1.  What is Psychology

2.  What Is Psychotherapy

3.  Facts of Hypnotherapy

4.  NLP What is it


This had happened to me so many times that I have come to anticipate it. Upon hearing that I am a psychologist people tend to have one of the two reactions. They would either mocking being in awe: "Ho, no, watch out, she is going to read out minds." Or, they will jokingly tell me that a psychologist is just the person they need, because there are many people around here that have "problems". I do not mind this, really. Although it certainly shows how little the lay people know about our profession, in a way, it also shows their high regards towards what they think we are capable of. But I do want to take the opportunity to clarify issues and answer questions for lay people, as well as for students considering joining the profession. I will do it in a FAQ format.

Q: What is a psychologist?

A: A person who holds either a Ph.D. (Doctorate of Philosophy) in psychology, an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) in psychology, or a Psy.D. (Doctorate of Psychology).

Q: Can psychologists read people's mind?

A: No, we can not.

Q: Do psychologists treat mental disorder and abnormal behaviour?

A: Some do. Some don't. For example, as a social psychologist, I study how normal people's think and behave in social situations. Often it is just average folks in an everyday situation, such as in a work group, at a party, or with a date.

Q: What about those psychologists that do treat people with mental disorders or psychological problems.

A: They are called clinical or counselling psychologists. To be a practicing clinical or counselling psychologist, one needs a doctoral degree plus proper licensing. Information about psychology licensure is available online.

Q: Are there also psychiatrists?

A: Yes, psychiatrists also treat the mentally ill. But they are not psychologists. They are medical doctors (M.D.). Like your family doctor, they obtained their MD by going to medical schools, in stead of graduate schools. The difference is that after medical school, they have done a 3-year residency in psychiatry, where they learnt to diagnose and treat mental illness, often by using medicine.

Q: How about people with Master's degrees in psychology? Can they be called psychologists.

A: The title "Psychologists" are usually reserved for individuals with doctoral degrees. People with Master's degrees in clinical or counselling psychology can become "counselors" and "therapists".

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What is Psychotherapy:

Psychotherapy covers the psychological treatment of a wide range of mental and physical ills by a number of different methods, each developed in terms of its own theoretical framework.Such treatment is carried out with individual patients or clients, with groups of patients and with children as well as adults.

Methods vary from a long series of intimate discussions extending over two or three years, to only one or two intense interviews. Group treatment may consist of acting out problems or the encouragement of expression of inhibited emotions within the therapeutic group. The Society view is that psychotherapy, as well as the use of hypnosis with psychotherapy, is most appropriately regarded as a post-qualification specialization for members of one of the primary professional groups such as medical practitioners, applied psychologists or social workers.

Such people are more likely to interact in the development of psychological problems and to have a sufficient range of professional experience and skills to judge when a potential client might be more appropriately helped by other methods. The advice to psychology graduates wishing to train as psychotherapists is that they should first acquire a relevant basic professional training in another area of applied psychology or other relevant profession, and to follow this with a post-qualification training in psychotherapy.

The Society approves some post-qualification courses in psychological therapy, and such courses are usually advertised in The Psychologist. However, some psychology graduates may wish to train in psychotherapy without a professional training in applied psychology. The Society cannot provide information about suitable courses and does not accredit training courses in psychotherapy for people who are not already Chartered Psychologists.

Such graduates should contact the British Association for counselling and the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Intending applicants for private psychotherapy training should be aware that some bodies offer clearly inadequate training (for example, applicants should be able to recognize that training lasting only a few weeks is unlikely to be sufficient). The following questions may be useful to consider when looking at a course in psychotherapy:

Is the course prospectus detailed enough to indicate the objects, methods and orientation?

Is the course long enough, and the amount of supervised experience sufficient?

What are the qualifications of the course organizers and supervisors?

Is supervision of therapy provided to trainees individually (or at least in pairs) on a regular basis?

Does the course have a formal and externally validated method of assessing trainees competence?

Has the course been approved by an accredited body other than the organization running it?

Currently there is no registration or licensing of psychotherapists in the UK, and so there are no specific qualifications required for private practice. Public employing authorities each have their own regulations. The NHS has posts for child psychotherapists and the Association of Psychotherapists is the appropriate body to advise on training; there are no NHS posts for adult psychotherapists other than those for psychiatric psychotherapists or clinical psychologists specialising in psychotherapy.

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Everything you wanted to Know about Hypnotherapy!

"What is hypnosis?"

It is not sleep, but a natural, normal, relaxed and focused state of attention characterized by:

Feelings of well-being Increased muscle relaxation Increased pain threshold Predominating Alpha Brain Waves Diminished ability to vocalize Flashback access of stressful memories Literal, childlike understanding of ideas Ability to accept new ideas about yourself if they are emotionalised and not in conflict with your values. Simply put, hypnosis is either interactive guided imagery or applied meditation toward a specific goal while in various levels of a trance state.

