NLP Manual

The Official Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner


 “The Difference That Makes the Difference, transform your personal and business results”


NLP introduction, history and pre-suppositions

Introduction 4

History 5

The NLP Pre-suppositions 6

Basic NLP skills

Rapport 7

Mirroring & Matching 8

Pacing & Leading 9

Anchoring 9

Voice Tone/Inflection 9

Eye Accessing Cues 10

Therapeutic Metaphor 11

Group Exercise 12

The Representation Systems

The Rep Systems 13

Predicates 14

Sensory-specific 14

Non-specific 15

Submodalities 16, 17

The Meta Model

Introduction 18

Defined 19,20,21,22

Meta Programs 23

Precision Language Model 24


Strategies 25

The TOTE 25

Strategy Elicitation 25

Strategy Elicitation Questions 26

Completeness of Strategies 27

Neurological levels

Neurological Levels 28, 29

The Experiment 30, 31

Introduction to hypnosis

Approaches to Hypnosis 32

The Features of the Two Minds 32

The Milton Model 33, 34,35,36,37

NLP student exercises and information

Rep Calibration Exercises 38,39

The Pizza Walk 40 

For NLP Prac Certification 41

Glossary of the NLP Basics 42, 43, 44

Reading List 45,46,47,48

The Processes

Decision Destroyer 49

Five Minute Phobia Cure 50 Phobias, trauma, abuse

Instant Motivator 51 Using language 

NAC 52 Using pain and pleasure as leverage

Neurological Level 53,54,55

Parts Integration 56 Inner conflict, parts that are not congruent

Responding to Criticism 57 

Self-Healing 58 Physical healing

Six Step Re-Frame 59

Swish 60

Strategy Elicitation 61,62  

Time-Line Therapy 63

Elicitation 63

Script 1 63

Script 2 64

Script 3 64


APPENDIX A - A Ladder of Emotions 67

APPENDIX B - Acting “As if” 68

NLP - Introduction

The creators of NLP Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the mid 70's referred to NLP as, "an attitude, and a methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques".

The attitude they are referring to is one of curiosity, a 'how do they do that attitude' - or more precisely a 'how can I do that' attitude.

Attitude will get you moving, but won't get you the results, to get results you need a methodology.

The methodology that they created is called 'modeling'. Modeling is an NLP term for a precise way of copying, where you find someone who is excellent at what they do, ask them questions (elicit information), observe them and adopt what you have learnt very specifically. In brief, to model someone you would observe:

Physiology - what they do with their body

Language - their use of words

Thinking - how they construct their inner reality.

NLP does not claim that this is new, however the approach, detail and context in which it was done, had not been seen before. It was these things that gave forth the abundance of NLP techniques that we know of today, and it is due to the success of these techniques and this approach to change and development that caused Psychology Today to say "the most effective the world today"

The NLP Practitioner level is a working introduction to the cornerstones that make up NLP, the core purpose of which is the application of the technology to human relationships, be that within oneself, another or between groups of individuals. As such NLP Practitioner is a personal development course as well as a training in how to use this technology with others. 

Neuro - The Nervous System - relating to our functioning as one neuro-physiological system.

Linguistic - relating to our use of language as descriptions of our thoughts, feelings and sensory abilities. Our descriptions of these things are our greatest tool to know about them and therefore make changes to them.

Programming - relating to programs that may be inferred from our behaviour. Our behaviour being representative of our own programs

NLP - History

The two people credited and acknowledged with the creation of NLP are Richard Bandler and John Grinder. The core attitude of NLP as proposed by Richard Bandler is 'to look at life as a rare and unprecedented opportunity to learn with a sense of curiosity and adventure'. 

With this attitude Bandler and Grinder began to model the best that they could find in the world of therapy. They were:

Fritz Pearls - Gestalt therapist

Virginia Satir - family therapist

Milton Erickson - hypnotherapist

They modelled many others as well, but these three were known be to be among the best in their fields. It was from these three that much of the initial NLP work was created - perhaps most importantly and significantly the 'meta-model' - a methodological use of language to both elicit information and expand the subject’s experience of reality. It was from the use of the meta-model that most of what we have in NLP came about.

Shortly after Bandler and Grinder got together they were joined by others who had varying degrees of input into NLP creation and direction. They include Robert Dilts, Judith Delozier and Leslie Cameron-Bandler.

The originators and co-developers went on to model the best minds in business, sport and psychology.

NLP hit the mass market with Tony Robbins in the late 80's.

The Presuppositions of NLP

The principles which form the foundation of NLP have been modelled from key people who consistently produced superb results, as well as from systems theory and natural laws. We know these as "The Presuppositions of NLP"

As well as a set of powerful skills, NLP is a philosophy and an attitude that is useful when your goal is excellence in whatever you do. We invite you to discover what happens in your life if you simply ‘act as if’ the following statements are true…

  • Have respect for the other person’s model of the world. (We are all unique and experience the world in different ways. Everyone is individual and has their own special way of being).
  • The map is not the territory. (People respond to their ‘map’ of reality, not to reality itself. How people make sense of the world around them is through their senses and from their own personal experience; this means that each individual’s perception of an event is different).
  • Mind and body form a linked system. (Your mental attitude affects your body and your health and, in turn, how you behave).
  • If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else. (Flexibility is the key to success).
  • Choice is better than no choice. (Having options can provide more opportunities for achieving results).
  • We are always communicating. (Even when we remain silent, we are communicating. Non-verbal communication can account for a large proportion of a message).
  • The meaning of your communication is the response you get. (While your intention may be clear to you, it is the other person’s interpretation and response that reflects your effectiveness. NLP teaches you the skills and flexibility to ensure that the message you send equals the message they receive).
  • There is no failure, only feedback. (What seemed like failure can be thought of as success that just stopped too soon. With this understanding, we can stop blaming ourselves and others, find solutions and improve the quality of what we do).
  • Behind every behaviour there is a positive intention. (When we understand that other people have some positive intention in what they say and do (however annoying and negative it may seem to us), it can be easier to stop getting angry and start to move forward).
  • Anything can be accomplished if the task is broken down into small enough steps. (Achievement becomes easier if activities are manageable; NLP can help you learn how to analyse what needs to be done and find ways to be both efficient and effective).


Rapport is the ability to join someone at their 'reality' or 'map of the world’ and to make them feel comfortable, that you have a strong common bond and that you understand them. These are the things that put people at ease, make them more responsive to you, let down their guard and trust, like and befriend you. Essentially rapport is the most important skill that you can develop as a therapist and for that matter in your everyday life. Rapport is the ability to communicate successfully. Rapport is the ability make someone understand that you can fulfill their needs as well as allowing you to get the insights that you need from them to fulfill your own.

The saying goes 'people like people who are like themselves'. The old cliché' of 'opposites attract' is actually just a misunderstanding of the depth and subtlety that rapport goes to. When 'opposites attract' it must be that the so called opposites both have the commonality of being excited by the new and different, the sense of specialness and uniqueness of being 'opposites', in fact you will inevitably see in so called 'opposites' that the underlying similarities, value systems etc will be very alike.

 How is rapport created? First and foremost by finding things in common.

The most effective ways of doing this are by mirroring and matching - two concepts that originated in NLP. Mirroring and matching are essentially the ability to pay close attention to someone's language, beliefs, values and physiology and copy them either overtly or covertly, consciously or unconsciously. 

7% of communication is transmitted through the words themselves

38% via how the words are said (tone of voice)

55% through non verbal communication (body physiology)

Mirroring & Matching

Mirroring is essentially copying without causing offense and without being obvious, essentially reflecting back the physical patterns of behaviour. Matching is almost identical as a concept but normally includes the person’s map of the world, language, beliefs etc as well as the physical mannerisms. Matching in NLP is also a meta program pattern. For the sake of this manual we will be using the word matching as inclusive of the concept mirroring.

Matching enables a high degree of control and influence over the individual that you are matching, In that it can make them feel totally at ease and fully responsive to what you have to say. This happens every day in our lives anyway, in NLP the structure has been studied so that it can be done with more success and consistency. For example, if you observe the other person tilting their head to the right you can adjust the tilt of your head to the right also in a corresponding fashion to match their movement. This can also be done in a great variety of other ways as listed below:

Whole body matching

Adjust your body to approximate the other person’s physical behaviour - head, arms, legs, toes, hands, feet, fingers etc.


Match the person’s gestures - hand waving, cross of arms or legs, finger movements, head tilts etc.

Facial Expressions

Match movement of ears, eyebrows, eyelids, jaw position, nose twitch, mouth movement etc.


One of the best - pattern rate, depth, location.

Vocal Characteristics

Word and sentence length, volume, tempo, accent, common words/phrases spoken etc.

If this is done in an overt way the other person will obviously realize what is going on and feel that you are mimicking them, this will instantly break rapport. As with every thing practice makes perfect so it is a good idea to practice this in shops, family interactions and with friends. Push it until they notice but start very subtly just matching a few of their behaviours. If someone is in a very heightened emotional state they normally become more sensitive to mimickery so caution is needed. You can of course get fired up with them or upset with them so as to gain rapport.

Perhaps the most effective way is 'active listening' which simply is listening to what someone has to say and repeating it back to them. They inevitably feel that they have been listened to and understood and rapport is created.

Pacing and Leading

Once rapport is created we then use it to ‘pace and lead' the client in the direction that we want (what is most beneficial to them). It is also a barometer to let us know when rapport has been broken. Pacing and leading is the process in which we pace (continually match) the client and lead them to more resourceful, constructive and beneficial states, behaviours and beliefs etc. 


Anchoring is a procedure that allows us to control the content of representational systems through the chosen re-accessing of internal representations. It is derived from the famous Pavlovian stimulus-response reaction - known as classical conditioning. Any stimulus can (and does) get connected to, and so triggers, a response (after all we cannot not communicate). Anchors occur naturally and intentionally. In NLP we use anchoring in a multitude of highly useful ways.

It is very useful for changing behaviours and feelings as well as consistent thought patterns. It also allows us to set up safety and bail out mechanisms when working therapeutically. 

We can anchor in all systems - V-A-K-O-G

We can also anchor verbally and spatially.

The majority of NLP techniques require the use of anchoring.

Voice Tone/Inflection

Rising pitch – gets processed as a question.

