Tuesday, 29 March 2011

nlp and psychotherapy.


This article is designed to assist and encourage newly qualified psychotherapists.

Nlp has been part of my psychotherapy practice for the past eleven years.  Nlp is now generally recognised as a valuable addition within the psychotherapy / hypnotherapy / counselling / psychiatry / medical / dental practice and other areas where care for people is a priority.

Further down the page are examples of questions that a therapist might typically ask a client in a professional nlp session.

Naturally, the therapist would respond to the client's answers and therefore these questions are only  meant as an indication of how the session might go.  Questions are asked gently and kindly.  The client learns to find answers within himself which are honest, positive and healthy rather than the previously destructive, self-deceiving, blaming, (self and others) and self-justifying thinking habits which had become a 'prison' of fear, anxiety and depression for him.

Immediately on meeting you the therapist, the client should feel safe and relaxed.  This is where your love for humanity and your rapport skills begin to take effect, in order that the client feels comfortable in being honest with him/herself and going deep inside for honest answers during the session.

There should be no suggestion of resistance or flippancy in the client's answers.  After all, clients come to you to be helped out of their old damaging, habitual thoughts and behaviours, not to be cosseted and made to feel comfortable in continuing with them.  Good quality training, experience and a genuine love for people will make you an effective psychotherapist, helping the client in bringing about positive and healthy change.

It is not necessary for the client to respond to your questions verbally, although at the outset we can reasonably expect our client to want to tell you something about their 'probem'.

One nlp session with a good nlp therapist may be all that is required for the client to reach his desired positive outcome or one, two or more further sessions might be required.

Always remember that the well-being of the client is the desire of your heart and soul. You are no more than an instrument, trained to help the client back on the right path toward the loving and comfortable feeling of safety, freedom and with a genuine sense that something special has taken place leading onto a new delightful love for life into the future.

'As a Christian I believe that it is only Jesus that heals and that I am a willing instrument to help others find His peace'.  I silently pray before, during and after a hypnotherapy session asking Jesus to intercede for us.

A typical problem.

You've been in a challenging situation for years which has caused you to be stuck in unhealthy, obsessive thoughts and/or behaviours which seem to restrict your progress, making you feel helpless, inferior and miserable?

You say that you want this situation to come to an end but you feel that, (metaphorically) your 'hands are tied', or that the way out of this frustrating situation does not seem to be in 'your hands' at all.

Example of questions an nlp psychotherapist might ask.

  • Whose hands is this situation in?
  • What do you want from this therapy session?.
  • Have you ever had a feeling of joy, peace and positivity?
  • What was happening then?  How old were you?
  • When did this 'negative' feeling / behaviour begin?
  • What was happening in your life at that time?
  • Has it ever gone away for a while?
  • If so, what was happening then?
  • What was happening when it returned?
  • Who tied your hands?
  • What was preventing you from resisting the binds at the time?
  • How tightly/loosely are they bound?
  • What are your hands tied with?
  • Is it possible that you could just slip your hands effortlessly out of the binds at any time?
  • If that is so, then can you do just that, now?
  • If not, what is stopping you?
  • If the answer is you, what could be the advantages of your staying in this situation?
  • If someone else is preventing you, who is that and how are they doing that?
  • Have you ever been in this kind of situation before?
  • What possible advantages could there be for your staying within this situation?
  • When did this binding happen?
  • What was happening around you and in your life at that time?
  • What would happen should you be free from your binds, now?
  • Do you want to be completely free from your ties or do you just want to have more maneuverability.
  • What would be the advantages for you and others when you become free/ freer?
  • When would be the ideal time to become free?
  • What does freedom look like / feel like / sound like / taste like / smell like................?
  • Can you think of two or three other, easily achievable, thoughts/behaviours that are healthy and positive that you would willingly swap your old troubling ones?
  • How can you do that?
  • Can you do that now?
  • How can you prevent yourself from back-sliding into the old thinking patterns?
  • What things have you done which you are successful at?
  • How did / do you do that?
  • Are you prepared to practice those thought processes in another context?
  • Are you prepared to rehearse that now?
  • Are you willing to try out your new positive thoughts/behaviours for a trial period of say, three weeks?
and so on.

We can ask these kind of questions of ourselves at any time when we have perhaps, 10, 20, 30 minutes or more to relax and do nothing special.  It is surprising what we can learn about ourselves and what we already know with regard to freeing ourselves from troubling situations, when we have the courage to be honest with our answers.

Everything a client says within a professional hypnotherapy session is strictly confidential.  The healing therapist should never ask questions in order to illicit information for any other reason than for the health and well-being of the client. 

Be sure to have a trustworthy colleague at least at your own level with whom you can meet periodically, (otherwise known as a 'supervisor').

Beware of personal friendships with people who endeavour to gain personal information about others from you, or who have a tendency to be manipulative and controlling in the lives of others.  They may be asking that information on behalf of someone else who does not have your welfare at heart. Develop a mental switch which prevents you from every breaking confidentiality.   Confidentiality is not a problem when you genuinely have someone else's interests at heart.  Basically, in human terms, you are on your own, although  I can honestly say that I never do feel alone or without guidance at the very highest level.

If your sessions run beyond the 45-50 minute time period you might have allowed for, and you feel spiritually lead at the very highest level of goodness, then trust and continue until you come to a comfortable conclusion.

Nlp is just one of the ways a professional psychotherapist would work.  I would not ask this many questions as the nlp part is just a fraction of the whole session.  This article is primarily intended to be a useful guide to questions we might ask ourselves given a few minutes in which to 'daydream'.

Lastly, you have decided to take up a career in caring for others.  Everything you do now is  for the benefit of others and never with personal gain as your motivation, (although fair fees are valid if this your main means of livelihood).  At some time you realised that you wanted to qualify in a clean, legitimate professional practice which brings about healing in people who are locked in emotional or some other kind of pain. You will never regret your new chosen life so long as you continue to keep the health and well-being of others as your priority at all times.  After qualifying with a high quality and well respected trainer with a good reputation for top level, compassionate and effective therapy, it is a great help find some volunteers who are willing to be your first 'professional' clients.  I suggest strangers and not friends and family.  I found that volunteers are very willing and helpful in the early months of my practice. 

I wish you very much joy in your new life and in your new professional practice.
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