"How do I know if I can be hypnotized?"

There are only three types of people that cannot be hypnotized:

1. A person in a psychotic process or with a thought disorder

2. A person with a low IQ

3. A person who really does not want to be hypnotized If you can focus your attention, use your imagination, and desire to be hypnotized, you can enter at least a light state of hypnosis anytime you wish. Actually, hypnotisability is a sign of intelligence and was used extensively by such brilliant authors as Aldous Huxley. Learn to navigate in that "in-between", dream-like state, which is part of the normal repertory of human consciousness, and you will be amazed at your hidden abilities and strengths! In a private session, it just becomes a question of how deep are you willing to go in the presence of another person. (The biggest hypnotizer of all time is television. And with 60% of TV commercials about junk food, it is no wonder why so many Americans are overweight. To find out more how hypnosis will help you Release Weight using positive imagery

"What does hypnosis feel like?"

It feels like in the morning when you hit the snooze button on your alarm, and you are aware of yourself lying in your bed with eyes closed, not quite asleep, but not quite awake either. The subconscious is the seat of intuition and creativity; that is why some writers or painters do their best work in the early morning.

Their subconscious is closer to the surface then, especially after dreaming in REM sleep. (REM often occurs in hypnosis.) Even with eyes wide open some people go into "highway hypnosis" and drive right past their exit. Generally, you can feel hypnotic relaxation in your body in some way; either your limbs will feel heavy, like lead or light and tingly, almost numb. (You don't need to get hooked up to some silly "biofeedback machine" to learn this about yourself!) Sometimes a good indicator of deep hypnotic relaxation is experiencing slight twitches in your body as your nervous system "reboots" and you shift to abdominal (parasympathetic) breathing. Recognizing these sensations is the best biofeedback you could ever have!

"Is hypnosis dangerous?"

Absolutely not. Hypnosis was approved by the Council of Mental Health of the American Medical Association in September of 1958 as a safe practice with no harmful side effects. To date, no one has been seriously hurt with hypnosis. We greatly underestimate the ability of the subconscious to protect itself. The only dangers are in misconceptions promoted by fundamentalist religious leaders who wish to frighten and disempower their followers. Fear and ignorance have caused more people to hurt themselves and/or others, even while wide awake, than would ever occur in a hypnotherapy session.

"Can I be made to do things against my will?"

Again, Absolutely not. You could never be made to do anything against your will or contrary to your value system. You would not unknowingly reveal your deepest secrets either; it is even possible to lie in hypnosis, which is why testimony while in hypnosis is not permissible evidence in a court of law. A person will only act upon suggestions that serve them in some way or reinforce an expected behaviour, anything else their subconscious will just ignore. Most people develop these misperceptions from seeing or hearing about a Stage Hypnosis show, which, you must understand, is done for entertainment purposes only.

"How long will it take before I notice a change?"

In one session, you can expect to become more relaxed than you are right now. That in itself can be a big change! If you can agree that the ability to intentionally relax yourself is an important first step towards improving your health and mental focus, then in one session at least you will learn how to do that.

The inherently hypnotic and creative "positive imaging" process helps lift your goal out of the ineffectual, hazy, "just a concept" realm and focuses your goal into a decisive aim. Hypnosis can bridge that gap between the head and the heart, making your goal much more emotionally compelling, and thus setting the stage for lasting change. Depending upon the intensity of your session or the number of times you have listened to your audio tape, (you should expect to listen to a reinforcement tape for at least a month), you will notice suggestions for the desired behavioural changes spontaneously popping into your conscious mind almost immediately.

Your subconscious mind will attempt to prompt you out of your old patterns with these cues. In other words, your conscience will "wake up" to the habit. This is the first step in reprogramming yourself. Next, it is up to you to get real with yourself and act on those cues. "To be or not to be, that is the question", wrote Shakespeare. In many respects, hypnosis is about being more awake, but in a relaxed way. (Ever notice how just talking about a weight problem usually creates lots of tension and anxiety?)

"Does hypnosis weaken the will?"

Absolutely not. You will not develop a dependency on the Hypnotherapist, either, since hypnotherapy is a short-term, goal-orientated therapy. These misperceptions are sometimes expounded by unenlightened Yoga teachers, which play upon some people's fear of loss of control; they do not understand that hypnosis is in fact a tool to gain more self-control and can actually help improve one's meditation practice!

"Can hypnosis make me want to exercise or stop eating sugar?"

