Learn NLP and Hypnosis - Should you learn both NLP and Hypnosis?


My background is originally in NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) rather than in hypnosis. The relevance an NLP practitioner places on hypnotic skills seems to depend upon who they have trained with.

Being trained by Richard Bandler (considered by many to be the best hypnotist in the world), my practitioner, and master practitioner courses were full of hypnosis and I loved it, but during a break-out session with a complete stranger during an ANLP conference several years ago, I was told by my co-trainee, that 'we don't do that hypnosis stuff'. Of course, this is the individuals view, and as I don't know who trained them, it is no measure of how ANLP work.

My own NLP work has been greatly enhanced by the hypnotic skills I have developed, and I would not want it any other way, so is it useful for a hypnotist to learn NLP? In short, the answer is yes.

The two skill-sets do overlap, as much of NLP is based around the modeling of Milton Erickson undertaken by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, but the differences between the approaches is what is really useful and leads to a huge increase in effectiveness.

Remember, if you've only got a hammer, you see an awful lot of nails.

Hypnosis is often used in a very general and generative way - give a lot of good suggestions, and let the person find their own solutions.

NLP is often much more precise, searching for the single change that will have the desired effect. This does not mean that one is superior, but that there are situations (and clients) in which one approach seems more appropriate or is easier to use.

Also NLP gives the hypnotist tools to look at problems in a different way. Depending upon the client, learning about submodalities can be extremely useful for a hypnotherapist.

For hypnotists wishing to learn a few NLP techniques to see what it's all about, please check out the primers and exercises on PlanetNLP.


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