The Swish Technique with Jimmy Petruzzi

The Swish Technique


The Swish technique enables us to quickly dissolve the feelings attached to unwanted thoughts and to deal with negative responses.

In the Swish we replace the unwanted thought or response with a more useful and appropriate one because the Swish refocuses thinking. It is an instruction to the brain No, not that – THIS!!

How to use the Swish

1) Select a replacement image

First select your Replacement Feeling – ask yourself how I want to be instead.

Having selected the Replacement Feeling, see and hear a detached and associated version of yourself experiencing this feeling. It is quite important that this image is disassociated. Enhance the detail and the quality (sub modalities) of this until the image is quite compelling.

2) Find the trigger for the unwanted mood

What is it that you respond to? How do you know when to have the unwanted response or reaction?

Ask yourself what occurs just before this negative or un-wanted state begins? This time, you want an associated image of what is going on immediately before you engage in the unwanted activity.

3) Put the replacement in the corner of the unwanted image

Imagine a small postage stamp version of your replacement picture in the bottom corner of the unwanted picture.

4) Swish the two images

Now you want to make both images change simultaneously and with increasing speed.

Have the ‘negative’ image become smaller and shoot off into the distance. At the same time have the ‘positive’ replacement image become larger and closer until it replaces the negative image completely. Imagine a ‘swish’ sound as you do this – hence the name. That’s one Swish sound.

(Do this fairly slowly at first taking, say, 5-10 seconds to do it. Then continue, doing it a little faster each time, until you are swishing almost instantaneously – in less than a second!)

5) Clear your mind

After each Swish round blank your mind, fully! Think of something else or visualise your favourite colour. Breathing easily as you do this since some people tend to hold their breath while concentrating on doing the Swish. It is crucial to the success of the Swish to clear your mind or turn your attention outside before you do each next round.

6) Practice 5-7 times

Repeat steps 3 to 5 up to about seven times until you have difficulty in maintaining the unwanted image.


What if you struggle to visualise: This is a common belief. You can do an Auditory or a Kinaesthetic Swish, too. So if you (or the other person if you are assisting someone else) believe that you have difficulty in visualising you could accept this belief (and use a kinaesthetic or auditory swish.

Alternatively, and often more effectively, you can act ‘as if’ you are visualising – i.e. you pretend that you are visualising and simply follow the steps listed above. Curiously, this will often work just as effectively!