NLP – A Pattern Interrupt to Change a Strategy from NLP Mentor 

For more NLP Articles and Techniques

A Pattern Interrupt to Change a Strategy

A pattern interrupt is a way to change a person’s state or strategy. We all have behavior patterns that are habit sequences or mental pathways. It is also a great way to induce trance. Milton Erikson used the handshake induction as a formal pattern interrupt.


Usually habits are useful. Auto pilot means our brains have become so efficient at doing something we can tune out our conscious minds.
We get dressed, drive, walk, clean our teeth in ways that don’t need much mental attention. Rapport is tuning in to another at an unconscious level.
But patterns can be our downfall too. We can eat mindlessly and therefore overeat. We can tune out important people and not hear important messages. We can exercise without paying attention and damage bits of our bodies.

Interrupting broken-chain

A pattern can be interrupted by any unexpected or sudden movement or response. Have you ever messed up someone’s story by asking a question for instance and they can’t remember where they were?

They experience momentary confusion, and sometimes even amnesia. Have you ever started to do something and after being interrupted can’t remember what it was? This confusion state can make you open to suggestion – we are willing to trade our uncomfortable state for another’s clarity.


It is useful to interrupt your own or someone else’s when stuck in an unresourceful state. Like getting caught in a negative spiral when things don’t turn out as we want. Or even when we are stuck in a rut.
What are some things that you can do to interrupt your own state?
Humor and laughter are great pattern stoppers. Choosing to see the funny side.

Going for a walk or taking time out when stressed or angry.

Going a different way to work.

Taking a week off from a usual activity such as watching TV.

“Sleeping on it” for a creative solution, rather than plodding on.
*Go to the link at the start of this post to see a You Tube demonstration.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s