Level pitch – gets processed as a statement.

Descending pitch – gets processes as a command.

Eye Accessing Cues

Bandler and Grinder observed that people move their eyes in systematic directions depending on the kind of thinking they are doing/part of the brain the are using. They called these movements eye accessing cues as it allowed them to observe with a high degree of accuracy the way in which the individual was processing information and therefore where the individual was storing related information and how they would probably act upon it.

NLP eye accessing cue diagrams indicate the ways in which the majority of people will process information as observed through the movements of their eyes. A small percentage of people are reversed to the shown diagram positions and will move their eyes in a mirror image of what is shown (most often left-handed people).

Questions posed in certain ways will assist (cue) in the eliciting the eye accessing phenomena. Provided is an example of each. 

Vr (visual remembered)

How many windows are there in your house? 

What did the front of your first school look like? 

Which of your friends has the biggest nose?

What was the first thing you saw when you walked out of your home this morning?

Vc (visual constructed)

How would you look if you had three eyes? 

Imagine a pink elephant with a gladiator mouse on its back

Can you see yourself in a superman outfit?

Ar (auditory remembered)

What was the first thing you heard someone say today? 

What does John Howard's voice sound like? 

What sounds in nature do you like best?

Ac (auditory constructed)

If you could ask Bruce Lee/The Wiggles/Socrates any question - what would you ask? 

What would be the first thing that you would say to your kingdom if you were king? 

Ad (auditory digital)

What is the most repetitive thing that you say to your self? 

Repeat this question to your self on the inside - "What's most important to me in my life now?"

K (kinesthetic)

Imagine your hand in a bucket of ice

What does it feel like to walk barefoot on the beach? 

Imagine the feeling of silk PJs

Imagine metal scraping down a chalk board

Therapeutic Metaphor

The Basic Elements

1. Transferring the focus of the individual to some character/symbol in the story.

2. Establishing an isomorphism that paces the individual’s problem in which the behaviors, events   and characters parallel those of the individual’s situation.

3. Accessing resources for the individual within the context of the story.

4. 'Closing/finishing' the story in such a way that a sequence of events/similarities occurs in which the characters of the story resolve the conflict and achieve the desired outcome.


Many in the field of NLP consider the use of metaphor to be the most elegant way of assisting someone to change. Gregory Bateson suggested that "Everything is a metaphor for everything else". A metaphor is essentially a fantasy that replaces reality and in doing so assists in bypassing the critical left brain and allows for greater options/maps/insights/strategies into how change could occur. The human mind is used to learning new systems of thought by comparing them to existing ones. In fact originality of thought is a direct result of the study/insight of some pre-existing system. Examples include the Wright brothers’ study of both bicycles and birds to achieve the first flight; Einstein's imagined flight on a beam of light and the concept of relativity. The fact that metaphors are not literal produces the ability to think in a way that differs to the way that they are thinking whilst doing the problem. A therapeutic metaphor is open-ended and thus allows for the client to draw their own conclusions and solutions, which in alignment with NLP thought trusts that they have all the resources they need within themselves.

The two key terms to understand in the creation of a therapeutic metaphor are:

1. Symbolism: This involves the substitution of one referential index for another. Metaphor is defined as "a figure of speech in which something is spoken of as if it were another."

2. Isomorphism: Establishing similarities between the behaviours, relationships and situations of different individuals in a parallel between the real and the fantasy.

Milton Erickson gave this account from a case study: A couple was having difficulties over their sexual behaviour. Erickson talked to them about their eating habits and found that these paralleled the couple’s sexual behaviour. The man was a "meat and potatoes" kind of a guy and the women liked to linger over appetizers and delicacies. Erickson suggested that they plan a meal together "from soups to nuts" in which they were both able to attain satisfaction. The couple, of course had no idea of the significance of the event, but needless to say was more than happy about the changes in their sex life

Group Exercise (groups of 3)

1. A tells B and C about a problem or situation for which A would like some guidance.

2. B and C listen for the significant elements in A's situation.

3. B and C concur regarding the important elements, characters, relationships and processes in A's situation. A paraphrases these back to A as a check for accuracy.

4. B and C get together and construct a metaphor to deliver to A using the following sources for ideas: fantasy, general or personal life experiences, universal themes, folk tales, science fiction, sport, nature, animals, seasons, plants, geography, news stories.

5. Deliver metaphor and watch for acknowledgement, either conscious or unconscious.

6. Rotate until everyone has been in the A role.

The Representational Systems

From an NLP perspective our experience of reality is made known to us through what have been labeled representational systems. We experience ourselves through our five senses - seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. These sensory modalities are also the way we organize, encode, store and attach meaning to the input that we get from the outside world. As we take in information, we process it or re-present this information in a way that we can make sense of. The information is translated into corresponding sensory representations (known as maps in NLP) which create a memory in likeness to the original input.

So we have so called reality, the external experience and our perceptions of reality (our internal experience) which inevitably are not the same, or as NLP would say 'the map is not the territory'.

We come to believe that this internal perception of reality (subjective experience) is reality. We then increasingly filter out information that is not in accord with this perception of reality - thus limiting our potential for growth, change and new understanding. We believe that our perception is 'how it is'.

The filtering mechanism that we use is a set of systematic operations called deletion, distortion and generalization. In NLP these are referred to as universal modeling processes or neurological filters. These filters are of great use in everyday life, if they were not there we would be overwhelmed to the point of total ineffectiveness by taking in everything - masses of irrelevant information. With these filters we are able to operate coherently with our existing models of the world. By understanding the nature, impact and application of neurological filters we can, through choice, expand our maps, our perception of reality to include more of what we want as well as limiting or eliminating that which we don't. 

Our representational systems allow us to process reality in a manner that we can both cope with and deal with. However large parts or chunks of reality are lost as a result. Perception changes constantly as a result of the continual generalizing, deleting and distorting of information as it comes to us (as we filter it) from the overwhelming amount of information that bombards us throughout our every living moment. If we didn't have the ability to do this we would, as previously mentioned, be in a sense of continual overwhelm. 

This leads to a profound context in which to work with ourselves and others, which is that people’s perceptions are actually accurate as based on their internal representations of the original input, however they are incomplete. This simple understanding allows us to remove such limiting concepts as wrong and bad and replace them with the more supportive concept of 'a limited degree of awareness'. After all, a map can always be expanded !

The representational systems are:

V Visual Sight

A Auditory Hearing

K Kinesthetic Touch/feeling

O Olfactory Smell

G Gustatory Taste

When representational systems are discussed in NLP, usually there will be reference to the primary systems, the use of predicates, eye accessing and eye patterns.


Language is used to communicate thoughts, so the words we use reflect the way we think. Since we use words to describe our thoughts, our choice of words indicate which representational system we are using. Sensory-based words (adjectives, adverbs and verbs) are called predicates. Habitual use of one kind of predicate indicates a person’s preferred representational system. There are two types of predicates – sensory specific and non-specific. Below are examples of each:

Sensory Specific


See, view, observe, witness, sight, spot, glimpse, glance, peer, peek, peep, survey, eye, analyze, appear, inspect, vision, illustrate, witness.

Visual Phrases:

An eyeful, clear cut, in light of, looks like, spectators view, mind's eye, paint a picture, bird's eye view, in view of, looks like, can see that, pretty as a picture.


Announce, rumour, gossip, remark, divulge, hush, voice, converse, utter, sound, report, listen, loud, utter, communicate, screech, talk, tone, silence.

Auditory Phrases:

Afterthought, blabbermouth, heard voices, can hear what your saying, hold your tongue, outspoken, rings a bell, loud and clear, earful.


Active flow, hustle, feeling, stress, stir, whipped, tied, fondled, panicky, solid, firm, motion, pressure, sensitive, bend, grasp, hit, climb, fall, catch, chew.

Kinesthetic Phrases:

All washed up, get a handle on it, hand in hand, can you feel that, get in touch with, hot head, light headed, pain in the neck, sharp as a tack, pull some strings, stiff upper lip, get the drift of, control yourself, boils down to.


Aroma, essence, pungent, stench, stinks, sweet, smells, rotten, musty, odour, fresh, reeks.


Bitter, tasty, burnt, zesty, spicy, sweet, bland, tangy, sour, delicious, yummy.

Non-specific (not related to specific senses)

Activate, wonder, think, how, know, consider, learn, create, develop, understand, manage, realize, enable, process, decide, appreciate, sense, have, work, become, want, believe, experience.

In regards to rapport you will have greater success and ease by using the language that the clients presents and be able to utilize predicates that are in alignment with the clients dominant rep system. You might well need to use predicates from all of the systems just as much as from just one or two. Active listening will be the key to knowing which.


The representational systems are composed of smaller, sub units which are referred to as submodalities. This is the most primary level that experience can be represented, coded and stored. Submodalities are the smallest distinctions we can make about sensory experience. They are therefore also the most primary level that change can be engaged. It is useful to look at submodalities as the building blocks of experience.

The specific qualities and distinctions in each representational system are many. Each individual responds to submodality changes in different ways. Some shifts create profound change in perception and therefore experience, while other shifts will do nothing. When you find the major distinctions that shift a perception for someone it is called a 'driver', as in driving the submodality - the one that affects the highest degree of noticeable change.

The driver(s) can be in any of the rep systems and each experience the individual is representing might have a different driver. In general however there are some consistent submodality shifts that affect certain perceptions.

Submodality comparisons


number of images


location of images

colour/black & white







3D or 2D

foreground/background contrast



wide angle/centre weighted


location of sounds

number of sounds

kinds of sound

distance of sound 









more in one ear than other


location in body

what kind of sensations

still or moving

how many

breathing rate

pulse rate

skin temperature


size of area covered





Olfactory & Gustatory










vague/as if now

The Meta Model - Introduction

The meta model is the most important aspect of NLP. It is the foundation of modeling. Mastering the meta-model will make all the difference in your ability to utilize the technology of NLP successfully.

The purpose of the meta-model is to assist the client in recovering the deep structure (the full linguistic representation) of their perception.

Surface Structure: The 'everyday' sentences that are spoken and written.

Deep Structure: The full (linguistic) representation of these sentences that reveal the sensory maps (conscious and unconscious) that people use to organize and guide their behaviour.

