According to Robert Anton Wilson we are each imprinted with various learnings throughout our childhood. These are learnings act as a template for various situations such that, despite the infinite number of ways we can respond, we are somehow primed with a particular kind of response.
Imprints are apparently difficult to unlearn. Or rather we find learning something contrary difficult.
Should you visit alt.hypnosis, many of the participators will use this technique and nothing else.
Reimprinting was the first powerful technique I learnt and I immediately used it to neutralise most of the bad feelings I habitually felt (which made my life about ten times better for half an hour's work).
So, given such a successful result, why did I bother learning anything else?
If you believe the premise behind Reimprinting, then your past is responsible for your future. That is, you can't change your future without reinterpreting your past. Given the other shortcomings of Reimprinting, that's a huge limitation.
These other shortcoming are:
But most of the time Reimprinting works very well, even if it's not the best solution to that particular problem. And so I want to know why!
NLPers will tell you "Why?" is a stupid question. And most of the time it is ;)
"Why?" is a question which is very ambiguous. You'll generally get a response starting with "Because..." and what follows that is the kind of rule structure that someone maintains their belief system with. But that can still be very useful information.
But talking about Reimprinting, I want to be able to guess at the features that makes it work so successfully. Guess, because I'll never know in any objective sense and there's always a better way to think about these things...
If you look here (sorry broken, still trying to get updated link), Andrew talks about the different types of problems that get called phobias. One is when you have a simple (although intense) stimulus-response (eg spider phobia), and the other relies on one's ability to scare oneself (eg fear of flying).
Changing the way somebody feels about something can have far-reaching consequences. People usually have various barriers to protect themselves from repercussions as well as various limitations they've learnt throughout their life. Such barriers can form a psychological maze that prevents people from getting better.
One of the things that's part of Reimprinting is allowing the client to reinterpret their experience of an event. The client often realises things that they learnt at that time which they still act upon to their detriment in the present. These realisations often provide a way out of their problems.
Also, any ongoing anchors that were learnt at that time can be re-anchored for more appropriate responses - including the response to the memory itself. Some of those anchors are anchors for the problem state itself.
The last feature of Reimprinting that I think makes a difference is its plausibility. Ever since Freud, popular psychology has said that people have to go back into the past to resolve their problems. Also if people know that they felt much worse after an event than before the event, they can believe it's the event which is causing their problems...