This is a short introduction in submodalities and how they are used in NLP.
What are modalities?
On the deepest level human brain works like a very advanced CCTV camera. Every moment it records everything you see, hear, feel, smell, taste and say to yourself inside. These are the sensory modalities we use to experience the world outside of ourselves. You might or might not be aware of the impression received and recorded because this process happens regardless of whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. These impressions receive by the human nervous are known in NLP as internal representation (IR).
Some spiritual schools of development believe that the fact of being aware of impression in the moment of receiving it can make a change in your body’s biochemistry as well as change the effect of the impression on your psyche.
For example see concepts of mindfulness and samskaras. Samskaras are deep unconscious impression received during our childhood imprint period of acquired via significant emotional events in this life or in previous lives. Deep impressions, then, affect our emotions which in turn affects our thought and actions (karma). Deep unresolved samskaras lead to actions out of habit and past programming rather from being free to make a choice. By being mindful you avoid creating negative impressions and thus become free from automatic actions (karma).
In short, modalities are the senses we, as a human beings, use to interpret the reality.
What are submodalities?
Richard Bandler, the co-creator of NLP, called submodalities his most important discovery. Submodalities is the way we encode internal representation and, most importantly, give them meaning. When you hear the language people use to describe their experience you can hear the things like “needing to get things into perspective” or “wanting to get a closer look into situation”. These are submodalities. The distance in one of the submodalities of visual modality. There are few others like being in your body and looking at the event thought your own eyes or being dissociated and seeing yourself in the picture. The submodalities like location, volume, direction are applied to auditory modality as well as location, size, intensity are applied to kinesthetic modality (feelings).
How submodalities are used in NLP
The main idea of using submodalities to produce a change quickly is that by eliciting the internal representation and changing its submodalities we can totally change the meaning of this internal representation. For example, by changing submodalities of the internal representation of an unpleasant experience into submodalities of the pleasant one it is possible to change the way person feels about the event.
This is just one simple example of how submodalities can be used to produce change fast.