We recommend that you research the relationship consequences
before attending them - especially if
hypnosis and belief change are themes of the training.
Nice words and good intentions cannot prevent unpleasant consequences.
Student Abuse by Trainers
. Client Abuse by Therapists .
Online Life Coaching
Part 2 - NLP Strategy Techniques
NLP Ecology Redefined by Annegret Hallanzy
Although few NLP techniques fulfill the requirements
for comprehensive change, they may achieve what is called second order
learning in Brief Therapy, which is
understood to be a therapy that 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. We differentiate between coaching and
in-depth life-change counseling or psychotherapy.
The brief descriptions of these techniques are included for:
1, the level of coaching directly reflects the expertise
in both goal setting and the application of NLP techniques. 2, text
under Ecology describe some limitations of NLP methods.
Since few trainers teach NLP techniques in
the same way, the Brief Descriptions are meant to be a foundation for
Ecology discussions and not to teach techniques.
(Annegret often designates a coach
as "B", and a client as "A". K refers to feelings; K+ to
pleasant feelings and K- to unpleasant feelings. VAKOG means "all senses"
refers to unspoken self-talk. Vr and Vc refer to remembered and created
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. A client
defines the desired (K+) resource qualities that he would like to have available in the
situation that causes K-. The client is brought into the success bringing situation
via VAKOG and all the good feelings associated with it are stack-anchored.
Using the negative anchor, the client searches for the triggering event. The now
reinforced negative feelings are coupled with the resource anchor K+ until
the client has an 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
activated his own resources for the problem context? Why must a coach remind clients that
they already have resources? This is as absurd as
a commonly asked question in NLP : „What do you need?” If clients knew the answer, clients could solve the problems!
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 a client
with such good feelings that a client can allow himself multiple good states on
his own, despite knowing exactly what topic is going to come up. The
relationship between the coach and client becomes the most significant resource
for mastering past failures with a significant or important other. As coaches become resources, clients
can experience their pasts differently.
After a coach uses small talk to establish a strong anchor for K+ qualities
and has finished a VAKOG search for a client’s desired capabilities, the
ecology-check comes in. „Do you now want to explore what
this negative feeling is all about?” If a client congruently affirms,
the coach knows that the client has enough resources (through his connection with
the coach) to
reframe the original situation and handle it adeptly in the present. If
a client is incongruent in spite of the resources gained through the coach, this
suggests either a case of K+ with recurring or chronic traumatic
content, or the coach has not yet generated
and anchored sufficient resources for the client.
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 - A 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, the client then associates 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. The client then „takes these two into his arms” and assimilates
Ecology - Astonishingly often, a client is not pleased about
being able do things he could not do because of the phobia. To
find a client's secondary benefits, a coach can investigate the client's unconscious
Often a phobia symbolizes repressed capabilities. Angst themes
with parents that were not totally worked out 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 a client's objections are resolved,
a phobia disappears by itself and forever! As people can resolve phobias on
their own, is it necessary to teach a
phobia technique to stop panicking over some trigger?
Application - Client's goal: „I want to change
a certain annoying behavior.”
Brief description - After testing, the persistence of the
annoyance with numerous metaphors and reframes, a coach
persuades a client that the part responsible for
maintaining the behavior has good intentions. The client then 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?”. If the answer is, "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 a client 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 a client congruently confirms
wanting alternatives, this is a sign that the subsequent signaling agreement
6-Step-Reframing should not be applied if the disturbing behavior
is emotionally loaded, as in compulsive behavior, semi-compulsive addictions
or threatening illnesses. 6-step reframing is more appropriate for
mistakenly acquired habits than for compulsions. 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 - rather 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
Application (never!) - Client's goal:
"I want to have the resources of two conflicting parts
available at the same time.”
Brief description - Two parts that are in conflict with each other are
dissociated onto both hands. The coach asks each part about its intention. Both parts
either co-operatively negotiate their intentions into an agreement or the coach rephrases their intentions until the parts reach accord in a more abstract
value. Then the parts are melted together, either symbolically or with the help
Ecology - If a coach does not accept that the client wants to be rid
of the conflict, but also asks the client, "Do you really want all the
resources connected with each of these parts simultaneously", a client will never
congruently say yes. During my own NLP practitioner training I wondered:
„Why don’t the 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 finding the common goal or intention, a coach asserts without
doubt, „Marvelous, now the two parts can collaborate! What
great potential arises if both work in accord for your 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, clients do not connect these after-effects with
the coach's conflict negotiation. I find Robert Dilts'
„Einstein-Integration” to be more ecological. Dilts confronts the convictions
on a clear abstract level and then uses a meta-position 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 occurs anyway,
when a client 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, a
fourth part may protest against the contention of the third part, 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. Conventional
NLP Conflict Reframing is therefore not ecological. „Conflict Reframing with the
third/fifth part” can be performed, if a client redefines his wish as „I want to know
the benefits of this conflict”.
