We recommend that you research the relationship consequences
of any training and trainer before attending it - especially if
hypnosis, compliance and belief change are themes of the training.
Good intentions do not prevent unpleasant consequences. Martyn Carruthers
Student Abuse by Trainers
. Client Abuse by Therapists
Part 2 - NLP Strategy Techniques
NLP Ecology Redefined by Annegret Hallanzy
Although many NLP techniques do not fulfill the requirements
for comprehensive change, they do achieve something called second order
learning in Brief Therapy. Brief Therapy is
understood to be any therapy that, from the onset, is limited to anywhere
from 10 minutes to 10 sessions. Here, Brief Therapy is considered to be
synonymous with coaching. Since many coaching sessions have emotional
problems at their root, they are often handled in the same manner as in
brief therapy. It is important to differentiate between coaching and
in-depth life-change counseling or psychotherapy.
I include brief descriptions of these techniques for
two reasons. 1, the level of coaching directly rises in consequence of
expertise in goal setting and by correctly applying NLP techniques. 2,
annotations found under Ecology describe some limitations of NLP methods.
Since few NLP trainers teach the same techniques in
the same way, the Short Descriptions are meant to be a foundation for
Ecology discussions and not to teach technique. The coach is designated
as "B", the client as "A".
NLP Change Personal History
Application: Client's goal. ”I want to have some
inner skill or capability every time I begin to feel unpleasant feelings (K-)
for this and only this situation in my life.”
Brief description: The negative feeling (K-) is anchored. Client A
defines the desired (K+) resource qualities that he would like to have at his
disposal in the
situation that causes K-. Client A is brought into the success bringing situation
via VAKOG and all the good feelings associated with it are stack-anchored.
Using the negative anchor, client A searches for the triggering event. The now
reinforced negative feelings are coupled with the resource anchor K+ until
client A enters into an acceptable emotional state that enables him to now react
differently than before in the respective situation.
Ecology - A question arises, why a client has not already
succeeded in activating his own resources for the problem context? Why must
coach B remind client A that A already has resources? This is as absurd as
a commonly asked question in NLP : „What do you need?” If a client
knew the real answer, the client could solve the problem!
The crucial point in generating resources is not in
searching for already experienced resources, but in using small talk
spiked with paradoxical humor and encouragement. This induces client A
with such good feelings that A can allow himself multiple good states on
his own, despite knowing all along exactly what topic is going to come up
next. It is the relationship between coach B and client A that becomes the
most significant resource for mastering past failures with a significant or
important other. The anchor in reality anchors coach B as the resource, so
that client A can regress and experience the past differently.
After coach B has used small talk to establish a strong anchor for K+ qualities
and has finished the VAKOG search for client A’s desired capabilities, the
ecology-check comes in. „Using the help anchor, do you now want to explore, what
this negative feeling is all about?” If client A congruently affirms,
coach B intuitively
knows that client A has gained enough resources through his connection with B to
reframe the original situation and handle it adeptly in the present. If
client A is incongruent in spite of the resources gained through coach B, this
suggests either a case of K+ with recurring or permanently traumatic
content, or coach B has not yet succeeded in spontaneously generating
and anchoring A with sufficient resources.
NLP Phobia Technique
Application: Client's goal: „I want to be able to
do everything that is not possible now, because trigger X sets off a phobia”.
Brief description - The panic reaction is anchored and in a dissociated
state the past is searched for the triggering event. In a well anchored
double dissociation (if necessary take on a third dissociation) alienate the
submodalities of the triggering event. While continuing to alter the
submodalities, A then associates himself into a fast rewind. If the
trigger event has been suppressed until this NLP session, it becomes
necessary to heal the experienced relationship. While in first dissociation,
the film is stopped at the worst moment and the younger self is sent a good
fairy or mentor to comfort this younger self and bring
him to safety. A then „takes these two into his arms” and assimilates
Ecology - Astonishingly often, client A is not pleased about
being able do things he could not do because of the phobia. To
find client A's secondary benefits, a coach can investigate A's unconscious
Often a phobia symbolizes repressed capabilities. Angst themes
that have not been totally worked out with parents are internally
split off and projected as childlike parts onto a trigger (e.g. insect, bird
and animal phobias). Apart from that, triggering events are not only moments of fright,
but often situations of loss, This points to other relationship issues that
indirectly show up as secondary gains.