When a person asks me this, I ask them, "Are you really ready to change?" Because hypnosis cannot make you want do something that you really don't want to do. Otherwise, hypnosis would be a waste of both our time. A person could not be hypnotized to run a marathon, unless they already were a runner. A Sports Hypnotherapist can help a good athlete stay focused on becoming a better one, but the athlete must already be making efforts towards their goal. There is no easy substitute for practice. In other words, hypnosis can give an athlete the mental edge that could make the difference between a silver and a gold medal. It's all about focus.

More on Hypnotherapy

In the 1800's, hypnosis was widely practiced by physicians, particularly in Europe.

In days before drugs were part of the arsenal of physicians, it was used as an anaesthetic and analgesic. Various forces led to its going underground--or actually "on stage," since stage hypnotists kept it alive during the early part of this century. Undoubtedly the widespread availability of chemical anaesthesia and analgesics was a strong factor.

"Queen Victoria had chloroform for delivery of her third child. Overnight, hypnosis was out," says Emil Spillman, MD, a pathologist who has practiced and taught medical hypnosis for decades. Another strong factor in its demise as a therapeutic tool was Freud's disenchantment with it. Freud admits in his writings that he is not very good at hypnosis---undoubtedly one reason he quit using it. But he also, according to Dr. Spillman, was concerned about "symptom substitution," the belief that if you removed a symptom, it might be replaced by something worse.

Dr. Spillman's own experience with thousands of patients over 25 years is that "this doesn't happen." If a patient's symptom (for example, migraine headache---Dr. Spillman believes 95% of these are curable with hypnosis) is associated with a highly emotional event in his/her past, hypnosis can remove the symptom permanently, with no side effects. But if the symptom is a way of coping with a trauma that is current in the person's life---for example, a bad marriage---"the hypnosis simply will not work without dealing with the trauma itself." The idea that hypnosis is harmful has now been discounted. David Spiegel, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, put it this way: Physicians often worry that hypnosis involved significant risks to patients. Actually, the phenomenon is not dangerous and has fewer side effects than even the most benign medications.

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The Facts on NLP

These are answers from Richard Bandler, creator of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

1. What is NLP™?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming™ is "The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience and what can be calculated from it."

2. What is NLP™ technology?

NLP™ is based on finding out what works and formalizing it. In order to formalize patterns I utilized everything from linguistics to holography. I didn't just elicit peoples' strategies since when I started out there weren't any strategies, yet. I invented them. Strategies are a model.

A strategy is just that, a strategy. I think it is important for people to make a distinction between a model and a technique. A model (like Strategies, Sub modalities, Anchoring, Trans derivational Search, Chaining States, the Meta Model™, Meta Programs, Semantic Primes, Semantic Density, etc.) will allow you to create new techniques. The techniques generated from these models are techniques, nothing more.

When people discover what someone they consider to be a genius or expert does inside their head in order to perform a task exceptionally well using the models of NLP™, what they've discovered is not a new model. It is a strategy. The sequencing of various aspects of the models that constitute NLP™ in order to change someone's internal representations is called a technique.

A model is a formal representation of behaviour that allows prediction. Models are most commonly used in physics, e.g., in order to predict the rate of distribution of one liquid within another as well as how much movement the added liquid will have if poured from 2 inches above a beaker with a 2 inch diameter. The models that constitute NLP™ are all formal models based on mathematical, logical principles such as predicate calculus and the mathematical equations underlying holography.

Furthermore, all of these models are generative, e.g., when challenging one Meta Model™ distinction, the answer will always be a surface structure containing further Meta-Model™ distinctions. They are also recursive, i.e., the model can be applied to itself, e.g., you can use the Milton Model in order to define and utilize the distinctions described in The Hypnotic Patterns of Milton H. Erickson, M.D., Vol. 1 in order to understand how the book uses the principles described therein in order to teach them, i.e. it defines itself. These distinctions will help people understand the difference between what a model and a technique is.

3. How are the NLP™ building blocks such as calibration techniques, patterns in the language someone uses, predicates and Meta Model™, eye movements and Sub modalities, other analytical models such as Logical levels, Meta-programs, perceptual positions, timeframe's, etc. used to observe experts?

These tools were not developed in order to observe experts. They were discovered by observing experts. They were developed in order to further evolve human consciousness to the point that people could replicate skills and have deliberate control over their own consciousness. Nothing in NLP™ is analytical. It is all designed to be applied. If you do not know how to apply something that you learn as "NLP™" then, it is either not NLP™ or you have a bad teacher.

I think the best example of this misunderstanding is Meta-Programs. I've had people tell me that someone is a visual who sorts towards. That can't be true because if you ask a person to make a picture of themselves brushing their teeth with a toothbrush they just wiped their behind with, they probably won't move towards that. Most of you would probably say, "Yuck!" and move away from doing that. (If you behave in the previously described manner. STOP IT! It's not a good idea.) Meta Programs describe how people sort through multiple generalizations. As such, they will tell you what lies inside and what lies outside of someone's generalizations about things like doors.

