The Meta-Yes & No Pattern

Beliefs (#5)

Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D.Min.

Do We Now Have a 10 Minute
Belief Change Pattern?

After I learned about the Meta-States Model (Hall, 1995, 1996) and began to see and experience its power in making changes in people's lives, I began to think that Graham Dawes' review of Dragon Slaying (Anchor Point, June 1997) made a serious point when he described the Meta-States model as "the model that ate NLP." I will not go so far as to say, however, that it "ate" NLP, I will go so far as to say it has advanced it further than any other addition has since the discovery of submodalities. And, I encourage the reader to take me seriously with that point.

In the last two years, having teamed up with Michael and co-authored several books with him (Time-Lining, Figuring Out People, Mind-Lining, Patterns for Renewing the Mind), I have used and tried out Meta-States Patterns as we discover them. Last year, Michael came up with the distinction that separates a "thought" or representation from a "belief." More recently, he published that in the series on Belief Change Patterns Using Meta-States (Anchor Point, Nov., Dec. 1997, Jan, Feb. 1998).

Recently I have put this belief change pattern to the test and found that it does indeed streamline the process. In doing so I discovered that "beliefs" do indeed exist and operate at a higher logical level than do "thoughts," and that beliefs do not always change by mere submodality shifting, but by shifting the frame of reference at a higher logical level.

When I ran these Meta-Stating Pattern of Meta Yes-ing & No-ing on a client (Jim Polizzi - name used with permission) recently, it struck me that we now have a Ten-minute Belief Change pattern along with the ten minute Phobia Cure. The closer we get to the structure of subjective experience -- the more streamlined becomes our working with such structures. When I presented the following demonstration of the pattern to Dr. Hall, he wrote,

"What an incredible application of this meta-stating pattern! The simplest and briefest Belief Change Pattern by far."

"Meta-NO-ing" & "Meta-YES-ing" With Jim

Jim, 39 years old and married, has struggled for years with a limiting belief that goes, "I alienate and drive away friends." He has also held another belief, one meta to that first belief, that goes, "Nothing will ever work in helping me overcome my limiting belief."

Recently, after seeing a particular counselor weekly for a year and a half, Jim and his wife in frustration stopped seeing their counselor. It had not helped. So I began working with Jim on reframing the belief that nothing would work on him. Also, we did some work in re-imprinting some childhood roots from which the limiting belief arose which said that he would sabotage all his relationships with friends.

One day, Jim came in and announced that the old belief of his driving away old friends "was loosening." Ah, deframing! However, he still experienced some of it this past weekend when he met with some of his peer "computer geeks." After leaving this business meeting, Jim experienced some old internal dialogue nagging at him that "You may have alienated them!" This triggered a negative feeling of fear. So, even though we had loosened up the limiting belief, the belief still ran although not with as much intensity as before. We both wanted it to completely disappear.

I asked Jim for permission to try out and experiment with Michael's suggestion of "Meta-NO-ing" the old limiting belief and "Meta-YES-ing" the new desired belief about his ability to build and maintain relationships. Jim said he'd enjoy doing that.

"Jim, when have you said 'No!' and really meant it?"

"You mean like when I say 'No' to the kids when they do something they shouldn't?"

"Yes, I believe that will work."

"Well just recently I said no to my daughter."

"How did you do that Jim? What did you see, hear, and feel as you express that definitive No? What tone of voice did you say that in?"

Jim experienced his Meta-NO-ing high in his chest with a feeling of tightness. His voice came across to me as very firm.

"So, Jim, as a meta-stating process, I want you to bring that 'No!' to bear upon the limiting belief that you alienate friends. Repeat that meta-level No! several times."

As Jim did this his face flushed. His head move forward and down firmly as he grunted out a 'No!' He did so with real firmness in his tonality.

Jim replied, "This is neat, Bob. It sounds silly that you could bring a 'No!' that you say to your daughter to bear upon an old limiting belief like this. But, this works, this really works. How neat!"

