NLP and Hypnosis - Are they related?


NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970's. It is often associated with sales and management training, but one of its early achievements was the modeling of Milton Erickson. This provided many of the hypnotic skills taught in NLP seminars today such as metaphor and Milton's Language Patterns (the Milton Model).

Many of the skills that hypnotists take for granted are treated as if 'owned' by NLP by many NLP writers and NLP trainers, but then there are many skills and techniques that have been 'merged' into NLP. In fact probably half of the skill set of NLP is borrowed from other disciplines.

One of the key differences between the two subjects is that NLP is usually much more direct than hypnosis. Hypnotherapists will often work in a quite 'vague' way, providing the setting whereby a client can subconsciously make the changes required themselves. NLP techniques are usually much more precise. That's not to say that NLP is superior to Hypnosis, or visa versa. Both approaches have their place and work especially well when used together. It is for this reason that many people learn both skills together, and many NLP practitioner courses, specifically those taught by the founders, and the trainers associated with them, contain a lot of hypnosis.

In a nutshell, there are probably a lot of hypnotherapists who don't use NLP, but I wouldn't be particular impressed by an NLP practitioner who said they didn't use hypnosis. I have written about this specific issue on PlanetNLP.


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