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I am a certified Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and have been using the techniques with clients since 1995. NLP is the study of excellence. By studying the structure of how people do things well, it can be enhanced and taught to others. The methodology is one of modeling which means looking at the results of what has been achieved and identifying the process that lead to that result. The result is the development of tools and techniques that empower a person to achieve greater success in all areas.
NLP can be applied to business, health and well-being, counselling and therapy, relationships, sport, training and education, negotiation, leadership, presentation skills, goal setting etc. It is about how to run your brain to achieve the results you desire â?? a means by which people can achieve goals and better communicate.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) explains how we process information coming to us from the world around us. Cognition of an external event occurs as we experience it through the senses:
- kinesthetic (feeling)
- olfactory (smell)
- gustatory (taste)
Before we make an internal representation of the event we do the following: –
- Delete – when we selectively pay attention to some aspects of our experience and not others;
- Distort – when we make shifts in our experience of sensory data by making either misrepresentations of reality or making it mean something about ourselves or the world E.g. Being ignored means our parents didn’t love us or we are unlovable.
- Generalise – when we draw global conclusions based on one or more experiences. E.g. Our first partner leaves us and we expect every partner to do the same thing.
It is the therapist’s responsibility to draw attention to when the client is either deleting, distorting or generalizing about their experiences so that they have access to creating the way they would like to interpret events that happen in their lives.
The tools of NLP also allow for understanding what strategies people have for creating their own problems. For example some people visualize all the possible things that can go wrong. Others tell themselves that they are stupid and will never get things right. When these strategies are brought to conscious awareness in therapy then the client has got themselves above the vicious circle of the symptoms of the problem reinforcing having the problem and it is from this viewpoint that changes can be made.
Another tool of NLP, which can help clients, is to understand anchoring of feelings. What often happens in life is that certain words, certain people, certain looks on a person’s face can trigger us to feel bad. In the therapy these anchored negative feelings are either deleted or overwritten.
One technique I use very regularly is that of Parts Integration. So very often clients experience indecision caused by their mind being split into parts.
When the client uses any of these phrases, it confirms that this is the case:-
- Well a part of me thinks/feels this
- On the one hand I think this, on the other hand I think that
- I am in two minds about whether I should do this.
Parts integration allows the mind to get back into a situation of working as one whole and therefore makes decision making much easier and following through on those decisions.
Overall NLP is a very powerful way of changing the way we think so that we can have the results we want in our lives.
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