Why would you choose NLP therapy rather than counselling or psychotherapy?
Most clients I see in my practice bring up issues that could very well be treated via traditional talking therapy. Such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem or even depression. In most cases, it only takes a few months for their symptoms or issues to be completely solved using integrative NLP and hypnotherapy processes. So how come it generally takes much longer with traditional talking therapy?
The main focus of counselling or psychotherapy sessions is on the problems. Where they come from, what caused them, what are the emotional roots as well as analysing the impacts they have in one’s life. However, once you’ve done this work, where do you take it from there? How do you go from understanding the root causes and impact of your issues to solving them? Who has ever stopped smoking, lost significant amount of weight or cured a strong phobia by only talking about it?!
In my personal experience of counselling, after having analysed the ins and outs of the issues I’ve been often told “You can’t solve your issues; You can only learn to live with them” and the following sessions then become focused on learning the coping mechanisms to do so. However I strongly disagree with that statement. Those are beliefs that were appropriate perhaps in the early days of therapy, but nowadays, with the incredible development of new approaches and alternative therapies, I don’t believe there is such thing as an impossibility to resolve an issue. Don’t get me wrong, it might only be a belief, but at the end of the day, what is most useful? To believe you can’t resolve your issues and you merely have to live with them and reduce the damages they have in your life, or actually believe there’s a way to totally free yourself from them? I know what my clients who completely recovered from chronic fatigue, M.E or depression would say…
Counselling and Psychotherapy can be very useful however. Sometimes people don’t feel happy but they have no idea why. In those situations, it can be extremely helpful to get the support of a qualified therapist to shed light on what is causing those negative feelings. And sometimes as well, talking for the first time about traumatic events to a therapist can be extremely relieving and the first step towards healing.
However, even if analysing and understanding one’s issue is an essential initial part of the recovery process, it has never made the issues fully disappear on the long run. It’s like saying that when my car broke down a few weeks ago, simply knowing that the clutch wasn’t working any more because it was rusted was enough to magically make it work again ; Or that I needed to learn to drive the car without it. I obviously needed to do something about it, go to the garage who has the tools to repair the car…
On the neurological level as well I believe it is crucial to have a different approach towards our issues. The brain adapts itself according to how we use it (that’s called neuroplasticity) and when you keep talking about your issues every week for years in your therapy sessions, you actually reinforce the neuro-pathways that were created at the time of the issues. As a result, the emotions and the behavioural patterns that are associated to that neuro-connection keep being reinforced on a weekly basis. In other words, the more you think and talk about something painful, the worst you will feel. But if you keep talking and thinking about it on a regular basis, how can you expect those emotions and patterns to disappear?
However with NLP and other solution focused therapies, the emphasis is put on solutions and change. Once you understand where your issues come from and you’ve explored their root cause, you then need the tools to solve them. And because of how the brain works it is also essential to mentally rehearse the new emotions and behaviours that will occur as a result. In NLP jargon this is called doing some future pacing.
All those new approaches help rewire the brain in a much more useful manner, instead of reinforcing old patterns and issues, and as a result I’ve found that it is no longer necessary to spend decades in therapy to start freeing yourself from the past and start living your life the way you truly deserve to.