NLP Pattern Interrupt – Problem States

Everyone I know ( me included ), at some time has the experience of a ‘problem’. A problem IS at some level the sum total of the bio-chemical and bio-electrical ‘chemical/electrical bath’ that is then filtered, interpreted, filtered again and then experienced as a problem.

The well know and well coined NLP phrase ‘NLP Pattern Interrupt’ is one of those NLPisms that really deserves a closer look. After all what is a pattern? And what is a pattern interrupt? I prefer to think about this NLPism as State Alteration. What I mean by this is by way of my actions I am interfering, interrupting and changing the state that holds the problem together.

Again it is not the state that is the the problem, it is the end interpretation of the state. As a therapist / coach, by acting outside the level of interpretation and labelling it is much easier to alter the structure of the perceived problem.

The experiencer of a problem and the experience in and of itself are inextricably linked, at some level they are the same. What would the ‘problem’ or more accurately the perception of ‘a problem’ become or change to when the bio-chemistry and the bio-electrical responses to the initial experience or thought process that holds the ‘problem’ together change?

One way to pretty radically alter the internal state that ‘holds the problem’ in its current form is to Frustrate The Problem. This approach really does require a LOT of honest rapport. This approach is possible only with trust, rapport and a deep connection.

Of course, this is not a full change process, it is one part of a solution. Very good therapists and coaches know this!

One Response to NLP Pattern Interrupt – Problem States

  1. Good one, Nigel!

    I’ve also noticed that beginning students of NLP have trouble understanding the notion of pattern interrupts.

    Your post is a good starting point to unravel the meaning of that nebulous expression.