NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming: How to Choose a Practitioner to Work With

By admin / June 26, 2008
By: Alessandro Pistocchi
Category: Coaching

Fact: almost anybody you know has personal issues and situations they don't know how to deal with.

No matter what is your lifestyle or who are the people you deal with, you will rarely find somebody who is totally happy and satisfied with absolutely every aspect of their life. And when I say rarely, I mean it. Of course many people will say that, but will you buy it? Life is constantly challenging us. There is nothing wrong with it. However, there are some people who can find new choices quite easily and go from challenge to challenge in a breeze and there are some others who remain stuck into the same problems for years. The former is how we would like it to be, while the latter is the basis of what we call psychological problems.

If you stop for a second to think about what the previous paragraph says, you can immediately realize the basis of neuro linguistic programming: if some people remain stuck into the same problems for years, then there must be a structure somewhere in their behavior or within their environment that preserves those problems. There must be something that remains the same every day in order for that problem to remain the same. This is the basis of NLP: we look for recurring patterns in day by day behavior of people.

The same applies for both people who have constant problems and people who have constant success: in both cases there must be something they do repeatedly in order to keep their situation as it is. In NLP we study patterns of behavior, and in particular we study in great detail empowering patterns in order to be able to teach them to people and we study disempowering patterns only to the point where we know enough to help them getting better.

Basically, it is an educational process: we simply help people finding inside themselves the way to live their lives to the fullest. This makes it so that we don't necessarily do the same things when helping different people who say they have the same problem: an NLP session is tailored to the people involved in it. Every single human being is unique, and we have to deal with that uniqueness when helping them finding their own way to a good life. Dealing with uniqueness and variety is both exciting and challenging.

Being free for us does not mean not having problems. It means learning how to deal with them.

So, in which areas of your life would you like some help? Most people are extremely good at doing something and they completely lack the skills they would need to do other things: for example, some are extremely good at making money but nobody likes them and they feel alone, while others have lots of friends but no money. Which are your areas for self improvement?

The most common areas where NLP can help you a lot are limiting fears, phobias, addictions to alcohol, fat food, smoking, being shy, being non social and the like. Do you really want to keep living like that for all of your life? Some people do indeed, they say things like "I can't change, I am too young", "I am too old" and the like. They make lots of excuses in order to keep their problems. Is it worth it? I don't think so. Life is too short for keeping your problems.

Now that you have decided to get better, where do you start? If you live in a big city like me (I live in London, UK), then you will find a zillion people claiming this and that about their ability to help you learning lots of things. How do you choose a practitioner to work with? How do you distinguish the good ones from the others?

There is no absolute guarantee, but here are some guidelines.

First of all, they must have a proper certification. The Society of NLP(tm) is the society that issues the most prestigious certifications. Some of the certifications are signed by Richard Bandler himself, one of the two co-developers of NLP.

But even being certified by The Society of NLP(tm) is not equivalent to being experienced enough or honest enough. One of the cues to look for when choosing a practitioner is wether they are willing to be paid for results: if you get the result you want they get paid, otherwise they don't.

Traditionally, therapists and consultants are paid for the time they spend with you, so that it might happen that you stay with them for a long time and end up not getting what you want, but they will still get their money. Looking for people who are willing to take responsibility for helping you to the point that they get paid only when you get results means that they will always do their best.

Another important cue is wether they are willing to do sessions in public places. This could seem odd to people accustomed to psychotherapy for example, but nonetheless it is an important point: the challenges we face every day happen in the real world. Having a session in a place that somehow resembles the environment where the problem occurs is very important for testing behavioral changes.

So when choosing an NLP practitioner to work with, always ask them if they are willing to be paid for results instead of time. If they say yes, they may ask you a higher fee than others, but you'll know that you've found the right person and that your life will improve.

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