NLP Deep Trance Reframing
Application - Client's goal: „While I am mentally elsewhere,
I want the coach to directly invite the part that maintains my annoying behavior
to a conference on generating alternatives.”
Brief description - Applying the principles of 6-Step-Reframing,
a coach uses signals to converse with the unconscious part in a
conference, without a client realizing it.
Ecology - A client 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 client 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 a client in harmonically and/or
healthfully mastering a difficult phase of life. A coach can ask for a client’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 - A client is either already in trance as a result of
„goal questions” or wants to reconcile with a sub-self within 3-10 minutes.
Brief description - If one can use the client’s meta-programs and
problem structure to present new content, one can use small talk to weave
in stories about other clients and to delve into client A’s questions concerning
goals or possible solutions with the coach observing a client’s physiology
to gather information about what fits for that client.
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 a client congruently wants to achieve, one
for the present and somewhere way in the back one for procreation. The coach then
asks: „What keeps you from achieving your goal? Or, "Why haven’t you reached
your goal yet"? Spontaneously K+ sets in. On the timeline 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, a client moves to a meta-position outside the time line.
Using role models, including the client 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 client is now treated differently.
A client 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
resolves 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, will
find 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 a client 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?”
In the latter case, Reimprinting should not be applied. Core or
meta-beliefs cannot be completely resolved 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 logical levels on a timeline - Robert Dilts)
Application - Client's goal: „I want to progress towards my goal 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, a client 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: a coach lays out anchors across the time line. The client 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:
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 resourcefully or
I want to resourcefully complete a certain project Y”
- According to Dilts, mentors are models on the
identity level. Their presence generates resonance within a client as well as
between a client 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 the client’s future self. They can walk
beside the timeline, accompanying and encouraging the client.
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 client on
his way. They are distributed somewhere around the here and now on the timeline.
From a distant meta-perspective, a client can then be asked: „Do the three mentors have
a common underlying message?” The client stands in the present simply listening to
the coach play the three individual messages, each time adding the common
theme. The client lets the words work on him. The resulting resonance resource
is anchored and taken into the future.
Ecology - Time Line mentoring is ecological
because a client 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 was 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 life challenge or to complete a project (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
NLP Meta Mirror (Dilts)
Application - Client's goal: „I want a
new way of dealing with person X”
Brief description - Using
chairs as anchors, a client 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 the client’s behavior towards person X. The two
resources gained through this method are piled onto the same anchor. In a
metaposition, the client uses the stacked anchors to future-pace encounters
with person X.
Ecology - Dilts' Meta Mirror is often associated with everything
except the above process. It effectively resolves transferences or projections
(which are always present in relationship loops).
It is substantial that a client 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, and its potential and efficacy
are understated. Failure into Feedback makes use of an eye movement model
to dismantle a failure. A coach anchors the eye direction that accesses the
representation of a failure that still hinders a client in mastering similar
Next, the coach repeatedly directs the client to look in this direction,
and then asks the client to name, individually and sequentially sensory-specific
representations. Then the coach asks the client to suspend these representations far to the
right and far to the left, into the corresponding eye accessing fields.
Sometimes the coach needs to support his leading gestures with auditory anchors, to
support the notion that the client 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 (in my experience always!) have 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 manage 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 one's 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 may 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 a return-flight
to reframe all failures that had confirmed the belief.
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 a client is
in a resourceful state (as in some meditation techniques).
If something like this is set up for lasting effect (generalization over
timeline), then a younger self is stripped of possibilities to communicate
unused opportunities. However, the integration of such contributions – and thus
long-term healing – is possible, following suitably detailed goal-work.
In my own case, several ongoing negative emotions seemed to disappear.
Nevertheless, these emotions eventually returned with such fury and
in such irrational ways 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 a coach – 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 withdraw! Any dismissal of emotions increases
If I cannot feel anger, I cannot perceive that I am allowing my values to
be violated. 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 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 resolved (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 clearly defined goals, 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. Some clients associate into past traumatic
experiences, although I don’t want to write about this 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 our deep reaching VoVa changework
with emotions. Compared with
Tad James’ methods, the VoVa timeline techniques have an advantage that –
besides a different attitude that emotions are sensible - no
world-view is suggested (e.g. past lives or transfer of emotions across
generations). Adult clients 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 manage the
root-causes of why personality parts became so independent
that they can’t learn from each other (see 6-step reframing) or
from mentors. This is why after several months, people re-organizes their
problems on other levels – 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.
Annegret Hallanzy 1994-2018
All rights reserved
Client Abuse by Therapists
. Student Abuse by Trainers
Part 2 - NLP Strategy Techniques
Have you suffered from NLP techniques? Do you want to unwind
NLP strategies or techniques that were imprinted upon you?
Negative Emotions & Relationship Problems