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📁 Communication 🏷️ Tools Metaphors NLP
🕙 20 mins
Vlad | Mentalist | Modeller | Handicapper
Vlad | Mentalist | Modeller | Handicapper
He is an explorer of the structure of subjective experience, seeking a deeper understanding of how people experience the world through their conscious and subconscious minds. He studies the inner worlds of thoughts, feelings, and sensations that shape our perceptions, behaviors, and choices.
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Evolving - This article is part of a series.
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Image credit: Budgeron Bach

“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your internal representations.” - John Grinder


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) modeling is a process that involves studying and replicating the successful behaviors, strategies, and mindset of individuals who excel in a particular area. It is a powerful technique used in NLP to understand and reproduce the patterns of excellence in order to achieve similar results.

NLP modeling begins by selecting a person who demonstrates exceptional skills or expertise in a specific domain, such as communication, leadership, or problem-solving. The modeler then closely observes and analyzes the person’s behaviors, language patterns, beliefs, and internal processes to uncover the underlying strategies and techniques that contribute to their success.

Through careful observation and questioning, the modeler elicits information about the model’s thoughts, emotions, and actions, aiming to uncover the unconscious patterns that drive their excellence. This information is then organized and structured into a replicable model that can be taught and applied by others.

NLP modeling goes beyond simply imitating the surface-level behaviors of successful individuals. It seeks to understand the deep structure of their thinking and the underlying mental processes that lead to their achievements. By uncovering and replicating these cognitive and behavioral patterns, individuals can enhance their own performance and achieve similar levels of success in their chosen field.

NLP modeling has been widely used in various fields, including business, sports, therapy, education, and personal development. It offers a systematic approach to understand and replicate excellence, allowing individuals to learn from the best and achieve their desired outcomes more effectively.


“NLP modeling is like reverse engineering excellence.” - Richard Bandler

In the realm of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), one of the most intriguing and transformative aspects is the elicitation of the internal structure of experience. NLP, a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and enhancing human communication and behavior, delves deep into the intricate workings of the mind. In this post, we will explore how NLP practitioners use techniques to uncover and understand the internal structure of human experiences, shedding light on the profound impact this process can have on personal growth, therapy, and effective communication.


Elicitation, in the context of NLP, refers to the process of skillfully extracting and understanding the internal components that make up an individual’s experience. This experience can range from memories and emotions to thought patterns and beliefs. Elicitation serves as a gateway to the inner workings of the human mind.


  • Uncover Patterns
  • Identify recurring patterns and structures within an individual’s experiences. This helps in understanding how they think, feel, and behave in certain situations.


  • By dissecting and understanding internal structures, NLP practitioners can assist individuals in modifying unhelpful patterns, replacing negative emotions with positive ones, and transforming limiting beliefs.



Timeline is an NLP technique that involves exploring an individual’s personal timeline. It helps identify and reframe events from the past that may be influencing their present behavior and emotions.


Anchoring is a technique where specific triggers (anchors) are associated with certain emotional states or behaviors. By eliciting the anchor, an NLP practitioner can help individuals access and modify their internal experiences.


Submodalities are the finer distinctions within sensory experiences. For example, in the visual domain, submodalities might include color, brightness, size, and location. NLP practitioners use submodalities to elicit and modify internal experiences by making subtle changes to these elements.


  • We can identify with our heroes from comics, books, movies, stories and real life.

  • Consent: Ensure that the person being identified is fully aware of and consents to the data gathering process. Explain the purpose of data collection and how it will be used. If the person/animal/thing is fictional or deceased imagine asking him/her/it for consent.

  • Confidentiality: Respect the privacy and confidentiality of the individual. Safeguard any personal information collected during the identification process and ensure it is stored securely.

  • Purpose: Clearly define the purpose of data gathering. Is it for research, therapeutic purposes, or personal exploration? Having a clear objective helps maintain focus and ensures the information is used appropriately.

  • Focus on Experience: Pay attention to the subjective experiences and perceptions shared by the person. Document their emotions, sensations, memories, and any insights gained during the identification process.

  • Observations: Make objective observations about the person’s behavior, physiological changes, and non-verbal cues during elicitation of relevant data.

  • Contextual Information: Gather relevant contextual information about the person’s background, beliefs, and experiences that may contribute to their evolution. This can help provide a more holistic understanding of their journey.

