The presuppositions of NLP tell us that all distinctions human beings are able to make concerning our environment and our behaviour can be usefully represented through the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory senses.
- or if you prefer -
Everything we do inside our mind and body can be described in terms of things we see, hear, feel, smell and taste.
In NLP the five senses that comprise our sensory input channels are also known as modalities.
The richness and diversity of experience available to us as human beings demands that our sensory input channels support a fine level of distinction or granularity, and thus the modalities are made up of smaller sub-components known as submodalities.
Any experience that we have in life is going to have a certain set of submodalities and the order, sequence and properties of those submodalities are the way in which we encode that particular experience as we add it to our internal map of reality.
Changing an experience in our internal map can be easily achieved by simply changing the submodalities of the experience to recode it.
For example, we can take something we dislike and change it into something we like by:-
- Eliciting the submodalities of the thing we dislike (substance A)
- Eliciting the submodalities of something that we like (substance B)
- Recoding our experience of substance A by mapping onto it the submodalities of substance B
Simple, elegant and very useful.