The Universal Change Tool: Every Hypnotist Needs the Meta Pattern

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Universal Change Tool Every Hypnotist Needs

This tool will blow your mind. Yes, it really is that awesome and it’s easy to learn.  Ready? 

When diving into the world of hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming (NLP), having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting, there's one tool you'll want in your back pocket. 

It's a universal change method, quick and effective for both self-improvement and aiding others. This tool? John Overdurf's Meta Pattern. It's not just a technique; it's the ultimate model of personal change.

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Imagine you're holding a master key that can unlock almost any psychological barrier you or your clients might face. That’s the reality of working with the Meta Pattern, a fundamental framework you'll find woven into the very fabric of hypnosis and NLP.

John Overdurf, the genius behind this method, was able to draw a map that guides us through the labyrinth of change. Whether you're dealing with a client stuck in a rut of negative thinking or someone battling deep-seated fears, the Meta Pattern is your go-to strategy. But what makes it so special?

The beauty of the Meta Pattern lies in its simplicity and its universality. It's a pattern that repeats across different contexts, techniques, and problems, offering a reliable pathway to transformation. 

Insider tip? If you’re already a hypnotist, start looking for this pattern in your work. You'll begin to notice it in the structure of successful therapy sessions, in the breakthrough moments of coaching, and in the stories of personal transformation that surround us. It's there, hiding in plain sight, waiting for you to unlock its potential.

In a moment, we’ll tell you about our student, who we’ll call Terry, who took this very tool and applied it with remarkable results. 

At least the results were remarkable to him, and convinced him to join the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy.  But to those of us who have used this technique, the results he got were normal. They were expected.

Stick around, because the transformation he facilitated is a testament to the power and accessibility of the Meta Pattern.

What is the Meta Pattern?

As we said, The Meta Pattern isn't just a method; it's the cornerstone of transformative change described by John Overdurf, making it a foundational element in both hypnosis and NLP, even if you haven’t heard about it.

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ADAC - The Essence of the Meta Pattern

The Meta Pattern is encapsulated in the acronym ADAC, which stands for Activate, Dissociate, Associate, and Collapse. This sequence forms a powerful framework for addressing and transforming negative states, behaviors, and emotions. 

But why call it ADAC? Beyond its nod to the electrifying energy of AC/DC (which Mike Mandel is a huge fan of), each letter represents a critical step in the change process, mirroring the structured yet dynamic flow of transformation.

It’s just easier to say ADAC rather than “The Meta Pattern”.  Let’s break it down!

1. Activate

This initial phase involves switching on a bit of the negative state you're aiming to change. It's about pinpointing and amplifying the negative emotion or behavior and bringing it to the forefront of the client's awareness. Activation isn't about wallowing in the issue but acknowledging its existence fully to prepare for change. Techniques include: 

  • Ego State Activation: Identifying and engaging the specific ego state (a part of the self) associated with the problem. This process activates the neuropathways that cause the problem.
  • SUDS Scaling (Subjective Units of Distress Scale): A method to measure the intensity of distress or negative emotions associated with the problem. Click here to learn more.
  • Emotional Amplification: Encouraging the client to intensify their feeling of the issue (increase SUDS), making it more accessible for change. Ask questions to help them really tune into the feeling. 

2. Dissociate

Dissociation offers a moment of relief and perspective by creating a psychological distance between the individual and their problem. By stepping back from the problem, individuals can view their issues as separate from themselves, reducing the emotional charge and preparing the mind for constructive change. Some techniques that can be used are:

  • Visual Dissociation: In the activation step, the client became automatically associated into the problem state. It’s time to guide them to imagine stepping out of themselves and observing the problem from a third-person perspective, reducing emotional intensity.
  • Spatial Anchoring: Physically moving the client or having them imagine moving away from the space where they feel the problem, reinforcing the psychological separation
  • Submodality Changes: Altering submodalities is an NLP technique that changes the client’s internal representation of the problem (e.g., making the mental image of the problem smaller, dimmer, or farther away), diminishing its perceived impact.

3. Associate

In this step, the focus shifts to putting the client in a high performance state. We want them feeling empowered and … for lack of a better term … awesome! 

Individuals are guided to connect with their inner resources, drawing on past successes or envisioned strengths. This association with positive states builds the confidence and resilience needed for lasting change. 

At the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy, we teach many techniques that are especially useful in this phase, including:

  • Resource Anchoring: Identifying and anchoring positive states or resources that the client can access when needed, enhancing their sense of control and efficacy.
  • Empowered Breathing: Teaching breathing techniques that elicit feelings of calmness and strength, helping the client embody their empowered state.
  • Visualization of Success: Encouraging the client to visualize past successes or imagine future success scenarios, fostering a positive self-image and confidence.

Calibration and visual cues, like a nod, help confirm they're ready to move to the final phase.

