Research the relationship consequences
of trainings and trainers before attending them - especially if
hypnosis 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 .
Online Life Coaching
Part 1 - NLP Resource Techniques
NLP Ecology Redefined by Annegret Hallanzy (Part 2)
Brief Therapy is understood to be any therapy that, from the onset,
is limited to anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 sessions. Brief Therapy is
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. We differentiate between coaching and
in-depth life-change counseling or psychotherapy.
I include brief descriptions of these techniques for
- the effectiveness of coaching directly rises in consequence
of expertise in goal setting and by correctly applying NLP techniques.
- annotations found under Ecology describe some
limitations of NLP techniques.
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 NLP techniques are presented in the order that they were made public.
The coach is designated as "B",
the client as "A". "K" refers to feelings.
NLP Techniques: Strategy Coaching
If a client doesn’t primarily come for brief therapy with emotional
problems – i.e. because of bad feelings – but because he wants to learn
something, then NLP strategy techniques can be applied. The client usually wants
to prepare for a defined new challenge.
These techniques don’t work with inner parts or mentors, but strategically
prepare for the desired success. Proof that the technique has been appropriately
applied is not primarily that the client feels better, but is found in the
corresponding test-situation success.
Such coaching will frequently appear within a context in which the coach
is also a professional expert. Learning has become so complex that direct learning
between two human beings is increasingly important. However, the desire for such a
coaching may be a pretext for lonely managers to talk to someone without having to
judge or be judged.
There is nothing wrong with a lonely person having a mentor. The ritual of
togetherness is more important than the technique.
Regarding strategy techniques, remarks about ecology
do not concern the danger of long-term suppression of inner parts,
but only the restriction of increasing choice. If a client recognizes
that something is better, there is no reason to unlearn anything.
It is healthier than strategically suppressing unwanted behaviors.
This does not mean that there is no reciprocation. There is no change without new learning.
Nevertheless, from the beginning, a technique must
correspond to the client's goal. Then, no ecology-check is needed to
prevent “an inappropriate, spontaneous generalization” (as is stated
in a well-known NLP book).
This book recommends short reframes as a remedy against the client
applying what he has learned unecologically. If from the outset, the
application of a strategy or technique is tailored towards a specific
success and is therefore predictable in its effect, such ecology-checks
NLP New Behavior Generator
Application – client A’s wish:
“I want to do Y in a certain moment.”
Short Description – Thies Stahl developed a New Behavior Generator which
is used in an associated state, with spatial anchors, and a design-creating
variant used in a dissociated state. For the first possibility, those wishing
to synthesize new behaviors, with spatial anchors and role-models, should make
a distinction between designing either a real behavior or designing a strategy
which uses alternating perspectives of the future (see the Disney Strategy,
which is more appropriate).
The second possibility is to emphasize that a client learn from personally
relevant role models (here the mentor-work developed by Dilts goes deeper).
If a client really wishes to design a new behavior for a certain moment, I
regard the Thies Stahl variant as being more precise and therefore more effective.
The client designs the dissociated goal behavior in the eye-accessing field Vc in
such a way, that the client likes it as much as possible.
If the design doesn’t reach 100% congruence, the coach directs the client to eye-accessing field
Ad, where a client asks himself: “Who might have what is still missing in this
design – do I have this in another context or does somebody else have it?”
The crucial point is that the client doesn’t receive or even
wait for the answer in Ad. Any thought strategy will be transcended if the
unconscious gets the chance to answer the double question (“What is missing?”
and “Who has it?”) spontaneously in Vr.
Then even unpleasant models may be chosen, who are nevertheless more
instructive about a certain aspect. Therefore the coach directs the client immediately
to Vr by asking: “What do you see?” The model or the
dissociated self-model isn’t analyzed consecutively, but only gratefully honored.
A client imagines a filter between Vr and Vc (a curtain / river / border or
a short external orientation towards a symbolic object).
Then A gazes towards the role-model, shortly rests with the symbolic object
and then slides over to the design – doing it all relatively quickly.
It ought to be a surprise, which aspect A’s unconscious will install into
the design! This model learning via Vc – Ad – Vr – Vc is repeated until the
congruently agrees to the design.
Since during the realization of the desired and then automated behavior Y,
a client has an external orientation, there won’t be much time for a client to
check out if he feels fine behaving in this way.
Thus from outside a design might look promising, but it might still not
conform to all of a client’s values.
Therefore a congruence check is required. For this, a coach elicits a feeling
of congruence by leading a client into a different situation (VAKOG)
and anchoring it.
Once A has fully associated himself into the design of behavior Y,
the coach asks: “Does what you are doing right now fit with respect to this?