When someone says, "Stupid door!", that gives you a pretty good idea about what lies outside their generalizations about what doors "are". If you then ask them how they know the door is "stupid", they'll give you an answer that will identify their "sorting style", i.e., "There's no knob," meaning that it can only be a not-stupid-door if it has a knob. If what they want is to be able to open more kinds of doors, then you have to teach them to sort for things other than just a knob in order to identify a door. That's how Meta-Programs work. They don't just describe someone diagnostically. They give you something to do. NLP™ consists of models. By applying these models one can generate techniques. The models are patterns. As such, they will be true 100% of the time. That is why statistics don't apply.

4. What can I do with NLP™?

There are many areas in which NLP™ has been utilized. Whatever your profession is, you can use NLP™ to build on whatever it is you are already doing.

5. What are typical NLP™ applications?

Collapsing Anchors, Visual Squash, 6-step Re framing, V/K dissociation, Change Personal History, Belief Change, Re imprint (all which are sometimes called NLP™), are some of the techniques that were derived from applying the models.

6. Isn't NLP™ mainly used for therapy and that's where the procedures came from?

I have never once called anything I do a "procedure". I call them techniques or exercises. It's important to emphasize that NLP™ is an educational tool, not a form of therapy. We don't do therapy. We teach people some things about how their brains function and they use this information in order to change.

7. What are the best products and applications for business?

I have no idea what some of these products are. Once again, I think it is important for people to understand the distinction between a model and a technique. To use "products" also seems slightly misleading as I personally have used more of these simple things in business environments. I have used everything from strategies and anchoring to the Meta Model™ and Milton Model. Understanding board meetings seems to me to be the same as understanding how a family functions. I've done things like change where people sit at a table and change the outcome of the meeting.

8. What about enhancing creativity?

I think the more you want to become more and more creative you have to not only elicit other peoples' (plural) strategies and replicate them yourself, but also modify others' strategies and have a strategy that creates new creativity strategies based on as many wonderful states as you can design for yourself. Therefore, in a way, the entire field of NLP™ is a creative tool, because I wanted to create something new.

9. What about learning strategies?

Which learning strategies are useful in which contexts? What if we design new, more intense states and used those as the basis upon which we learn? All the models and techniques can be of use in many areas or professions. None of these areas are different from one another once you denominalize the words, i.e. "therapy, creativity, learning, business."

10. What is the best progression for learning NLP™; is it to attend a Practitioner program, then a Master Practitioner , then a Trainer?

None of these are the only way to learn NLP™ nor necessarily the best for any one person. The learning strategy they engage in will determine how they learn, but as we know, those aren't set in stone. It isn't necessary that people go in any particular order. I know that some people make you do them in that order, but they are, as I originally designed them, different courses which cover different material and I know that learning doesn't come in levels, because, if it did, you would all have to have my personal history up to 1975 in order to use the Meta Model™ and that just isn't the case.

There are also introduction courses, Design Human Engineering™ courses, business and personal consulting, Personal Enhancement Courses, NLP™ as an application to Hypnosis, Sales courses, etc.

11. Can you recommend some good NLP™ books & tapes?

I recommend reading Persuasion Engineering™, The Structure of Magic Vol. I, and Vol. II, Time For A Change. Magic In Action II, Using Your Brain For A Change, Patterns of Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson Vol I & Vol. II, as well as The Adventures of Anybody. I also recommend reading the texts listed in the bibliography of The Structure of Magic I. The tapes I recommend include Patterns of Persuasion, Design Human Engineering™, Hypnosis in Munich (unedited), Personal Enhancement Series (The Neurosonics Tapes), The BarbizonTapes, and The NeuroSynchronizer. Most of these products can be purchased through NLP™ Seminars Group International's Book & Tape Catalog.

12. What are the roots of NLP™?

Any references to the early work can be found in the bibliography to The Structure of Magic Vol. I. These refer to some of the research that I used to develop NLP™. Reading these books with a knowledge of what NLP™ is will show that they had something but didn't know what, yet. I took a few things from these and other places and formalized them into models which I apply. I would highly recommend reading those texts referred to the bibliography of The Structure of Magic Vol. I. Sometimes it seems that NLPers ask stupid questions and the reason why NLPer's seem to ask stupid questions is because The Structure of Magic Vol. I is written backwards and doesn't tell you how to use the Meta Model™ in order to go somewhere. That's because it was a model of how therapists asked questions. Try reading chapter 4 from the last distinction to the first. That is the proper order.

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