The NLP phobia technique should not be applied if secondary benefits are
involved, as is usually the case! Should this be ignored,
additional symptoms often appear so that the phobia does not disappear
completely or permanently.
If client A's objections are analyzed and dissolved,
a phobia disappears by itself and forever! As people can dissolve phobias on
their own, a question arises about whether it is necessary to teach a
phobia technique to shake off panicking over some trigger?
Application - Client's goal: „I want alternatives for
a certain annoying behavior.”
Brief description - After testing the persistence of the
annoyance with numerous metaphors and reframes, coach B
persuades client A that the part responsible for
maintaining the behavior has good intentions. Client A then directly
approaches the unconscious part and establishes involuntary signals
kinesthetic are best for yes and no. Client A then asks this part. „Are you ready
to tell me your good intention?”. Is the answer yes, the intention is
directly requested and checked through signals. „Do I know all, now?” Is the
answer is yes-no, ask „Would you be willing to have a conference with the
creative part to give you ideas as to how you can reach the same result but
in a different way? You can decide, whether you like this new idea better
than the old behavior.” After alternatives have been gained in this manner,
again using general terms, ask inwardly, if there are any other parts that
would mind if these alternatives could be tested over a certain period.
These objections are also creatively handled.
Ecology - It is vital that client A not only wants to get rid of the annoying
behavior, but also congruently wants alternatives. Test for this congruent
wish for alternatives (without fear of a symptom shift)
after metaphorically reconciling the good intentions. If client A congruently
confirms wanting alternatives, this is a sign that the subsequent
signaling agreement will work.
6-Step-Reframing - Reframing should not be applied if the disturbing behavior
is emotionally loaded, as in compulsive behavior, semi-compulsive addiction
or threatening illness. 6-step reframing is more appropriate for
mistakenly acquired habits than for compulsive behavior. This should
be checked in the beginning, to ensure that objections at the end remain
The concept of a creative part does not foster
integration. Instead it supports the notion of independent
competencies. When I teach 6-Step-Reframing, I let the addressed part
symbolize a younger, misunderstood self, who can present his intention to
the other personality parts. Then in a creative conference the younger
part can solicit advice from other parts and as a result become
Application (never!) - Client's goal:
"I want to have the resources of both parts
available at one time.”
Brief description - Two parts that are in conflict with each other are
dissociated onto both hands. B asks each part about its intention. Both parts
either co-operatively negotiate their intentions into an agreement or coach B
rephrases their intentions until the parts reach accord in a more abstract
value. Then the parts are, either symbolically or with the help of the anchors,
Ecology - If coach B does not accept that client A wants to be rid
of the conflict, but also asks A "Do you really want all the
resources connected with each of these parts simultaneously", A will never
congruently say yes. During my own practitioner training I wondered:
„Why don’t two personality parts get the idea themselves that they could
mutually assist each other or want the same thing?" As the saying
goes, divide and conquer. Some third part could be a laughing winner.
There are secondary benefits in every conflict. These benefits
will not appear if not requested. Unconscious objections always show up, if
after having found the common goal or intention, coach B asserts without
doubt, „Marvelous, now the two parts can collaborate! What
great potential arises if both work in accord for value X!
The third part organizing this conflict loses its secondary benefit, if, as
is common in NLP, the parts are integrated without checking.
In the long term this causes either diffuse symptoms or physical illness.
Since the direct experience of integration was
such a relief in the beginning, client A does not connect these after-effects with
B's conflict negotiation. I think that Robert Dilts'
„Einstein-Integration” is more ecological. Dilts confronts the convictions
on a clear abstract level and then uses the metaposition to reframe them on
a higher logical level.