The surface structure (the way that the client is relating a perception of experience) is a limited representation of perception - it is not the full picture as it were. With the use of the meta-model we can challenge this limited representation and assist the client in expanding their map. The basic principle is that if for example someone is in pain, it is not because 'reality / the world' is not rich enough to fulfill/satisfy their needs, rather it is because their personal representation, their map is impoverished in some way. Revealing the deep structure by challenging the surface structure allows for an expansion of the map and therefore new ways of meeting their needs.

Having learnt the meta-model you will be able to hear and identify patterns in people’s language. To effect change using the meta-model we have a set of criteria by which sentences are measured as to whether they are ‘well formed’ or not. By well formed we are meaning the deep structure has been explored fully in relation to the presented problem (lack of choice).

The criteria for 'well formed' (in relation to the area of the model where client is experiencing no choice) are:

1. The sentence is well formed in English (grammatically correct)

2. Contains no transformational/unexplored deletions 

3. Contains no nominalizations

4. Contain no words or phrases lacking referential index

5. Contains no incompletely specified verbs

6. Contain no unexplored presuppositions

7. Contains no semantic (meaning behind the word) violations.

The Meta-Model - Defined

To be able to expand our maps of the world, to be able to make change, we need to know what to change and where to find the right bit of information that will allow the change to take place. We need a working model that will help us to elicit this needed information. This is the meta-model. It was found that by challenging generalizations, distortions and deletions we could systematically get the required info.

To be able to function in the world without continual overwhelm we need to be able to filter out information - we do this by deletion, distortion and generalization. Our perception of reality is a deleted, distorted and generalized version of reality - it is our map but not the territory.


It is said that we are bombarded with over 2 millions bits of information every second (Mihaly Csikzentmihaly, The Psychology of Optimal Experience). We also know that the conscious mind can only handle between 5 - 9 bits (or chunks) of information at any one time. If we did not have the built in ability to delete information we would go insane due to sensory overload. In essence the conscious mind ignores (deletes) everything that it considers not relevant (not needed for survival or not in accordance with pre-created maps). You will continue to delete information until your conscious mind starts paying attention to it.

Example: You are reading a book, so immersed that you are unaware that it's getting dark outside.


Another way of coping with the vast and unstoppable amount of information that comes our way we have developed the ability to generalize. Through our evolution we have developed the ability to notice patterns, group similarities and labels for categories of experience. This allows us to handle large amounts of information without having to reach total inertia by having to detail everything.

For example if we didn't have the generalization of the class of things known as 'biscuit' we would have to reel off every single variation of biscuit you had available so as to make your self understood - rather than saying 'would you like a biscuit', you would have to say 'would you like a Tim Tam or a jammy dodger or a digestive, or a rich tea, or a chocolate chip cookie or a fig roll, or a ginger snap or a....and so on'. (With some people you may have to anyway!!)

Generalizing allows us a reasonable degree of accuracy about what is likely to happen. We can know through generalizing for example the workings of a new car without having to take an entirely new test to drive it - in general the steering wheel steers and the right hand peddle accelerates etc, but what about when you go to indicate left and the windscreen wipers go on - your generalization was made on the fact the it would be same as the old car -and although in general they worked in the same way - you had to make just a minor adjustment rather than get out the users manual and begin studying!!

We generalize our own experiences, both usefully and un-usefully. For example if someone as a child stumbled and stammered whilst attempting to speak out loud in class, everyone giggled and they went red - very often for years to come - they will, based on that single experience decide that they can't speak in public and if they did people would just laugh at them. It is useful to note that multiple similar experiences or even just one experience with enough impact can be sought in such a way mentally as to become a part of our identity. The experience has defined who we are, rather than something that happened - 'That was bloody awful' becomes 'I am bloody awful'. It’s a popular but not particularly useful way of doing things. Learning is primarily done through generalizing. A child only has to push something off a table a few times before they generalize that everything that is pushed of a table will fall to the floor.


Another way of handling the world around us is to distort information. To distort something we make connections between what we perceive and what it might mean, or what might happen. We can and do distort information in a number of ways. First we label an experience, then we interpret it, make a meaning, draw some inferences and then come to a conclusion. The end result? The conclusion that we come to may/may not be useful and may/ may not bear resemblance to the initial labeled experience. Examples:

’When I teach NLP I know that people are going to have a great time'

’She hasn't called me back when she said she would - she must really think I'm an arse'

'She called me straight back, she must want to marry me'

Types of deletions:

Simple and comparative deletions, unspecified verbs, unspecified referential index and nominalizations.

Types of generalizations:

Generalized referential index, universal quantifiers, modal operators or possibility and necessity.

Types of distortions:

Lost performatives, mind reading, cause-effect and complex equivalence, cause effect.


Cause effect

'You make me angry'

'People are annoying'

Meta-question: How do I…how do they....makes you choose.........

Meta-effect: Recovers choice

Complex equivalence 

'You've only called five times today, you don't love me any more'

Meta-question: How does only calling you five times mean I don't love you anymore?

Have you ever felt loved by five phone calls?

How do you know that I don't love you by only the five phone calls?

Meta-effect: Provides counter examples, recovers deep structure

Lost performative

'He's acting strange'

'It's wrong to do it like that'

Meta-question: who says? According to whom? Wrong for whom?

(Making a value judgement without stating whose opinion it is and acting as if the statement is true)

Meta-effect: recovers source of belief and or belief strategy

Mind reading

'Everybody thinks I'm useless'

'He doesn't think I'm good enough'

Meta-question: How do you know?

Meta-effect: Recovers source of information


Generalized referential index

'Everybody thinks I'm great'

'All dogs stink' 

Meta-question: Everybody? All dogs?

Meta-effect: Recovers referential index

Model operators of necessity

(Verbs that presuppose a need or requirement, should, musts, have to, need to, got to, must not, shouldn't)

'I must do it'

'I should not fail'

Meta-question: What stops you? What would happen if you did? What wouldn't happen if you didn't?

Meta-effect: Recovers effects and outcomes

Model operators of possibility

(Verbs that presuppose choice or possibility (can, can't, may, may not, possible, impossible)

'I can't do it'

'I may not be able'

Meta-question: What prevents you? What would happen if you did?

Meta-effect: Recovers choice

Universal quantifiers:

(Nouns, adjectives, adverbs which presuppose total inclusion or exclusion, all, every, always, everyone, nobody, never)

'I never do it right'

'I'm always right'

Meta-question: Never, always, what would happen if you did…weren't?

Meta-effect: Recovers outcome, effects and counterexample



(Verbs which are process words that have been turned into nouns - resulting in a static condition)

'I find that a limitation'

'John don't trust me'

Meta-question: how are you choosing to limit your self? You would like to be trusted? How would you know you were trusted?

Meta-effect: Recovers process

Unspecified verbs

(Verbs that delete information about the process)

'I can't learn'

'I don't understand'

Meta-question: How specifically?

Meta-effect: Recovers process information

Unspecified/lack of referential index

(Deletes the specific person or thing)

'People are silly'

'They are not sure'

Meta-question: Who specifically is silly? Who specifically is not sure?

Meta-effect: Recovers referential index.

Simple deletion:

'I'm not sure'

'I like her"

Meta-question: About what, whom? What about her do you like?

Meta-effect: Recovers deletion

Comparative deletion:

'She's more sure'

'She’s the best'

Meta-question: Compared to whom/what? At what? Of what?

Meta-effect: Recovers comparative deletion

Meta Programs

Meta programs are simply ways in which people process information. Understanding meta-programs and matching will allow you to achieve rapport as well as motivate. Making changes to meta-programs can produce profound change. This is the basic set of meta-programs. 

1. Approach to problems

a. Towards positive (proactive)

b. Away from negative (reactive)

2. Chunk size

a. Large chunks (generalities)

b. Small chunks (details)

3. Time frame

a. Short term/long term

b. Past/present/future

4. Approach to problem solving

a. Task (achievement)

i. Choices - goals

ii. Procedures - options

b. Relationships (power - affiliation) 

i. Self - my, I , me

ii. Other – you, her /his, their

iii. Context – we, the company, the market

5. Mode of comparison

a. Match (similarities) - consensus

b) Mismatch (differences) - confrontation

6. Thinking style

Visual - Action - Logic - Emotion

Precision Language Model

Based on NLP's meta-model

This language model is very useful for cutting to the chase with people and getting to the point as well as in eliciting needed information. The NLP meta-model is the foundation of all NLP. This simplified version provides a useful foundation for your pre-talk.

1. Universals All? Every? Never?

2. Should/shouldn't/must/can't What would happen if you did? what causes or prevents?

3. Verbs How specifically?

4. Nouns Who or what specifically?

5. Too much/too many/too expensive Compared to what?

It is useful to learn this by rote on your fingers!


NLP holds the belief that all of our behavior is controlled by internal processing strategies. We have strategies for doing everything from motivating our selves to get out of bed in the morning, to spelling, to feeling good about exercise, to learning, teaching and decision making. We may have strategies that work very well for certain parts of our life like cooking or making money but have near useless strategies for other parts of our life such as relationships or eating healthily. By using the techniques and procedures of NLP, people have been able to modify strategies that are ineffective, create new strategies and have and do more of what they want in more successful ways. Success in any given area is a matter of employing the most effective strategy. Changing, creating and modifying strategies is a simple enough process, it does however need a methodology.

Vr - visual remembered

Vc- visual constructed

Vi- visual internal

Ve - visual external

Ad - auditory digital (internal dialogue)

Ae - auditory external

Ac - auditory constructed

Ar - auditory remembered

Ke - Kinesthetic external

Ki - Kinesthetic internal


A strategy has to have an operation phase - the chain of representational system activities and physiological activities used to create the strategy. A strategy needs to have a test in order to compare/contrast the effectiveness of the strategy. The strategy needs to have a decision point which determines the next step. This can be an exit to a different strategy, loop back to repeat the operation or reset the criteria upon which the result of the strategy is based. The TOTE model gives us a working model of how to effectively measure the effectiveness of our change work and when to end the building or modification of a strategy.

Strategy elicitation

The purpose of a strategy is to get us from our present state to the desired state. For this to be successful we pay attention to some structural well formed conditions:

1. A strategy must have a well-defined representation of the outcome. A strategy must also have an    operation (sequence of events) upon which modification can be built.