  • Analysis: Once the data is collected, analyze it in a systematic and unbiased manner. Look for patterns, themes, and insights that emerge from the information gathered during modeling.


  • After permission I am searching for cornerstones - deep values embedded in person life and causes of major changes.
  • I am asking for motivational strategy and process of activity from the beginning to the end.
  • I am eliciting approach to obstacles, problems and issues.
  • I am trying on myself if the values, strategies, processes, approaches works for the area I would like to model


“Modeling is about creating a detailed map of excellence.” - Richard Bandler

Have you ever wondered how some individuals effortlessly excel in certain areas of life? How they seem to possess innate skills and qualities that set them apart? NLP modeling may hold the key to unlocking your own hidden potential and achieving personal growth.

Improved Communication Skills: NLP modeling helps enhance communication at all levels. It provides techniques to effectively convey your thoughts and ideas, improving your ability to connect with others and build stronger relationships.

Increased Self-Confidence: NLP modeling can boost self-confidence by helping individuals overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns. It provides tools to reframe negative experiences and develop a positive mindset, leading to increased self-assurance.

Enhanced Leadership Abilities: NLP modeling can improve leadership skills by teaching effective strategies for influencing and motivating others. It helps individuals understand different communication styles and adapt their approach to inspire and lead teams more effectively.

Overcoming Fears and Limitations: NLP modeling offers techniques to overcome fears, phobias, and limitations. It helps individuals identify and reprogram negative patterns of thinking and behavior, enabling personal growth and development.

Improved Problem-Solving Skills: NLP modeling provides strategies to enhance problem-solving abilities. It helps individuals develop a flexible mindset, think creatively, and find innovative solutions to challenges.

Stress Reduction and Emotional Well-being: NLP modeling techniques can assist in managing stress and promoting emotional well-being. It offers tools to regulate emotions, reduce anxiety, and improve overall mental resilience.

Increased Influence and Persuasion: NLP modeling equips individuals with effective techniques for influencing and persuading others. It provides insights into non-verbal communication, language patterns, and rapport-building, enabling individuals to communicate more persuasively.


Richard Bandler

The story of NLP modeling begins with the collaboration of Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the early 1970s. Richard Bandler, a computer science student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was drawn to the field of psychology and human behavior. His keen interest in exploring the patterns and strategies of exceptional individuals laid the foundation for what would become NLP.

John Grinder

John Grinder, a linguistics professor, and expert in transformational grammar joined forces with Bandler. Together, they embarked on a quest to decipher the secrets of human excellence. Grinder’s expertise in linguistics played a pivotal role in shaping the linguistic aspects of NLP.

The Birth of NLP Modeling

Modeling Fritz Perls

In the early days of their collaboration, Bandler and Grinder set their sights on modeling the renowned therapist Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy. Through a process of careful observation and analysis, they identified the linguistic patterns, gestures, and strategies that made Perls a master therapist. This endeavor marked the birth of NLP modeling.

Modeling Virginia Satir

Following their success with Perls, Bandler and Grinder turned their attention to Virginia Satir, a celebrated family therapist. Through intensive study and modeling, they unearthed the communication patterns and techniques that made Satir exceptionally effective in her work with families.

Modeling Milton Erickson

Perhaps one of the most influential figures in the history of NLP modeling was Milton H. Erickson, a renowned hypnotherapist. Bandler and Grinder meticulously studied Erickson’s language patterns, metaphors, and hypnotic techniques. Their work with Erickson expanded the scope of NLP, incorporating elements of hypnotherapy.

The Core Principles of NLP Modeling

Modeling Excellence

At its core, NLP modeling is based on the belief that excellence can be observed, studied, and replicated. Bandler and Grinder’s approach involved breaking down complex behaviors and strategies into concrete steps that could be taught to others.

The Neuro-Linguistic Connection

NLP recognizes the interplay between neurology (the nervous system), language, and behavior. It posits that our internal experiences and external behaviors are intrinsically linked, making language a key tool for understanding and influencing human behavior.


  • Sitting by side so you can perceive nuances in facial expression, gestures, coloration of the skin and not stay in the way of client who are accessing their images and creating metaphors in front of them.

  • Modulate your voice and speak slowly and melodically.

  • Be interested and curious about client exploration.

  • Repeat client’s words using his voice delivery. For instance when the client spoke about exciting event, his face lightened up, words speeded up and his tone of voice was higher. As a professional, you are, match his expression or attend acting class to learn essentials.

