NLP - Trick or Transformation?

Just Recently, I was chatting with someone and he told me that his Mother couldn't sleep for many days now and he used the Betty Erickson technique and she slept well. I asked him, do you know if your mother slept well the next day and the day after?

I have consistently encountered such situations, not just with NLP practitioners but almost everywhere. People come and say, "I did therapy and felt good then".

The question really is not if it felt good back then but rather are the transformations and changes persistent?


With reference to the above story, Betty Erickson is an induction technique which can be used as an aid for state choice in a sequence of well chosen patterns that can allow for sleep everynight not just that night.

The problem that I see in all of this is the pain killer effect where you just subside a symptom and repeatedly do it, so that you can feel good. Its the same phenomenon with Fire Walk. Richard Bandler has commented in his workshops, that unless the act generalizes so that the new courage you develop moves to the rest of the person's life, there is no real value. That is why we have people claiming to have done 80 firewalks and they still have to go for just 1 more of it to feel confident. 

Any NLP technique or for that matter any technique can appear to give instant relief. It takes real skill and mastery to get lasting transformations. 

And especially when using NLP it is easy to fool oneself. Anyone can use simple language patterns and get temporary relief for the client. 




So  What  can be done to ensure  Lasting Transformations: 


1.  Learn the patterns well: For starters transcribe the process in 5 - 9 simple steps. If you notice the following words in your transcription "something like that', "similar stuff" etc. Get to precision.  Many NLP patterns look similar at  an abstract level and the magic is in the details and precision. Reference the pattern with the material.

2. Select the right pattern: Now, this comes only from expeirence. Here are some guidelines to get you started. Reframing and Metaphors work for almost all situations. When you are learning I recommend using Metaphors only as an aid. Richard Bandler in his book - Get the life you wan, has some nice illustrations of using anchors and submodalities for specific purposes. Use them. Till you consistently get results and then you can attempt your own variations. Use swish only when you can absolutely verify ecology with your calibration. 

3. Ensure enough motivation: Just because someone has requested you for change does not mean they have consistent and continuous drive for that change. So when they come to you. Install such a drive for them. You can use propulsion systems or the provocative approach. Whatever you choose, as long as there is the drive.

4. Generalization: Most patterns include steps for generalization in themselves. I also recommend using Metaphors for generalization. You touch fire once you learn not to touch fire again in any form and color. This is called generalization. Make sure the work you are doing generalizes.

5. Test: NLP patterns have conditions for test in the patterns description. Make sure you really test. Furture pace if necessary. Test when the client assumes the work is over. Test for generalization. Test Test Test

6. Repetition: This is key. Make sure you repeat the steps enough number of times for generalization to occur. And dont leave it to chance. Make sure you test for generalization too. And repeat as many times as necessary.

And ofcourse, make sure you are in Rapport by testing again. And remember there is no failure, only feedback!


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