NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

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NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:06 am

I recently watched a televison special dedicated to an examination of fear.

The concept was that the presenter would spend some time with a number of individuals who were fearful of specific experiences or events. i.e. fear of heights, fear of public performance, fear of confrontation and aggression.

Through the use of a placebo and NLP techniques the presenter convinced the group that they were part of a trial involving a new drug that could surpress fear and alllow the individual to operate in circumstances which previously overwhelmed them.

So far... so good.

The programme outlined the placebo effect and how best to utilise it. i.e. capsules are better than tablets and injections are better than capsules. Blue tablets are better for conditions requiring calmness and clarity, red tablets are better for condtions requiring confidence and assertiveness.

The concept is positively re-enforced through use of language and confirmation. For example, the participants are given a list of potential side-effects then asked questions which lead them to a discovery of those side effects in themself. Of course, attributed to the placebo but still confirming the effects of the fake drug. The participants also have meetings with very believable actors playing people of authority (doctors, scientists etc) in locations which add to the imagery (labs and corporate offices etc)

Gradually, a small number of people are highlighted and followed in more depth as they progress through treatment. It is noted (a commonly known fact) that placebo's have an effect in 75% of people altering their perception of their health and their wellbeing. They do NOT alter physiology in any way that the body, mind and consciousness cannot do themselves. etc if you have a physical cure on your hands then it is because of your physiology not your placebo.

Of course, placebo logically impacts most tellingly on emotional and mental wellbeing.As a result, definite impact on subjects which are looking to address emotional and mental hurdles.

I was watching quite happily until I started to become a little uneasy. I was being shown a very timid, small and awkward guy being given the placebo to address his fear of confrontation and aggression. He had sufferred a violent attack with his friends some time previously and this had cemented his fear and his view of himself as "weak" and fearful.

Watching this guy, I became fully aware of why I feel NLP and such self hypnosis rather than positive psychology and self awareness is potentially very dangerous.

I watched as this small and timid guy was convinced that he did not need to be paralysed by fear of confrontation. The climax of his involvement was an elaborate stunt where actors in his local pub wound up to a full scale physical fight with beatings being handed out. Very noisy, very violent. I watched this guy struggle with the knowledge that his friends were "trapped" on the other side of the pub and likely to be hurt by the flying glasses, fists and furniture. I then watched as he wound himself up to JUMP INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE FIGHT and remonstrate with guys who were bigger, stronger, violent and some of which whom were carrying broken glasses and bottles. He then proceeded to stand in the middle of this crowd and challenge the group to "calm down" and "pack it in."

I was open mouthed at this point. A great way to achieve a broken bottle in the neck had that fight been real.

Then it struck me, THAT is what I dislike about NLP and positive thinking. Ity makes no attempt to address the reality of a situation it simply looks to hypnotise the subject into a very often unreasonable belief. There is no depth to it, no addressing the underlying problem and no attempt to truly educate and become self aware. It's a parlour trick designed to turn the subject into an object which reacts in a prescribed manner to a broad stroke issue. What happens to this guy when he realises that simply believing that there is nothing to fear is not enough to make it so. What happens when he fails and he has no depth of understanding to fall back on. What happens when reality subjects him to a dose of "wake the fuck up" and he learns what could be a very painful lesson?

I am not saying that positive attitude is without its place. I am not saying that positive thinking is completely without merit. I am saying that only concentrating on hypnotising a subject to believe without a basis of understanding and context is dangerous. I need to be positive about delivering when I have decided on my course of action, I cannot decide my course of action based on hopes and dreams. That's faith, not reality.
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  DaveCollins on Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:25 am

I watched the same program and noted to the good lady wife at the time that what they'd got him doing was incredibly stupid and would put him in a lot of danger and might even get him killed. You've only got to consider the recent case of the guy killed at the gig by being glassed in the neck...

I do enjoy the particular program maker but this, IMO, was reckless.