2. A strategy must involve all 3 of the major rep systems VAK.

3. A strategy must have a decision point - the exact point in time that the choice, conscious or unconscious is made to end the operation of the strategy.

4. A strategy must have an exit point.

5. If the strategy continues to loop without reaching an exit point you can set a time limit where a decision has to be made and/or decide how many loops are allowed to take place before the strategy is directed to the next alternative.

6. A strategy needs to have an external check - feedback from an appropriate external resource that can confirm the soundness of the strategy.

Strategy elicitation questions

The following are sample questions of how you could go about eliciting a strategy. These questions are based on eliciting a motivation strategy.


General Elicitation Questions

1. What happens as you are experiencing motivation?

2. Imagine a future situation where you had to be motivated, what would you do to get yourself motivated?

3. Think of a time when you experienced motivation

Elicitation of the operations

1. What do you do as you are preparing to get motivated?

2. What are the steps you take/go through to get motivated?

3. What do you do if you are not sure that if it is worth getting motivated?

Elicitation of the test

1. How do you know when you are motivated?

2. What lets you know that you are motivated?

3. What is the proof that you need that lets you know that you are motivated?

Elicitation of the decision point

1. How do you know when you have successfully been able to motivate yourself?

2. What lets you know that you are not yet suitably motivated?

3. What lets you know that you are now able to take action as a result of the motivation?

4. When you are not sure that you have been successful at motivating yourself, what lets you know that?

Elicitation of the trigger

1. How do you know when to do motivation?

2. When is it appropriate to become motivated?

3. What lets you know that you are ready to be motivated?

Elicitation of the operation

1. What is the first thing you do to get motivated?

2. What happens as you begin the experience of motivation?

3. What do you do if you are not sure as to whether you have reached your desired outcome/state?

Elicitation of the test

1. What are you comparing this to, what comparison are you making?

2. How do you know when you have satisfied your criteria?

Elicitation of the decision point (exit)

1. How do you know when you are finished?

2. What lets you know that you have finished?

3. What lets you know that you have been successfully motivated?

4. How do you know when to end the motivation and .....?

5. What lets you know that you are ready to use this motivation?

6. What lets you know that the motivation has successfully motivated you?

Completeness of Strategies

What follows are questions to ask yourself to determine the completeness and effectiveness of the strategy.

1. When does the strategy begin - what is the first test that you would make to get the strategy going?

2. Do you have all the steps of the strategy (the entire operation phase)?

3. Does the strategy make sense - does it work?

4. Is it over complicated - can you justify each step - why is each step needed - will the strategy work without certain steps.

5. Do you have all the components of the strategy - are there any steps that must be there that you have not detected yet?

6. Can you use notation to map out the entire strategy?

7. Have you got the driver submodalities for each step?

8. Which submodality change is the threshold change for the next step?

9. Does the strategy work for you as well as or better than for the client?

10. Having asked yourself all these questions are you sure your client has a strategy that actually works or do you need to test it a few more times?

Neurological Levels

1. Environment

This level corresponds to the peripheral nervous system, and defines the external context for any behavior or event. In simpler terms, it asks the question "where does (whatever you're exploring) take place?"


2. Behaviour

This is the level of action, which asks the question "what specifically do you do when you're engaged in (whatever you're exploring)?" It corresponds to the body's motor systems through which you take your conscious actions. 


3. Capabilities 

Every behavior we engage in our lives is a subset of a larger area – the area of our capabilities and skills. When I write, I am (hopefully) utilizing the skills of creativity, self-reflection, seeing the world from multiple perspectives, critical thinking, and typing. The question is "How do you do (whatever you're exploring)? What capabilities and skills do you tap into when you engage in the area of your life you have chosen to explore?" Physically, this level corresponds to your body's cortical systems (semi-conscious actions).


4. Beliefs and values

Having explored the where, what, and how of your chosen context, the next question to ask is ‘why’? Asking yourself why (whatever you're exploring) is important will assist you in identifying your values; asking yourself 'what's true about (whatever you're exploring)?' will begin to bring out your beliefs. This level corresponds to our autonomic nervous system - our unconscious responses to the world around us.


5. Identity

I work a great deal with comedians, who in turn spend a great deal of time creating and living in various ‘comic personas’ – that is, they create and inhabit characters who in turn create entertainment for an audience. What is interesting is that as a comedian or actor enters into a new persona, everything else changes too, from the way they hold their body to the sound of their voice to the actual thoughts in their head and words they use to express themselves. Our sense of identity encompasses a vast constellation of beliefs and values about the world, and is a powerful key to unlocking transformational change. Ask yourself "Who am I when I am engaged in (whatever you're exploring)?" Physically, this level corresponds to our immune and endocrine systems - the deep, life-sustaining functions of the bodymind.


6. Spirit

In the wonderful series of books which began with Life 101 and continued on through the NY Times bestseller ‘Do It – Let’s Get Off Our Buts’, authors Peter McWilliams and John Roger dealt with the whole area of Spirit by placing it in a place they called ‘the gap’ – that is, the gap between what is observable by anyone and that which is believed by some but not others. 

For me, Spirit is my connection to a higher power – my sense of being a smaller part of a greater whole. For you, it may be your sense of mission or higher purpose, or your connection to God, or however it is you connect to that which is beyond your scope as an individual. Physiologically, it corresponds to a holistic or holographic view of the nervous system - how our nervous system as a whole interacts with other nervous systems.


I have seen this area referred to as ‘Connectedness’, ‘God’, Spirit, the Bigger Picture,, the source the Ultimate Perspective, or more simply ‘Beyond’. Choose the language that works best for you and ask yourself "Who or what else is involved in (whatever you're exploring)? How does it fit in with the big picture of my life? How does it fit in with the big picture of life on earth?"



Neurological Levels - The Experiment

Hopefully, just going though that model for the first time you were able to receive some useful insights or perspective into whatever it is you chose to explore. However, this is just scratching the surface of what is possible. While I find this model extremely useful for self-exploration, there is an application of it that is the single most transformational technique I use in my trainings, coaching practice, and personal life.


The first time I ever experienced the unfortunately named “Neuro-Logical Level Alignment” (also known as 'The Sacred Journey Process") was in Hawaii in 1990. Tony Robbins, then a relatively minor personal development superstar, guided a woman through it on stage in front of 1000 or so of us NLP wannabes. In essence, he marked out six spaces on the floor in front of her, each one corresponding to one of the Neuro-logical levels, and asked her to step into each space and explore her life from the perspective of that level.

As she walked up through environment, behavior, capabilities, beliefs, values, and identity, her body language changed from that of a meek, helpless girl to that of a confident young woman. She told us about her life and the various things in it that kept her from doing what she really wanted to do – in particular, a job that was unfulfilling but paid well and offered a level of security that was important for her and her young children. 


When she stepped into the space of Spirit, she became very quiet and very still. After a few minutes, she turned and made her way back down through the levels, and I watched her transformation continue. When she reached the space of behavior, she decided to quit her job and take on the process of honoring her heart's true calling. By the time she returned to the space of her environment, the confident young woman had completed her transformation and become a warrior. 


All of us looked on in amazement at the scope of what had seemed to take place so quickly and effortlessly, wondering what the heck had just happened. 


My own most memorable experience of using this technique came nearly ten years later on an NLP training I delivered in the living room of my brother in-law Steve. It has long been my practice to treat myself to at least one exercise on every training I deliver – that is, to allow myself to remove my ‘expert’ hat and become a full participant, taking my focus off others and bringing it firmly onto myself. In this case, I chose to do the Neuro-logical Level alignment, the last exercise of a two day segment of the course.


As you can focus on any area of your life you would like to gain insight into, I decided to explore my acting career. I had recently come out of a casting where the producer looked up from my resume and said ‘Wow – if you keep working at this rate you’re going to be the next Ed Bishop!’ It was meant as a compliment, but as I had no idea who Ed Bishop was, I was horrified that she might be right. I subsequently met Ed on a radio job and recognized him as ‘the American guy’ in nearly every British television show made since the late 1960’s – perhaps most famously starring as Ed Straker in the TV series “UFO”. He’s a very nice guy, talented, and I hope he continues to do very well in his career. But it was not the height of my ambition, and it was readily apparent to me that I needed to re-evaluate my career path.


Taking my time, I worked my way up through the six levels, exploring the where, what, how, why, who, and what else made up my experience of my career. On the way back down, integrating my sense of higher purpose into my identity, beliefs, values, capabilities, skills, and behaviors, I experienced a sense of profound peace I often notice when doing this exercise. But it was when I got back to the space of environment that the real surprise was waiting for me.


When my brother in-law asked me to notice if there was anything different about my environment, I was shocked to realize that there was a fundamental difference – I was no longer in London, but in Hollywood! Nine months later, based almost entirely on the insights gleaned from the experience, we had sold our house, packed the family onto an airplane, and made our way across the Atlantic to a new life and a new adventure.

In the experiment in the Process section, I will guide you through the creation of a space where you can do the same exercise for yourself. The usual cautions apply - while this is a fairly robust exercise, it is not a good idea to use it to explore anything traumatic or therapeutic in nature, and regardless of the quality of insights you receive as you go through it, you're still responsible for any changes you may or may not make in your life as a result!


I recommend blocking out at least ten minutes to do this exercise for the first time, and if possible, doing it with a partner who can guide you through it. My experience of doing this with over 1000 people over the past 14 years is that taking out a bit of extra time and space reaps huge dividends.

Approaches to Hypnosis

The chart below outlines the approaches to hypnosis. As you can see there are three sets of opposites, yet all are utilized in hypnosis.




Classical hypnosis: authoritarian, direct, sleeping

Ericksonian hypnosis : permissive, indirect, waking or sleeping

NLP: authoritarian and permissive, indirect, waking

The Features of the Two Minds

conscious unconscious

7 +/- 2 bits of info everything else

logical intuitive/associational

thinking feeling

directs outcome expatiates outcome

verbal non-verbal

deliberate automatic

aware of now store house of all memories

waking sleeping/dreaming

limited focus unlimited expansive

cognitive learnings experimental leanings

asks why knows how

sequential simultaneous

The Milton Model

The Milton model is a set of non-specific language patterns that are artfully vague. They utilize the clients own internal experience by requiring them to fill in the deleted information. It is very effective at both obtaining trance and creating change.


