NLP / Neuro-Linguistic Programming
- refers to the nervous system, the brain and network of nerves that store and carry information to and from the brain and how we use our five senses to translate experiences into thought processes and emotions, both consciously and unconsciously.
- denotes the use of language to interpret and label our subjective experiences and how we describe those experiences to ourselves and to others.
- is how we condition (program) ourselves to select and interpret information and respond in our own particular way.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so
~ Shakespeare ~
Thus NLP is the study of how we subjectively translate events into information, how we communicate with ourselves and with others and how this elicits a particular internal emotional response, which then leads us to act or behave in a specific way.
NLP provides techniques for us to:
- Learn how to re-program our responses and behaviour in order to achieve better results.
- Be able to neutralise the negative beliefs and conditioning which may be sabotaging us.
- Maximize our potential in any area of life.
Richard Bandler and John Grinder originally created NLP, through modeling (recreating) the language, physiology and mental processes of outstanding therapists Fritz Perls (Gestalt therapy), Virginia Satir (Family therapy) and Dr. Milton Erickson (world-renowned psychotherapist and hypnotherapist) along with other successful people who consistently produced outstanding results. Through modeling excellence, the internal behaviour patterns of excellence were de-coded and developed into a set of techniques that could be taught to others. These form the foundation of NLP. Many other people, such as Robert Dilts, have helped to develop new ideas and techniques in NLP.
As a man thinketh, so is he
~ Proverbs 23:7 ~
How does NLP work?
NPL consists of practical techniques that enable us to change and optimise the way we experience the world, respond emotionally to the experiences, create an internal physiological state and use this to move towards achieving our goals. The brain does not differentiate between real and imagined events when adjusting our physiology to deal with them. NLP makes use of our most positive memories, personal resources and experiences to learn to recreate, at will, the positive internal states associated with these. It teaches us how to make constructive use of and even to 'play' with negative memories, thoughts and feelings, to neutralise their effects and learn from them. It develops our use of our imagination to help us create the life we want.
All that we are is the results of our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
If we think in a negative way then that negativity will follow us, as sure as the wheel
follows the ox that draws the cart. If we think in a harmonious way,
happiness follows us as sure as our shadow, never leaving us
~ Buddha (The Dhammapada) ~
What happens in a session?
I use NLP in conjunction with cognitive hypnotherapy. When you have explained your current problems/ issues, and described your desired goals, you will be encouraged to reframe them in positive terms, as things you want more of and wish to move towards, rather than the things you want less of or to move away from. If you are told not to think of something, such as pink elephants, the image you will inevitably have in your mind is of pink elephants! Thus if, for example, you want to get rid of a back pain you need to focus instead on the feeling you would like to replace it with!
Then you may be guided into a pleasantly relaxed state and through a process of directing your mind to clearly imagine experiencing the outcome you desire. This includes involving as many of your senses as possible and all the positive feelings and emotions associated with this outcome. This programs the unconscious to institute internal processes and external actions to bring it about.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve
~ W. Clement Stone ~
If suitable for you, the session may be combined with simple yoga techniques to help to reinforce and 'anchor' the positive state within you, while also helping to release tension in areas of your body. Afterwards the conscious mind continues to be busy with its normal daily pre-occupations, whilst your unconscious works to bring about the apparently extraordinary results – as if by magic! It can feel like magic because, as the unconscious does its work, you are not consciously aware of how it happens.