When one works with personality parts, the objecting third
part should be the centre of attention! Making first contact with this part,
followed by a little trance to reconcile the sub-selves, often gives as much
relief as explicitly assimilating the parts. (This usually automatically
occurs anyway, when A puts his hands together without prompting)! Just as the
third part raised objections to the co-operative collaboration between the
first and second part in reaching a joint value, it is possible that a
fourth part may arise and protest against the contention of the third, and
In summary: undesirable and hardly recognizable delayed reactions can result
when the resources of two parts are joined together without attention
to the existing secondary benefit of this conflict. Applying conventional
Conflict Reframing is therefore not ecological. „Conflict Reframing with the
third/fifth part” can be performed, if A defines his wish as „I want to know
the positive effects of this conflict”.
NLP Deep Trance Reframing
Application - Client's goal: „While I am mentally elsewhere,
I want Coach B to directly invite the part that keeps my annoying behavior alive
to a conference on generating alternatives.”
Brief description - Applying the principles of 6-Step-Reframing,
coach B uses signals to directly converse with the unconscious part in a
conference, without client A realizing it.
Ecology - Client A has a right to know what deep trance is and what the
conference is about. Partly because of learning effects or because the results
can be tested using unconscious signals, A often prefers to personally confer
with the inner sub-self as in 6-Step-Reframing.
Regardless, this technique is outstanding for inviting different parts to a
conference dedicated to deciding how to advise client A in harmonically and/or
healthfully mastering a difficult phase of life. Coach B will often get client A’s
consent to do deep trance-work, if the disturbing issue exists as a general
orientation rather than as a specific habit.
NLP Reframing through Metaphors
Application - Client A is either already in trance as a result
of „goal hypnosis” or wants to reconcile with a sub-self within 3-10 minutes.
Brief description - If one can use the client’s metaprograms and
problem structure to present new content, one can use
small talk to weave in stories about other clients and to delve into A’s
questions concerning goals or possible solutions with
the coach B observing A’s physiology to gather information about what fits
for client A.
Ecology - no objections
Application - Client's goal: „I want to feel good
about going after goal X.”
Brief description - Place three paper anchors to form a time line on the
floor, one standing for the goal that client A congruently wants to achieve, one
for the present and somewhere way in the back one for procreation. Coach B then
asks: „What keeps you from achieving your goal? Or, "Why haven’t you reached
your goal yet?" Spontaneously K+ sets in. On the time line representing the
past, in an associated K+ state go back to the original experience of
failure. After expressing the belief that was formed as a result of this
experience of failure, client A moves to a metaposition outside the time line.
Using role models, including A himself, he beams resources to all the
important others until they feel good (an associated state check is
suitable). In this fantasy scene the younger A is now treated differently. A
steps into the fantasy, K’ immediately sets in, accompanied by a new
belief that is anchored. With this feeling of K’, client A walks into the
present and one step into the future.
Ecology - Preparation is necessary to find a congruent
goal or even a congruent goal direction. In many
cases the goal will become irrelevant once it is systematically
questioned. If, as is unfortunately often the case, proper goal setting is
not done before re-imprinting, the following happens: Although Re-imprinting
dissolves unpleasant feelings, the negative consequences that could
have been discovered by stepping beyond the supposed desirable goal on the
time line go unnoticed. Thus the client gets even worse. Anyone encouraging someone
to pursue a goal in a direction the person does not wish to follow, must
deal with increased objections in the form of fuzzy consequences.
Before reviewing the past, coach B should test, „Is this K-
that you are now feeling, (the unpleasant feeling that keeps client A from
taking that first step into the goal) something that comes and goes or is
it something you have often, perhaps even as a continuous feeling in life?”
Is the latter the case, then Reimprinting should not be applied. Core or
meta-beliefs cannot be completely dissolved in this way - they are
more than just emotional trauma - they also constitute relationship
Re-imprinting is not intended to reconcile deep-seated bonding problems
with significant other people. It is an outstanding method to re-evaluate
certain types of failures and deal with them with new feelings. Re-imprinting
is best suited for known traumatic failures. In this case, it is not necessary to do an
associated walk on the time line. Everything can be done on the screen.
