This post is to answer one question : What is the difference between NLP and Hypnosis.
This is a common question asked by many people. During one of the trainings I gave phobia cure demo. A participant came to me and asked – is this called Hypnosis?
This kind of questions are the due to the confusion arising due to the fact that NLP was invented by Hypnotherapists. NLP is also said to be covert form of Hypnosis.
A lot of NLP trainers intentionally or due to lack of awareness project their NLP demos as a form of Hypnosis. This is done to keep an upper hand on the audience and remain center of attention. As a result many NLP Practitioners wrongly assume themselves to be NLP Practitioners and Hypnotists.
Then there are some techniques in NLP where a mild trance occurs automatically. However not everyone agrees whether it is hypnotic or meditative trance (yes they are different) or just the conscious mind zoning out and releasing partial control for sometime.
My view is very different. You can be NLP Practitioner, even practice techniques which induce mild trance and still not be a hypnotist. Even if you learn all the patterns of conversational hypnosis i.e. Milton Model taught in some of NLP trainings, doesn’t mean you can call yourself a professional hypnotist. An analogy is there are many people who know how to lead guided meditations, but not all of them are spiritual gurus.
Hypnosis has its own framework, terminology and levels of expertise. Just taking someone to trance isn’t hypnosis. Hypnosis is more than a trance.
Being hypnotist needs training and practice and understanding of many things related to the mind and hypnotic framework.
So what is the difference between NLP and Hypnosis?
To understand let us learn about some basics about how human mind functions.
Firstly, we should know the difference between Brain and Mind. Yes, they are two different things.
For example you might have heard about people getting brain tumor. Have you ever heard of anyone getting Mind Tumor?
Brain is a physical entity. Mind isn’t physical. You can correlate them to hardware and software. Brain is Hardware and Mind is software that runs on this hardware.
Secondly, mind is the faculty which is responsible for our well being. The subconscious part of the mind takes care of our Autonomous Nervous System. It regulates the heartbeat, breathing , blood circulation, organs’ functioning etc.
Thirdly, if the mind is unable to execute on brain due to some damage, the person become veg.
Now from above points you would have got the idea about what mind is and how brain and mind are different.
When we are working in Hypnosis, we are working at the mind level. Where the suggestions are relayed directly to subconscious which then has its effect. The effect is then manifested in body and thus if required in brain.
So in hypnosis you are approach brain through the mind. Hypnosis is relative longer process as it requires reprogramming at subconscious level. So a person may need multiple therapy sessions in Hypnosis.
NLP works directly on brain. Brain as per above analogy is hardware. And any process on hardware is super fast. As NLP works on brain, the NLP processes are also super fast and capable of achieving results faster. For example a typical phobia cure in Hypnosis takes 6 sessions, while the same is possible in NLP in less than 6 minutes.
This is not to discard Hypnosis altogether. Hypnosis has a lot of things which NLP has yet to discover. For example Past Life Regressions are beautiful and very effective techniques to resolve repeatable patterns in someone’s life. These are available in Hypnosis only. Similar organ regeneration is available only in Hypnosis.
NLP is a wonderful tool to manage your states. You can switch from negative to positive state in few minutes. NLP is wonderful tool for Goal setting and planning action items. These are things which are more brain centered. NLP has got wonderful techniques for releasing bad memories.
So what should you learn? If you are looking for personal development and generating wonderful results on your own then NLP is must for you. Good thing about NLP is that it doesn’t need any external therapist or coach. You can do the processes on yourself.
In case of hypnosis (excluding self-hypnosis) you need a trained professional, preferably hypnotherapist not hypnotist, they are also different :) . This is good for developing extraordinary abilities in yourself e.g. being able to tune your eye muscles to detect fast moving ball at 10% slow rate. This increases your response time and thus your results. A lot of sportsmen nowadays work with both NLP Coaches as well as Hypnotherapists to generate wonderful results.
Hope after reading this article you are able to differentiate between NLP and Hypnosis. Please send your comments/view on the email give on contact page.