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:20 am

Yep, for me it was a perfect example of what NLP fails to achieve as per education and really addressing underlying emotional and mental issues.

NLP will condition a response to a certain event or emotional state but what it doesn't do is provide the required understanding beyond that conditioned response. The guy in question needed to understand that fear of confrontation and violence is a healthy response to be understood rather than challenged and his response transitioned to a pavlovian type "challenge", He had no depth on which to base a reasoned response and healthy response. it was surface level and it was dangerous.

This guy wasn't given a gerater awareness of himself. He wasn't given the tools to truly manage confrontation or aggression. The depth of his fear wasn't addressed and the cause of his failure to reason his response to aggression and confrontation wasn't analysed. He was simply the drooling dog when the bell rings.

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  DaveCollins on Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:38 am

Chris wrote:Yep, for me it was a perfect example of what NLP fails to achieve as per education and really addressing underlying emotional and mental issues.
....He was simply the drooling dog when the bell rings.


Indeed. They just changed his response to a situation and nothing more. The response itself was also the wrong one considering his physical attributes and experience. They didn't analyse his example problem of running away due to fear when he and his mates were attacked. Fear is a vital and fundamental survival reaction - not a problem to be overcome. What would have perhaps been a far better reaction to instill for all of them might have been more awareness and avoidance, a degree of healthy assertiveness and then the ability to run like fuck if it looks like it's going to turn nasty. A far better strategy than stepping into aggressive people's faces or into the middle of ongoing fights....

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  mickeybluejeans on Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:39 pm

it was tv entertainment show designed to entertain not to give a scientific look at the NLP or self help

of course it was crap it was light entertainment no matter how much Derren Brown was trying to put across how scientific it was.

those people knew it was all a make believe situation... who would see derren Brown and not question everything that was being put forward, that is his style, he is a victim of his own success.

they were playing along with make believe situations so made the whole programme a farce..... interesting to watch but still a farce

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:11 am

mickeybluejeans wrote:it was tv entertainment show designed to entertain not to give a scientific look at the NLP or self help

of course it was crap it was light entertainment no matter how much Derren Brown was trying to put across how scientific it was.

those people knew it was all a make believe situation... who would see derren Brown and not question everything that was being put forward, that is his style, he is a victim of his own success.

they were playing along with make believe situations so made the whole programme a farce..... interesting to watch but still a farce

Entertainment is subjective and not really the point here. The issue is with the techniques used which are common and widespread NLP and hypnosis techniques. How they are being used isn't what I had an issue with, the end result of the use of the techniques was. I also saw quite clearly why I consider some common application of self hypnosis and NLP in particular to be dangerous to the participant.

I looked at it for what it was and saw it for what it was. The intent of the programme was neither here nor there.
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  mickeybluejeans on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:00 am

but can you form an educated opinion of NLP or Hypnosis based on a how it is portrayed on a light entertainment programme?.... not exactly the same but its like me giving an opinion on karate after watching Chuck Norris in Lone Wolf McQuade or watching the Bill then commenting on modern policing.

this programme was not a documentary.


Last edited by mickeybluejeans on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:08 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  mickeybluejeans on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:06 am

But!!!!

after reading your first post I think we are commenting on the programme and its topic from different angles you are looking at nlp/hypnosis in general I'm looking at the portrayal of the subject on TV

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:19 am

I agree Mickey, I wasn't making comment on the genre of the programme or the "value" in any way.

It is what it is, a programme designed to entertain. I didn't view it as a scientific analysis of NLP

What I was commenting on was the techniques I saw being used within the context of the programme and their failings. These weren't failing because of the nature of the programme, they are common hypnosis techniques in general and NLP specifically in some instances. Those techniques don't change depending on the context of their use. They are what they are.

