I have hosted NLP seminars all over the world for many years and the greatest gain is seeing the typical NLP questions answered. My students leave with their answers questions and their brains stimulated. The questions that I get the most from students before coming to a Live With Power seminar, and the questions that I make a point to answer throughout the trainings are simple, informative, and most of all, true.
The first question is: I have been depressed for over 10 years. I find myself procrastinating, unable to move. How do I get unstuck?
To answer your question, I would have to ask you more questions. How do you know you are depressed when you say you are? How do you know when to get depressed? How do you know when to stop? When was the first time you recognized that feeling of depression? When was the last time you felt free of that depressed feeling?
If you were feeling consistently depressed over all these years, Congratulations. You mastered the state of depression.
You know what it feels like, when to get it and how to maintain it. The degree of consistency you had been demonstrating is commendable. Imagine if you could be that consistent in things you would rather be consistent in doing? You already know how to be motivated. You succeeded in motivating yourself to remain depressed, even if you do not recognize it yet.
Now, why do you want to get un-depressed? What is it you are not doing or have not been doing as a result of having had that depression?
Are you sure you want to be free of it? How sure are you? Are you sure to be sure? If you are sure, just close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself free of that depression thing. What is it like? Where is that feeling you forgot how to have gone now? What do you see? Hear? Any voices, of people you know, may meet? What are you doing? How does it feel to be free of that old feeling that lingered inside you for to long. Kind of like a rotten sandwich that remained undigested – you know that feeling.
Imagine yourself free of it. Free in the light, doing that which you like. Double it now. Would it not be great to be consistent in that good feeling? Being consistent is something you already know how to do. It’s a piece of cake. After all you had been doing it for a long, long time. Make it even more consistent until it gets into your cells. As you do, imagine a stream of light just shining through your experience, erasing all that which does not fit in this good feeling of certainty that feeling good is great now.
Now imagine yourself doing that which you were not as a result of having had that old feeling. How easy it is. As you are doing it, just infuse it with consistency, that certain feeling of certainty that this which you are doing is already a fact. When you learned how to walk, you just did it, didn’t you?
This is a good start for you.
A shortcut to all this is as follows: all human experience has structure. The structure is logical even if based on initially illogical foundations of illogical beliefs. To change it and to change the resultant behaviors and decisions that lead to them, we need to understand the model we had created for our initial experience, and then delineate the illogicalities in it, replacing them with logical structures. Other techniques come as a supplement to it all and work only if applied within a well defined logical system.
I the absence of that we may be the students of “NLP” and never come close to comprehending what it is and how it works.
In essence it is beautiful, elegant and quick. It is easy to learn and to apply. So, you are not alone in your search for “truth”. Perhaps you didn’t look in the right place or did not ask the right question.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Just close your eyes and feel it.
And the next question is this: I am a beginning Practitioner. How do I approach my work with clients? Where do I start? What tools do I use?
Before you decide what tools to use, you must understand how the client creates his or her experience. You must be sure that the problem you are presented with is THE problem. To do that, ask questions.
How do you know you have that problem?
How do you know when to have that problem?
Imagine yourself without this problem. What is your life like now? Describe? How do you know you are free of that problem?
If you could have that problem in ways that it would not be a problem, how would you do it?
Ask questions to an extent you have enough information about how the problem is a problem and how it is a problem and how does a person keep on having that problem. If a person has been having a problem for a long time, obviously there are some payoffs for having it. What is the secondary gain here? Once you are sure how the problem fits within the model of the world of your client, you can decide upon a technique or techniques to apply to either reframe the problem, change the structure of it, thus making it into something else, induce amnesia for it, or any other tools you have available to you.
Remember that tools are applicable only within the framework of the philosophy. The philosophy is really very simple. The main idea is that all human emotion and behavior has structure. No emotion occurs randomly. It happens very fast and is based upon a very logical structure.
In order to feel depressed, for example, a person must decide when to be depressed, recognize the context in which to feel depressed and also know when not to be depressed.
These decisions and structures happen on the basis of the meaning one had applied to a particular configuration of factors. Even though the symptoms of, for example, depression may be the same across many people, the underlying structure for its creation may be totally different.
How people create meaning? It is a learned behavior. For example, if a child had not received attention when it was a baby, it learned that having a voice does not lead to safety. If a baby was abused when crying, it had learned to associate expressing itself to pain. As a result that child may have been growing up timid, unable to express emotion and even fearful of close relationships. As it grew, it became conditioned in these patterns, especially because all the decisions it had been making were based upon a belief that “having a voice” was dangerous. The type of intimate relationships such a person would have developed would probably be based on control and maybe aggression.
A person may be 40 years old and come with depression related to loneliness. To help that person we need to delineate the structure of beliefs this person had been building depression upon. It is only then we can achieve a lasting change by shifting the logical structures underlying the emotion and leading to a behavioral outcome- sabotaging interpersonal relationships, for example.
Techniques we use are powerful as they are indirect. If told what to do, humans may agree and remain not able or willing to change. Knowing of having a problem and even its origins is not enough to lead to change. Something needs to occur at the “other than conscious level” for humans to spontaneously change. Change happens fast.
The art in all this is the ability for the practitioner to be generative and able to go through the implication structures underlying human emotion.
Many skills are needed to do that; observational skills (what signals are they giving unconsciously), listening skills (the Meta Model which is a transformational linguistic tool), language patterns applications to create a lasting change, and the ability to verify the outcome had been achieved.
In order to do it well, you must carry few hats simultaneously. You must be cognizant of the context and its objectives, be able to step into the model of the world of your client and from his/her perspective evaluate what and why they want to change, verify the outcomes from their perspective, simultaneously being aware of you achieving our therapeutic objectives.
Techniques are useless unless applied correctly and logically. Sometimes people think they have a problem but it is not the problem. Our job is to find the problem and help people get unstuck.
There is a very specific structure to what we do and it will work for you if you apply it logically.
Last week I helped a lady get rid of multiple allergies. I verified it by having the woman eat what she used to be allergic to and drink what she could not before. The structure to her allergy was a phobic response that occurred years ago. Her body reacted and developed chemicals in response to an emotional reaction. We had to eradicate the phobic unconscious response, and her physiology changed. Each case is different of course. Not all allergies would be treated the same way.
So yes, it is exciting and very rewarding. I love it and learn every day. It is like being an adventure traveler where each human is a mystery, a puzzle to be solved. The change we see is amazing and this is where the reward is. Good luck.
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.