NLP Future Self (Aligning the logical levels on a timeline - Robert Dilts)
Application - Client's goal: „I want to progress towards target X with good
Brief description - The technique has two main components: generating future
resources on the time line in the target state and aligning the logical
levels. Building up the future self, client A walks over the anchors on the floor
progressing to and over the preliminary target until he gets himself into
the as-if desired target state „Behave as if you already knew that you can
do it, that it is possible and worthwhile.” This „future self” can then look
back and encourage the present self.
Alignment: Coach B lays out anchors across the time line. Client A walks
over them bringing behavior, capabilities, beliefs and values, identity and
transpersonal affiliation with the „mission” in accord.
Ecology - the target state is unspecified and sometimes
instills in the client a feeling of irrelevance. The alignment
process enhances this artificial nature and further suppresses awareness. The
client does not learn to question his goal and remains
bonded to (unconscious) assumptions and beliefs.
The long term ineffectiveness of this technique has an advantage:
deeply unconscious problem constructions remain, so unpleasant delayed
reactions are rare. In summary: generating a goal and with it anchoring a
„future self” is harmless resource generation, not
in-depth goal setting. For this reason, one should refrain
from (pseudo) aligning logical levels.
NLP Time Line (TL), Mentoring and Resonance (Dilts)
Application - Client's goal: „I want to live
through this specific challenging phase of life X resourcefully or
I want to resourcefully complete a certain project Y”
Brief description - According to Dilts, mentors are models on the
identity level. Their presence generates resonance within client A as well as
between A and the mentors. This resource generation done on the
future time line and can be supplemented by mentoring. Just as a future
self can encourage the self in the here and now, so can imaged future
mentors or existing mentor also activate A’s future self. They can walk
beside the timeline, all the while accompanying and encouraging him.
The Resonance Pattern is an intensive and deep working version of
mentoring. Three mentors (almost automatically, one for each representational
system appears) are built up to help and encourage A on
his way. They are distributed somewhere around the here and now on the TL.
From a distant meta-perspective, client A is then asked: „Do the three mentors have
a common underlying message?” A stands in the present simply listening to
play the three individual messages through, each time adding the common
theme. Client A lets the words work on him. The resulting strong resonance resource
is anchored and taken into the future.
Ecology - Time Line mentoring is ecological
because client A plans each step. Unfortunately, Dilts offers this and other
techniques (with Re-imprinting and the like) to anyone
attending his seminars or to any possible client visiting his workshops. He creates
an impression that split off sub-selves
can be contacted and illnesses cured. (Curing his mother of cancer is an
example of a special mentoring relationship!) Why
foster unrealistic hopes without clarifying the scope of application for
On the other hand, if this Resonance Pattern is not used therapeutically, but
to assist in mastering a challenging phase of life or to complete a project
that client A has to do; that is, if no goal conflict exists, then
the systemic collection of mental mentors becomes a fantastic resource that
combines well with the previously described Timeline Resource Generation.
NLP Meta Mirror (Dilts)
Application - Client's goal: „I want a
new way of dealing with person X”
Brief description - Using
chairs as anchors, client A dissociates and describes the problematic relationship
loop. A dissociates himself from the sub-self that makes judgments
about him while in the loop. This frustrating internal self-judgmental
dialog interchanges with A’s behavior towards person X. The two
resources gained through this method are piled onto the same anchor. In a metaposition,
client A uses the stacked anchors to futurepace encounters with
Ecology - The Meta Mirror is often associated with everything except
the above process. It effectively dissolves
transferences or projections (which are always present in
It is substantial that client A not have any primary
inner conflict as how to deal with person X, and not suffer before
or after meeting with X as a result. He must congruently desire a change in his
dealings with X. This guarantees that no attempt is made to transform
deep personal bonds (i.e. release symbiotic relationships or
unredeemed responsibilities of co-dependencies or settle entanglement over
new values), for all of which this technique is not
NLP Failure into Feedback
Application: Client’s goal: “I want to leave my
failure X in [frequently occurring] situation Y”.
