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Counselor's Corner: Suggestions on Incorporating Doyletics in Your Work

All Text on this Page Copyright ©2001 by Bobby Matherne


Doyletics is a science, not a business, not a software product, not a licensed procedure – a doyle trace can be thought of as operating in the same realm as does the expression, "Count to ten when angry before responding." Rightly understood, it is a memory technique, not a therapy. It is good advice based on newly available human knowledge. When the basics of the science of doyletics have been taught in grade schools for a generation or two in this 21st Century, then doyletics will approach the level of "common human knowledge." At that point, the following expression will become familiar to all, "When in doubt, trace it out." That is, when you're not sure if something that's bothering you is a doyle, do a quick 20-second speed trace. If that something disappears during the trace, then it was a doyle and will not reappear. If it did not disappear (assuming you held the doyle as you went down the time marks), then it was a non-doylic bodily sensation of some sort, not a doyle, and it may re-appear as bodily sensations do.

The simple techniques of doyle tracing are intended for everyone to use on themselves -- they are not intended for use on others by counselors, by which by term I include doctors, pyschiatrists, nurses, body workers, social workers, coaches, psychotherapists, ministers, close friends, and various practitioners in the helping professions. Anyone can use a memory technique without a doctor's prescription or a psychiatrist's okay. But, in the reality of the current preliminary stage of dissemination of doyletics information with its concomitant lack of general understanding by the public, this is a phase in which counselors in all areas of endeavor will have a chance to assist their clients and friends by leading them through a speed trace, so that they might learn how to do speed traces on their own.

It is simply a matter of applying one's understanding of how the human doylic and cognitive memories work along side each other. The natural way of utilizing doyletics may be for the counselor to incorporate these insights into their current procedures. This webpage is devoted to highlighting examples of counselors who have done exactly that in a creative way. My hope is that, once their clients have experienced dramatic changes in their lives, the counselors will explain to them how they can use on their own the simple memory technique of doyle tracing from then on. The speed trace is quickly learned, and one can be doing a solo on their second speed trace. The speed trace is one of the few techniques for improving personal emotional and physical ecology which does not require outside assistance.

Counselor's Tidbits:

The following links contain additional Counselor Case Studies:

Systematic Reframing as an Adjunct to the Speed Trace

Note: The names in the testimonies and endorsements below may be changed for reasons of confidentially.

Endorsement from a Counselor: Use of Speed Trace with Anorexia and Bulimia. (July 20, 2002)

Hi Bobby,

It is a long time since we caught up. I have been keeping an eye on the mail and am so pleased that you continue to do the great work you do. I want to let you know that I have been continuing to use the tracing process at every opportunity. It is one of the most effective tools that I have in my box. I have added a little creativity -- I have begun to do traces with clients as they access their earliest memories during time-line work. It's a neat thing to do. I could explain, although you may be able to imagine how it works without explanation. I have taught the trace process to a few of my psychologist friends, and mentees, (the ones who are open to learning some useful stuff; without exception they marvel at the results they are able to achieve).

You may, or may not want to mention that I am using this tool in my work with anorexia and bulimia clients; as you may be aware the usual mindset is that these clients are difficult to 'cure' and the recovery process takes an inordinate amount of time and effort. In some circles it is not unusual to expect recovery to take about 10 to 20 years.

I have found that after a successful trace, or two, food allergies disappear immediately (funny that) and emotional triggers also disappear. A special plus with this is: when this occurs the client suddenly has access to a whole host of formerly 'lost' memories and the rapport that I have with them is amazing. One particular (supposedly) difficult client said to me just two days ago "I don't know why I am able to be so open and candid with you, it is not normal for me."

Bobby, I am very grateful that you shared this process with me, and I am sharing it with as many others as will listen. I choose to always give you full credit. When people express their gratitude for teaching them, I tell them that I learned it from someone and I am most willing to teach it to them.

Questions from a Counselor: What if Feelings Don't Clear During a Trace?

The following was from a dialogue with a counselor who has had great success with the speed trace but had two questions about clients who seemed to go back to before conception while doing traces. In this conversation I develop further my concept that only two requirements are necessary to do a successful speed trace and relate them to the two requirements necessary for an automobile to start. These questions could have gone to the FAQ page, but since the answer is specific to counselors assisting others doing a trace, I wanted them here in the Counselor's Corner. I want to thank Alain for giving me permission to post this to the website.

> Alain wrote:
> Hi Bobby,

Dear Alain,
Great to hear from you.

