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In-Depth NLP: Using Deep Hypnotic Principles In Neurolinguistic Programming

May 3, 2008
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed in the 1970's by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. Grinder and Bandler originally modeled the work and techniques of Fritz Perls (the founder of Gestalt Therapy) and Virginia Satir (the famous family therapist). Based on this, they came to the conclusion that "questions are the answer", and developed their now famous Meta Model which was designed to reconnect people with their real underlying experience (or "deep structure"), based upon the words and language (or "surface structure") that they used.

Then, in conversations with their friend and mentor, Gregory Bateson, Bateson suggested that Bandler and Grinder were missing half the picture, and that to complete their model they should visit a highly regarded but somewhat mysterious hypnotherapist named Milton Erickson.

As a result of studying and modeling Erickson (in their famous Milton Model), Bandler and Grinder were able to develop their theories of the role of the unconscious mind in creating and maintaining problems, and hence in resolving those problems.

In the authors' experience, some NLP teachers teach the Meta Model and Milton Model as related yet separate theories and approaches. By doing so, the risk is that we miss the forest for the trees; Milton Erickson himself expressed concern that NLP was missing the spirit of his teachings and techniques.

In this article we argue that integrating the Milton Model and Meta Model into all NLP processes is key to holistic change in NLP. In addition, we argue that the Milton Model can and should be extended by adding traditional hypnosis models, and the Meta Model can and should be extended using newer "questioning" models that offer different ways of directionalizing the unconscious mind. We also feel that the original NLP attitude of "do what works" allows us to include the latest techniques in Energy psychology as well as creating processes that utilize the latest research in the psychoneuroimmunology.

META MODEL

Let us take a moment to review the principles and uses of the Meta Model and Milton Model.

The Meta Model seeks to identify where a client has used the so-called universal modeling processes of deletion, distortion and generalization. For example:

* "I have come here because my life is falling apart; they always disrespect me, because they hate me!"

* How does the fact that you have come arise as a result of your life falling apart? Linking a negative impression ("my life is falling apart") to a real sensory experience ("coming here") tends to make the negative impression seem more real.

* Which part of your life exactly? What does "life" mean in this context? Using a noun such as "life" deletes the detail activities involved in "living".

* How exactly is your life "falling apart"? Using a vague or unspecified verb such as "falling apart" deletes the detail of what is actually happening in your life.

* Who exactly are "they"? Using this pronoun deletes the identity of the people doing the disrespecting.

* How exactly do they disrespect you? What do they say or do that makes you believe this? Using a vague or unspecified verb such as "disrespect" deletes the method in which this "disrespect" is manifested.

* Do they really do it "always" i.e. all the time? Using words such as "always" generalizes whatever behavior "they" are actually doing by pretending it is happening all the time.

* How do you know they "hate" you? How can you know what they are feeling? Pretending you know what "they" are feeling distorts reality.

THE MILTON MODEL

The Milton Model uses the same universal modeling processes of deletion, distortion and generalization. The difference is that the hypnotist or NLP Practitioner deliberately uses these processes to generate language patterns which are "artfully vague", and which the client is therefore free to make sense of in their own way. For example, we could say:

* "You are here now, which means you are a survivor; you have always been able to find solutions, because deep down you have all the resources you need."

* We will not analyze the sentence in detail, but you will notice that the structure of the sentence is similar to the Meta Model example above. The difference is that negative words are replaced with more resourceful ones. The client is thus invited to find a positive meaning for what the hypnotist says.

IN-DEPTH NLP

So how is In-Depth NLP(TM) different? In-Depth NLP pre-supposes the existence of the "deep-structure" of the Meta Model, and the Metaphorical world of the Milton Model, AND pre-supposes that these are aspects of the same underlying client "map" made up of:

* An external "landscape" of external sensory experience filtered through our past experiences, memories, beliefs and values, plus

* A symbolic internal landscape of Internal Representations, Feelings, Metaphors and the chemical reactions of neuro-peptides and other emotional and physical chemical responses.

* Both controlled and accessed by the "unconscious" mind.

This model has several implications for practitioners:

* Because the internal and external landscapes are controlled and accessed via the unconscious, the In-Depth NLP practitioner should develop skill and dexterity at reading unconscious responses. This pre-supposes that the In-Depth NLPTM practitioner recognize the difference between a conscious and unconscious response in the first place!

* The In-Depth NLP practitioner should develop skill at communicating with the unconscious mind, using the client's unconscious language of words, tonality, gestures, physiology, metaphor etc.

* The In-Depth NLP practitioner should develop skill in trance-work, via Ericksonion and Traditional Hypnosis, to allow direct access to the client's unconscious processes.

The In-Depth NLP work can then proceed on a unified basis, holistically and elegantly using all the tools of NLP, Clean Language, Milton Model, Ericksonion Hypnosis and Traditional Hypnosis, for example:

* Using the NLP Meta Model to begin to identify the Cliemt's deep structure on a linguistic level; and

* Adding Clean Language patterns to further objectify and solidify the metaphorical landscape; while

* Using eye accessing patterns, predicate recognition, timeline, physiology and other calibration skills to gain a deeper understanding of the landscape as it develops; and

* Using traditional NLP patterns from submodality shifts, to six step reframes etc. etc. to begin to make changes in the client's landscape; or

* Using the Overdurf coaching model to simultaneously light up positive and "present state" circuits in the client's landscape, ultimately collapsing the negative circuit; then

* Using metaphor in deeper trance to fully install a more resourceful circuit.

In-Depth NLP represents a model or framework that allows practitioners to incorporate any technique of NLP, Ericksonion or Traditional Hypnosis, Clean Language, or other cognitive or mind body technique into their client work, in an integrated, holistic and elegant way.

In-Depth NLP is taught by the authors in their training in New York.
About the Author
Click here for In-Depth NLP Training in New York.Melissa Tiers runs the Center for Integrative Hypnosis in New York, melissatiers.com, NGH certified hypnosis training, and sees private clients. Shawn Carson is director of the International Center for Positive Change and Hypnosis in New York, where he runs NLP trainings, www.nlptrainingnewyork.com
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