  • Connect the question and experience with coordinating conjunction and/as/when.


“Confidence is that feeling that you can do something (or that you know something) so well you don’t have to think about how to do it when you’re doing it. That skill or knowledge is in you, it’s part of you, and it will come out when needed if you let it.” – Dr. Nate Zinsser

Vlad: I have already elicited structure of subjective experience of confidence from clients I have worked with. Talking to a client: “What can I do for you today?”

Client: “I would like to be more confident in public speaking.”

Vlad: “What stops you from being more confident?”

Client: “I am nervous and got feeling in my stomach before going on podium.”

Vlad: “You got feeling in your stomach before going on podium and you interpret this feeling as nerves giving you message. Every living person has got sensation which let’s him know/her know the location of their limbs, if something it’s pleasant or not, etc. When going on the first date many people experience sensations. Some interpret them as nervousness, some as excitement. Top athletes in their field utilize sensations to enhance their performance. So if they are competing in front of hundred thousands of people, they have learned that sensation in their stomach and upper chest means they are in their top and ready to give the best. They’ve got as well as strong voice affirming they’ll perform on top, coming from the ground up and filling their body with excitement and energy.

With whom, where and when can you speak confidently?”

Client: “I’ve got two kids, so I need to be confident.”

Vlad: “You’ve got two kids and you have learned that speaking with confidence it’s much better. Allow yourself step or breathe in the time when words are coming effortlessly and easily and notice sensation quality of flow of confidence in your body. It is heavy/light, small/big, smooth/rasp, solid/airy, moving/still.”

Client: With surprise on his face and voice. “I didn’t notice before but I feel sensation in my stomach too, albeit no so strong. It’s size of orange, solid, heavy, rotating clockwise.”

Vlad: “And when you feel the solid, heavy sensation size of orange rotating clockwise while talking with confidence to your kids notice what are you telling yourself, who’s voice it is, origin of location of the voice, it’s speed and direction.” I am anchoring the sensation with tone of my voice and hand gesture.

Client: “I am telling myself I know that I can do this! It’s my voice with origin in my chest and going leisurely to my throat and mouth.”

Vlad: “So when talking confidently you’ve got solid, heavy sensation size of the orange in you stomach rotating clockwise and you are saying to yourself I can do it originated in you chest and going leisurely to your throat and mouth. Can you imagine that in a moment you go on a podium and notice the sensation quality and the phrase you are telling yourself?”

Client: “I feel the sensation which it’s bigger size of the melon and more dense, spinning counterclockwise and I hear myself ‘He is looser’, coming fast from my stomach and going through my throat.”

Vlad: “I have tried it and got sense of your experience. Can we make the experience better? I would like that you change the spinning from counterclockwise to clockwise and hear the words ‘I can do this.’ coming from your stomach.

Client: “I don’t know what happened but when I think about it now I am ready and curious.”

Vlad: “Go in the future imagining different scenarios and try as hard as you can in vain to be nervous.”

Client: “I can’t. I just feel excitement and curiosity”


1. Ask the want and check for ecology

  • Step inside you want and experience what will happen in your relationship. How will the change manifest in your health, work, financial, learning outcomes?

1. Elicit client pattern, submodalities, timeline, VAKOG (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfatory, Gustatory)

  • What you want to be able to do?
  • What will happen if you do?
  • What will happen if you don’t?
  • What won’t happen if you do?
  • What won’t happen if you don’t?
  • How will you know when you’re doing?

2. Elicit client successful behavior, submodalities, timeline, VAKOG

  • What it’s happening in your experience? What do you see externally and internally? What do you hear and what’s your internal dialog? What do you sense and what’s the difference between X and Y? What do you smell and taste?
  • What drives you to do the task?
  • What happens when you encounter obstacles or problems? How do you prepare for obstacles or problems?
  • What it’s the benefit of your actions?
  • What will happen if you stop doing it yourself?
  • What is your criteria for knowing that you have accomplished the task? Can they be different?

3. Cross submodalities, timeline, VAKOG of successful behavior to desired pattern and install the behavior in the future


Find a quiet space where you can relax without any distractions. Dim the lights, play soft and soothing music in the background, and ensure you are in a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.

Scan your body from the top to the bottom searching the part which is most relax and allow this part to spread sensation of relaxation in a movement that is most appropriate for you as a person. Notice the speed of your internal dialog and allow it to be softer, slower.

