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4 Lessons I learnt from Therapy: The Difference between NLP and Therapy

January 15, 2015

Firstly, I would like to welcome both my clients and friends to my blog. In this virtual world of sharing and connecting, we’ve come to expect a level of over-exposure. Nearly everyone I know has a blog, everyone feels entitled to expressing their opinion and everyone feels they have knowledge to impart. Not only do I agree with all those statements but I feel my clients have a right to know who I am, as both a Master NLP practitioner and as a person, and more importantly, they deserve it; after all, in our sessions they are sharing the most personal information about themselves so it is only fair I do the same!

I, myself, have been in your position. Over the last 10 years I have dipped my toe in and out of the therapy pool whenever I have needed help. I did this for one main reason. At 11 years old, I decided I wanted to be a psychologist and I believed that to be the best in the field, I needed to ‘practice what I preach’. In doing so, I did in fact learn a few things. These lessons were not ones I could have learnt from any textbook, and so in this post, I hope to impart what little wisdom I have on this matter.

The first thing I learnt was going to therapy is hard. I have enormous respect for anyone that goes to therapy and extending that, anyone who walks into my office. To walk into a therapist’s office (or in my case, an NLP Practitioner’s office) admitting you need help and wanting to change is, in my eyes, admirable. Even more so, telling your friends that you are going to therapy and openly discussing it, is even harder. I understand the stigma that surrounds therapy, but I also have a belief that this prejudice is diminishing at an incredible rate and I have experienced this first hand. The most recent time I went to therapy, upon telling my friends, I was met with such warmth and support making the process that much easier.  In addition to that, to keep going to therapy is hard. Getting to each appointment was for me, a struggle. For the large part, therapy is about reliving some of the most painful parts of your life, often at great length and in minute detail and whilst some people find this cathartic to cry their eyes out, for me I found it excruciating.  The fact that an individual has had a traumatic experience is unfortunate, making them relive it and replay it and talk about it endlessly is torture and unnecessary.

The second thing I learnt was diagnosing me did not diminish the symptoms. I understand that this is not the purpose of a diagnosis, but I do question its practice. Diagnoses are meant to be validation making the client feel less isolated in your problem and to an extent justify your feelings and emotions. But why are my feelings and emotions not enough? Does someone with depression have more of a right to be sad than anyone else? I believe we all have a right to be angry, sad, guilt, hurt or scared and we have a right to be listened to when we feel these emotions, with or without the label so in my eyes, if we treated  the symptoms and removed the label, we can only benefit both as practitioners and clients. For example, if two people had dyslexia, one may suffer with spelling difficulties and one might struggle with reading. If they were treated the same, either one would not be helped, or eventually they both would be helped but half the treatment would have been useless and a waste of time. If you only treat the symptoms and not the condition, you would have saved half the time.

My next learning is one that is often highlighted in the media – sorry, that’s all we have time for today. An hour, or 50 minutes if we are being accurate, now referred to as the therapist’s hour is simply not enough! Can you imagine writing an essay if you could only write in 50 minute segments and even if you were on a roll, you had to stop. You had to put the pen down, and you could only start writing again in a week. You would have forgotten it by then, and then you would spend the first 10 minutes of the next week purely trying to figure out, where you left off. Therapy is much the same.

My final point is the important bit – Find the therapist and type or therapy that works best for you, and do not settle for anything less! Everyone told me this before, but I didn’t quite realise it’s importance until I found the best therapist for me. I have a belief that the best therapists are people you see once and you never see them ever again because they have taught you how to manage the problem yourself and this man did just that for me! Most therapists are mocked in the media for saying this cliché line – ‘…and how do you feel about that?’ and using this technique, therapy can go on for months and even years. The difference with this guy was he offered practical solutions to my problems in one session and even more so, it was pain-free and didn’t involve me associating into the memories that had caused the ‘PTSD’ symptoms in the first place. One session and I was done, and to say it was a life-changing session is apt. As a result my career path changed and the type of therapy I have pursued is entirely different.

In conclusion, it turns out my 11 year old self was wise beyond her years and was right in saying that you have to practise what you preach. Now, as an NLP Practitioner, I use the techniques I use on others, in my own life each and every day, it has given me back control over every aspect of my life  and it has been an amazing journey exploring this entirely new field! To be passionate and excited about your career is a true gift and one that I can guarantee is not taken for granted. If any of these learnings resonate with you, or you have any inquiries about my approach. Feel free to visit our website at www.mindsetforlife.co.uk or email me at [email protected]

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2 responses to “4 Lessons I learnt from Therapy: The Difference between NLP and Therapy

  1. Useful information, explicit and honest! I liked the fact you empathize with the client knowing how it really feels like wanting to start a therapy, making the decision, making it happen and the real expectations of it! Thanks for sharing, it has been a inspiration for me. Looking foward to reading more…

    1. Hi Veronica, Thank you so much for those kind words! We post every Friday so hopefully you will enjoy our future posts! In fact, we already have another one out – 3 things I learnt from my operations! Michelle

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