> I have been using the speed trace with some amazing results [amazing for
> the clients anyway]. I have a difficulty, which, on at least two
> ocasions has stumped me. It happened again today, so I am requesting
> some advice. I was not sure if it was appropriate to just post this
> query, or confer with you first, and as you see I have opted to take the
> latter option. I will pose this to you as two questions, they may have
> the same answer, or not.

I'll take them either way, but would like to post the answer to List after your OK to do so.

> First question, what do you think we should do when a trace keeps going
> back to the time of conception, or before? A client of mine is the
> unwanted child of a rape, the mother did not want to be pregnant, and my
> client, the result of the attack, has 'feelings' [strong feelings] of
> resentment when others make her do something that she does not want to
> do. This is a major limitation in her life. I traced the feeling back
> to conception and still it persisted, it is my contention that the
> 'feeling' is a projection from the mother.

I had a client who was a metaphysical type and into reincarnation, etc, actually works on the Psychic Hot-Line, a pay service to get psychic readings. She went back to previous lives, two or three as I recall while tracing. I decided to humor her instead of giving her the rap that the amygdala is not able to store physical body states before 3 months of age (-6 mos). For that physiological reason, I stop my traces at -7 and explain that ahead of time.

What you're doing is discovering that some people don't do traces very well is my guess. These are the toughies. These people definitely NEED a therapist to get through a speed trace for the very reason that they can't follow internal instructions very well (whether from others or themselves), always wandering off the path. [an educated guess on my part as to what's happening -- I had an object lesson in working for hours and hours with a young man who called me from overseas about doing traces after hours of emails back and forth. finally he came to the States and I had him go into a trance at my kitchen counter and talked him slowly through the steps of the speed trace, eliminating all the distractions, etc. May be what she needs]

Now the dynamics of understanding what's happening inside a person who's doing a speed trace may stretch the NLP muscles of the Ultra-Super-Masterful Practitioner level. You give them instructions and they do something. They report back something else (a map of what they did). So you have to construct a map for them about what to do so that what they do is what you want them to do. There's only one territory of a speed trace, only one process which requires these two things:

1. You hold the doyle you're tracing for the entire speed trace.
2. You count off the time marks to -7 months, if necessary.

Like with troubleshooting a car's engine, only two things are required:

1. Fuel
2. Spark

Simple, huh? Used to be, when you could find the carburetor (when cars HAD one) and the ignition was a simple wire from the key to the coil to the distributor to the spark plugs! Well, some folks are like the fancy new cars with computerized ignition and turbo fuel injections systems. Who knows what's going on inside. But still, it breaks down to just two things: fuel and spark.

For a doyletics trace, it breaks down to two things:

1. Hold
2. Mark

Look in either or both for the defect. If you're doing the counting for them, the likely culprit is the Hold. They think something that happened to them at age 15 and BINGO! the old doyle is replaced by a new one, and that probably happens at each time mark. Result is obvious -- you can go back to kingdom come and the original doyle will still be there.

One thing to do is to recharge their carburetors each time there's a spark. That is, re-trigger the doyle at each time mark. Fire off some anchor that triggers the doyle they're tracing. Anchor the doyle to their arm or to a tone of your voice and hit that spot or tone with each time mark. Confirm via visual or kinesthetic feedback that the doyle is present before going on. [for these folks, it's useless to ask if the doyle is there -- they've already proven that they don't know.]

This assumes that you've told them already you won't go back before -7 and why.

Oh, you should have already done a preliminary examination of plausible events and time of the original event. This is more of an art, but here's some general guidelines:

Analyze the doyle as to when is the likely time, given the person's history that the doyle would have been triggered. There are some doyles that have hard limits as to when -- if you have one of those, the analysis is easy. An example is stomach distress of any kind -- no food was eaten before birth, therefore concentrate on time marks before you reach birth. Read Otto Rank's "Trauma of Birth" for details on birth doyles. They get triggered at both ends of a life -- an insight I got from him. Read my review of his book for starters.

If it's a breathing problem, post-birth.

Muscle spasms, likely stretching during transit of birth canal.

In both of the cases I note that you use the word "feelings" instead of doyles. This is a crucial issue. Often what people call feelings are simply secondary reactions (doyles) to root doyles. Doyles that trigger other doyles. Go for the root doyle and the secondary ones will no longer trigger.

Suggestion: force yourself to locate the muscle tones in the person who has these "strong feelings" -- tell her you can't help her unless she can help you to understand the doyles that underlie the feelings, and that means muscle tone! Her chest, her torso, her genital region, her arms, her head, her shoulders -- or some complex of those muscle groups. [Doyles can also be heart beat, respiration, various internal organ homeostasis, so watch also for skin coloring, rate of breathing, etc, but muscle tone will provide all the signals you need for these problem cases, I believe.]

