Do I need NLP, Hypnotherapy or both?

When clients contact me for their free 20-minute telephone consultation, they ask whether they should book in for NLP or Hypnotherapy. My answer is always the same…I don’t know…yet! So, what informs my answer to their very important question?

First and foremost, I want to know: What do you want?

In my experience, clients are very good at articulating what they don’t want. They don’t want to be fat, they don’t want to be in pain and they don’t want to feel “blue”. However, it is only when clients know what exactly what they do want that the really magical change begins…

  1. Do you know what you want or even what you don’t want?
  2. Are you interested in coaching to determine your goals?
  3. Do you want to find the motivation and strategies to reach them easily?

Then, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and/or Hypnotherapy can help.

What is NLP?

Neuro Linguistic Programming [NLP] is a set of techniques used, primarily, as an approach to personal development. NLP studies the structure of how humans think and experience their world, and provides a powerful tool that is effective in changing human behaviour and capacities

Dr Richard Bandler invented the term “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” in the 1970s. He was recently asked to write the definition that appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. It says:

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is, “a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them…a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour.”

It is based on the idea that mind, body and language interact to create an individual’s perception or “map” of the world. One of the pre-suppositions of NLP notes:

“The map is not the territory.”

That is to say that perceptions, and therefore behaviours, can be changed by the application of a variety of techniques. Put simply, if you change how you think, you change how you feel. You can try it now, by following this simple technique.


Think about something or someone you don’t like. Notice the image [picture in your mind], the sounds [it might be your voice, or somebody else’s] and the associated feelings. Be aware of your physiology…your heartbeat, your posture or body tension, where the feeling is in your body and how it’s moving. Now change the experience, try:

  1. Changing the image, e.g. Big to small, coloured to black and white, near to far.
  2. Change the sound, e.g. Loud to quiet, a threatening voice to a silly voice.

These exercises give you an insight into some of the techniques you will learn when you work with me. I can help you to explore further and significantly change your internal experience [thoughts and feelings]. Consequently, you will take control and manage your beliefs to improve your performance. Imagine how much easier it will be to reach your goals when you know how to let go of the stresses or fears that are holding you back…

NLP helps us to focus on how we do what we do. Another presupposition of NLP states: “The resources individuals need to effect change are already within them.”

Imagine how much easier it is when you know how to apply the strategy for something you do well to something you want to get better at…

NLP helps you to explore what makes your version [or map] of the world different to somebody else’s. Where those differences are beneficial, you can learn from the strategies of other successful people. NLP gives you the tools to affect your positive performance. By ‘modelling’ those who have achieved excellence, you are on your way to experiencing your own success.

So, going back to that ever-important question, “What do you want?” It is your response that informs the techniques I use for you to change. I work flexibly with all my clients to empower their unique change. This is a bespoke service. What works for someone else isn’t always right for you, is it?

So, I take time to get to know you, what you want and the difference it will make to YOU. Thereafter, I use the skills and techniques from my “toolbox” that will secure your best result in the fastest and safest way I know possible.

For example, all kinds of Phobias can be eliminated using NLP and/or Hypnotherapy, so I will often distinguish a phobia and seal the change in trance enabling the client to make the most of being phobia free.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis describes a relaxed state that you are already aware of. It may be through meditation, prayer, imagination, daydreaming, guided imagery or relaxation. It enables you to take your attention from the bustling world around you to a focused state, “inside”.

Hypnotherapists like me, are trained to guide you into that focused state or “trance” to support you to overcome current difficulties and achieve your goals seamlessly and easily.

As one of my smoke-stop patients put it recently, “It take’s the pain away”. This is because it enables your sub-conscious to run the show! In a nutshell, it enables change to happen “automatically” without your conscious brain interfering. This is the reason why hypnosis is so successful. A client that I treated for performance anxiety [public speaking] was amazed at the difference just one session can make. This is because your brain doesn’t know the difference between role play and reality, so rehearsing a “change” in trance enables you to overcome those thoughts and beliefs that have been holding you back.

How does Hypnotherapy work?

The word ‘hypnosis’ is an abbreviation of Braid’s term ‘neuro-hypnotism’, meaning ‘sleep of the nervous system’. In this state, the mind becomes particularly receptive to suggestion and is somehow able to exert control over normally involuntary processes. So, while you are in trance, I make suggestions to your sub-conscious mind so that you achieve your goals.

What can Hypnosis help?

Hypnosis [trance] successfully aids personal development because it is a process by which clients can see themselves having completed the change they wish to make. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are probably right.” Henry Ford

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

What can Hypnotherapy treat?

Hypnotherapy is used successfully in treating many psychological, emotional and physical issues. Hypno-anaesthesia relieves pain in surgery and dentistry and is proven to be of benefit in Obstetrics.

In my work as The Birthing Coach, I teach pregnant couples to “trance-form” childbirth, using trance skills and hypnotic phenomena to enable a more comfortable birth. This approach can shorten the delivery stage and reduce the need for painkillers. My work is informed by Dr Grantly Dick-Read, an obstetrician working in the early 1900s and Tina Taylor, author of the book Painless Childbirth, NLP Master Trainer and Clinical Hypnotherapist. Grantly Dick-Read was brought up in rural England watching animals giving birth. He queried, “Why do humans experience birth differently?” And, researched childbirth extensively. Having attended a birth in Whitechapel where the lady refused Chloroform; afterwards, she said,

“It didn’t hurt, Doctor. It wasn’t meant to, was it?”

Dr Grantly Dick-Read found that contractions only became painful when the mother was afraid or tense, and stress hormones were released. So, The Birthing Coach teaches pregnant couples to use trance and hypnotic phenomenon to release hormones that support a comfortable birth. Furthermore, Hypnotherapy can help you to:

  • Ease the suffering of a disability or terminal illness
  • Overcome addictions such as smoking or alcohol
  • Support the management of weight loss
  • Manage panic attacks or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Overcome stress-related problems such as Insomnia
  • Ease tension to manage conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Relieve symptoms of stress such as Eczema
  • De-sensitise anxiety or phobias

Learning Self-Hypnosis often proves to be the drug-free solution that patients are looking for.

Is Hypnotherapy suitable for children?

In a word, “YES!”

Children love stories and participating in imaginary journeys, so childhood issues or habits such as bedwetting [Enuresis]and thumb-sucking can easily be treated in trance. In my experience, children are more likely to enter a deeper level of trance when they have ownership of the metaphor [story] or themes for guided imagery. A highly skilled hypnotherapist will work with you and your child to personalise the experience to match his or her interests, desires or goals and motivation. As an Early Year’s Practitioner, I am passionate about supporting children and teenagers to overcome any barriers to their learning or relationships. Teenagers can be supported to overcome stammering, blushing or similar issues that have a detrimental effect on their happiness.

How many sessions will it take?

Whilst nothing is guaranteed, a three-treatment plan is often enough to affect the positive change you are looking for.

Why should I choose a Clinical Hypnotherapist?

In the UK, hypnotherapists don’t have to have any specific training by law. So, when looking for a private hypnotherapist, it is wise to check that they are registered with an organisation that is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, such as the General Hypnotherapy Register. Likewise, if you are looking for someone to work with children it is wise to check that they are qualified and have completed the necessary safeguarding checks.

To explore the question “What do you want?”, arrange a free 20-minute telephone consultation, via the Contact section on my website. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest wishes