Synaesthesia

Synaesthesia is a simultaneous overlap in representational systems. Presumably, you have read about eye accessing cues or know something about it. If not, go read the article now. Good. So, as you know, eye accessing cues can give you an indication as to the lead representational system, as well as giving you information whether the person is normally or reverse organized. Eye accessing can also give you information about synaesthesias. Aren’t eyes just wonderful?!

Synaesthesias are simultaneous overlaps in representational systems. This means, that not only one, but two representational systems are fired off simultaneously. More than being an impressive fact, this is quite important when dealing with phobias or people’s strategies.

So, as always, let’s look at an example:

• You see a mouse and immediately jump on a chair

• You hear your loved one and suddenly feel great

• You see your old high school teacher and immediately reach for a baseball bat

What all these examples have in common that the feelings are triggered simultaneously to the picture or sound. Hence, there is no choice in the reaction, it just kind of happens. While in some contexts this might be quite desirable (feeling good with your loved ones), in some others this then imposes a limitation on us by giving us negative feelings.

Since you are very clever, you already know the direct application of this: Phobias. Indeed, a phobia is nothing more than a synaesthesia-gone wild and living a happy life of its own under a palm tree. The response to a visual input is immediate, so much so that the poor phobic person has no chance. In some instances, this leads to people not leaving their house anymore!

In the strategies that we have devised for our daily life, synaesthesias also play an important role. Many times, the crucial point that determines whether the strategy is successful or not, is a synaesthesia.

So, for therapeutic interventions finding the synaesthesia is very important. In the case of a phobia, once you know what the synaesthesia is, you can easily change it. Try it for yourself, and find what image or sound immediately triggers feelings for you. Have fun hunting your own synaesthesias.