(while triggering the anchor, communicating that the client should seek a
meta-K)” Any objection, which arises here,
can now be honored by further modifying the design of the behavior with the
help of one or two additional models.
Once the design becomes 100% agreeable to A, from both dissociated
and associated positions, the design is programmed into the future by
asking: “Is there any exception in which this new behavior would
not be appropriate?”
Ecology – A classic well-formed outcome is the wish
to act in a specific way during a specified moment. Only the missing
adverb (“In which way do you want to do it?”) is specified during
this technique. Therefore, this is appropriate for complex communications,
in which the client wants to be on different levels to himself and to others.
The problem isn’t a conflict or trauma from past failure, but lack of
experience in such situations and a lack of appropriate models.
The New Behavior Generator can be understood as mental performance of a
certain situation with a goal of excellence. Here is an effective coaching technique. The freedom of design together with the meticulous evaluation
and a differentiated role-model learning are elements, which are in any
case applied internally by those people who don’t need many trial-and-error
approaches to perform differently.
The New Behavior Generator utilizes all mechanisms of self-feedback. It
works exactly opposite to Failure into Feedback.
The eye-accessing pattern isn’t utilized to disassemble a failure
into feedback, but to synthesize learning experiences into success! Instead
of taking apart and thus destroying a failure-strategy, this strategy of
mental preparation for success is assembled and exercised.
This meta-process is a useful by-product of the New Behavior Generator.
The ecology of the New Behavior Generator is provided by the
unconscious performance of this strategy. Ecology can be easily checked, if a coach lets
a client consciously choose what a client wants to learn from which model and in which
manner. The coach then says to the client: “Wonderful, an essential element has been
added to the design... how do you like everything now?” while the coach
simultaneously notices the client’s non-verbal objections, which
appear although the client is quoting a higher satisfaction.
NLP Swish Pattern
Application – Client’s wish: “I want behavior Y in context X.”
Short description – Client A's dreaded situation
is portrayed in a colorful associated picture.
In an inconspicuous place, a hardly recognizable, tiny black and white
picture is inserted, which portrays a
dissociated image of A engaging in a desired activity in the same context.
While A isn’t yet staring at the composition, but fully turned towards the
coach, the coach
explains the procedure. The small picture is to become
colorful and big, and the big picture is to fade and disappear behind the
other. The whole process is to run the instant coach B says “Swissshhh”
or something like that.
Two submodality changes are thus linked with each other
in a fast and uncontrollable way. The same principle can be applied auditory
(submodalities loud/quiet and direction of the sound are a successful
combination). Depending on the circumstances, the screen has to be blanked
(separator state) and the process repeated until the problem picture swishes
on its own. Then the client associates into the new behavior.
Ecology – As short and easy as this formula sounds,
it is rare to find a client who congruently wants success of this kind.
Usually the emotional impact of
the problem picture makes it difficult for a client to determine the desired
behavior. Here it would be better to have a client reconcile with the part that
presents the future situation in such a [gloomy] way.
If a client can
indeed congruently wish for a new behavior, either in spite of or
because of the negative emotions in context X, a client has two possibilities.
Either he reconciles with the negative emotion through pondering about
alternative behaviors, or the desired behavior is only represented in
dissociation so that objections are not accessible. Some objections won’t
show unless they are checked in an associated state, since they are
concerned with values from another logical level.
To avoid objections after
the application of the technique, the goal should first be formed only
verbally, without corresponding pictures.
Pondering about an alternative behavior as a way to a real solution of the
problem is typical for problems with which the client has developed in
context X a pessimistic thinking habit. The Swish brightens the situation in
A’s mind and simultaneously gives A a strategy for tuning himself positively
towards uncertain situations.
The technique is well suited “at the fringe” of a coaching session for a
positive attitude towards stressful temporary aspects, but should never
be used for achieving a reconciliation between parts or instead of
At best, A’s unconscious mind will prevent an unecological
Swish. However you cannot count on this trick – especially when strongly
dissociated parts are concerned. I observe with great discomfort that in
the NLP scene, all is swished with everything. To summarize: the less
important the subject of a swish, the better a client can generalize
NLP Contrast Submodalities (Mapping Across)
Application – Client’s wish: “I want to do X like I do Y.”
Short description – client A cannot utilize
situation X in the same way that he can utilize situation Y. Client
A’s mental photograph of situation X is analyzed for submodalities.
Here it is especially important to ascertain the visual, auditory and kinesthetic
channels if the representation is internal (associated?/dissociated?) or
external, and to then do a detailed analysis. The same is done for situation Y.
The digital differences between the submodalities of X and Y are recorded.