Spend an hour with her just mapping out the muscle tones involved. As you do that, you will become sensitized to where and when the doyles are present, and whatever she reports or not, you'll know when the trace is progressing on the right track of Hold and Mark. And you'll know when to stop -- you won't have to ask the person "is the feeling still there?", you'll be able to say, "the trace is over." And prove it by firing off the original anchor as a test. [When using the re-charge at each time mark, you know, of course, to stop re-charging when you reach five. Remember childhood amnesia sets in at that age and effectively disables their ability to throw themselves off the path!]

> Next problem. I traced another doyle back to birth, according to my
> client the feeling was still there. She wanted to continue back through
> the mother's life, however, I am sure [almost] that my client cannot
> experience the feelings of the mother's life.

I think I may have answered both questions above. You tell me if there's more.

> In each of the above cases the feeling did not clear.....what do you
> think????

Feelings don't clear, doyles do. You have an immediate advantage when you go after doyles -- people don't know what they are anyway, but old feelings, they're reluctant to let go of, even if they're unpleasant. [Like the gal with her negative motivation strategy -- they're afraid they'll lose something important -- well, they will, but they'll gain something MORE important -- freedom to motivate themselves in a positive way will rush in to fill the gap. Remember the grass is browner on the other side metaphor?]

> Your input would be most appreciated,
> thanks, Alain:-)

As is your input most appreciated on this end.
most cordially,



This is an account of one part of a session I had with a 15 year old boy named Sam. At the time of this session he had been to see me once before. He was shy and withdrawn, and experiencing learning difficulties, even though he has tested well above average intelligence. He is receiving home-schooling because of repeated acts of bullying towards him at regular school. His mother brought him to me because he is having angry and sometimes violent outburst with his brother, Ross, who is younger by 2 years. Thus, when Ross was born, Sam was 2 years old, this is relevant later. It should be noted also that during the whole process, Sam was watching me to check on how I was handling his answers; I expect he was watching to see if I would be judging him. It is my hypothesis that for the process to work maximally, a non judgmental attitude may need to be congruently displayed.

It was a Monday morning, and the scheduled 45 minute session had been in progress for about 15 minutes. I had asked about Sam's weekend and he told me of his love for sailing, and how proud he was that he had worked part time and managed to save some dollars towards buying his own boat. I maneuvered to have him associate fully into the image of himself with his new boat, seeing the sails, the color of them, the name he would give his boat……..that sort of thing. Sam was flowing along and I just slipped in a new thread.

Sam's words are in italic.

"So you've been having a few fights with Ross huh"

"Yea" [just smiling]

"I used to fight with my younger brother, he sure could be a pain"

"Yea" [continuing to smile]

"My brother was SUCH a pain, what sort of things does Ross do to you?"

"He embarrasses me"

I wait

"He went to school one time wearing a wig and a tutu" looking at me to gauge my response. Then he goes on to tell me about the outfit. Ross was 10 at the time.

"Oh boy that would have been so embarrassing"

"He does things to annoy me all the time".

"What sort of things????"

He tells me about his brother taking his 'game boy' and wrecking his score.

"No wonder you get angry with him" "Do you hit him?"

"Yea.. not hard,….. not as hard as I could" checking to gauge my response again

"He makes you angry huh?"


"So you get angry now at 15…with Ross, and you got angry with him at 12…. so I guess you got angry with him at 10" huh…. and if you got angry at 10, you got angry with him when you were 8, or 6, or 5……… even angry with him at 5 huh"

"No I don't remember getting angry at 5, the last time I remember was in grade 8" [in this country that is about age 12]

"You got pretty mad with him that time because you really remember it well now" [bold type: is my Ericksonian attempt to reassociate or maintain him in the angry memory state]


"And if you don't remember getting mad at him other times even though you try to now… to remember… you may not …remember consciously being angry when you were 4 or 3… wonder if you were that angry when you were 2?"

"I remember seeing a video of myself getting into Ross's cot when I was 2 and I accidentally kicked him in the head" [mother had made home movies].

"Wow that must have been something, I wonder if you were angry because Ross came along????" "Could you have been angry then, and you don't remember????"

Blank look

"And if you were angry at 2.. I wonder could you have been angry at.. 1… even… maybe..1????"

More blank looks [I wonder to myself if he thinks I am weird]

"Or when you were born?" "I wonder if you were angry when you were born?" "I wonder if babies are angry that they are in their mothers tummy and can't find their way out?" "or before you were born?" I wonder if ………I wonder if 8 or 9 months or 7.. I wonder if you were angry then?" [I used fractionation to create more confusion to further distract the conscious mind].