The bottom line was that those techniques and their application have a number of significant failings. Some of them potentially dangerous because they are not rooted in self awareness they are rooted in hypnosis.
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Jagunco on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:37 am

It wasn't that Zombie rubbish was it?
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Nick Hughes on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:18 pm

I agree with Mickey...watching that and making a decision about NLP is like watching Chuck Norris or a McDojo and saying "karate is crap" (or good Very Happy )

There is a very real scientific medical application of hypnosis and then there is the entertainment side of it as done by practitioners in comedy clubs. One is good while the other is dubious.

What I took from you initial description though Chris is that the mind is incredibly powerful (and you can use that power to think positively or negatively. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy )

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:13 am

Nick Hughes wrote:I agree with Mickey...watching that and making a decision about NLP is like watching Chuck Norris or a McDojo and saying "karate is crap" (or good Very Happy )

There is a very real scientific medical application of hypnosis and then there is the entertainment side of it as done by practitioners in comedy clubs. One is good while the other is dubious.

What I took from you initial description though Chris is that the mind is incredibly powerful (and you can use that power to think positively or negatively. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy )

Nick

Aaaaaahhhh... but Nick Very Happy

Watching Derren Brown in action is watching a master at work. He is unequivocally an expert.

Watching Brown at work is watching an expert at work doing exactly what he would do outside of the programme. They are exactly the same techniques of modelling, confirmation, hypnosis and conditioning. It is nothing like watching an expert do something they would not do normally and then making a judgement on their activity.

I'm not one for making easy or quick judgements and back in the early 2000's I was very interested in what I was hearing about NLP techniques and how they contribute to training. In particular anchoring of state after success etc to condition that response.

What I found when I delved deeper was a collection of techniques and practices which creates responses in the participants. It induces certain states and it anchors behaviour under certain conditions.

The issues are as follows.
- Practitioners are working with people who have a perceived need or problem to address. As a result these people are generally susceptible to suggestion as they have a need.
-Practitioners are instilling a prescribed response. They anchor a state and they create a behaviour which is based on perceived desire and need. i.e. the guy who wants to deal with confrontation so his default setting is changed to challenge confrontation. It is a linear progression that is prescribed ABCDE. It has no bearing in reality which requires infinitely more assessment and decision making than simply walking a prescribed path.
-The practitioner cannot truly aid the subject to become more self aware because the tools they are using are designed to simply produce a prescribed response or anchor a prescribed response. Unless the practitioner can fully understand all of the emotional and mental makeup of the subject there will inevitably be a short-fall between the desired result and the conditioning offered.

Will NLP make the person better or more efficient at a prescribed action - very probably. If the action is very defined and understood. No replication of the exact requirement, no efficiency through NLP (whether it be modelling or whatever)
Will NLP condition the response in the subject to a specific emotional state - very probably. That response will be specific and unbending. No replication of the exact emotional state, no replication of the anchored state.

Will NLP allow for benefit outside of the prescribed activities? No. Not unless the participant has the knowledge and wherewithal to understand their own rquirements and adopt what they have learned about self hypnosis and conditioning to their new requirements.
Will NLP give anything to the participant in the way of self awareness. No. It is conditioning, not therapy. NLP creates a model of behaviour, it doesn't address self awareness or the root cause of any emotional and mental issues it is a sticking plaster over an open wound. A good NLP practitioner can make that sticking plaster very large and sticky but it can't change what it is.

I'm not decrying NLP for what it can do for the self aware participant. It can certainly assist in specific circumstances. It's main problem is that it is nothing more than the creation of an image and belief in the participant and belief only takes you so far in the real world.

There's a reason why the Jedi programmes and such of the 80's and 90's were thrown away pretty quickly.
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  rezbi on Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:33 am

I'm not really into NLP. Never really got it.

However, from what I have seen, the majority of people who claim to do NLP actually have no real idea what they're doing.

It's possible, like me, they don't really get it. But they like to think they do.

Maybe in an attempt to make some cash from it.

And, as a result, they come out with moronic ideas, theories and concepts which probably could end up with them in a very bad situation.

