But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do
Peter Sarstedt – 1969. “Where Do You Go To My Lovely?”
In the 1990’s I studied emerging NLP in the UK. I read “Frogs into Princes” (Bandler & Grinder) and that led me to “Trance-Formations” (1981) and “Reframing” (1982). I studied Ericksonian Hypnosis (indirect and conversational trance inducement). Then books relating to family therapy by Virginia Satir and the concepts of a “Parts Party”.
I put it all together and worked as an NLP and Hypnotherapy practitioner. I also trained Corporate clients in communication and persuasion arts. I threw out 90% of the evolving NLP crap and hype to stay true to the original ideas. I think that in some techniques I am an Originalist. My “Six Step Reframe” was anywhere between Two and Five steps depending on the interaction. I still got results (or “positive outcomes” to use the patois)
I like law, truth and logic. I know the difference between a Belief and a Fact despite the media corrupting their separation. I’m a “word” person. I love to use NLP language models to argue and get results that didn’t seem possible. I’m a “disrupter”. I don’t always accept what others think are conclusions.
I thought I would write an article about some self help techniques that I know work. I know they work because of my own achievements in curing my blushing 40 years ago by going into a trance and posing the question to myself “Why do you keep making me blush in the presence of women even though I’m not embarrassed?”
Instant answer was me as a six-year old walking into the toilet and seeing my aunt sitting there. A memory I hadn’t had for 20 years at that time. Once revealed I laughed and it stopped the blushing in its tracks. I’d read all about incredible cures with some scepticism but this one proved to me there is a lot that is great about the techniques.
Parting is such sweet success
Here is something I used to do that isn’t well documented in any NLP book or course I ever came across. If someone came to see me and say “I want to stop smoking” (I’d try and tell them to go elsewhere as its my least favourite problem) But when I did try and help it might go like this :-
Client: “I want to stop smoking”
Me: “So, PART of you wants to stop smoking but another PART of you is stopping you?”
This is the essence of DIY Help. You can identify something that needs to change. And if its a Part of you then there must also a be a Part of you that stops you from succeeding. Its all in your head, agreed? What’s all this “Parts stuff”? If only you could get these Parts to communicate with each other and co-operate maybe you could solve your problem. “I really want to stop smoking who/what is stopping me?”
I also did something that is smart/sneaky. Simply by introducing the use of the word “Parts” I could then talk about them as if they were real and concrete things.
Map this onto one of your own situations “Part of me wants to do X but another part wants to do Y (or is stopping me from doing X)”
Inside your head talk to these parts. I really do mean it, talk to them. Question them. Relax where you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes, or maybe you do this better with eyes open. Maybe some relaxing music in the background. Sometimes you listen to the music and without realising suddenly you can’t hear it and you are off on the beach or your garden on a warm summer da with the sun glinting off the sea. Glass of wine? Different bird sounds. A rustle of leaves in a cooling wind maybe wafting some oneysuckle……………
Self trance inducing is actually quite easy because you have been doing it all your life. (for anyone interested in hypnosis you will see that my small script above involves all the senses of feeling, taste, smell, and vision)
In your relaxed state ask the Part that is showing resistance “Why are you stopping me?” Be aware of the answer because this is 100% gold in helping you to change and achieve your goal. I promise you that you will get an answer.
What if it doesn’t know? Here’s where you get creative. Everyone makes decisions, right? So, you must have a Decision Making part. You must have another part that does research and which feeds the Decision Making part. You have good ideas so you must have a Creative Part. Call them up. Ask them to do research as to why you want to give up smoking (maybe they already know). Get them together and form a delegation to tell the Resistance part to stop resisting.
Get answers. Get co-operation. Tell an obstructing part to “Piss Off and do something useful!”.
For some of you this doesn’t work or make sense. That is because I can only write about a simple scenario when often it is far more complex with competing parts.
For example “I don’t want to give up smoking because my girlfriend smokes and if I stop then she won’t love me and I won’t get any sex”. These would be competing parts where Pleasure is stronger than Health. All I can offer is that you are going to have to weigh up what’s important. Can I suggest something like “Lung Cancer and narrowed arteries is for life but a girlfriend may not be”?
Sometimes, you just have to lay it on the line.
What would Superman do? – A good strategy for helping children
I have created Parts and installed them for people. Someone with low self-esteem problems came to see me. She was bullied at work and was taking it all in. No confidence to fight or argue back. It goes something like this:-
Me:“If you had someone standing next to you to help who would it be? Would Superman be useful?”
So, I had her put Superman stand behind her and put his hand on her shoulder to let her know he was there. I put my hand on her shoulder so she could feel the pressure and had her visualise the scene.
Me: “Does that work for you. Can you see Mrs Bloggs enter the room? Can you hear her and know that you are tougher than her?” (I tap her shoulder to remind her of Superman on her team)
Client: “Yes, but she’s arguing with me”
Me: “And you don’t know what to say to her?”
Me: “Who do you know who would know what to say. Could it be a tough-guy character, maybe a lawyer, who do you think it might be?”
Me: “How about Mitor The Barrister, he’s also got a shield and that would be useful”
You can see where this is going. We build up a team of defenders with attributes she can acquire and all the time I am testing her against imagining scenrios in the future where she comes up against Mrs Bloggs.
This works well with children. Imagine what assembled teams of Marvel characters could help them in scenarios of low self-esteem or being frightened about something. Choose comic characters against the people who might be causing them fear as I cover next.
Mickey Mouse is your friend
I was trying to get some new business and the Managing Director was interested in an NLP course. I had to convince him I was the one with the ability to run the course. We were talking about a conference where he had prepared a speech but the person before him had presented the same subject in her speech. That just screwed up his presentation and he felt embarrassed. Ever since, whenever he met with her at business conferences he felt embarrassed and lost confidence in delivering a paper and felt shy amongst his fellow delegates.
I had him go back to that original situation.
“I want you to see her on the podium but I want you see Mickey Mouse standing behind her. You know what Mickey Mouse sounds like don’t you?. I now want you to hear her speaking but with a Mickey Mouse voice mocking her and I want you to see Mickey do things like jostle her script. Now, whenever you see her or meet her you will remember her Mickey voice. Go ahead, think of meeting here again in the future”
Seeing his face go from a scowl to laughing was all I needed to know that I had cured him of him feeling bad. (And he later told me it had changed for him)
The point of this anecdote is creating characters that are anchored with the target person affecting you negatively. Whatever you remember about them that affects you then imagine them disrupted in some way. Change the tone of their voice. Give yourself something that makes you laugh instead of frown.
Your responses are all in your mind. I often say that you can often choose how to respond but you don’t know ways in which you can change those negative responses. That is the “Programming” part of NLP although I think it should be “Re-Programming”.
Some responses are automatic. A true phobia is like that and not the made up ones used to shut down debate.
© Lugosi April 2022