"No, babies have a peaceful sleep when they are in there, I saw that on a TV show once".

[breaking state] "Boy you must be sick of talking to me about this stuff I wonder if your mum is nearly here yet?"

'I haven't heard her car"

Sam was most talkative after that, smiling much more. I calibrated an enthusiasm that was not present previously. We talked for a while longer until his mother arrived. In the time I had, I used some fast tracing on the 'embarrassed doyle' and Sam was literally bouncing around my office by the time he left.



I had an opportunity today to practice some more with the tracing format. I am still learning so I guess I will be practicing for some time yet. At the risk of patronizing those who have the tracing procedure down pat I would like to share the experience I had with a 32 year old man. This fellow experienced bouts of anger, sometimes escalating to physical violence. I established that the precursor for his anger is a feeling associated with being frustrated. It is a little long winded, but I was keen to share. Some of the dialogue has been left out but the essence of the work is there.

At the outset I had some difficulty getting him to fully associate into the feelings of frustration. He was prone to splitting off into verbalizing about the story rather than be associated into the feeling so I had him close his eyes to assist him to associate into the desired state, and he kept them closed for most of the rest of the time. I used none of my usual trance techniques during the process. I elicited as many of the elements [submodalities] of the feeling as possible. The most obvious was a tightness in his jaw, causing him to speak in a constricted way [through clenched teeth]. The tightness extended to his neck, down the trapezius muscles, down his arms and finalized in clenched fists. The next reportable feeling was a squirmy feeling in his belly. I began.

My words are denoted by the initials X, and his with C.

X: and you are here and now feeling those feelings

X: and now place your mind at age 30 feeling those feelings

X: place your mind at age 20 feeling those feelings

X: now place your mind at age 10 feeling those feelings. He was not answering aloud but I could see that I was losing him, so I said "just hang on to the feeling it is not necessary to have an image".

X: and now place your mind at age 8 feeling those feelings, keep hold of those feelings, good, doing well.

X: and now place your mind at age 5 and keep feeling those feelings you're feeling at age 5.

I switched to saying

X: place your mind at 4 are you having those feelings at 4?

C: not really

X: 3 just place your mind at 3 are you having those feelings at 3

C: no they are not there [frowning a little]

X: ok lets go back up to 4 are you having those feelings at 4

C: no [slightly hesitant]

X: are you able to experience those feelings at 4 years and 9 months [remembering that I calibrated that he did have them at 5]

C: slightly hesitant, no

X: are they there at 5

C: yes I can feel them there [a little hesitant].

I was not convinced that they were not present at an earlier age, however, I stopped and asked about the journey. I remembered that the process sometimes releases other visual images. He remembered images of a time when he was 8 and having those feelings. I was not interested in 8 but I allowed him to explore his memories.

I took a chance and asked the Plausibility Question. I ask what could have happened to a small child that would have caused him to have a feeling like the one you experience? He remembered being 4 or 5 and related a story about being at kindergarten, then.... BINGO! He tells me that his mom once told him a story of him being slow learning to speak coherent words. That was at about age 2 or 3.. He remembered one time wanting something from the fridge and pointing, and grunting, his mother said "if you want something you will have to ask for it".

X: is the feeling there at 3 then?

C: yes in my tummy


X: if the feeling is there at 3 is it there at 2?

C: yes

X: what about 1 are you having that feeling at 1?

C: no

We established that he was not able to pronounce the words to ask for what he wanted because he was a slow learner, and he thought that his mother should have given him what he wanted because she already knew what it was, and just wanted to encourage him to speak the words. This could have been the first instance of his feelings of frustration, him being unfairly treated by his mother. I guessed that the tightness in the jaw and neck region was related to not being able to speak [although this is a bit of a leap on my behalf]. I was cautious not to put words into his mouth, rather waiting to take my lead from him.

As we worked through our postulations I noticed the constriction in his jaw had disappeared and his face was smoothing out, and there was no feeling in his stomach. I tested his level of frustration by asking how he would be able to handle his anger differently now, knowing this about himself. He ummed and ahhed for a short while, however, there was none of the feeling responses attached to frustration that he had experienced before.


In Closing, Counselors, Remember this MOST IMPORTANT function of the Plausibility Question or PQ:

No need to wait 2 or 3 weeks to find out if the doyle returns. You know immediately that a speed trace has worked because a speed trace transforms a doylic bodily memory into a COGNITIVE memory, and getting plausible explanation for the original event demonstrates immediately that you have done just that: COGNIZED a DOYLE!

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