Jennie Kitching has kindly shared this blog with me, to show you how NLP can be used for weight control…
Let’s begin with a typical client session focused on weight issues. I comment to you throughout, so that you can recognise important facets in what can seem like merely an inconsequential conversation to the uninitiated. You already have a fascination with the phenomena of the human mind and a fascination of NLP, by reading this article, so join me now as we apply hypnotic techniques from the moment the client is walking through the door of the Practice. This is a verbatim session transcript.
The client focus here is regarding weight issues.
The session begins with pleasantries about the weather and the journey to the NLP Practice. I begin with the question I’m just wondering how you came to hear about the Practice.
The client said that I was just passing one day. You know, I must have walked past here for years; it was only the other day that I noticed the sign.
I continue. That’s great. You know, we like to think that your unconscious mind notices these kinds of things only when it is ready to change. It’s good to establish how the client has come to know of your skills particularly, or NLP generally, word of mouth etc. I am repeating the phrase, ‘you know’ together with voice tone and body posture (slight shrug), to gain rapport (this will be used throughout session).
I am seeding a response, in saying ‘…your unconscious mind…. is ready to change’. Apart from the sign outside, we don’t advertise. So, most often clients come to see us because they know of someone who has already been helped tremendously by coming here. Though you came just because you noticed the sign?
The client confirmed with a Yes.
I asked. Do you know anything about NLP or how much it can help you with weight control?
The client replied. No, nothing really.
So, really this is blind hope we are talking about, yes? Or is it ‘the last thing on the list’?
Well, yes, I’ve tried everything else!
This is when again I am seeding response ‘…someone has already been helped tremendously by coming here.’ And “…can help you with weight control’. Also, introducing humour and realisation of desperation, wanting it to work without yet knowing evidence of effectiveness. As we talked about on the ‘phone, you know a lot of our challenges to do with eating and exercise are in the mind. It is usually because we have been through the process of deprivation-based dieting, where weight reduction will work as long as we ‘suffer’, as long as we are ‘good’. The unconscious will only allow us to do that up to a certain point. Maybe 5 or 6 weeks on a very strict regime will mean that the next time we come to do it the mind is more guarded, because it knows what you went through last time. There is recollection and representation of information already given by client over the telephone to illicit the inner response of being with someone who understands. The brain likes what’s the same, (you are the same as me). Bringing the ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ perception into awareness in order to discount it.
The client then continues. I did six months on Slimming World and then became a consultant. Yes, the feeling of deprivation was there even though I was having a kit kat every week. When you are used to having one every day, I suppose, the deprivation was still there, although compared to many, it was a very generous eating plan.
The client is now processing more, validated by looking around and down to feelings. Notice the change from ‘I was having a kit kat…’ to ‘…when you are used to having one….’ This is an appeal to those outside of ourselves to hope they experience this too; also a deflection from one’s own plight being separate, perhaps unique and distinct. Also, it is association to dissociation and if now pointed out to client this would prevent further admissions and hinder rapport.I clarify with own suggestion. I suppose it was like ‘I want a kit kat now, I don’t want to wait until Saturday!’
The client confirmed, with a Yes, it was!
The unconscious can be likened to what some may call the ‘inner child’, you know sometimes we may just want a milk shake or something seemingly ridiculous to the consciousness, well chocolate is part of that, particularly if it was used as a reward in childhood – you have been ‘good’ so now we can go to the sweet shop and get you something. Some of these associations are so deeply rooted in the unconscious mind that although we would like to feel that we are in charge of what we do, if we were continually told to eat everything on our plate before we could go out to play or that there were children starving in other countries etc, if that was the case when we were at a very vulnerable age (with nothing against the people who with the best of intentions encouraged us to eat like that) these learnings settle deep within the mind as we grow older. If we find that we feel compelled to finish everything on our plate, or even find ourselves finishing what other family members leave rather than throwing it away, there is perhaps a remnant of that still within us. Even if those people who said these things to us may not be on the planet any more, we may still think it is the right thing to do, despite what our conscious mind says and all the well-meaning intentions of slimming clubs.
It is our conscious mind that wants us to live the best life possible in its own terms, though it is our unconscious that still runs screaming away from a spider (or wants to!) though we would prefer to be more dignified and capable. In the beginning we had what might be referred to by some as the ‘one hit wonder’. People either smoke or they don’t though you do HAVE to eat. What you may perceive now as an addiction to chocolate, or crisps or bread, if you could say to me,’ Oh Jennie, if I could only stop eating such and such I know I would be fine. Can you make me not like pasta or whatever’.
There is usually something. These comments are references to information given by client on the telephone and also guiding the unconscious to think about what client could change in eating habits. In this initial session, maybe there is something we can do with that. The one session has been brilliant for about two weeks. After the two weeks, that’s when you know. That’s when the physical addiction is out of the system when you say things like, ‘oh I never knew how much chocolate I was eating or why I would want to do that’, or ‘crisps are just so salty and sharp I just don’t want to put them in my mouth now’.
After two weeks that is when you know if the behaviour wants to re-establish itself, you know it is more deep rooted. Client Yes. These comments are to prepare the client for more than just one session, as the expectation can be that all problems are ‘fixed’ in an hour (as perhaps it may appear in the stage hypnotism that may have been exposed to when behaviours are radically changed temporarily).
This takes the pressure off the client and off the therapist. Physical addictions can be likened to smoking in a sense because the receptors in every single cell respond to certain substances. If you are having a lot of sugar for example, suddenly not having any sugar at all throws those receptors into a frenzy and almost compels you to dive into the sugar bowl even though there is no real need for you to have the sugar. After this session, any addictions will just go. Our clients have taught us that after two weeks it’s good to have something else, then two weeks on from that for real long term, lifetime changes. You will continue to do what you WANT to do – BUT what you WANT to do ~CHANGES~…