Afterwards those analog submodalities (spectrum submodalities)
which differ from each other are tested in situation Y. If increasing one of them
makes situation Y even more pleasant, that is recorded as well (as a driver).
Now B leads A again into Situation X and gives A precise instructions on how
to change all submodalities in situation X (in the sequence V – A – K) towards
those of Y without changing the content. With the Future pace: “Is there
any exception in which you would like to keep the original way to experience
X?”, the new perception and with it the new behavior are programmed into
Ecology – If used correctly, the contrast method
will be used rarely. Clients usually wish to be able to do something differently.
When A says he wants “to be able to” during goal-finding, this always
hints that the real
problem will be found in doubts and that A’s immediate goal is a desired
belief, rather than a behavior. In this case, emotional reconciliation with
the doubting part also leads to competence.
If client A really wants to experience a certain competence,
then A’s goal is a new behavior for meeting new challenges. Of course the
questions arise, "Why A didn’t already map across the perception
filter from situation Y to situation X on his own. Why does A need B to
teach him his own strategy?"
Similar to the Swish, the real resource lies in a client pondering
about the new behavior: “Why shouldn’t I enjoy doing something, which I
already enjoy doing and which I’m already good at in another context?”
This is a new thinking pattern. The change in perceiving challenge X, that is brought
about by the contrast method, invites a client to look for new challenges.
NLP Disney Strategy
Application – Client’s wish:
“I want to approach situation X resourcefully.”
Short description – a client places a sheet of paper
on the floor, having written on it a prompt for a certain project X. Around
this paper A arranges three
other sheets on which he has written “Dreamer”, Realist” and “Critic”. At
some distance [from the other papers, A places a fourth paper labeled]
“Meta”. From this meta-position, A can re-arrange the papers. While A stands
on the other three papers B helps him evaluate the project as follows: From
Dreamer: “Is it worth it?” (access to Vc). From Critic: “Will I cope?”
(access to Ad). From Realist: “Is it possible?” (access to K).
This usually leads to a triangle around the project, so that the Dreamer,
Critic and Realist parts can contribute instead of blocking each other.
Ecology – The coach steers a client consciously through
this technique, with the benefit that it is slow enough so that the strategy
(of changing perspectives
within an isosceles triangle) will not be programmed into A’s unconscious
if it might have disadvantages. If the application frame is to strategically
play with perspectives and not to reconcile with a part that blocks
resourceful access to Vk, Ad or K, then this technique is easy to manage
and doesn’t create any problems.
NLP Changing a Strategy
Application – Client’s wish: “I want to do X
in a new way.”
Short description – For an analysis and evaluation of
strategies, please refer to the introduction to Double-Coaching. The minute
steps of a strategy, which run in a fraction of a second, are seldom analyzed
meticulously, so as to give special attention to the submodalities of
interesting representations (together with the corresponding convictions).
However when modeling excellence, this seems to be at least as important as
meta-strategies or meta-programs. To change a client’s strategy, a coach should either
be an expert in the client’s field or should have modeled experts who have similar
strategies to a client’s goal.
The coach protects the strategy which the client has used so far: a new strategy step, a
change in the sequence of a strategy or changes in the submodalities of
single representations should be introduced through chaining trances instead
of programming with anchors. Learning something new is easier than unlearning
Ecology – Strategy changework should not change
motivation or decision-making, but address rapport, creativity, internal
structuring [for understanding] and learning. Motivation and decision
making strategies should be changed indirectly through parts-work.
NLP Analyze Value Hierarchies
Application – Client's wish “I want to explore what is
important in this context”.
Short description – A client’s value hierarchy is
not analyzed with the questions that roam about the NLP scene: “For what
would you give up X (to find a higher value)?” “If you already had X,
what would still be important?” (to find a lower value) because this
way A will cheat himself.
Values which are decisive for acting will surface
only if the question is about experiences of happiness (either actual or
desired) in a certain context (profession, partnership, ...), since they are
pursued unconsciously! This way, a maximum of seven values will be found.
It is important to elicit real values instead of getting lost finding the
resources needed to achieve the desired happiness.
The discerning questions are:
“Do you need Y to achieve something in context X” or “Does Y
motivate you to do anything to obtain it?”
Afterwards the values are arranged in a hierarchy of importance. In the
event of value conflicts, both values are placed side by side. To examine
which value is the more important, or if this is really a conflict, two
equally horrible [metaphoric] alternatives are offered, in which one of the
values is represented fully and the other one not at all.
Ecology – If a client’s values are only analyzed without
implementing any changes, making the client’s values conscious is an entirely
ecological way to develop meta-questions about conflicts.