Or even giving people the impression NLP is a load of hocus pocus.

The truth is NLP is just a way of modelling success. If done correctly.

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:51 am

the thing is Rezbi, you can't truly model success because success is specific to the individual.

I read an article recently on cloning and genetics and the acceptance that while we undoubtedly can produce a genetic copy of a human being we cannot reproduce the spark of originality that exists within us all.

We could clone Michael Jordan twenty times. Put them through the same training regime fir the same length of time in the same facilities and then line them up in a game and none of them will play as well as Jordan. He has a spark that cannot be replicated.

So... because of that unique spark we can only model external traits and behaviour. That's the equivalent of looking at how B.B. King holds his hands while playing blues guitar and expecting to be able to produce the music he plays. YES... you will receive some benefit looking at successful people and trying to replicate their behaviour if you have nothing at all to work with yourself but what you are producing is a fax copy.

Much better to teach people how to learn. Teach them how to develop themselves at a core level. Do that rather than build a surface level projection without deeper understanding.
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Socrates on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:37 am

Much better to teach people how to learn. Teach them how to develop themselves at a core level. Do that rather than build a surface level projection without deeper understanding.

You mean read books? Learn new skills? Practice them for years and decades? Go to university? Go back and do post-grad studies? Get professional qualifications? Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses? Work on yourself? Learn languages? Travel? Test yourself? Accept criticism? Try new sports and hobbies? Take risks? Start a business?

How boring is all that! Can't we just do a weekend course and model Einstein or something?
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:48 am

Socrates wrote:
Much better to teach people how to learn. Teach them how to develop themselves at a core level. Do that rather than build a surface level projection without deeper understanding.

You mean read books? Learn new skills? Practice them for years and decades? Go to university? Go back and do post-grad studies? Get professional qualifications? Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses? Work on yourself? Learn languages? Travel? Test yourself? Accept criticism? Try new sports and hobbies? Take risks? Start a business?

How boring is all that! Can't we just do a weekend course and model Einstein or something?

Here's the thing about the whole Map and Territory nonsense that NLP espouses. I could take an actor. Dress him up in genuine scrubs, follow surgical procedures exactly. I could show him how to use, hold, identify each and every piece of surgical equipment. I could have him watch a surgeon time and time again carry out a surgical procedure. Now, is anyone going to let that guy operate on them or a loved one?

You don't pay a surgeon large amounts of money for when things go well and the procedure is successful. You pay him for when something goes wrong.
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  rezbi on Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:35 am

True, Chris. But I never said we'd be exactly the same. Or even as good.

By modelling the success of others we can be the best we can be.

And isn't that what we're doing when we go to train with someone like Dave, for example?

What we are doing, in effect, is copying his moves, his principles, etc. in order to do what he does.

Not all of us will manage it.

Some of us will go on to be the bet we can be.

Some will be as good.

Some will be better.

That's all I'm saying.

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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  Chris on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:19 am

rezbi wrote:True, Chris. But I never said we'd be exactly the same. Or even as good.

By modelling the success of others we can be the best we can be.

And isn't that what we're doing when we go to train with someone like Dave, for example?

What we are doing, in effect, is copying his moves, his principles, etc. in order to do what he does.

Not all of us will manage it.

Some of us will go on to be the bet we can be.

Some will be as good.

Some will be better.

That's all I'm saying.

Yep but that's not a route to becoming the best that we can be. It's simply a route to becoming the best copy of another person at a surface level.
Does that mean we can dispense with learning from others who are successful. Nope, but it DOES mean that for real development there has to be some learning, not just imitation.
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Re: NLP, self hypnosis and delusion

Post  rasdj on Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:25 am

Nothing wrong with mimicry, at the start, but other than at the beginning you should be working on learning the components and applying them as necessary, actual learning. Mimicking the "best" people is a great starting place but it doesn't mean much/anything until you apply it to your particular context.
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