In the course of each day, I chat to a lot of people about my work, what it can achieve and how many people have benefited from learning what I know. The most commonly asked question I hear is, “So what is Neuro Linguistic Programming?” There are many different ways to answer this question. So why isn’t there one standard definition, a one size fits all description? Put simply, it is because NLP is about human behaviour and human interaction and no two people are the same. You are all unique individuals and what is important in terms of your own behaviour, results and capacity to make desired changes to your life are going to be very different to that of your neighbour or work colleague or even your partner in life.
NLP Practitioners who have been well trained at our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training have mastered the art of flexible thinking. We strive not to place people in boxes, so why place NLP in a box with a label? We want to be more fluid and dynamic in our thinking and approach than that.
To assist you to understand how varied the results of working with NLP can be and what NLP means to different people, I would like to share with you the outcomes of some of our clients and students and what NLP means to them. (NB. I have changed the names to protect the privacy of the individuals involved). These descriptions are the stories of real people leading real lives and the changes that they were able to create by engaging with NLP. I have worked with and taught many people over the course of the 15 years that I have been working with NLP, these are some of the most memorable, they changed me as much as I showed them how to change for themselves.
John had Dyslexia
I remember John so vividly as his results touched me so deeply and I glowed for days after the training that he attended. John attended our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training back in the spring of 2015. When he called to enquire about the training, the first thing he told me after sharing his name was “I’m dyslexic”. When he booked the training, the first thing he told me was, “I’m dyslexic” and on the first day of his training, he entered the room, took me to one side and told me, “I’m dyslexic”. Each time he told me, I let him know that I had heard and acknowledged what he had said and then moved on from the subject.
The first couple of training days were difficult for John as he struggled to read the scripts out loud and to complete the exercises. Something needed to shift in his belief system. By choosing to change his belief about his diagnosed dyslexia, something shifted in his psychology and it happened fast. The next day, I found that John had come to the training centre early and I found him already installed in his seat, reading one of the course books! He looked up as I entered the room and smiled the biggest grin I’ve ever seen. He told me that this was the first time he had read a book since he was a child. He had even phoned his partner and read him a passage from the book out loud. His partner had cried when he heard it. John sailed through the rest of the training.
To John, NLP meant freedom from labels.
Kate had an accident.
Kate attended her Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training way back in 2011. This was a bespoke training that I created specifically for people who are engaged in Equestrian Sport. Kate was a bright and joyful student and she kept dropping things and bumping into furniture. She had had a riding accident some years before and was left with nerve damage which resulted in a lack of feeling down her left side. She had full movement, she just couldn’t feel anything, she was totally numb down that side. As this condition didn’t affect her learning in any way, we didn’t discuss it much. She did share the details of the accident to explain why she appeared to be clumsy, although there was no need, it made her feel more comfortable in the room.
Kate had a great training experience, she made some wonderful changes when we worked with Time Line Therapy®, including releasing the emotion from the memory of her accident trauma. She loved Hypnosis and during her hypnosis experience, something happened. Her exercise partner called me over to their side of the room with a concerned look on her face. Kate was relaxing on the floor, covered with a blanket and she was shivering over her whole body. We gently brought her out of trance, sat her up and gave her a hot cup of tea. She then began to cry. She told me that the tears were tears of joy and she had regained some feeling down her left side.
Over the weeks after the training, Kate regained full feeling throughout her body. She had learned to ride again because the feeling of being on her horse was now totally different and she was no longer covered in bruises from bumping into things.
To Kate, NLP meant physical health
Dave and Sandra had a broken relationship
Dave and Sandra came to me for Couples Coaching in 2021. At the time they sought my help, they were already separated, living apart and barely speaking. Even so, when we began the coaching, it was clear for anyone to see that they were still very much in love and thought the world of each other, the relationship just wasn’t working for either of them anymore.
Over the course of a month, I worked with them as a couple and individually, encouraging them to open their minds to the possibility of change and teaching them about how to communicate with each other within their relationship.
A couple of weeks before Christmas, they were reunited and are still living in a happy, balanced, congruent and loving relationship. I cherish working with them both and have taken such joy from being a part of their journey towards reconciliation.
To Dave and Sandra, NLP meant learning how to communicate in a way that works.
Sue had Post-Natal Depression
As a coach and therapist, I occasionally get a cry for help that represents someone’s last hope, a last ditch attempt to be able to continue in this world, clinging onto life by the finger tips and ready to release their grip and allow themselves to tumble in the abyss. My work with these people will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Sue came to me with the presenting problem of diagnosed clinical depression. She had seen her GP, was taking prescribed medication and had attended the therapy sessions offered to her through the health service. Nothing was working. She described her feelings as a heavy black blanket which consistently covered her and prevented her from functioning normally. Imagine my surprise when she shared with me that she had been feeling this way since the birth of her first son and he was 7 years old! She was now carrying her second child and was terrified that this would be the end for her, that her depression would become so unbearable that she would not be able to go on. She loved her husband, son and unborn child beyond measure, she just couldn’t see outside of that blanket of depressed emotion.
Over the course of 4 hours, we worked with NLP and Time Line Therapy® to release her negative emotions and limiting beliefs and after those intense hours, she just about skipped out of the room. A couple of days later, her Husband called me and simply said, “Thank you for giving me my wife back.”
To Sue, NLP meant living.
Natalie had Fibromyalgia
Natalie had diagnosed Fibromyalgia Syndrome. She came to take our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training in 2019. At the time, she was taking a cocktail of drugs to manage her pain and had been told in no uncertain terms that she could expect to be confined to a wheelchair by the time she was 40. Natalie was concerned that she may have to miss some of the training due to fatigue and the fact that some days she couldn’t even get out of bed.
Over the course of the 8 days training experience, Natalie became aware of the unhealthy relationship she had with her body and her health and she began to work on this with a stoic determination. By the end of the 8 days of the course she was free from pain, completely off her medication and filled with an energy that she hadn’t felt for years.
Natalie is now a Trainer of NLP, she runs every day and is fit and full of energy. She never went near her medication again. She had built a new business from first principles and is living the life that she created during her NLP Training.
To Natalie, NLP meant change.
I could go on and tell you about many more of the wonderful results that my students and clients have created, there just isn’t space for all the exciting narratives here. When I recall these people, the hairs on my arms still stand to attention and I get a rush of joy, I feel so rewarded for the work that I love to involve myself in and I will continue sharing the magic for many years to come.
So, you see now, NLP means different things to different people. What will it mean for you? Come and find out!