4. Collapse

The final phase is where the transformation occurs and brings the process full circle, merging the empowered state with the previously problematic issue. This collision of positive and negative forces typically results in the diminishing or complete dissolution of the problem, replaced by a new, constructive perspective. This process involves:

  • Reframing: Changing the meaning or perception of the problem by viewing it from the empowered state, often resulting in a shift in emotional response. 
  • Re-association: Calibrate and ask the client for SUDS again. If the problem still troubles them, ask them to bring the empowered state into the context of the problem. That’s re-associating them into the problem, but in a new, empowering state.
  • Future Pacing: Having the client imagine applying their new, empowered perspective in future situations, ensuring the change is lasting and effective.

A Universal Tool for Diverse Challenges

The Meta Pattern’s main strength is its adaptability. Whether you're confronting anxiety, battling procrastination, or helping someone through a period of grief, it provides a structured yet flexible framework for facilitating change. Its four-step process — ADAC — offers a clear path through which problems are not just confronted but dismantled.

The video below offers a brief demonstration of the ADAC framework. Pay close attention to identify each step.

ADAC is also remarkable for its accessibility. Hypnosis, while a powerful enhancer of the process, is optional. The method itself is valid even if you’re not using hypnosis, making it a tool that is available to everyone. Whether you work with NLP or some other modality, you can still use ADAC as your framework regardless of your experience with hypnosis.

A Case Study in ADAC and Grief Resolution

The efficacy of ADAC is also proven in practice. Our student Terry, who applied the method to help someone overcome profound grief, is a testament to its potential.

It was during the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy’s 5-day challenge, a period of intense learning and application, that Terry encountered ADAC, the four-step process designed to facilitate change. Little did he know that the opportunity to put that method to the test would soon present itself.

On a quiet evening, Terry found himself sitting across from a friend, who we’ll call Sarah, whose world had grown increasingly smaller and shadowed by grief. 

Since her husband’s passing, Sarah had been besieged by panic attacks, particularly when she approached the kitchen—a place once filled with love and laughter, now a stark reminder of her loss. For 30 years, her husband had been the one who cooked, and now every pan, every recipe book felt like a memory too painful to touch.

Terry listened intently, his mind recalling the ADAC method he'd recently learned from MMHA. Here, in Sarah’s living room, with the kitchen looming like a specter in the next room, he decided to apply what he had learned. He believed in the process, and more importantly, he believed in Sarah's ability to overcome her fear.


He began by asking Sarah to describe her feelings as she thought about entering the kitchen. "Just standing at the doorway makes my heart race," she confessed. Terry gently guided her to delve deeper into that feeling, to really feel it in her body. It was about activating the negative state, not to dwell in it, but to acknowledge its presence fully.


Next, Terry helped Sarah to dissociate from the overwhelming emotion. "Imagine you can step out of yourself and observe that feeling from a distance," he suggested, guiding her to visualize her fear as an object outside of herself. Perhaps it was a storm cloud or a dark wave—something external. The application of submodality shifts allowed her to see her emotions as separate from her identity, diminishing their immediate impact.


With the panic now at a manageable distance, Terry encouraged Sarah to envision a version of herself filled with confidence and peace. "Think of a time when you felt incredibly strong and capable. How does that version of you breathe? Stand? What does she believe about herself?" As Sarah breathed deeply, embodying this empowered state, her posture changed, and a light returned to her eyes. She was tapping into her own reservoir of strength, associating herself with resilience rather than fear.


Finally, it was time to collapse the old fearful association with the kitchen. "In this strong, empowered state, look at that version of you who was afraid. What do you want to say to her?" Terry asked. As Sarah spoke words of comfort and strength to her former self, the fear began to dissipate, replaced by a sense of control and possibility. "Now, imagine walking into the kitchen, still feeling this strong. How does it feel?" he prompted.

The answer came in the form of action. Standing up, Sarah walked towards the kitchen, a step that had once seemed insurmountable. With each step, the old fear collapsed under the weight of her newfound strength. She turned back to Terry, a smile spreading across her face, "It feels like I've just walked into my home again." In the days and weeks that followed, Sarah reclaimed her kitchen and, with it, a piece of her life that she thought was lost forever.

Terry's experience is a vivid illustration of the immediate impact that skilled, compassionate application of the ADAC method can have on real-world problems. He told us: “I knew. I just knew. And since then, nothing has caused me to doubt it.”

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If Terry's story resonates with you—if you've ever dreamed of possessing the tools to not only navigate your own challenges but to also be a guiding light for others—then it's time to take action. The Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy is more than just a learning platform; it's a community dedicated to empowering individuals with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to effect real change.

At MMHA, we don't just teach hypnosis; we unveil the full spectrum of your potential. Whether you're a beginner curious about the basics or a seasoned practitioner looking to deepen your expertise, MMHA offers a comprehensive course that caters to all levels. Dive into the intricacies of the ADAC method, explore the vast landscape of hypnosis, and master the art of interpersonal communication and transformational change.

When you enroll in MMHA, you're not just signing up for a course; you're joining a vibrant community of like-minded individuals. Share stories, gain insights, and find inspiration among peers and mentors who are just as passionate about personal growth and helping others as you are.

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The path to mastery and making a difference in the world is within reach, and it starts with a simple step. Join us at the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy for your Free Test Drive. Discover the depth of your potential and the power of transformation. 

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