Words that take the place of a noun in a sentence but are not tangible, they can not be touched, felt or heard. They are in effect a deletion. If I say Helen has lots of knowledge, I've deleted what exactly she knows and how she knows it. For hypnotic purposes they allow the speaker to be vague and requires the listener to search through their own experience for the most appropriate meaning. This allows the hypnotherapist to provide useful instructions without risking saying something that runs counter to the listener’s internal experience. In this example the nominalizations are in italics:

"I know that you have a certain challenge in your life that you would like to bring to a satisfactory conclusion and I'm not sure exactly what personal resources you would find most useful in resolving this problem, but I do know that your unconscious mind is better able than you to search through your experience for exactly that resource."

Unspecified verbs

Using unspecified verbs the listener is again forced to supply the meaning in order to understand the sentence. Examples: do, fix, solve. move, change, wonder, think, sense, know, experience, understand, remember, become aware of. If I say "I want you to learn" I am using a very unspecified verb as I am not specifying how or what specifically I want you to learn.

Unspecified referential index 

This means that the noun being talked about is not specified. This allows these listener to easily apply the sentence to themselves in order to understand it.

"People can relax"

"This can be easily learned"

"You can notice a certain sensation"


This refers to a sentence in which a major noun phrase is completely missing. For example: "I know you are curious". The object of the sentence is completely missing. Again the listener can fill in the blank because he does not know what he is meant to be curious about.

Linkage words

Use these words when you want to invite the listener to respond 'as if' one thing did 'cause' the other between something that is occurring in real time and something you want to occur. Examples: and, as, when, during, while, makes, causes, forces, requires.

"You are listening to the sound of my voice, and you can begin to relax"

"As you sit there smiling, you can begin to go into a trance".

"The nodding of your head will make you relax more completely".

Mind reading

"You may be wondering what mind reading is all about?"

"You’re curious about mind reading"

Use with care and you can build client confidence, but only use very general terms otherwise you run the risk of saying something that is counter to the listeners experience.

Lost performative

Evaluative statements in which the person making the evaluation is missing (lost performer) from the sentence are called lost performatives. This can be an effective way of delivering presuppositions:

"It's good that you relax so easily"

Universal quantifiers

Words such as all, every, always, never, nobody, limit the listener’s model of the world and effect trance nicely...

"And now you can go all the way into trance"

"Every thought you have can assist you in deepening your trance"

Modal operators

This selection of words indicates a lack of choice - should, must, have to, can't, won't. 

"Have you noticed that you can't open your eyes?"


Presuppositions allow the therapist to make statements of fact, action and knowledge that will not be challenged. This makes the client feel like they have choice but in fact are being directed specifically into trance and/or change. There are different categories of presupposition including:

1. Subordinate clauses of time

Clauses that begin with words such as: before, after, during, as, since, prior, when, while...

"Do you want to sit down while you go into hypnosis?"

"Do you have any questions before you start making changes?"

2. Ordinal numbers 

Words such as first, second, third indicate the order to the events that are presupposed will happen.

"You may feel either your left or your right side of your body relax first"

3. Use of “or” 

Using “or” is a clever way of presupposing that one of two things will definitely happen. It appears to give choice, but when both of the choices are things that you want to happen anyway you have directed the outcome.

"I don't know if your right or your left hand will begin to rise"

"Would you like to make the appointment at 11.00 or 3.00?"

4. Awareness predicates 

Using awareness predicates you make the listener aware of the point you are making without directly making the point. The point is therefore presupposed: know, realize, notice, aware.

"Do you realize that you are already understanding Milton Language Patterns?"

"Did you know that you have used many of these patterns before in your life?"

5. Adverbs and adjectives These words can be used to presuppose a major clause in a sentence. Examples: curious, deeply, excitedly, easily, quickly etc. 

"How easily can you begin to go into hypnosis?"

"Are you excited about how you will begin to use these language patterns?"

6. Change of Time Verbs and Adverbs 

Words like: begin, end, start, stop, yet, still, anymore, continue. These words presuppose that at some point in time the information given will be applicable or was applicable to the individual.

"You can continue to go into trance"

"Are you still wanting to make a change?"

7. Commentary adjectives and adverbs 

Fortunately, luckily, innocently, happily, necessarily, etc.... Again words that presuppose that what comes next is a given.

"Luckily, you don't need to understand hypnosis to go into hypnosis"

"Happily, change can happen in an instant"

Stacking presuppositions

Stacking presuppositions makes them very powerful indeed, it makes it very difficult for the listener to unravel the sentence and question what is being said:

”I don't know when you will begin to realize that you are using the Milton model successfully, will it be today or will it be during your first client session, luckily your unconscious mind has already been using these patterns in your life so you can just continue to enjoy the process of learning as you begin to learn even more...”

Indirect elicitation patterns

This group of patterns get specific responses indirectly, without the therapist having to directly ask for them.

Embedded commands

Embedding commands allows for smooth and graceful commands that will be accepted more easily than a direct command. Rather than give the instructions directly the hypnotist can embed the directives within a larger sentence structure.

"You can begin to relax"

"I don't know when you will begin to change"

Analogue marking

Analogue marking is simply when you set the command apart from the sentence by using non-verbal analogue behaviour. There are many ways of doing this: by raising or lowering the sound, pitch, rhythm, tempo of your voice when speaking the 'marked' words; by using a part of the body to mark out the parts of the sentence that forms the directive - perhaps a hand or eyebrow or foot motion. You can use any behaviour that is perceptible to the other person to mark out a directive for special attention. The other person does not need to notice your marking consciously, in fact the client will often respond more fully when your marking is perceived but not consciously recognized.

Embedded question

Questions can be embedded in a larger sentence structure, again making the gathering of information more graceful and gentle.

"I'm wondering what you would like to get out of this hypnosis training"

Negative Commands

When a command is given in a negative form the positive instruction is normally what is responded to. The brain does not process negation in primary experience such as feelings, sights and sounds. Negation exists in secondary experiences: symbolic representations such as language and mathematics.

"I don't want you to feel to comfortable"

Don't have to much fun practicing negative commands"

The listener will generally experience the positive phrase in the sentence.


Ambiguity occurs when one sentence, phrase or word has more than one possible meaning. It can result in mild confusion which is useful for obtaining hypnosis. Because the nature of ambiguity allows for more than one possible meaning to the message the listener will have to create their own meaning which in turn increases the probability that the meaning will be appropriate to them.

"right/write/rite, I/eye, red/read, weight/wait, knows/nose etc..." 


You can mark out phonological ambiguities analogically within a sentence to give a hidden instruction:

"I don't know how close you are to mastering language now". Marked out command: "eye close now"

Syntactic Ambiguity

"Hypnotizing hypnotists can be tricky"

"They were milking cows"

Is it they or the cows that are milking?

Scope Ambiguity

"We'll go with the charming men and women"

How much of the verb applies to the subjects? It could mean that we'll go with the charming men and the women (who may or may not be charming), or we'll go with the men who are charming and the women who are charming.

Punctuation Ambiguity

This kind of ambiguity is created by putting two sentences together that end and begin with the same word.

"That ring is designed very nicely all the way down into trance"

The word nicely applies to both the ring and how the person will go into trance.

Patterns used in Metaphor

Selectional Restriction Violations

If I talk about a house that was either very angry or very sad the listener will have to try and make sense out of what I am on about. It is likely that they will at some level have to refer to the house as I to do this. House's can't be sad or angry so it must be me!"


Use quotes to deliver any message without taking responsibility for it. Since you are talking about what someone else said and some other time, the listener will often respond to the message but not consciously identify to what he is responding to or who is responsible for the message.

The best way to learn these patterns is to create sentences containing each pattern. I don't know if 50 or 100 sentences will have it learnt and you may wish to relax and really enjoy the process of creating new ways of communicating effectively without thinking about it.

Representational Calibration Exercises

All calibration exercises to be done in groups of 3 (A, B & C)

The visual rep system

1. B thinks of someone they like - A observes and calibrates

2. B thinks of someone they don't like - A observes and calibrates

3. Without telling A or C, B thinks of either one or the other. A guesses which one B is thinking about. Repeat until A is accurate 3 times in a row

4. C's job is to watch and provide feedback. 

5. Upon completion, rotate

The auditory rep system

1. A & B close eyes

2. B counts to ten out loud while thinking of someone they like. A listens and calibrates.

3. B counts to ten out loud while thinking of someone they don't like. A listens and calibrates.

4. Without telling A or C, B thinks of one or the other and counts. A guesses which one B is thinking of. Repeat until successful.

5. C's job is to watch and provide feedback

6. Upon completion, rotate

The kinesthetic rep system

1. A & B hold hands palm to palm, eyes closed.

2. B thinks of someone they like. A calibrates to feeling.

3. B thinks of someone they don't like. A calibrates to feeling.

4. Without telling which, B think of one or the other. A guesses until success.

5. After successful guess A tells how they knew.

6. C is to watch and offer feedback

7. Upon completion rotate

Calibration to breathing in pairs

1. Face each other

2. A extends arm out and puts hand on B's shoulder

3. As B breathes in and out A feels rise and fall of B's shoulder

4. As B inhales A raises hand slightly, when B exhales A follows and exaggerates the drop slightly. A's hand is now providing feedback for B's breathing.

Calibration to breathing in threes 

1. B breathes at a normal rate.

2. A focuses attention on the top of B's head and using periphery vision become aware of movement caused by breathing in B. 

3. A then calibrates to breathing by breathing in unison with B

4. When C observes that they are breathing in time, C says so and group rotates.

Calibration to non-verbal responses in pairs

1. A asks a question of B. B answers yes or no. A observes both the verbal and non verbal responses.

2. A asks questions that presuppose a yes response and some questions that presuppose a no response. B now responds by thinking of the answer and providing no verbal response.

3. A observes non-verbal response and calibrates yes and no answers.

4. A then asks questions to which B can only respond yes or no to and with only non-verbal responses A guesses which response is being offered.

The Pizza Walk

By Jamie Smart

  1. Identify a few of the areas in your life where you hesitate and would like to just go for it.

  1. Choose a commercial premises (eg shop, restaurant, service station) and make an absurd request (ie ask for something they definitely don’t sell) while keeping a straight face. Be polite, safe and non-threatening.

