How to 'scratch' using pies and clowns!

I’ve lost count how many people I’ve helped to quickly ‘reframe’ a difficult memory into one that holds absolutely no negative power over them. This process is a standard technique of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and is quite simply amazing in its results both in terms of speed and positive, lasting impact.

These memories can be compared to tracks on a CD (or if you’re feeling nostalgic, a vinyl LP) and whenever you select one to be played, by vividly reliving the incident in your mind, the same old emotions come flooding back.  Usually these disempowering states include sadness, anger, guilt, pain … all the classic hits and by the original artistes! 

The feelings will be located in specific parts of your body, some of the favourites being the head, chest and stomach. Then all you need to do is to become aware of the level of the discomfort and give it a score from 0-10 (10 being as bad as it gets). You have now established the memory, the feeling, the location and the current impact.

So far, so good! Now you can do something about dealing with the negative memory.

With only a basic appreciation of the ‘reframing’ technique you can have a bit of fun and make sure that the challenging memory, that particular track on the CD/LP, can never play the same again. You do that by ‘SCRATCHING’ it, over and over! It’s quick and it works.

By the term ‘scratching’ I mean to see the original memory in your mind’s eye and then immediately have a positive, empowering or happy memory to think about instead. These might be of past holiday experiences, lines from your favourite comedians, recalling times with your pets, remembering wonderful food you’ve enjoyed, time spent with friends … the list is endless and the key is to think of big positive memories that really resonate great feelings within you.   

Once you have a few of these clear in your mind then you practice remembering them one at a time, seeing them vividly, big and bright and colourful, hear any sounds associated with it, feel how it felt and let all those wonderful feelings ‘scratch’ a mark across the current negative track on your CD/LP.

You then keep ‘scratching’ the track by going back to the original difficult memory and then reliving, with emotion, a positive one. Before long you will find that the old images, sounds and feelings just can’t play the same and then a few more ‘scratches’ and you will have ensured that the track is totally wiped out and the negative impact on you with it!

Over the years I’ve also developed my own little collection of favourite ways that ‘scratch’ the tracks really fast. Here are four that I have used with clients time and time again. I’ll briefly explain the details of each and I’ve even penned a little verse for you that sums it up in 16 words. See what you think …


First imagine ‘that’ face
Choose yourself a pie
Former meets the latter
Feast for the eye!

Yes, you got it … someone is going to get a pie – slap bang right in the face.
Juvenile?  Absolutely right!
Effective?  Oh yes!
Fun?  You bet!
You simply imagine your choice of pie in vivid detail (mine is always lemon meringue) and then you see the face of your intended target and – well, you can take it from there.

Past pies that people have used have included meat & potato, Mississippi mud pie, a real mud pie, mud pie with added worms, worm pie, rubble pie, wet cement pie and even … horse manure pie. If you can imagine a filling then probably someone I’ve worked with will have chosen it too! Literally NOTHING would shock me, nothing!

The power of the ‘Pie Principle’ is in its simplicity. ANYONE can do it and, what’s more, every person I’ve observed who does smiles whilst they are doing it. That’s ‘reframing’ in a nutshell or, to be more precise, a pie case. Or another combination might give you a Nut Case! I promise I haven’t lost the plot, just try The Pie.

So, what’s your pie going to be and who deserves it? 


Take one glass tank
‘That’ person in it
Drop contents on them
Whilst enjoying every minute!

Made famous in the Saturday evening light entertainment slot of BBC scheduling long, long ago. Noel Edmonds would consign a victim to a big glass tank and once they were safely inside would pull a lever to release the ‘gunge’ (usually yellow or green thick, gloopy, slimy, custardy type ‘stuff’) hovering high above them. The result would be one hell of a mess.

All you need to decide is who has earned the starring role in your Gunge Tank. Then when you pull the lever what will constitute the ‘gunge’ in your tank? In the past I’ve helped clients release a whole range of ‘gunge’ from imaginary spiders, ants, scorpions to all manner of fluids (yes, including the ones you are now thinking about!)
In your mind just keep dropping the ‘gunge’ on them over and over until you are satisfied that justice has been done. The more vividly you can imagine this scene the faster you will ‘reframe’ the original difficult memory and associated limiting feelings. Within a few minutes the power and negative influence that the person in your Gunge Tank has held over you can disappear down the drain with the ‘gunge’.


Now not so powerful
That silly red nose
Dressed like a clown
Just laugh, I suppose?

This requires that you use your imagination to make the person in question (who you allowed to take your power away) utterly ridiculous in whatever ways you choose – and seeing them a clown works really well. Simply dress them up – in your mind – in the most ludicrous and colourful costume, with the stupidly big, floppy clown shoes, the daft make up, the curly wig, the battered hat and, of course … the trademark silly red nose! 

The main purpose of a circus clown is that you laugh at them, so do exactly that!

Remember, you can accessorise as much as you like, too. So how about a clown car with the daft sounding horn or perhaps the oversized flower in the lapel that squirts? Then, if you are able to imagine sounds, there’s the circus music to play in your mind.

When you can transform the person who has been the cause of your issues into a figure of fun then the power shifts right back to you. Now that’s most definitely something to smile about!     


When enough is enough
Nothing else will do
Retribution is called for
The Equalizer … is YOU!

One of the TV hits of the late 1980’s was British actor Edward Woodward starring as Robert McCall in ‘The Equalizer’.  When there were wrongs to be righted and bad guys to be brought to account then Mr McCall was your man! In 2014 Hollywood legend Denzel Washington reprised the role when The Equalizer came to the big screen.

This technique is all about exactly imaginary revenge upon those you have wronged you and the justice you impose is entirely at your discretion.
Just a sample (and these are NOT the most graphic or imaginative by any means) of the vengeance that has been meted out by clients over the years using precisely this technique include:

Being pummelled with a boxing glove;
Being shot out of cannon;
Being strapped to a rocket and sent off into outer space;
Being dropped from an aeroplane without a parachute;
Being flung into the sky like a clay pigeon before being blasted with a shot gun!

I stress again these are just some of the tamer versions of the imagery payback visited on the offending individuals, which interestingly has always been in direct proportion to the discomfort that was originally caused. 

I fully appreciate that these techniques sound bizarre – they do and they are. However, they also work like magic to ‘scratch’ across the bad stuff that so many people keep mentally replaying unnecessarily for so very long.

So, if you have any tunes that you no longer want to hear then get ‘scratching’ using pies, clowns and anything else that comes to mind.

‘Reframing’ works, so why not choose to let it work for you?