There are some underlying beliefs and assumptions that are implicit within the methodology of NLP.
If we can operate out of the assumption and belief that the following statements are ‘the way that things are’ we can get some very interesting and useful results in terms of self improvement.
- Everyone lives in, and operates from, their model of the world.
- Mind and body are a system. They inevitably and inescapably affect each other.
- Human experience has a structure that can be represented by the sensory modalities
- Every behaviour is useful in some context. People always make the best choice for themselves given their unique model of the world, and perception of the situation.
- Individuals have all the resources necessary for change (what they may need help with is to access these resources at appropriate times and places).
- There is a distinction between the person and their behaviours. The positive worth of a person is held constant.
- There is a distinction between the behaviour of a person and their intention, or of the prupose of that behaviour. It is useful to assume that every behaviour has a positive intention.
- Each individual is infinately more than can be percieved by themselves or others.
- A person cannot NOT communicate (and behaviour is the highest quality communication)
- The meaning of the communication is the response it elicits. There is a difference between the meaning and the intention.
- If you always do what you have always done, you’ll always get what you always got. If what you are doing is not working, do something different.
- There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Every ‘mistake’ is an unprecedented opportunity to learn.
- Individuals with the most flexibility have the highest probability of achieving the outcome that they desire. (This corresponds to the Law of Requisite Variety in Cybernetics)
- If it is possible for one person then it is possible for another (me). It is just a matter of how (including time, effort, and attention).
After reading the presuppostions, notice your response to them. Do they all seem true to you?
If some seem to be contradictory to your beliefs, use those statements as the basis for personal coaching with an NLP coach or therapist, to improve your life.
Counselling, these days, is holistic. This means that the person is understood as a whole.
What do Person Centred Counsellors do?
Person Centred Counsellors (of which I am one) believe in awareness of the core conditions, i.e. empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. And these core conditions underpin the quality of relating between the two people, therapist and client.
What do Transactional Analysts do?
In Transactional Analysis the same things are known, but the language is different. TA therapists (of which I am, also, one) say that everyone has worth and everyuone has the capacity to think - and therefore deserve to be treated accordingly.
People who know a little about TA have probably heard of the saying, “I’m OK, You’re OK” - this is not in the sense of “I’m all right, Jack!” but rather, “I know that I am worthwhile in my own eyes and in yours, and I know that you are worthwhile in my eyes and yours”. (If the client does not yet believe either part of that, therein lies psychotherapeutic growth-potential).
Counsellors across all modalities respond to their clients at different levels
We humans are so complex and we function at a number of levels psychologically. Therapists and counsellors need to listen out for those different levels and respond to those different levels of functioning in both clients, and in themselves.
There is benefit in both the non-diresctive style and in the directive style
Person Centred therapists are known for being non-directive. What is important in this way of therapy is that clients can develop new meaning in their lives by retelling their life stories - by making narratives. Having those experiences emerge and perhaps be expressed at a metaphorical level, not only in the words, but also in the felt meaning that is shared between the two people present, is very valuable.
Valuable, also, is a therapist sometimes being directive, and confronting clients’ beliefs, or defences. Counsellors, therefore, need to make judgements and take choices about which way to respond to clients at any one time. This is related to the levels of functioning, mentioned above. The same therapist will be engaging in an empathetic way, using non-interrupting style sometimes, in response to certain levels of a client, and at other times, in response to other levels, the therapist could be making interventions and taking more risks.