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Modalities in NLP refers to our internal representations, which relate to the five senses (Visual, Auditory Kinaesthetic, Olfactory, and Gustatory) plus our internal dialogue.

In using Modalities you can change internal representations to alter behaviours. We all have internal representations built up of Modalities which determine our emotional response. They can also be referred to as internal codes.

We have codes or Modalities for everything, some appeal to us and attract us and others create dislike. When you change the code, you change the emotional response.

For example, a frequently used collection of NLP techniques is called Submodalities, which works with the Modalities and changes them. This can be used for clients that wish to quit smoking or stop eating chocolate, swap sweets for grapes and any other change.

Once you understand Modalities, you can use them on yourself. For example, if you wanted to go to the gym however you struggled to get motivated, you could change the Modalities to that which represent what you love to do and then your emotional response will change.

Eliciting the code is a key part of NLP work with clients. You can elicit codes for beliefs, foods, drinks, behaviours, any other aspect of life you would like to change. Working with Submodalities is particularly useful for changing eating habits and preferences, which you can do through the like to dislike technique. There is also the Swish Pattern for behaviour changes.

For everything in life, we have an internal representation which can be made up of pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes.

If you consider your favourite food now, how do you represent that? Is it a picture, sound, feeling, smell or taste? Most representations will have a combination. As you consider your favourite food, do you have a picture?

You can change your internal representations in many ways for example when working with your picture, if it’s black and white you can change it to colour and the other way around. When you change the code, you change the response.

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