Then, without any directions from me, Jim said, "What do you do when the kids do something good?" And continuing he said, AWhen my little girl does something good, I say, "Yes, that's right, you have done good. You have really done good. You can do it!"

Then Jim, again without directions from me, brought to bear the "Yes!" to his daughter to the desired belief, "I can build friends and relate to them with compassion." (The meta-stating process). He uttered a bold and definitive Yes to -- "These guys really care about me. I am not alienating them, they really care about me."

At this Jim started taking notes on a notepad and then noted, "I have two powerful resources here. The No! I say to the kids, and the Yes! I say to the kids."

I then decided to test the old limiting belief of his sabotaging relationships through the old belief of his coming across as arrogant and rude. "Jim, what do you think about the old belief of your alienating your friends?"

Jim recalled the experience of last weekend. "These guys really love me. They really love me. They don't believe I am a jerk and arrogant, they really love me."

Then Jim recognized part of the process, ABob, you just did an auditory swish on me with my internal dialogue. Instead of hearing myself say 'I am a jerk' I hear myself saying these guys really love me."

ATrue enough and that's insightful. For by Meta-NO-ing the old limiting belief and then Meta-YES-ing the new desired belief, you essentially give your brain instructions about where to go, from the old limiting ideas to the new enhancing ones, an auditory swish. Great point. How neat, Jim, that you automatically moved from the Meta-NO-ing the old belief to Meta-YES-ing the new desired belief. I had planned to move you to that, but your unconscious mind beat me to it and did it automatically. You did good, real good." (Hear me say that in my Appalachian dialect!)

Next we checked out some of the previous thoughts-and-feelings that he had about his dysfunctional family of origin.

"Bob, I now realize that I may never have a deep relationship with my family. And yet that does not mean that there is something wrong with me. However, I still have a sense of 'aloneness' when I think about that."

"Okay, put that thought aside for just a moment and think of your own family -- your son, daughter, and wife."

As Jim accessed a representation of his family, his physiology, breathing, and facial expressions shifted and seemed to become more pleasant. Jim thought about his family's nighttime ritual of story telling as the four of them gather just prior to bedtime.

"Now bring this to bear upon that representation you had of the aloneness from your family of origin."

Jim, immediately brought this family frame-of-reference and the state that it put him in to bear upon his family of origin thoughts. As he did, he became teary eyed, his facial color reddened, his breathing deepen as he generated new neurological connections.

"It sure is hard to feel alone with a little boy and a little girl on your lap and your wife sitting beside you. This is a powerful thing to bring to bear on your aloneness. The aloneness is not congruent with the family I now have. The aloneness is no longer valid. It is not that it is no longer true. It no longer matters. My old family does not have the significance it did. I have a sense of connectedness."

The Pattern

1) Get a good strong representation of saying "No!" to something. You will want to make sure that the person's No looks, sounds, and feels congruent and that it truly fits with their beliefs and values. Anchor the resource experience of congruently, firmly, and definitively saying No! to something.

2) Get a good strong representation of saying "Yes!" to something. Once you do, reinforce it by asking about it, and amplifying it so that the person has an intense experience of his or her Yes! Anchor either with a touch, the way you say Yes!, where you gesture to, etc.

3) Invite the person to identify the limiting belief that they no longer want to run their programs. Meta-model the limiting belief to assist in deframing it, loosening it up, and preparing for the belief change. Find out how it has not served them well, how it has messed things up, etc. Notice how they represent the belief, pace its positive intentions.

4) Fully elicit from the person an enhancing belief that he or she wants in the head. What specifically will the person think and say in the new belief. Write out the language of it. Get several versions -- and make sure that the person finds the expression of it compelling.

5) Meta No! the limiting belief. Ask the person to re-access the limiting belief and once they have it, have them go meta to that belief, and then about that belief have them say No! Have the person do it congruently, intensely, and repeatedly.