  1. Repeat twice more in the course of a week.

  1. Look forward to the situations where in the past you would have hesitated, and enjoy your new responses. 

For NLP Practitioner Certification

By the end of the training you will need to be able to understand and demonstrate that understanding in the following areas to get your certificate:

1.  Behavioral integration of the basic presuppositions of NLP including:

a.  Outcome orientation with respect for other's models of the world and the ecology of the system

b.  Distinction between map and territory

c.  There is only feedback (cybernetic) - no failure

d.  Meaning of your communication is the response you get

e.  Adaptive intent of all behavior

f.   Everyone has the necessary resources to succeed

g.   Resistance is a signal of insufficient pacing

2.  Rapport, establishment and maintenance of

3.  Pacing and leading (verbal and non verbal)

4.  Calibration (sensory based experience)

5.  Representational systems (predicates and accessing cues)

6.  Meta Model

7.  Milton Model

8.  Elicitation of well-formed, ecological outcomes and structures of present state

9.  Overlap and Translation

10. Metaphor creation

11. Frames: contrast, relevancy, as if, backtrack

12. Anchoring (VAK)

13. Anchoring techniques (contextualized to the field of application)

14. Ability to shift consciousness to external or internal, as required by the moment's task

15. Dissociation and Association

16. Chunking

17. Sub-modalities

18. Verbal and non-verbal elicitation of responses

19. Accessing and building of resources

20. Re-framing

21. Strategies: detection, elicitation, utilization & installation

22. Demonstration of behavioral flexibility

23. Time-line techniques

24. Specific strategies for therapeutic use: Grief, anger, anxiety, guilt, criticism, allergies, self-healing, weight loss, motivation, stage fright and more

Life Practice UK 

Glossary of the NLP Basics


The understanding and utilization of the 'stimulus response/pavlovian' conditioning. Profound and immediate changes can be made through the correct use of anchoring. 

Calibration Exercises

The capacity to develop sensory sensitivity and 'read' others.

Decision Destroyer

People often make decisions that they regret living in the past and preventing a full and enjoyable future. This strategy frees individuals from past decisions and also installs new and more beneficial choices should a similar situation happen again so that there is no repeat.

Eye Accessing Cues

Eyes move to access the different parts of the brain needed to think, feel and behave. The conscious understanding of these movements enables the common saying 'eyes are the window to the soul' to become a self evident reality.

Meta Model

Developed from three of the world’s most successful therapists - family therapist Virginia Satir MD, hypnotherapist Milton Erickson and Gestalt psychotherapist Fritz Pearls. The precise use of language enabling rapid understanding of actual problem/issue and the capacity to utilize language to make change in individual’s experience of their reality.

Meta Programs

The core motivation strategies that people use as they move through life. The successful and unsuccessful use of these meta-programs is one of the major factors as to why individuals either suffer or thrive.


The ability to develop and use metaphor. Metaphor is one of the most elegant and powerful ways of communicating. Metaphor is the language of the unconscious and all good communicators have mastered the art of metaphor.

Milton Model

Just as it is useful to be precise with language there are also times where being ambiguous is equally useful. The Milton Model assists individuals to make changes without unneeded resistance. It is the basis of Ericksonian Hypnosis.

Mirroring & Matching 

The development of specific behaviours that allow for the rapid development of trust and successful communication.


The structure of Tony Robbins Methods.

NLP Assumptions 

The corner stone NLP assumptions that assist in the development of behavioural flexibility leading to more choice/freedom on a personal basis and in communication with others. 

Neurological Levels

If you are trying to help an individual with behaviour but the problem is at the level of identity you may find it very hard. Understanding the different levels that people present information on profoundly affects the quality of your communication.

Pacing & Leading 

The skills needed to be able to take an individual from point A to point B - point A being where individual is stuck and point B being genuine choice.

Parts Integration

Individuals often feel that they are in two minds about things, have conflicting feelings, feel torn between two courses of action etc. Part integration assists people in becoming whole, in ending internal conflict.


For communication to be successful be that one to one, in a group or whilst delivering information to an audience, the ability to understand how others think and how to engage them fully with the least amount of resistance is of the utmost importance.


The ability to change the context of a situation, meaning, behaviour, thought, feeling to one that empowers the individual or assists in the 'breakdown' of a presented problem.

Rep Systems 

The Foundation of NLP, the practical understanding of how individuals experience the world and how to both engage in individuals’ unique realities and help them move to improved versions.

Responding To Criticism

Understanding the structure of criticism and how to assist others in overcoming sensitivity. 

Self Healing

Using NLP to assist people to heal their bodies in rapid and lasting ways.

Six Step Re-Frame

The ability to communicate with the unconscious mind while the individual is fully conscious. Enables profound conversational change.

Strategy Elicitation

People use strategies to do everything in life from driving a car to waking up in the morning, from doing a phobia to suffering from depression. To be able to elicit someone's strategy for doing something and assisting them in installing a more useful one is of obvious use.


The most immediate interface between consciousness and human experience. The foundation of human experience. Learn how to make changes to human experience at this level.


The ability to reprogram thoughts, feelings and behaviours, often in minutes.


Understanding the use of time in people’s realities. Assisting people to become free of shame, guilt, anger, anxiety etc with the therapeutic use of time-lines.


All behaviour, whether successful or unsuccessful follows the TOTE Model - Test Operate Test Exit.


The voice is a tool of communication, the ability to understand and use it powerfully is of the utmost importance.

Extensive Reading List

The titles in bold are recommended reading for the course

Andreas, Connirae and Steve Andreas (1988) 

Change Your Mind and Keep the Change. Moab, UT: Real People Press 

Andreas, Connirae and Steve Andreas (1989) 

Heart of the Mind. Moab, UT: Real People Press 

Andreas, Connirae with Tamara Andreas (1993) 

Core Transformation: reaching the wellspring within. Moab, UT Real People Press 

Andreas, Steve (1991) 

Virginia Satir: the patterns of her magic. Palo Alto, CA Science & Behaviour Books 

Andreas, Steve and Charles Faulkner eds. (1994) 

NLP: the new technology of achievement New York, NY: William Morrow & Co. Inc. 


Bandler, Richard (1985) 

Magic in Action. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications 

Bandler, Richard (1985) 

Using Your Brain - for a CHANGE: Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Connirae and Steve Andreas (eds). Moab, UT: Real People Press

Bandler, Richard (1993) 

Time for a Change. Cupertino, CA Meta Publications


Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder (1975) 

The Structure of Magic - I: A Book About Language and Therapy. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books 

Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder (1975) 

Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Vol. 1. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications 

Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder (1979) 

Frogs Into Princes. Moab, UT: Real People Press 

Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder (1982) 

Reframing: Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Transformation of Meaning .Moab, UT: Real People Press


Cameron-Bandler, Leslie (1985) 

Solutions. San Rafael, CA: Future Pace, Inc


Charvet, Shelle Rose (1995) 

Words that Change Minds: mastering the language of influence Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt Publishing 

Chong, Denis K and Jennifer K. Smith-Chong (1991) 

Auto-hypnotic Pain Control: The Milton Model. New York: Carlton Press. 


DeLozier, Judith and John Grinder (1987) 

Turtles All The Way Down: Prerequisites for Personal Genius. Santa Cruz, CA

Dilts, Robert B. (1983) 

Applications of Neuro-Linguistic Programming: A Practical Guide to Communication, Learning, and Change. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications 

Dilts, Robert B. (1990) 

Changing Belief Systems with NLP. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications 

Dilts, Robert B. (1994) 

Strategies of Genius, Volume I: Aristotle, Sherlock Holmes, Walt Disney, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Capitola, CA: Meta Publications 

Dilts, Robert B. (1994) 

Strategies of Genius, Volume II: Albert Einstein Capitola, CA: Meta Publications 

Dilts, Robert B. (1995) 

Strategies of Genius, Volume III: Sigmund Freud, Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Testa Capitola, CA: Meta Publications 

Dilts, Robert B., Grinder, J., Bandler, R., DeLozier, J., and Cameron-Bandler, Leslie (1979) Neuro-Linguistic Programming Volume I. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications 

Dilts, Robert B, Tim Hallbom and Suzi Smith (1990) 

Beliefs: pathways to health and well-being. Portland OR Metamorphous Press 

Gilligan, Stephen G. (1982) 

Ericksonian Approaches to Clinical Hypnosis. in Ericksonian Approaches to Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. J. Zweig (ed). New York: Brunner/Mazel

Gillighan. Stephen G

The Courage to Love

Gordon, David (1978) 

Therapeutic Metaphors: Helping Others Through the Looking Glass. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications 

The Structure of Magic II. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.

Grinder, John and Bandler, Richard (1981) 

Trance-Formations: Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Structure of Hypnosis. Moab, UT: Real People Press. Grinder, John, Judith DeLozier and Richard Bandler 

Haley, Jay (1973) 

Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton Erickson, M.D. New York, NY: Grime and Stratton 

James, Tad and Wyatt Woodsmall (1988) 

Time Line Therapy And the Basis of Personality. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications 

James, Tad (1989) 

The Secret of Creating Your Future


Knight, Sue (1995) 

NLP at Work: the difference that makes a difference in business London: Nicholas Brealey 

Kuhn, Thomas S. (1970) 

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press 

O'Connor, Joseph and Prior, Robin 

Successful Selling with NLP: the way forward in the new bazaar San Francisco, CA: Thorsons 

Perls, Fritz (1973) 

The Gestalt Approach: eyewitness to therapy 

Robbins, Anthony (1986) 

Unlimited Power. New York: Simon and Schuster 

Robbins, Anthony (1991) 

Awaken the Giant Within: how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical & financial destiny New York, NY: Simon & Schuster 

Satir, Virginia (1972) 

People making. Palo Alto: Science and Behavior Books 

Satir, Virginia, John Grinder and Richard Bandler (1976) 

Changing with Families. Science and Behaviour Books

Influence, The Science and Practice

Robert Cialdini

Power vs Force

Dr D Hawkins

If you’re interested in Stage Hypnosis then books by Ormand McGill and Gill Boyne are worth looking at.

The Script Hypnosis Books are too numerous to mention and not hard to find. Valerie Austin’s Book Self Hypnosis is a good start.