Scan your body from the top to the bottom searching the part which is most relax and allow this part to spread sensation of relaxation in a movement that is most appropriate for you as a person. Notice the speed of your internal dialog and allow it to be softer, slower.

Scan your body from the top to the bottom searching the part which is most relax and allow this part to spread sensation of relaxation in a movement that is most appropriate for you as a person. Notice the speed of your internal dialog and allow it to be softer, slower.

Notice the emerging feeling at your rate and speed and when it’s time return to your space with growing sensation of wellness and comfort.


▶️ Youtube - Robert Dilts modeling of Success


Q: What is NLP modeling?

A: NLP modeling is the process of representing the patterns of organization of the specific skills and results of excellence of an exemplar. It involves studying and understanding the strategies, beliefs, physiology, and thought processes of individuals who excel in a particular area.

Q: How does NLP modeling work?

A: NLP modeling involves observing and analyzing the behaviors, beliefs, and strategies of successful individuals in order to replicate their excellence. By understanding and adopting their patterns of thinking and behavior, one can achieve similar results.

Q: What are the benefits of NLP modeling?

A: NLP modeling allows individuals to learn from the best and acquire the skills and strategies that lead to success. It can help improve performance, overcome limitations, and achieve desired outcomes in various areas of life.

Q: Can NLP modeling be used to change destructive behaviors?

A: Yes, NLP modeling can be used to identify and change destructive behaviors. By studying the patterns and strategies behind destructive behaviors, individuals can develop techniques to avoid or modify those behaviors and replace them with more positive and empowering ones.

Q: Is there any research to prove the effectiveness of NLP modeling?

A: While there is ongoing research on NLP and its various techniques, the effectiveness of NLP modeling is supported by anecdotal evidence and case studies. Many individuals have reported significant improvements in their personal and professional lives through the application of NLP modeling techniques.


  • Why did the NLP modeler bring a ladder to the session? To help their clients reach new heights of understanding!

  • How many NLP modelers does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but first, they’ll analyze why the old one burnt out.

  • Why did the NLP practitioner become a stand-up comedian? Because they mastered the art of delivering “punchlines”!

  • How do NLP modelers greet each other? “Hi! What’s your representational system today?”

  • Why did the NLP practitioner get kicked out of the library? Because they kept trying to reframe the situation!

  • What’s an NLP modeler’s favorite type of movie? Anything with great rapport-building scenes!

  • How do NLP enthusiasts improve their relationships? They “anchored” themselves to their partners’ good moods!

  • Why did the NLP modeler go to the art gallery? To study the fine art of non-verbal communication.

  • What did one NLP modeler say to the other at the coffee shop? “Let’s meet here tomorrow, same time, same submodalities!”

  • Why do NLP modelers make terrible poker players? Because they can’t hide their tells, and their eye accessing cues give it all away!

  • What do NLP practitioners call their favorite restaurant? “The Place with Great Meta-Modeling Menu!”

  • Why did the NLP modeler bring a magnifying glass to the conversation? To explore the tiny details of communication.

  • Why was the NLP practitioner so calm during the storm? Because they mastered the art of state management!

  • What do you get when you cross an NLP modeler with a comedian? A punchline that anchors laughter!

  • How do NLP enthusiasts organize a party? They create rapport with all the guests to ensure harmony.

  • Why did the NLP modeler get a job as a tour guide? Because they knew how to lead people on a journey of self-discovery!

  • Why was the NLP practitioner great at playing hide and seek? Because they could read people’s subtle cues and uncover hidden emotions!

  • How do NLP modelers make important decisions? They access their internal resources and use a swish pattern to choose the best option.

  • What’s an NLP modeler’s favorite board game? “Charades,” because it’s all about non-verbal communication!

  • Why did the NLP modeler cross the road? To get to the other side of the consciousness spectrum.

  • What’s the difference between an NLP modeler and a comedian? A comedian can make you laugh without even trying.

  • What’s the hardest part of being an NLP modeler? Keeping your composure when you’re dealing with someone who is resistant to change.


  • NLP Modeling is like a Puzzle: It helps you piece together the patterns of human behavior to see the bigger picture.

  • NLP Modeling is the Cookbook for Effective Communication: It provides the recipes and ingredients to cook up successful interactions.

  • NLP is the Decoder Ring: It helps you decipher the hidden messages in language and behavior, like a secret code.

