Case Study: A young life transformed.

It’s always fabulous when our graduate students share their experiences with us as they continue to apply their learning.  Many have set up new businesses, others have gained promotions in their existing careers and all of them are sharing what they have learned in spectacular ways.  We’d love to tell you all of their stories and you’d be reading all day! 


One graduate, Adrian, has accomplished something extraordinary with the knowledge and skill he learned at Practitioner training earlier this year and we felt you would like to hear about something incredible.


It is testament to his modesty that our graduate asked not to be accredited as we tell his story, in his words, “Dropping this case across to you is about me wanting to share my reflection of the practitioner toolkit and learning, how I used and adapted it following the excellent training.  It’s not about me as a practitioner, it’s about NLP.”

The story begins with a young man of just 12 years old, living in the Middle East.  In respect of client confidentiality, we’re going to call him John.      


John is a scout in a scouting group which Adrian supports.  Through informal chats with John’s parents, it became apparent that John required an eye operation to correct serious double vision and a squint.  The surgical consultant had advised them that for the best chance of success, John would need to be fully awake for the last part of the operation, where the placement of the muscles which control the movement of the eyes would be controlled, based on physical alignment, while the patient was able to move them.  If the patient could not cope with experiencing this procedure whilst conscious, the surgeon would be forced to make a ‘best guess’ as to the final repositioning of the ocular muscles and the odds of complete success would be significantly reduced.


An incredible ask for a 12 year old.  On hearing this, John was understandably very frightened and really didn’t know if he could undergo surgery on his eyes in a conscious state.  Adrian quickly identified an opportunity to help John, by teaching him some NLP techniques which would initially help him to make an informed decision about his capacity for undergoing conscious surgery. 


With his mother by his side, Adrian and John met for their first session.  It went well and John proved to be very open to suggestion and had a great grasp of managing his state.  John quickly became proficient at both attaining and deepening his personal state (using the learning state or peripheral vision) and was very willing to be lead into a deep trance with Adrian’s help.  Children are spectacularly good with NLP by the way, as they don’t have the conscious chatter and preconceptions which are present in most adults.


The wonderful results that John was demonstrating encouraged Adrian to continue.  They achieved results with visualisation, working with the pictures which describe John’s model of the world in the context of his surgery and he quickly became able to go into his personal (learning) state with eyes closed by visualising ultra wide peripheral vision, including 180 degrees behind himself, and John actually said without prompting that, “it is phyisically impossible to be stressed while in this state.”  John became very excited that he felt he could, in his words, “cheat” without detection, in any circumstances where he previously used to feel out of control of his emotions and now he was totally in control of his state.  How wonderful that a 12 year old boy can become in control of his state!

Together, Adrian and John did some detailing of his calm, relaxed and focused states, which they set as useful resource anchors.  Adrian encouraged John to set up a note book with these states as headings and making notes and symbols of as much detail as possible of the external environment associated with these states and of course his internal feelings and characteristics when in each state.  Adrian enabled John to chain these useful states together so that he could easily transition between them, by first eliciting his calm state and holding onto it while eliciting his relaxed state, and then deepening both while firing and developing his focused anchor, before deepening the combined effect.


It is totally incredible that before the end of his first session with Adrian, John stated with confidence that he was going to have the procedure whilst awake.  A huge leap of faith and self-confidence for a 12 year old!

In between the first and second sessions, John was tasked to fill out more and more detail in his personal states notebook and practice his learning state in a series of different environments so he could be confident of achieving the state he required no matter where he was.

The second session was on the way to the hospital on the day of the surgery.  John demonstrated his learning state and the visualisation work he’d been practicing and Adrian added distractions and encouraged him to use each distraction as an immediate cue to deepen his state.

The positive anchors they set together were reinforced, with every detail that John had recorded in his personal states journal.  The purpose of the detailed anchor was to contribute highly focused and positive distractions during the procedure, leaving a highly enhanced state behind.

From his anchored state, John moved into trance very easily and allowed himself to be constantly deepend.  Adrian suggested some clear and directive facts of the absolute power he had to control his state and using long strings of ambiguous Eriksonian language continued to deepen the trance.

The operation lasted 2 hours.  John then had an hour recovery then suture adjustments.  The feedback from John’s mother was simply “NLP works!”  Throughout the operation, a conscious John utilised the power of his unconscious mind and at 12 years old, controlled his stress, fears and pain.  Amazing!


Adrian received a message from John’s mother a short while after the surgery, it read, “Heartfelt thanks from us both for taking the time to help him with NLP techniques, he was psychologically prepared.  In fact he is keen to delve deeper into the subject.”


John is recovering well and the operation was a resounding success. 


Just imagine, there is now a 12 year old boy who can control his state in even the most stressful and horrendous circumstances.  The challenges of his future will be met with confidence and ease!  Exams will be easy and effortless!  His imagination has been captured and he even wants to learn NLP!


All of the techniques Adrian used are simple and effective and we teach them all to you at Practitioner level.  What could you achieve with this level of knowledge and who could you help to live a better, more fulfilling life?  Food for thought indeed.


Many thanks to Adrian for sharing his story, we hope you feel inspired.