I learned the NLP Fast Phobia Cure many years ago. I have used it a lot. But nobody knows why it works. This book gives a reason.
I am reading, and rereading, the book by Peter Levine, In an unspoken voice. In his book Levine puts forward his theory that most psychosomatic and behavioural problems are the result of unresolved trauma. I am greatly impressed by this book because of the explanatory power of its underlying theory. It does not deal with hypnotherapy directly, but everything he puts forward as theory maps exactly on to what hypnotists do to fix their clients.
Why the NLP Fast Phobia Cure works
And bearing in mind that 'there is nothing as practical as a good theory' I keep finding insights into why standard hypnotherapy techniques work. The NLP fast phobia cure consists of taking the person to the edge of distress to the moment just before they will experience what they fear. Then they are encouraged to go through the experience visually. They see it happening very fast, then run it in reverse. Then they play with the images, making them bigger, smaller, distorted and so on.
This fits in perfectly with Levine's ideas. He says that when we have a traumatic experience and we are prevented from getting out of it, we freeze and dissociate, but the trauma remains within us. The only way to get rid of the frozen trauma is to work through the whole sequence of events slowly. That way you become aware of what is happening in your body. He says 'When we are able to slow down and experience all the elements of sensation and feeling that accompany our traumatic patterns, allowing them to complete themselves before we move on, we begin to access and transform the drives and motivation that otherwise compel us to re-enact traumatic events'.
The Fast phobia cure does exactly that. It allows the sufferer to control the speed at which events are experienced. You go through it all slowly and deliberately. So the NLP Fast Phobia Cure is actually the slow phobia cure.
NLP has never been able to provide a rational explanation for why the 'cure' works. I think that the Body Sensing theory explains it completely.