The Modelling Approach
You’ve probably heard of, and met, some highly effective and successful people. Even by observing them from afar, you know there’s something special about them. They handle conversations differently; they process information in a unique way. You wish you could bottle the way they conduct themselves and just dose yourself with the magic.
Except it’s not magic. Great individuals are not born; everyone can be great with the right tools. The same goes for well individuals. While genetic disposition does factor in having depression, anxiety, or phobias, you can effectively model the habits and dispositions of persons enjoying high levels of mental health – and get yourself to wellness.
For this, there’s Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP is a personal effectiveness and psychotherapeutic technique developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. As the name implies, it takes a closer look at the way brain works, “neuro”, and its relationship to language, “linguistic”. More importantly, it looks at how this relationship translates into behaviour.
NLP derives its approach from the careful analysis of the “programming” of highly successful individuals, psychotherapy hall of famers, and communication experts. By helping clients undo their flawed programming, in favour of modelling the programming of remarkable individuals, NLP therapists significantly improve their clients’ lives.
How does it work?
NLP practitioners look at submodalities. Submodalities refer to the unique way the world is represented in your mind, the internal “map” influenced by genetics, upbringing, and experience. To better understand submodalities, imagine yourself as a robotics expert in charge of programming how androids process information. Your robot will never perfectly capture reality, the way people can never perfectly capture information. The scope and limits of our perception decides our actions.
Submodalities are accessed through links between information and sensory experience. An NLP practitioner, for instance, may ask a person with anxiety issues to recount difficult, anxiety-related experiences while paying attention to accompanying sensations, mental images and idea associations. For example, performance anxiety could be accompanied by shaking knees and memories in a vibrant red colour. Therapists then ask the client to change these sensations and images to be more explicit, humorous or less intense for example, and replace them with experiences linked with more positive ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
What issues does it treat?
NLP is useful for people with mental health concerns and those who simply want coaching in achieving goals.
People who wish to improve their self-esteem, tap into their leadership potential, increase their motivation for work and life, and achieve personal greatness are NLP endorsers. NLP is also known for improving the resilience of persons who lead high stress lives.
Mental health concerns addressed by NLP include depression, anxiety, stress disorders, eating disorders, addictions, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Those who feel that they need to change problematic personality traits, for example a tendency to be submissive, can also benefit from NLP. NLP is also known to improve relationship problems, including marital issues, parent-child gaps, and employer-employee miscommunication.
NLP is generally short-term and clients can dip in and out of sessions to a greater degree than many other types of therapy, which makes it ideal for a number of people.
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