a counter example? What is something similar, in your mind, to dust? Something that you are stay fine around? You could either choose a time when you were okay around it or something similar.

Charles: I don’t think there is a time when I am okay around it. Most kinds of pollen are okay for me.

Tim: Pollen?

Charles: Maybe there is some stuff I am allergic to but I smell flowers without repercussions.

Tim: Okay, so if somebody gave you a rose, you could smell it all day and it would be fine right?

Charles: I never had a flower that I smelled and felt anything.

Tim: Okay. And, of course, pollen has little particulates and stuff, same as dust, right? Probably has little organisms in it too. You wouldn’t believe how much bacteria is running around in your body right now. And there are all these little organisms everywhere.

Charles: They are supposed to be there. It keeps other organisms away.

Tim: So, let’s use pollen. As per your model of the world, those are pretty similar, right? Some other possibilities with dust would be road dust. Have you ever tried taking a walk or a hike in the hills?

Charles: I get allergic from that as well.

Tim: From that as well? Because sometimes people can be around dust up on a trail. How about flour? You may sift flour. Flour that you make bread out of.

Charles: I’m not allergic to that.

Tim: Somebody could be making bread or something and you can be around that kind of flour.

(To Group): So, that would be another one. If he couldn’t think of a counter example, I could start thinking of what it might be like. What’s another thing that’s similar?

(To Charles): I think pollen is a good one. And I guess you said roses are fine. Most people are familiar with smelling roses, right? So, imagine you have a rose here. And you smell it. And your body knows just how to deal with that, doesn’t it? So, you are fine with it. You can just enjoy the rose; enjoy your life.

Imagine one more time, you’re smelling the rose. Kind of memorize that response. And I’m asking your unconscious to do that as well. Imagine there is a piece of Plexiglas from the floor to the ceiling, which is really thick. Look—way out there. Find a blank space there and little up. Then look out there and see Charles, smelling the rose through that glass and being just like you—the kind of ‘you’ that you want to be— being absolutely fine. How does that look?

Exactly where that is, let it go and replace it by seeing yourself around the dust and maybe in your living room there is a vacuum going and over there. But you have this ability here being just the way you want to be. Okay.

(To Group): That looks good doesn’t it? Did you all see the little shift? Like a little relaxation?

(To Charles): So now let the Plexiglas go. Imagine that now you are in your living room and vacuuming over there and there is some dust over there. Now go ahead and think about that. Do you see the little specks, with light shinning on?

Charles: No, I don’t see that. They are microscopic.

Tim: Okay. My dust is bigger than that.

Charles: My vacuum sort of has a filter that takes the large parts out.

Tim: Just image the little particulates are coming in but you have this ability.

(To Group): When I say “this ability,” I am just holding the anchor a little bit more.

(To Charles): Just kind of let go of the vacuum but imagine those little particulates are around. How are you now?

Charles: I’m okay.

Tim: That looks good, doesn’t it? It looks really different. So you will be able to test this over the next few days?

Charles: Probably, next weekend.

Tim: So, imagine it’s next Saturday. You are vacuuming your house.

Charles: Sunday.

Tim: Okay, it’s Sunday and you are vacuuming. There are those little particulates. How is that? And you have to agree that you will vacuum your house on Sunday.

Charles: It’s due anyway.

Tim: So let’s imagine it’s a year from now and you have been vacuuming safely for a year. Those little particulates are no more problem. And you can look back in time and you can look all the way back to when you let go of that.
We will want a report back when we see you next.


Questions and Answers

Does this work with autoimmune diseases? Autoimmune illnesses are usually conflicts. One part of you is fighting another part. So, I would start by integrating conflicts.

Will this process work if my problem is stress induced? It definitely might.

Does this work with food allergies? Sure. It also works with bee stings. It works with medicines. It works with almost anything. We are working with the process, how you react, not specific content.

Does this work with something like eczema? It can. You just need to know what you are allergic to. I worked with a little boy who was seven years old. He had eczema. I just had him imagine going down deep like he was going down into an elevator, deep inside of himself. Then I had him ask himself what it was? He came up with two things: salt water and orange juice. His mother had given him orange juice practically everyday of his life. So we worked with that. And his eczema went away.

What would be a good counter example for cigarette smoke? Fireplace smoke, campfire smoke, incense, sometimes cigars. Some people crave cigarettes but not cigars.

How about chocolate? If somebody is a chocoholic, what would be a good counter example? Intuitively, some people go for some kind of food that they think is disgusting. Instead choose something that you are okay with that is similar to chocolate. Some people are allergic to chocolate but not divinity. Or they can eat caramels but not chocolates. If you are okay with peanuts, peanut butter’s texture is similar to chocolate.

If you are allergic to milk, what would be a good counter example? What is like milk? Rice Dream? Soy milk? The counter example, in the person’s mind, has to be right.

What if you have a problem like eczema and you can’t think of a counter example because you don’t know where it comes from? For this process to work, you need to know what you are allergic to, or at least have a general idea about it. You typically need an idea of context to help create change.

Can you do this by yourself or do you have to have somebody’s help? If you want to work on something by yourself, use a space anchor. I just put a piece of paper down. Once I have counter example, I step into the space marked by the paper and really imagine myself with the counter example. Then, I step out to make sure I had a positive example. Then I step back on the floor anchor, look through the Plexiglas, and do the process all from there. But it is always better to work with another person. One plus one equals more than two.


In Closing

As you can see, the Counter-Example Process is a fairly easy process for ending allergies, addictions, and other overreactions. This process doesn’t take very long, but can be very powerful!

The technique in this article is covered in trainings in Salt Lake City, Utah as well as San Francisco, California.




Tim Hallbom, MSW, is a Certified NLP trainer, author, therapist and co-director of the NLP Institute of California. He has been involved with NLP since 1980 and is the co-author of the book Beliefs: Pathways to Health and Well-Being. He also maintains a private consulting practice.


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