In Submodalities, Critical Submodalities are the difference that makes the difference.
A submodality in neuro-linguistic programming is a distinction of form or structure (rather than content) within a sensory representational system.
NLP asserts that amongst the many possible submodalities, there will often be a handful of so-called “critical” submodalities which can functionally effect large-scale change, and that they differ between people, and can be identified by observation and inquiry. NLP states that a change within these critical submodalities will often correlate with a near-immediate subjective change in the emotion or other felt-sense with which a mental impression presents itself.
Submodalities are therefore seen in NLP as offering a valuable therapeutic insight (or metaphor) and potential working methods, into how the human mind internally organizes and subjectively ‘views’ events.
Critical submodalities are the submodalitites that are most powerful in determining a person’s response.