Hypnotic Techniques

David Calof

The How to Book of Hypnotism

Tom Silver and Ormand McGill

The Essentials of Hypnosis

Michael Yapko

Monsters and Magical Sticks or There’s No Such Thing as Hypnosis

Stephen Heller 

Decision Destroyer

  1. Help the client to identify an old limiting decision – one they made in the past and a new decision they would like to make that would serve them better now and in the future.

  1. Get them to float back above the time-line to when and where the limiting decision was made – the earliest time.

  1. Float along the time-line and fully re-assess the enhancing decision and bring it back down the time line to 15 minutes before the very first limiting decisions.

  1. Float down into the younger you 15 minutes before the limiting decision was made bringing with you the enhancing decision fully and completely.

  1. Move into the old situation with new resources and notice how things change as you let all the new resources completely change your experience, memory and feelings.

  1. Taking this newly changed experience with you zoom up through your time line to the present.

  1. Fully integrate.

  1. Future pace.   

5 Minute Phobia Cure

This method can be applied to phobias, trauma and abuse situations.

  1. Imagine you are in a movie theatre, see yourself as a black and while still image on the screen.

  1. Create a black and white movie of a particular problem experienced on the screen. This movie has a beginning, middle and end. The beginning is a time line before the problem experienced. The middle is the problem experience itself and the end is when the problem experience has totally ended.

  1. Float up out of yourself watching yourself on the movie screen.

  1. Watch yourself from beginning to end on the screen as if you are a spectator. Observe how you feel removed from the situation and can watch it without a negative response. Once this has happened stop the movie at the end so that it is a still image gain.

  1. Float over to the screen and step into the still image at the end for the movie. Turn it into colour and run the movie backwards with you inside it – do this very rapidly, as if you are being rewound backwards through the movie.

  1. When this is done, test it by thinking of the event or memory and notice if the negative response has gone.

  1. You can repeat until you get the required response. Variations include changing other submodality distinctions on the screen, dissociating further back, and running the process above the time-line.  

Instant Motivator

I’d like to….

I want to…..

I need to…..

I have to…..

I must…..

I can…..

I will…..

I’m going to…..

How does each statement make you feel?

Exchange ‘I can’t’ for ‘I won’t’. By exchanging these two, you often get a more honest appraisal of the situation. 

NAC - Neuro-Associative Conditioning

This is Tony Robbins version of applied NLP. It is a very useful framework for change that can be used in or out of hypnosis.

  1. Decide what you really want and what's preventing you from having it now.

  1. Get leverage: associate massive pain to not changing now and massive pleasure to the experience of changing now.

  1. Interrupt the limiting pattern.

  1. Create a new empowering alternative.

  1. Condition the new pattern until it is consistent.

  1. Test it.

Neurological Levels


1. Choose an area of your life you would like to explore, knowing that you will at the least experience some new insight into it and at best transform your experience of it. 


2. Stand somewhere with at least six feet of empty space in front of you. Some people like to write out the names of each category on pieces of paper and lay them out on the floor like a series of stepping stones (particularly useful if you are doing the exercise on your own or for the first time).


3. Step into the first space marked ‘Environment’. Answer the following questions (and any others that seem relevant):


· Where are you when you engage in this area of your life?

· What do you see and hear?

· Who else is there with you?

4. Step into the second space, marked ‘Behaviour’. Answer the following questions (and any others that seem relevant):


· What do you do when you engage in this area of your life?

· What activities do you engage in?

· If someone was watching you on a video, what would they see you do? What would they hear you say?


5. Now, step into the third space, marked ‘Capabilities'. Answer the following questions (and any others that seem relevant):


· What capabilities do you tap into in this area of your life?

· What skills do you put into practice?

· What areas of expertise do you draw on?


6. Next, step into the space marked ‘Beliefs and Values’. Answer the following questions (and any others that seem relevant):


· What’s important about this area of your life? Why does it matter? What’s most important about it?

· What’s true about this area of your life? What would be the most important thing for someone you   love to know about it?

· Complete the following sentences:

“The reality of (whatever you're exploring) is…”

“The most important thing about (whatever you're exploring) is…”


7. Take a step forward into the space marked ‘Identity’. Answer the following questions (and any others that seem relevant):


· Who are you in this area of your life?

· Who are you when you do the things you do?

· Who are you at your best in this area of your life?

· Who are you at your worst in this area of your life?


8. Finally, take a step into the space of ‘Spirit’. Close your eyes and take as long as you like to connect with the best and highest thing you can imagine – that which is beyond anything you have been exploring, whether you think of that as God, your highest self, connection with others, or how it all connects with the big picture of your life.


9. When you’re ready, turn and face back down the way you came. Carrying that sense of the beyond with you, step into the space marked ‘Identity’. Once again, ask and answer the question ‘Who are you?’ in this area of your life.


10. Bringing your sense of connectedness to Spirit and your new or heightened sense of identity with you, step into the space of ‘beliefs and values’. What’s true about this area of your life? What’s important about it? Why does it matter?


11. Carrying your connection to Spirit, your identity, and an awareness of your beliefs and values with you, step back into the space of your capabilities and skills. What new or additional capabilities and skills are you aware of that you draw on (or could draw on) in this area of your life?


12. Still steeped in your connection with Spirit, identity, beliefs, values, and capabilities, what do you do or what could you do (behaviour) in this area of your life? How have they changed? How have they stayed the same? What new things occur to you?


13. Finally, take everything you have learned and experienced along the way back into the space of environment. Where are you? Where else? What do you see? What do you here? Who else is there with you? Who is no longer there?


14. Take all the time you need to allow all the learnings and changes you have made to integrate fully before you resume your normal activities. You may like to take notes of what you learned and experienced, and you may find the changes and insights continue to come for hours and sometimes days afterward.


Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to actually get up and walk or can I do it on my mind (or on paper)?


In my experience, the effectiveness of this exercise increases exponentially when you actually walk the levels – by engaging your body and not just your mind, the experience becomes far more profound and the insights it produces reach far deeper. If you do decide to do it on paper, focus on the first part of the exercise – going up the metaphorical ladder.


Does all this have anything to do with Gregory Bateson and his model of Logical levels?


OK, so in fairness this isn't a frequently asked question, but it should be, and the answer is 'nowhere near as much as Robert Dilts and the rest of the NLP community would like us to believe'. Any systemic thinker familiar with Bateson's work would throw out this model as arbitrary and based on what Bateson himself would call 'shoddy epistemology'. Having said all that, the technique still works a treat!

What if my life doesn’t change?


I have a tendency to ‘oversell’ this technique because I have so many personal reference experiences of it making a profound difference with myself and my clients. If your experience is not terribly profound, I have three recommendations. First, repeat the exercise later, if possible with a guide (or on your own if you had a guide the first time). Sometimes an inability to concentrate, distractions, or embarrassment can play a role. Second, look for the specificity of what it is you were exploring. Specific and personalized contexts like ‘My relationship with Bob’ or ‘My Career’, seem to work better than abstract ideas like ‘The state of the world today’, or ‘Poetry’. 


Finally, recognize that your insights don’t have to be ‘profound’ to be valuable to you. 

There is an old Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy are lying on the pitcher's mound, looking up at the sky. Lucy says, "If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in cloud formations. What do you see, Linus?"


"Well," Linus replies, "that cloud there reminds me of the ancient tomb of Nebuchenezzer, and the smaller cloud to the left is reminiscent of God giving life to Adam as portrayed by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel."


Lucy then says "Mmmm, that's very interesting Linus. What do you see, Charlie Brown?" to which Charlie replies, "Well.... I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsy, but I've changed my mind."


This great exploration of Robert Dilt's Neuro-logical levels was written by Michael Neil and distributed by Jamie Smarts NLP Tips @ Salad Ltd; a UK based training company The article has been reprinted with permission.

Parts Integration

  1. Set positive anchor

  1. Identify problem

  1. Identify parts

  1. Place in one hand a symbol that represents the part of you that wants to be over this problem

  1. Place on the other hand a symbol that represents the part that is continuing with the problem

  1. Determine the positive intentions of each. Start with the positive symbol first. Ask the symbol what its intention is/what it wants by doing what it does. Keep cycling through this question until you get to a resourceful intention.

  1. Repeat for negative symbol until you get to the same resourceful intention

  1. Find agreement – get each part to agree that the intention at this level is the same and that both parts understand how each part has been trying to achieve this.  

  1. Suggest they form a new integrated part that has the positive qualities and intentions of both parts so there is no longer a problem. Integrate parts by moving hands together at the pace that feels right. 

  1. Create a symbol for this new part.

  1. Ask what the intention of the new part is. Check that the new part is both positive and resourceful. 

  1. Integrate new part into whole person by imaging this and then bringing hands up to heart

  1. Future pace – imagine a situation in the future that in the past would have elicited a conflicted experience. How do you feel about that now?  

Responding to Criticism

  1. See yourself at a distance.

  1. See yourself being criticized. 

  1. See yourself making meaning out of the criticism.

  1. Decide what you think.

  1. Decide on a response you feel is appropriate.

  1. Rehearse using the information you learned.

  1. Repeat a number of times in a number of different situations.

  1. Bring the new learnings inside and re-associate. 


  1. Help the client identify what they want to heal. Help identify a picture of how she represents it – go through all the submodalities.

  1. Establish the evidence for how they will know when healing is taking place or is fully healed.

  1. Help them find an experience where self-healing has taken place automatically.

  1. Help them to think of the automatic self healing experience as if it were happening NOW.

  1. Identify the submodality difference between successful self healing and current injury/illness.

  1. Using submodality distinctions make the unhealed experience like the automatic healed experience.

  1. Test – do they feel different?

  1. Using a time line, create one example of where the client has had a successful automatic healing and put it in the past – make it as realistic as possible.

  1. Test again. 

Six Step Re-Frame

1. Identify a troublesome behaviour

"I want to stop doing X." 

Then think about the part that makes me do X. 

2. Set up communication with the part 

Go inside and ask "Will the part of me that makes me do X communicate with me in consciousness now.

Be aware of any signals. When a signal is given thank the part for communicating. 

Then ask "So I know that we are communicating clearly would you amplify that signal for a yes and decrease for a no."

3. Separate the behavior from the positive intention

Go inside and ask "Are you willing to let me know what you want for me that’s positive by doing X." 