"And you can keep on saying No! to that limiting belief until you begin to feel that it no longer has any power to run your programs."

6) Meta Yes! the enhancing belief. After the deframing of the old belief, now let the person's mind swish to the content of what to believe. Have the person fully re-access the enhancing belief and then to go meta to it and validate it with a great big Yes! Have them repeat it with intensity and congruency.


Don't take my word for this powerful process. Try it yourself. I know it works. I have seen it change lives and alter old belief systems.

A few weeks ago, I received a call from an NLP Trainer on the West Coast.  He had heard some positive statements about the Meta-State Model and desired more information. I spent about thirty minutes on the phone explaining the basic theoretical concepts supporting Meta-States.  I then E-mailed him the major articles and techniques on this web site that referred to Meta-States. I particularly pointed out the brief statements about the Yes/No pattern in Michael's address to the ANLP about "Updating the Submodality model.

Well, the next day I received this E-mail message from that NLP Trainer:

"Thanks so much for your email message. This old Trainer has seen and done most everything in the 'NLP'/hypnosis world. . . but this is absolutely REVOLUTIONARY! And it's the first time ANYTHING has EVER worked on me too. AMAZING, just absolutely amazing. Working with my client this AM consisted of 1 3/4 hours of talking to her and giving her strategies for her business that will make her lots of money. She thought we were done, when I said, look let's just take this a step further and really cement this in, shall we? She said, Great. Then Bob, I just did the pattern as written - I elicited the problem. . . I elicited a strong congruent 'NO'. I elicited the desired state - rewording it several times till it became compelling. Had her step into the bad  state. . . then out of it and ABOUT the situation, say with much congruence - NO, repeatedely. Coupled with my exquisite hypnotic language patterns :-), I then had her do it a few times until when she spoke of the 'problem' she did so from a new chunked up perspective. WOW! Then I reminded her of the good state. . . got her CONGRUENT 'yes'. Told her to 'TRY' and experience the bad (she couldn't, Ha Ha) and from what ever she could get  to just imagine the new experience zooming in until she stepped into and felt it's compelling power and then step out and ABOUT the experience, say  'YES' congruently. Had her do it a few times. Future paced and was done. She literally sat there for a moment and tears started welling up and then streaming down her face. Her boyfriend was blown away. She was so thankful. Then jumped up and began pitching me on how she could help me with her  marketing (what she was previously afraid to do) with such force and conviction, I was amazed. She said she was over the problem - couldn't get it back if she tried. Boyfriend even more amazed. They left thrilled. THANKS YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! This stuff is amazing. And I'm pretty dog gonned good at making changes in people - but this was truely amazing in scope and depth. I'm hooked beyond belief. Monday first thing, I'm ordering everything you and Michael have. Thanks again, my friend.

I really appreciate this person's taking the time to share the response he received the first time he used the "Yes/No" pattern.   One can tell from reading his case study that he has great ability in working with clients. Though he made light of his ability to utilize hypnotic language patterns, he obviously does it well, very well.  Note however, the results he received through the utilizing the power of meta state languaging within the context of hypnosis.   Excellent job of "doing" therapy.


Bodenhamer, Bob; Hall, Michael. (1997). Time-lining: Patterns for adventuring in time. Wales, UK: Anglo-American Books.

Hall, Michael L. (1995). Meta-states: A new domain of logical levels, self-reflexiveness in human states of consciousness. Grand Junction, CO: ET Publications.

Hall, L. Michael (1996). Dragon slaying: Dragons to princes. Grand Jct. CO: ET Publications.

Hall, Michael; Bodenhamer, Bob. (1997). Mind-lines: Lines for changing minds. Grand Jct. CO: ET Publications.

Hall, Michael; Bodenhamer, Bob. (1997). Figuring out people: Design engineering using meta-programs. Wales, UK: Anglo-American Books.

1997 L. Michael Hall. All rights reserved.