Brief description: Unfortunately, this procedure
is sparingly described in Dilts´ book, so that its potential and efficacy
are understated. Failure into Feedback makes use of the eye movement model
to dismantle a failure. Coach B anchors the eye direction that accesses the
representation of a failure that still hinders client A in mastering similar
situations. Next, B repeatedly directs the client to look in this direction,
and then asks A to name, individually and sequentially sensory-specific
representations. Then B asks client A to suspend these representations far to the
right and far to the left, into the corresponding eye accessing fields.
Sometimes coach B needs to support his leading gestures with auditory anchors, to
support the notion that A places his representations somewhere at his side.
The procedure is continued, until in the original failure-representing
direction, client A only sees what is externally visible. This
requires great sensitivity, since initially much of the content
of the failure is unconscious and suppressed. Principally two different
K-’ must be found. One K- is triggered by the original reaction to the
unpleasant real-life experience, the other K-, although associated with
failure X, stems from earlier unpleasant experiences.
Reconciliation or reframing: once the failure is no
longer associated with a simultaneous double K-, the intention of each of
the suspended representations can be examined (similar to examining the
intention of personality parts). The resulting reconciliation enables A to
create an attractive goal-image of situation Y. The goal-image can be
enriched with new perceptions from unused channels hinted at by
empty eye accessing fields.
Ecology: A central point is
that client A congruently wants success in situation Y. If
client A is using situation Y as a way to come to terms with the
original trauma, then A
might not see anything in the problem representing direction, (unless
this suppressed representation has been securely suspended somewhere using
an “as-if” maneuver) or A sees
too many representations simultaneously.
Some people avoid certain eye accessing fields (abnormal
eye-patterns), since these people may have (in my experience
always!) imprints. For example: “Child, don’t daydream so much!” (later he
avoids Vc), or has traumatic memories (later he avoids Vr/Ar) or his inner
evaluation is disturbed (he avoids Ad/K) by early oversize responsibilities.
“Failure into Feedback” cannot resolve such disturbances and is more
appropriate for preparing for success!
NLP Timeline Therapy>® (Tad James)
Application - never. Client’s goal: “I want
to get rid of feeling X forever”.
Short description – Memories and plans are imagined as a line, above
which one mentally floats so that one can view it’s entire length. To rise
in ones imagination above all memories and plans is a powerful state. One
can “travel” above past or future and even beyond future into suggested
pure light, or far into the past above the timelines of one’s ancestors
or past lives to the elements of origin and into even more abstract resources,
which appear beyond a suggested “beginning of creation”.
The states over a far future are utilized to charge concrete goals with
motivation and to disassemble fears. In the past, negative
feelings and corresponding beliefs are triggered in a sequence: anger,
then fear, then sadness. Thus a life-frame is created for a whole chain of
situations in which a belief had been confirmed.
This starts with identifying an original situation in which the
negative feeling first appeared and the belief was created. Then the emotion
is followed back, as if it had already appeared in past
generations or in former lives. Then client A mentally travels further back
“before the first occurrence of the negative emotion”. With the hypnotic
formula “And where is this feeling now (in view of the imminent
situation in the timeline of an ancestor or a former life)?” the negative feeling is
dissociated. The emerging positive emotion is utilized during the return-flight
to reframe all failures that had confirmed the
Ecology – The idea of Tad James' Timeline Therapy ® seems genius, however it is
dangerous in its above described, extremely unecological application. The
dangerous aspect is that an emotion is disconnected while client A is
in a resourceful state, as in some meditation techniques. If something
like this is set up for long-term
effect (generalization over timeline), then the younger self is stripped
of possibilities to point out unused
opportunities. However, the integration of such a contribution – and thus
long-term healing – is only possible, following suitably detailed goal-work.
In my own case, several ongoing unpleasant emotions seemed to disappear.
Nevertheless, these emotions eventually returned with such fury and
in such irrational manner, that I wished I had never “charmed them away”.
I later observed a similar effect with clients who either received timeline
therapy or in other ways had dissociated from younger selves– as instructed
by coach B – by addressing inner parts in more or less the following manner:
“Don’t you agree that this emotion does not contribute to pursuing your
intention and instead has the opposite effect? Are you willing to let go of
that emotion?” If somebody treats children that way, the children do
shift – towards withdrawal! This resolution of emotions increases
If I cannot feel anger, I cannot perceive that I am allowing my values to
be hurt. If I don’t feel anxiety, I cannot notice that my values are
endangered. If I avoid sadness, I won’t notice that I miss
opportunities to live my values. This inner dissociation is far worse than
experiencing unpleasant emotions.
