Landsiedel NLP TrainingNLPNLP LibrarySubmodalitiesDestroying Images

Destroying Images

Threatening inner visual images can be destroyed and thus lose their frightening or distressing effect. The following exercises are about destroying inner representations that disturb or hinder you. In principle, it is always advisable to do an Ecology Check in advance of applying these techniques and extract the useful information, since amnesia often occurs after these techniques are applied.

You can perform the Ecology Check in the following way:

  • 1. Let the image that you want to destroy appear before your mind’s eye.
  • 2. Ask yourself the following questions while looking at the image within:
    Should this image draw my attention to something that I should do in the future, or something that I should avoid in the future? Does the picture contain another important message for me? If yes, what exactly should I do or avoid doing in the future? What exactly does this vision want to tell me? What do I have to do or change so that I can let go of this image?


  1. Check if the image contains an important message for you.
  2. Now imagine that the picture becomes darker. For example, like a picture on a TV screen becomes darker as you diminish the contrast. Eventually, the picture is so dark that you cannot recognize anything. Or let the picture get brighter. Imagine, for example, that a bright light would increasingly outshine the outlines of the image. Finally, the picture is so bright that you can’t see it at all.
  3. Now slide the completely dark or completely bright image onto the floor. Then push it backwards so that it gets further and further away from your body. Let it withdraw so far, until you can see only a small point and then it has finally disappeared completely.

Shattering glass

Broken Mirror
Broken Mirror (iStock: © fongfong2)

Crazing is what happens with tempered glass - e.g., the rear or side windows in a car - when it shatters. It breaks into a thousand small pieces and falls apart. Imagine that the visual image you want to get rid of is like a car window or painted on it. Hit it with a hammer and watch as it breaks into a thousand small pieces and falls apart. You may need to repeat this several times to break it completely and permanently. Then sweep the pieces together and dispose of them in a hazardous waste container.

Burning images

Fire (iStock: © nikamata)

Imagine holding a lighted match to the image so it starts to glow, turns blacker and darker, curls up and eventually becomes a heap of ashes. Or imagine a fire, e.g., a cozy fire in a fireplace. Throw the image into this fire and watch with relish, how it breaks down in the heat. Another reference experience for destruction is the observation of a film at the point where the film stops, and the projection lamp burns a hole in the image. You can also simply burn a picture to ashes.

Dissolving images

Imagine water dripping onto the image. The colors run and dissolve like a watercolor painting exposed to rain. In the end, only one color remains in which nothing is recognizable. By the way, sometimes such a splash of color can have a certain appeal. Other useful reference experiences for destroying images are rotating a kaleidoscope, observing a watercolor painting on a sidewalk in the rain, looking at an image in a shattering mirror or being churned up on the surface of a pond, etc.