What is NLP?
NLP is a powerful applied psychology. It has the potential to help people to make massive changes, overcome problems and to improve the way they communicate. See ‘About NLP’ for more information.
What is hypnosis?
In spite of its long history and recent resurgence in popularity, hypnosis is still a controversial procedure. Whilst many are sceptical, most people seem to be either fascinated by hypnosis or fearful of it, or both. To make matters worse there is no consensus in academia or amongst practitioners of what hypnosis is.
Milton Erickson, the grandfather of modern hypnotherapy, defined hypnotic trance as “the loss of the multiplicity of the foci of attention”, which is to say that it is characterised by single-pointed awareness and absorption in the focus of attention. Contrast this with the ‘waking state’ in which attention jumps from one thing to another as we track the complexity of our experience.
Hypnosis is the practice of inducing and utilising trance, for therapeutic or life enhancement aims (hypnotherapy), education or entertainment.
How long will it take?
Depending on the type and number of problems it may take anything from a single session to many (you’ll have to call me for a more exacting estimate). Some of my clients need only a single session (though I always recommend a follow up to be sure) and some with more complex needs come for regular coaching. Ultimately, there’s only one way to find out. Having said that, though, it should be pointed out that NLP is rightly famous for the speed of its interventions.
How long will the changes last?
The results of a specific NLP intervention will usually be permanent. However some clients may find that they want a top-up or refresher session some time later. Given the brevity and power of NLP treatments, a top-up session or two still works out as an excellent deal, especially when compared with the glacial pace of conventional therapies.
You’re not going to dig up nasty childhood memories, are you?
No. Some psychotherapies and schools of hypnosis do have an unhealthy obsession with childhood traumas. They seek to uncover traumatic memories and have the client re-live it over and over again, in search of some cathartic ‘redecision’ or some other such nonsense.
This approach is not just plain wrong-headed; it is dangerous. I’ve had clients who developed new problems as a result of this kind of “therapy” when the traumatic feelings (which they had successfully forgotten about) associated into other parts of their life.
If you ask me, once was enough. If someone is haunted by traumatic memories then that needs to be dealt with. Sometimes a trip down memory lane can be useful, but I do not seek to investigate such matters unless strictly necessary and when I do, I do it very carefully so as to make the process painless.
Its all a load of American positive thinking mumbo-jumbo, isn’t it?
No. Just as there is some really awful music around and some that is sublime so there are some NLP practitioners who take a crass simplistic approach to their work and some who bring some richness and depth to it.
NLP itself is a truly remarkable technology for creating a better life. How it is used is up to the practitioner.
Is there any scientific evidence for NLP?
Yes, contrary to what many commentatirs will tell you there is a significant body of research into NLP which demonstrates its efficacy as a therapeutic tool. See, for example, the research archive at the European Association of NLP’s web site – http://www.eanlpt.org – where there are details of many scientific studies into the efficacy of NLP and also into the basic assumptions of NLP (anchoring, eye-accessing cues, etc). Stever Robbins’ web site references a number of research articles finding good evidence for the efficacy of NLP. See also the University of Surrey’s research project on NLP – http://www.nlpresearch.org/