Most people have heard of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
Our popular culture, our movies and books often use hypnosis to move the plot along. In fiction, hypnosis is given far greater powers than it really has.
But at least the public has heard of it.
Far fewer people, however, have heard of NLP, short for Neuro Linguistic Programming, (Some practitioners have chosen to call it Neuro Linugistic Processing or Neuro Linguistic Psychology).
Hypnotherapy and NLP
The fact is that NLP and Hypnosis are related.
In fact, NLP can be considered a direct “authoritarian” form of hypnosis. Ironically NLP was created in part by modeling hypnotherapist Milton Erickson who is considered the father of “permissive hypnosis” or “conversational hypnosis”.
By authoritarian we don’t mean anybody is yelling at anyone or being bossy, just that the practitioner is basically telling the client what to do.
While traditional hypnosis invites the client to relax into an eyes closed, light or deep trance state, NLP often is active and involves a dialogue between practitioner and client.
Most — if not all — NLP practitioners consider themselves to be hypnotherapists.
But not every hypnotherapist has been trained in NLP.
One of the best things about NLP is that it is often a process of the practitioner engaging the client about how the client creates their internal representations of the world.
For example, if a client wants to stop liking ice cream, the NLP practitioner can find out “how” the client “creates” that liking internally. This is done in a wide awake alert state that still is deeply engaging the client to “go inside” and actively use their intuitive imagination.
With traditional hypnosis the hypnotherapist may lead the client into a relaxed trance state and give the suggestion to the client that he or she prefers to leave ice cream alone.
The NLP practitioner will elicit something else the client doesn’t like and ask the client to change the elements about ice cream that internally represent “liking”.
It’s very active and rapid.
The client is clearly doing the work but being guided by the practitioner.
For example, the NLP the practitioner may say: “When you think of ice cream do you have a picture? Good – where is it? In the center of your mental movie screen? Great? When you think of frozen yogurt where is that? To the right and down? Good. Now move the picture of ice cream down to where frozen yogurt is…”
Because NLP doesn’t require a formal trance, it can be used “in the field” or “on the fly,” wherever and whenever it’s needed. For that reason NLP is increasingly popular in business, sales, sports coaching and life coaching.
It often can alleviate extreme states or emotions in moments.
As master practitioner and trainer of NLP and Hypnosis there are occasions where I don’t mention hypnosis but refer to my training in “Neuro Linguistics.” In other contexts where I don’t want to distract a potential client with a bunch of big words I just say “I’m a hypnotist” or I use some “advanced forms of hypnosis” to help you stop doing the things you want to stop and to start doing what you want to do.
The key distinction for me between hypnosis and NLP is that with NLP I can do sessions with people on the phone any where in the world.
Because it’s active and a process of dialogue it just works better when practitioner and client can’t be in the same room.