NLP Changing Inner Timelines & Balancing Meta-Programs
Application – Client’s wish: “I want to increase
Short description – The spatial representation
(timeline) of both early and recent
past experiences and near and far future expectations is analyzed. Some
people might not find a line but a completely systematic 3D arrangement.
(At least as interesting as the timeline itself are its submodalities.)
Then a contract is made with a client’s unconscious so that this timeline is “stored”,
so that if an alternative timeline brings nothing useful, a client can, at any time, get
back the old one.
Then a client can actively test alternative timelines.
The analysis of meta-programs is not described here. Generally it can be said
that a special trance-work is best suited for balancing meta-programs, in which
a client is introduced to a new Mentor (created by B), who has an alternative
meta-program. A client can take from this experience whatever he chooses.
Ecology – I have no objections to the application as
described here. However it fits only into a frame in which a client has an
unspecified curiosity to explore such new possibilities and is under no
pressure to find success.
NLP Belief Change Cycle
Application – Client’s wish: “I want to think about
X in a new way.”
Short description– An arc of paper anchors is laid out:
“exhibition of new ideas”, “open for beliefs”, “certainty”, “open for doubt”
and “cupboard for old ideas”, adding a meta-position of “certainty” to the
high point of the arc (and thus as well to its entirety). Without reference
to content, a client is led onto the papers and into the respective physiologies.
Now client A can take beliefs about X to the different positions and slowly move
the beliefs through the arc, always first introducing new ideas [potential beliefs]
and only later parting with old ones [unwanted beliefs]. Procedure: A takes the
[belief/idea], reflects, steps to the next paper, puts the idea down.
Ecology – If you compare this to the Disney-Strategy,
it is not a client’s approach to X which is emphasized, but the way the client thinks
about X. If a client wishes to gain a differentiated perspective about X, this
technique works brilliantly. It functions similarly to the Einstein-Integration
(mentioned with conflict reframing) as it leads in a similar way to a
differentiated perspective. However, this technique cannot change limiting beliefs and the
negative emotions linked to them, since it cannot approach simultaneously
operating unconscious beliefs.
NLP Submodality Belief Change (Bandler)
Application – Client’s wish: “I want to think about
X in a new way.”
Short description – Following the same principle as
described above, it is possible to move a belief through the submodalities of the
five stations of the Belief Change Cycle (excluding the Meta position).
Ecology – This technique by Bandler is much less
ecological than the previous technique (by Dilts). There are three reasons
- There is no meta-position for overall evaluation
- A new belief is not introduced prior to parting
from an old belief
- Submodality-shifts generalizes too quickly for a
client to notice objections
To my understanding, this Bandler-technique is completely
unecological, as are all techniques which analyze the submodalities of A's
strategy and then apply them to another content to bring about an emotional
change. This is also true for those submodality techniques described by
the Andreas’, for example the Compulsion-Blow-Out, Threshold-Pattern and
Change of Value Hierarchy through Submodalities.
If such changes would make sense, a person would have made them already, on his own!
The lack of ecology of this technique immediately shows if the coach notices the
objections while asking: “So, this belief is now obsolete, correct?” or:
“Wouldn’t it be nice, if you were to be rid of this compulsion?” or: “Would you
like this value to be more important in your future?”
NLP Cleanup Pattern (Bandler)
Application (never) – Client’s wish: “I want to get rid
of unwanted behaviors without thinking about them.”
Short description – As this model (by Bandler)
is an apex of unecological techniques, I give it special attention. Here
is a hypnotic strategy-installation, by which unwanted behaviors are
unconsciously represented in the submodalities of obsolete behaviors.
Afterwards, a client listens how behaviors which have been discarded fall,
one after another, into a “garbage bin”.
Only then is “something dynamic” put in place of the old problems, by
applying the submodalities of a [desired] future behavior.
Ecology – The explanations which were given to
“Belief Change with Submodalities” apply here, with a few thoughts.
Astoundingly, this “Clean-Up-Pattern” may work - the unconscious
may signal “Yes” as a sign that it will co-operate. Yet this technique only
works if a client is deeply convinced that his unconscious – or he himself – is
so stupid that he cannot do this on his own, and cease behaviors which have
It seems that an unconscious part expects to benefit from the client
pretending to be able to change so rapidly.
However that doesn’t mean that other parts won’t later object
that the client has replaced one or more (in some way) functional
behaviors, with “something dynamic”.
© Annegret Hallanzy 1994-2018
All rights reserved
Part 1 - NLP Resource Techniques
. Client Abuse by Therapists
. Student Abuse by Trainers
Do you suffer as a result of NLP? Do you want to unwind
NLP techniques or strategies that were imprinted upon you?
Solutions for Negative Emotions &