Dedicating myself to the learning, sharing and practising of yoga for some years now, I have become totally fascinated, of late, about my own radical life transformation and experiences I’ve encountered along the yoga way – as well as my own experiences, I have been honoured to witness some quite spectacular changes in others when committing to their own yoga practice too. So it’s rather old news today that I am a HUGE yoga fan and advocate! This is why this morning I am actually wanting to write about other therapeutic models that I am currently involved in learning about.
‘Bringing Yoga to Life’ is a book written by Donna Farhi that I really enjoyed reading several years back. It shares, in an encouraging and straightforward way, how yoga can meaningfully shape your life. Today it’s the book I have chosen to pass on to a peer/friend who I meet with each month for peer supervision and to share, support and discuss all things Yoga and Psychotherapy. I am interested in the latter (she is a wonderful Psychotherapist and person) she is interested in the former, so that’s where I help! It’s a really exciting exchange and its all still very fresh.
Today I want to share a little about my recent “NLP Training Weekend”. I’m truly fascinated and totally committed to exploring and learning new ideas, skillsets, frameworks and therapeutic models and approaches as a way of understanding how, together, these combined approaches have huge healing potential. Think somatic (relating to the body) and the cognitive (relating to the mind) – the linear and the lateral – the mind and the body relationship, as well as the ALL important Therapist/Client relationship. My fascination is mainly driven by the strong beliefs that the two, so BodyMind, need to be in good balance and harmony for us humans to function both happily and healthily, but also as a way to help heal the body and mind in terms of trauma. By focusing primarily on either just the mind or just the body it is becoming more and more apparent and scientifically proven that a large and very important chunk of the processing can be lost. In yoga the mind and the body are not separate at all. Peter Levine, Gabor Mate and Bessel Van Dr Kolk have written some great books explaining this in great detail. I recommend reading “The Body Keeps the Score’ and ‘Healing Trauma’ If you’re interested in reading about this further.
So, back to NLP… Something quite different, plus, a brand new experience for me! One that I have found pretty extraordinary in terms of waking up different parts of my rational ‘yoga’ thinking brain – its generally the left part of the Cerebral Cortex, but in my “unique” case, it seems to be that the right hemisphere is the more rational thinker (I’m left handed, so this can be the case) – Throughout the weekend I learnt some really valuable, life affirming stuff about myself ; it was the first time it actually felt ok, pretty cool in fact, and individual, to think “differently” – what I mean by differently is that my brain takes more time than most to process and organise information. I walked away from a training, for the first time, actually loving the fact that I’m a “waffler” too! Often it has left me feeling inadequate. I learnt that its just one of the different ways of communication and that in many ways it can be one of the most authentic 🙂 I learnt that I’d actually been moving through my life from an NLP kind of framework already, in terms of how I process and adapt my thoughts and my life goals. I’ve always called it ‘Cosmic Ordering’. We practiced some really interesting exercises that tapped straight into areas of my own brain that felt they had become a little too relaxed. Again, I got to meet some lovely and inspiring people. Strangely enough, we all felt we had met some place before – that must have been the NLP working its magic! The weekend bolted by quicker than any other before. So yes, I definitely sensed NLP’s “magic” and will be continuing on with my trainings and sharing from this extraordinary model.
In short – NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming was developed in the 1970’s by a bunch of professors; Grinder, Bandler and Pucelik.
Bandler and Grinder’s first published work describing the original framework of NLP, ‘The structure of Magic: a book about language and Therapy’ was published in 1975 (My birth year!!)
NLP is known as many things… The Study of the structure of subjective experience (an early description) … The study of human excellence… A user manual for the brain… and more…
It focuses on results. The early development of NLP was based on the work of Virginia Satir, a family therapist, Fritz Perls, known from Gestalt therapy and Milton Erickson, a hypnotherapist. The beginnings of what has become known as NLP were rooted in the study of language, behaviour and change. These people were powerful communicators, creating change in ways that seemed almost magical. And what was the structure of that magic?
For the creators and early developers of NLP, applying NLP was finding out how these communicators were consistently achieving exemplary results. NLP was about learning to achieve similarly exemplary results, and teaching other people to achieve those results too. Doing the things the exemplars did, getting the results they got , and refining the model of what they did to identify the difference that makes the difference… The essence of the skill, the things that have to be true to consistently get similar results. the models that arose from the modelling have become techniques, and new NLP techniques are derived in a similar way. “
Over the weekend I got to practice just a few of these techniques, and as I mentioned above, I really enjoyed the practicality of these exercises and the results in which they seem to achieve. They’re definitely a great tool to be able to add to my therapeutic “kit”. Plus, I’m pretty excited by this model as a way of offering techniques that help empower individuals in terms of self esteem and recognising their true potential in all areas. Super excited to learn more and super grateful that I had this opportunity.
Thanks for reading X