Tad James even deals with guilt by this method, without
appearing to consider that guilt indicates conflict. Once the underlying conflict
is dissolved (see Conflict Transcript),
guilt disappears. If guilt is
dissociated, this conflict indicator is lost. Of course, this loss comes
as a temporary relief for the client – who pays later with diffuse
unpleasant emotions about "my life does not make sense"!
Timeline Therapy® is a hypnotic technique (as is all Tad James’
“therapy” as well as his NLP crash-courses)
without a clearly defined goal, and let’s not talk about sense. A coach can apply
this metaphor of floating above a timeline with congruent goals, which do
not need additional motivation.
Besides that, “timeline crashes” may happen if a person has objections to
creating a happy future. About crashes into past traumatic
experiences, I don’t want to write about here.
I doubt that people who attended speedy and hypnotically taught courses
in Timeline Therapy ® can recognize or deal with such dangers.
As unecological as Timeline Therapy ® is, the concept of floating over a
timeline has been integrated into the deep reaching VoVa changework
with emotions. Compared with
Tad James’ method, the VoVa timeline techniques have the advantage that –
besides a different attitude towards emotions as sensible – no
world-view is suggested (past lives or transfer of emotions across
generations). A client can easily understand the floating technique as a
NLP Core Transformation (Andreas)
Application – Client’s goal: “I want to get
rid of an inner or outer behavior X”
Short Description – This technique is well described
by Connirae Andreas, and the description and the seminar presentations
correspond (how rare in NLP!), so I will be brief. A non-reconciled part,
which maintains an inner or outer behavior, is dissociated into one
hand and asked about its intention. The question “What is important about
this? [the part’s behavior, and later the part’s intention]” follows this
intention into increasing abstraction until the client finds a state that cannot be
described. This “Core State” is anchored and maintained, while
the intentions are sequentially reframed back to specific
behaviors. This process is repeated while the client is associated [with the
part]. The Core State can be induced into the timelines of the parents so
that it generalizes as life-feeling for the client.
Ecology – As a procedure, Core Transformation is ecological. The Core
State, being an overall resource, has lasting stability. However, Core
Transformation is presented almost as a path to enlightenment. If the
coach is in good rapport with the client, it is possible to elicit
unending non-verbal states beyond the Core State. Every question towards
abstraction (e.g. “Who are you?” Answer: “X.”; “Who are you being X?” etc.)
generates abstract and therefore powerful resource states.
However, resourceful states are not necessarily a sign of
spirituality, in terms of integrity. A prerequisite of Core Transformation
is that client A can identify and dissociate all inner parts which participate
in the inner dialogue. This identification and dissociation is impossible
with identity loss or deep inner dissociation (such as
emotional disturbances, compulsions and
diseases). It makes a difference whether Core Transformation is
applied to people who are only curious or if it is used as a reconciliation
technique in therapy. I would strongly discourage the latter.
In spite of all generalization tricks,
Core States end when questions about sense of life arise as
life-challenges. Core Transformations do not resolve the root-cause of why
personality parts became so independent
that they can’t learn anything from each other (see 6-step reframing) or
from mentors. This is why after several months, a problem re-organizes their
problems on another level – with diffuse parts that are difficult to
identify. (A therapist who worked with Core Transformations for years,
while teaching it internationally, confirmed this to me.)
Core Transformations is a wonderful, deep reaching reconciliation technique.
However it shouldn’t be applied with a claim to change client A’s sense-of-life.
Such a claim can only lead to deception and unpleasant relapses.
Client Abuse by Therapists
. Student Abuse by Trainers
Part 2 - NLP Strategy Techniques
Have you suffered from NLP training? Do you want to unwind
or reverse NLP strategies or techniques that were imprinted upon you?
Do you want to benefit from our
Plagiarism is theft © Annegret Hallanzy 1994-2010 All rights reserved