Many times I hear people pronouncing “truths” about NLP (as if in a church), which obviously are based upon a non-understanding of what it is.

They say, “It doesn’t work.”

At that point I look around and ask, “Where? Where is this thing?”

They look upon me and say, “What thing?”

I say, “NLP. You said it doesn’t work. Where’s NLP? Can you make it? What specifically does not work or did not work for you?”

They name techniques or a technique. They name lists upon lists of techniques until my brain is fried.

I take a deep breath, look upon them and I say, “So you say Phobia Cure did not work. How do you know your client had one”?

“He told me”, they say.

“And you believed him? Why? How did you make sure he really had one. If he didn’t really have one, you may have installed one, you know? If you did, you must NOW install a Phobia for a Phobia, which is easy. Just play a slightly different movie and add JAWS soundtrack to it. DONE.”


What if he wanted to have one but didn’t get it YET? It is useful to have a phobia of certain things.

For instance, Mother in Law Phobia (that however can be cured with laxative tea at dinner when they visit SUDDENLY and playing the Jaws soundtrack, gently, in the background.)

Here is my response to them:

NLP techniques, which are numerous, do not work by themselves. They are the tools we use within specific contexts. A tool, however great, is a useless tool unless applied for specific reasons in a specific context, with a specific, verifiable outcome to be specifically achieved.

In order for these great tools to work, I tell them they need to go back to the “drawing board” and be able to delineate the parameters of the context they are dealing with. Make sure you are dealing with what you are told. If he says he a has a phobia, make darn sure it is and that he doesn’t want it.

Nine times out of ten, they have a different problem from the one they want you to believe they have.

Sometimes all they want is a “date”-with you. They want someone to spill their guts in front of, without any intention of having anything change, expecting nurturing. For this purpose, obviously, you will reach out for different tools (I have a few for emergencies).

I think, by the way, these weekly therapy sessions you’ve been having with your clients for the last 8 years are nothing more than contextualized dates. After that many years, people know each other better than spouses. Talking about polygamy.

They need to employ the observational skills, listening skills and questioning skills to gather as much information as they can, in order to figure out the situation and how the context had been created.

When they are sure to be sure that surely they know what outcome they are wanting to get, the art begins.

Only then are the tools useful to elicit the desired outcome (MAKE SURE, IT IS DESIRED, not just by you but by THEM).

In our view, training practitioners needs to be based on the principle of teaching a structure. Students must “organically” be drawn to structure delineation. Once we know the structure of the client’s experience, we know how they consistently achieve a particular state, and what they want to change and why, our job is really easy. A structure of anything, including an emotional state, ceases to be the structure of the foundational elements that are rearranged or removed.

In order to make a difference in someone’s life, we need to be able to reconstruct for ourselves the model of the world that client had been creating for themselves, understand the structure of it, design a new one that works, use the tools and then verify from our own and our client’s standpoint that this we wanted to achieve had been achieved WITHIN THE ECOLOGY OF THE CONTEXT.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who do not understand the elegance of these methods, and their power. They go into the world teaching others NLP and doing ineffective work with clients, leading to a misunderstanding of this incredible methodology and Richard Bandler’s original intent in Santa Cruz.

It’s time for a CHANGE!


Written by Anita Kozlowski, Founder of Live With Power NLP Seminars. 

Anita Kozlowski is an internationally licensed NLP trainer, therapist, strategic business and success coach. She has used innovative therapy to change lives through a unique system that has been proven to work. As an internationally licensed NLP trainer, she has trained thousands of individuals from all walks of life in pure NLP, for which she has received recognition on three continents.

You can visit her on Facebook or at Live With Power.