Some say that Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a derivation of hypnosis.
A more accurate way of looking at NLP is to say that although it was heavily influenced by hypnosis and its various techniques.
It has one basic assumption which is not present in traditional hypnotherapy and that is the concept of modalities, otherwise known as representational systems.
The assumption in NLP is that everyone’s perception of themselves and their environment is created or formed through their senses.
That means that everyones behaviours and feelings are very closely associated with sensory experiences.
Our sense of smell is the most ‘nostalgic’of all of our senses. We have all experienced a brief ‘glimpse’ of a smell, which has taken us straight back to when we were young, because it reminded us of an event or an environment from many years ago.
The modalities of NLP consist of our senses as follows:
- Olfactory (smell).
- Gustatory (taste).
- Auditory (hearing).
- Visual (sight).
- Kinesthetic (physical).
- And (more recently) Digital (facts, figures and logic).
You have to bear in mind that NLP has been derived empirically over a period of time and it is generally accepted that people with different preferred representational systems will exhibit varying characteristics and different behaviours.
An NLP practitioner can pretty quickly establish the type of individual they are dealing with and any therapy can therefore be customised.
NLP vs Hypnosis.
Where NLP differs from hypnotherapy is in the fact that whereas hypnosis relies heavily on suggestions, NLP eliminates issues or problems by using exactly the same thought patterns which created the problems.
NLP anchoring is a well-known technique during which a memory or feeling is associated with a sound, smell, or something visual - in fact any of the senses.
Imagine yourself hearing a song that reminds you of a good time in your youth, when you felt confident and happy. You can immerse yourself in that feeling and, for instance, create a physical anchor by say, touching your cheek. That act of touching your cheek is now a trigger to remember the song and through that you have an anchor for those feelings you experienced all those years ago.
Whether you call that an NLP anchoring technique, self-hypnosis or auto-suggestion does not matter, it is a technique which works.
NLP Reframe and NLP Flash are also techniques for modifying or eliminating conditioned behaviour and we will discuss these tecnhiques in-depth in another article.
NLP and hypnosis have very recently been physically overlaid on each other through the medium of what has been patented as Neuro-Vision.
It relies on the fact that most of us learned much more quickly by seeing rather than hearing and consists of acomputerised video, which relies on images rather than the subject listening to a hypnotherapist’s words. It is a single technique born out of hypnosis and NLP.
For some people it works better than listening to a hypnotherapist's words - for others it doesn't. We encourage you to try a hypnosis session we give out for free and see how well it works for you first hand - download here.