NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. I have heard that term many times not knowing what it was exactly. So I decided to ask our own Gazette gal, Nicola Westby, to enlighten me seeing as she is a counsellor and NLP-qualified, master practitioner.
Nicola told me that just because we have always done something in a particular way, it doesn’t mean that we have to keep doing it that way. We can change it. If, upon reflection, we find that certain behavioural patterns we have learned from childhood (or from our own life experience), are not providing positive results, then it is a good indication that we need to change our behaviour, whether we are dealing with relationship problems (and who isn’t?), parenting skills, stress/anger management, trauma, phobias, employment/career issues etc.
However, sometimes changing our behaviour is easier said than done, especially on our own. This is precisely where a qualified NLP practitioner can help us. So I asked Nicola to elaborate on how it works. Basically, someone will come to her with a problem and tell her what is wrong and how they feel about it. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know what they want; they are too busy focusing on the problems rather than solutions. Nicola’s role is to help the person shift their focus away from the problem to how they would rather feel instead. The issue changes from a negative state into a positive one. She then helps the person draw up an action plan with goals about what they would like to achieve in specific areas, be it related to health, finances, work, family, spirituality, education and so forth.
Typically she will spend four to six personalized sessions with a client, each lasting 60 to 90 minutes. When I asked Nicola where the sessions take place, she said that she usually sees clients in a neutral place or wherever the client feels most comfortable. The first consultation with her is free as it is important to meet and see if you are comfortable with each other.
Nicola told me that NLP is a toolbox of techniques that help to change your state of mind. It is not psychology. It is not analysis. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. NLP is the language of the brain and the science of your own brain’s interaction with your body. It is how you think, feel, move and how you can enhance the performance of each. It is a way to get your life in balance.
When asked about her background, she told me she worked for the National Probation Service in the UK for ten years rehabilitating offenders and their families. Prior to that, she was employed for Social Services as a social worker. She worked for the Children and Families Department assisting in custody cases, family breakdown prevention and child protection. Since moving to Almuñécar six years ago, she has been busy with her own practice and a steady clientele. For more info. See www.nlplifeskills.com or call Nicola directly at 600 332 917.