  • NLP is the Musical Score: It orchestrates the harmony in your communication, much like a conductor leads an orchestra.

  • NLP is the Detective’s Magnifying Glass: It zooms in on the subtle details and clues in human interaction, like a detective solving a mystery.

  • NLP is the Artist’s Palette: It offers a range of colors and strokes to paint vibrant and meaningful conversations.

  • NLP is the Gardener’s Green Thumb: It nurtures the growth of positive thoughts and behaviors, just as a gardener tends to plants.

  • NLP is the Architect’s Blueprint: It designs the structure of effective communication and behavior, much like an architect plans a building.

  • NLP Modeling is the Linguist’s Lexicon: It adds new words and expressions to your language toolkit, expanding your ability to communicate.

  • NLP is the Cameraman’s Focus: It sharpens your lens on what’s important in a conversation, like a cameraman adjusts the focus on a subject.

  • NLP Modeling is the Compass of Self-Discovery: It helps you navigate the uncharted territories of your inner world.

  • NLP is the Magic Wand: It transforms negative beliefs and behaviors into positive ones, just as a magician makes things disappear and reappear.

  • NLP is the Gym for Your Mind: It exercises your cognitive muscles, helping you become mentally stronger and more agile.

  • NLP is the Key to the Locked Door: It unlocks the potential within you, allowing you to access hidden talents and capabilities.

  • NLP Modeling is the Sculpted Clay: It molds and shapes your communication and behavior into a masterpiece.


@book Robert Brian Dilts 2017; Modeling with NLP, ISBN 978-1947629042

@book Leslie Cameron-Bandler, David Gordon, Michael Lebeau 1986; Know How: Guided Programs for Inventing Your Own Best Future, ISBN 978-0932573001

@book Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Michael Lebeau, David Gordon 1985; Emprint Method: A Guide to Reproducing Competence ISBN 978-0932573025

@book Shlomo Vaknin 2018; The Big Book Of NLP, Expanded: 350+ Techniques, Patterns & Strategies Of Neuro Linguistic Programming, ISBN 9789657489086

@book David Gordon, Graham Dawes; 2005 Expanding Your World, ISBN 978-0976561606

@audio Raikov effect

@video Robert Dilts; Modeling a healer, 1994

@video Richard Bandler - Secret of success


“The easier you can make it inside your head, the easier it will make things outside your head.” - Richard Bandler

I have read the books and tried out easy strategies. My breakthrough come when I have saw video of Robert Dilts - Modeling the healer. Later I have observer in Richard Bandler’s DVD The secret of success. I use NLP modeling to elicit strategies, beliefs and timelines and in my experience I flow more easily in Deep trance identification.


Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) modeling is a remarkable and transformative approach to understanding human communication, behavior, and personal development. In the journey through this exploration, we’ve uncovered the origins of NLP modeling, the visionary minds behind it, and its profound impact on various aspects of our lives.

At its core, NLP modeling is about dissecting the intricate patterns and strategies of successful individuals and replicating them for personal growth and positive change. This process allows us to tap into the rich tapestry of human experiences, unlocking the secrets of effective communication, behavior modification, and self-improvement.

As we’ve seen, NLP modeling draws upon a diverse range of metaphors and tools, likening it to a puzzle solver, a GPS for the mind, a sculptor’s chisel, and so much more. These metaphors emphasize the versatility and depth of NLP modeling in helping individuals navigate the complexities of their inner worlds and external interactions.

In the journey of NLP modeling, we’ve encountered tools and techniques such as anchoring, reframing, and calibration, all designed to enhance our ability to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and cultivate self-confidence. NLP modeling has found applications in personal development, therapy, education, and numerous other fields, enriching our lives and empowering us to achieve our full potential.

While the journey through the world of NLP modeling has been enlightening, it’s essential to remember that NLP is a dynamic and evolving field. As our understanding of the human mind deepens and technology advances, NLP modeling continues to adapt and expand its horizons.

NLP modeling is a powerful gateway to understanding the intricate workings of the human mind and enhancing our lives through improved communication, behavior modification, and personal development. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a curious newcomer, NLP modeling offers a fascinating and valuable journey of self-discovery and growth, unlocking the limitless potential within each of us.

📁 Communication 🏷️ Tools Metaphors NLP

Evolving - This article is part of a series.
Part : This Article


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🕙 20 mins
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