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Personal Editing using
"Squeeze Knees," an NLP Technique

An anchor is an association between an emotional RESPONSE, and STIMULUS such as a distinctive touch. By using anchoring and the collapse process, you can re-pattern unwanted associations and responses.

There are three primary types of anchors: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Thousands of anchors are created spontaneously throughout our lives.  

Some automatically created visual anchors could include, every time you SEE a baby animal, you go a little soft inside; you SEE your country's flag, you feel a sense of pride; you SEE your favorite sport's team winning, you get excited.

Some auditory examples might be, every time you HEAR a particular tune, you get feelings of nostalgia over your first "puppy love" romance; you HEAR a baby cry, you get worried; you HEAR someone special tell you, "I love you," you melt inside.  

A kinesthetic anchor involves a unique touch, taste or smell. The TOUCH of silk might create feelings of sensuousness; the TASTE of chocolate might bring on blissful sensations; the SMELL of fresh hot coffee brewing might just put you into a yummy anticipation, and so on. 

This system will show you how to create your choice of wanted anchors such as feelings of delight, great presence, feeling loved, secure and powerful, It will also show you how to use great anchors to simply and easily collapse or defuse unwanted and unpleasant feelings, usually from some situation or event.

Setting an Anchor

For purposes of learning this technique, it is easiest to begin with anchors of touch. You may choose any self-touch that is distinctive and unique--in other words, a self-touch that you would not ordinarily do. Some examples might include tugging on your earlobe, holding the web between your thumb and index finger with the thumb and index finger of the other hand or lightly pinching your elbows. For simplicity, we will be using the technique of gently squeezing your knees.

When first setting up a stimulus for a knee anchor, it is easier to use the hand and knee that are on the same side of the body. Begin sitting up straight with your eyes closed.

Think of some pleasant experience while squeezing your right knee for a few moments. It may include feelings of being centered and grounded. These feelings are often experienced while resting in a special place in nature. Or it might include hugging or stroking a pet, feelings of confidence, relaxation, or courage.

Go back into your memory and locate an event when you felt the wanted emotion. You might recreate the same posture such as having your shoulders relaxed while breathing deeply. See what you saw; hear what you heard; feel what you felt.

The event should generate a powerful and positive response such as when receiving deserved recognition for some achievement or winning an all expense paid vacation.

Then while still thinking of the experience, and when you have reached the peak of the desired emotional response--that is when your feelings are the most intense, release your knee and open your eyes. Clear your mind by looking around you and taking a deep breath. This is called "breaking state."

Stacking an Anchor

STACKING an anchor involves repeating the sequence with several different experiences that reinforce each other. Some examples could include feeling relaxed, confident, loved and powerful.


Now test the anchor. Place your right hand on your right knee again and squeeze. Keep your eyes closed. Hold for about 30 seconds or until you notice if those same pleasant feelings come back. If they do, you have an anchor. If they do not, you will need to do the original sequence again until the positive emotions are felt.

Setting a Second Anchor

Now concentrate on your left knee. Begin by selecting a situation when you were dissatisfied with either the way you felt or performed. Put your hand on your left knee, close your eyes, and think of the situation. Allow yourself to re-experience it while you squeeze your left knee with your left hand. Then while still experiencing the event, release your knee and clear your mind.

You can clear your mind by mentally going to some neutral place in memory such as a room in your home, sitting on a beach or other place. Test this anchor.

Now decide what internal resource or ability, if you had possessed it at the time, would have made a difference. For example, you may have felt tense. If you had been relaxed, you would have been more in control. 

Also, you would have thought of better ways of responding to the situation. In this example, you would find a time when you were more relaxed, such as while sunbathing, getting a massage or listening to the sounds of nature.

Once you have selected your preferred response, anchor this feeling, (for example, relaxation), on top of your other positive resources on your right knee. Check to see if you feel the response you want, then clear your mind.

Anchor Collapse

Now for the "Squeeze Knees/Anchor Collapse." Close your eyes. Squeeze both knees simultaneously and hold them equally for about 30 to 60 seconds. Just continue to breathe and notice what happens. Then release both anchors (knees) at the same time and clear your mind again.

The last step is to think about the original unpleasant experience and get a sense of how different it is. Sometimes it will be a little different. Sometimes it will be a lot different, and sometimes it will be completely transformed. Whichever way it is for you, you have experienced taking control of your life by changing your response.

Summary of Squeeze Knees Anchor/Collapse

Directions: Keep your eyes closed when recalling a memory. Clear your mind after each step. Test each anchor by squeezing your knee for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat the process, if necessary.

1. While reliving a pleasant experience, anchor it, for example, on the right knee. Stack the anchor with one, two, three or more positive experiences for greater power.

2. Review the unpleasant experience and identify the unwanted response. Anchor it, for example, on the left knee.

3. Select and generate a more effective and desirable response. Anchor it, for example, on the right knee.

4. Squeeze both knees simultaneously for about 30 to 60 seconds.

5. Assess the differences in feelings.

6. Fantasize two or three similar situations that you expect to occur in the future. Imagine how they will be different because of the work you have just completed.


Whenever you experience a positive moment that includes good feelings, anchor them on your stack of anchors (right knee) with your right hand. 

If someone compliments you, and it gives you warm feelings, anchor them; if you see a double rainbow that leaves you in awe of nature's beauty, anchor that; if you win a prize or receive a bonus, anchor the excitement, and so on.  

Now these anchors become like a bank account. You can continue to "deposit" exquisite feelings, then whenever you are feeling out-of-sorts, you can squeeze your right knee for a few moments and "withdraw" all those positively wonderful feelings again!

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Technique developed by René Pfalzgraf. (1991, July). Rapporter, 14-17

Need help?

If you encounter any difficulty while attempting to use the ANCHOR/COLLAPSE technique, and you wish to have some additional guidance, please feel free to contact either Dianne Ruth, CCH, PhD (619) 961-7500 or Judie Keys, CCH, (858) 560-0557 directly for help and a free consultation.



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