If yes, then find out. 

If no, then thank part anyway recognizing that it is important for the conscious mind not to know.

4. Find new behaviors/responses 

Go inside and ask "if there was a way/were ways that worked as well as/better than X to accomplish your positive intention for me would you be willing to give it a go?" 

If you have set it up correctly you will always get a yes.

If you don't cycle back and make sure that the part understands that the new behavior/response will only be chosen if it works at least as well as/better than.

Now go inside again and access the creative part. 

Ask the creative part to "take a look at the intention of X and generate at least 3 new behaviors / responses that could accomplish the positive intention." 

Then ask the part that did X to take a look at these new behaviors and cycle through them one at a time to see how well they work and then pick the one that it thinks will work the best" 

If it can't do this then cycle back and generate new behaviors with the creative part until a satisfactory one is found.

5. Gaining Commitment to new responses

Ask the part that wants to try the new behavior "are you willing to actually try out this new behavior in appropriate situations to find out how well they work?" Get a yes/no answer. If yes, ask the part to integrate new choice and continue to step 6. 

If no, then cycle back to step 4 and generate new choices until the objection has been satisfied (perhaps it needs to try out more than one new response at a time).

6. Ecology Check

Ask "does any part of object to new choice/s". 

If no, then thank all parts concerned and finish. 

If yes, then cycle through the six step process with the part that objects.

Swish Technique

  1. Develop cue picture, sound or sensation

The cue is what triggers the problem. 

“What do you see, hear, feel, and do just before you engage in the unwanted behaviour? 

Make sure the cue picture is an associated image.

  1. Develop a fully represented desired self image

This image should represent all the behaviours, qualities and attributes that you believe are needed to engage and sustain the desired outcome. 

This representation needs to be disassociated.

  1. Check for objections

Does any part object to being this way?

  1. Link the two representations

Using driving modalities, start with cue image big and bright. 

Add desired image in the corner.

  1. Swish

Shrink cue picture rapidly whist expanding desired image until it fits the entire screen…take just a few second to do this.

  1. Repeat at least 6 times

  1. Test

  1. Future pace

Strategy Elicitation 

The following are sample questions of how you could go about eliciting a strategy. These questions are based on eliciting a motivation strategy.


General Elicitation Questions

1. What happens as you are experiencing motivation?

2. Imagine a future situation where you had to be motivated, what would you do to get yourself motivated?

3. Think of a time when you experienced motivation

Elicitation of the operations

1. What do you do as you are preparing to get motivated?

2. What are the steps you take/go through to get motivated?

3. What do you do if you are not sure that if it is worth getting motivated?

Elicitation of the test

1. How do you know when you are motivated?

2. What lets you know that you are motivated?

3. What is the proof that you need that lets you know that you are motivated?

Elicitation of the decision point

1. How do you know when you have successfully been able to motivate yourself?

2. What lets you know that you are not yet suitably motivated?

3. What lets you know that you are now able to take action as a result of the motivation?

4. When you are not sure that you have been successful at motivating yourself, what lets you know that?

Elicitation of the trigger

1. How do you know when to do motivation?

2. When is it appropriate to become motivated?

3. What lets you know that you are ready to be motivated?

Elicitation of the operation

1. What is the first thing you do to get motivated?

2. What happens as you begin the experience of motivation?

3. What do you do if you are not sure as to whether you have reached your desired outcome/state?

Elicitation of the test

1. What are you comparing this to, what comparison are you making?

2. How do you know when you have satisfied your criteria?

Elicitation of the decision point (exit)

1. How do you know when you are finished?

2. What lets you know that you have finished?

3. What lets you know that you have been successfully motivated?

4. How do you know when to end the motivation and .....?

5. What lets you know that you are ready to use this motivation?

6. What lets you know that the motivation has successfully motivated you?

Completeness of Strategies

What follows are questions to ask yourself to determine the completeness and effectiveness of the strategy.

1. When does the strategy begin - what is the first test that you would make to get the strategy going?

2. Do you have all the steps of the strategy (the entire operation phase)?

3. Does the strategy make sense - does it work?

4. Is it over complicated - can you justify each step - why is each step needed - will the strategy work without certain steps.

5. Do you have all the components of the strategy - are there any steps that must be there that you have not detected yet?

6. Can you use notation to map out the entire strategy?

7. Have you got the driver submodalities for each step?

8. Which submodality change is the threshold change for the next step?

9. Does the strategy work for you as well as or better than for the client?

10. Having asked yourself all these questions are you sure your client has a strategy that actually works or do you need to test it a few more times?

Time-Line Coaching


  1. Think of an activity that you regularly do (eg brushing your teeth). Think of the same thing yesterday, 6 months ago, 1 year ago, and 5 years ago. Think of that activity taking place tomorrow, 6 months from now, 1 year form now, 5 years form now.

  1. Notice how you represent this activity (submodality distinctions). Pay particular attention to location, direction, size and space between the images.

  1. Observe the overall configuration. Join the dots. Does the time structure look straight from left to right, right to left, front to back, back to front? Boomerang, angled, spiraled etc? How would you describe it?  


Time-Line Scripts

Script 1

  1. Find a limiting emotion or decision, using either metaphor or diagram, explain the four positions in relation to a problem and then continue with this script.

   Position 1: on your time line, facing the past towards the first time you felt this feeling

   Position 2: directly up above the event

   Position 3: up above your time line and 15 minutes before it happened 

   Position 4 the actual event

  1. Just float up above your time line, like a bird of plane, but instead of seeing fields and rivers and towns below, you see your time line…..perhaps you can see you and me down there and perhaps your entire tome line. In any event, you can begin to float over the past to position number one, and when you get there, notice the event. Let me know when you’re there.

  1. Now float to position number 2 directly up above the event so you’re looking down on the event. Now ask your unconscious mind what it needs to learn from the event, the learning of which will allow you to let go of the emotions easily and effortlessly. Your unconscious mind can preserve the learnings so that if you need them in the future, they’ll be there.

  1. Now, float back to position number 3 so you are still above the event and 15 minutes before it happened, and you are looking towards now. (Make sure you are well before any of the chain of events that lead to that event) And ask yourself “Now where are the feelings and emotions now?” (They should be gone)

  1. Now float down into the actual event, to position number four, looking through your own eyes and check on the emotions. Are they there? Or have they disappeared! Now!! 

  1. Good, go back to position number 3, 15 minutes before the event, above your time line…..and come all the way back to now above your time line, only as quickly as you can let go of all the (name the emotion) on the events, all the way back to now. Assume position 3 and with each subsequent event preserve the learnings and let go of the (name the emotion) all the way back to now. Let me know when you are back to now.  

  1. When client is done, float down into now. Break state.

  1. Test in the present: Can you remember any event in the past where you used to be able to feel that old emotion and go back and notice if you can feel it, or you may find that you cannot. Good…come back to now.

  1. Future pace: I want you to go out into the future to an unspecified time in the future, where if it had happened in the past, you would have felt it inappropriate or unwarranted to (name the emotion)……and notice if you can find that old emotion, or you may find that you cannot. OK? Good, come back to now. 

Script 2   Do not use with trauma or phobia

  1. I’d like to ask your unconscious mind to float up in the air, above your time line, into the past and down into the event….right into position number 4 (pause)……when you’re there, notice the emotion that’s present.

  1. Float back up above the time line and go to position number 3, well before the beginning of the event, or any of the events that lead to that event, and turn and look towards now.

  1. Ask your unconscious mind what it needs to learn from the event, the learning of which will allow you to let go of the emotions easily and effortlessly. Your unconscious mind can preserve the learnings so that if you need them in the future, they’ll be there. Now where is the emotion? Where did it go? That’s right, it disappeared. 

  1. Just float right down into the event and notice that the emotion has disappeared. Is the emotion totally gone? Good! 

  1. Come back to position number 3. Now, come back to now, above your time line, only as quickly as you can let go of all the (name the emotion) on the events all the way back to now….assume position number 3 with each subsequent event, preserve the learnings, and let go of the (emotion) all the way back to now. 

  1. When client is done: Float down into now, and come back into the room. Break state.

  1. Test (client back at now): Can you remember any event in the past where you used to be able to feel that old emotion, and go back and notice if you can feel it, or you may find that you cannot. Good, come back to now.

  1. Future pace: I want you to go out into the future to an unspecified time in the future, which if it had happened in the past, you would have felt it inappropriate or unwarranted (name the emotion) and notice if you can find that old emotion, or you may find that you cannot. OK? Good, come back to now.  

Script 3


  1. Float above your time-line, all the way along your future, enjoying the freedom…….Float all the way to the very end…..and when you get there you can be delighted that it just continues on and on…so free…on an on.

  1. Now turn around and face the past…and begin to float all the way back to that first time when you experienced that emotion….and when you’re there, just let me know…..good. 

  1. Now as you float above the time line above that event, know that you are safe – just a spectator to what is happening below. Now from this safe place, I want you to look down on your time-line, and look for the time before this emotion ever began…..perhaps 15 minutes before the event…or perhaps you need to g back further to before the chain of events that lead to the development of that emotion. And when you have found that time, just let me know. Good.

  1. Now what I want you to do is to float down into that event 15 minutes before the event of chain of events…..good, do that now. Now where is the feeling? (When not there, say good).

  1. Now what I want you to do, not now but when I say, is to bring that ‘not there feeling’ with you all the way though that old experience, as your relationship to it changes completely, up through your time-line to the present moment, and as you do so I would like your unconscious mind to preserve all the lessons and learnings from that event, so that you can have access to those valuable insights whenever you want. 

  1. OK, now, you can come through that experience with those ‘not there feelings’……that’s right….all the way up your time-line…..all the way up to the present moment and fully back into your self….integrating all those changes fully now. 

  1. Get feedback and continue as appropriate.

  1. Future pace.

Remember that with time-line work, you may need to clear up many different situations. Be thorough but also be congruent. Get regular checks from the unconscious.    

The Ladder Of Emotions


















All the emotions above the line are ‘welfare emotions’ anabolic (life creating) in action and supportive of happiness, success and well-being

All the emotions below the line are toxic emotions catabolic in action and are out of alignment with happiness, success and well-being.

To align with welfare emotions is to align with the brighter side of life and happiness.

Complete and Continue