5 Tips for finding an NLP Coach or Therapist
This page offers tips for finding an NLP-trained coach or therapist who has the skill and experience to assist you in dealing with anxiety, phobias, anger, confidence or other issues which are currently getting in your way.
The page was originally designed to provide tips and guidance for finding an NLP-trained therapist or coach who could help, quite specifically, with a phobia.
See our listing of coaches and consultants who have also trained with Pegasus NLP.
However it became quite popular with the search engines so I have expanded its scope.
Can NLP help with a phobia?
Yes, properly used and in the hands of a suitably qualified and experienced NLP coach or therapist, NLP is a great way of quickly and effortlessly resolving many phobias. This is because NLP deals with the brain mechanisms, or practical steps, through which the phobia operates.
It avoids the pointless, very expensive, and very time wasting “let’s explore your past” methods that have been around since the time of Sigmund Freud. The NLP approach is to dealt with the phobia in terms of the straight-forward stimulus-response pattern that it is.
What other emotional issues can NLP help with?
These fall into two categories
- Resolving problems such as anxiety, anger, confidence issues, and stress related issues
- Improving your performance in areas where you are already ‘quite’ good but would like to be a lot better.
Find a skilled NLP coach or therapist
So were do you begin your search for a therapist? Who do you go to? Is a list of letters after their name an indication of their skill? (Usually it is not, by the way.) Are they insured? Will they ‘mess with my mind’? How long will it take, How much will it cost me?
This page lists a few pointers which will help you narrow the search and which will provide some useful questions to ask when doing your research.
Get an NLP-trained expert
I would recommend you find a qualified therapist or coach who has also trained in NLP to Master Practitioner level. This is because a properly trained NLP Master Practitioner (see No. 2 below) will have learned specific skills for dealing very speedily with issues.
An excellent source for trained and assessed NLP Therapists is http://nlptca.com/ – the website has a searchable database.
You can also check the website of The Professional Guild of NLP: all of their Members will have trained in the full-length, full-syllabus style of NLP since this is a requirement for Membership.
Here on this website we have a listing of coaches and therapists who have also trained in full-length NLP Certification Programmes through Pegasus NLP.
(1) Begin with a web search
Begin with the web and put terms such as “NLP Master Practitioner therapist coach” into Google along with the name of your town or locality and see what comes up. You could also try the local advice centres and telephone Yellow Pages but these are unlikely to provide as much advance information as a web listing.
(2) Check the quality of their NLP Training
When seeking a suitable NLP Master Practitioner check whether they have done a full-length NLP Practitioner Training of 120 attendance-hours plus a full-length 120-hour Master Practitioner Training, too.
It is possible to do each of these trainings in much less time (or even via an online training course). And it is likely that the NLP skill of your coach or therapist will reflect the thoroughness of their training.
A Certified NLP Master Practitioner trained in the full length, full syllabus methodology will have attended around 40 days of training. Many, such those who train through Pegasus NLP, will have gone through a thorough assessment procedure – both on-going and at the end of their training.
Thousands of people will have the title “NLP Master Practitioner of NLP” but will have acquired this in as little as 8-12 days and received their certificate without an assessment of their skills.
(3) Identify their personal preferences
Recognise that, whatever their qualifications and training, therapists and coaches are human beings and therefore come with a variety of styles and approaches. So I would strongly recommend that you phone three or four and ‘interview’ them.
Ask them what they think is required for you to achieve your objectives and what process they use. This is to distinguish between two broad approaches to therapy:
- The ‘let’s investigate your past’ approach which will usually takes a very long time and is based on the Freudian theory that knowing ‘why’ you developed a problem will release you from it. This approach is alien to NLP.
- The ‘here and now” approach in which your coach or therapist enables you to recognise the thinking and feeling patterns that are involved in the problem – and then helps you replace these patterns. This is the traditional NLP approach.
(4) How do you get on with them?
Remember that your relationship with your therapist or coach is a very important issue – you must feel at ease with them, feel you are treated as an equal, and feel that you can ask probing questions of the therapist – rather than have to defer to their ‘expertise’. This should come across in how they handle your telephone interview.
A good therapist will be quite happy for you to telephone, have a brief chat with them to discover how they work, and then go away and think about it before making a commitment:
- The pompous ones will talk down to you
- The ones who are desperate for your money will try to get you to sign up there and then
- The manipulative ones will be evasive or waffle about ‘therapeutic dynamics’ or say they cannot answer your questions without first having an in-depth interview with you.
NOTE: These suggestions apply to all forms of therapy. That said, it is relatively easy for an experienced NLP therapist to estimate how long it will take to dissolve a single issue phobia. More complex phobias such as many forms of social phobia or agoraphobia can take much longer.
However it is not easy for a therapist to be precise in how they might deal with a more complex issue such as an anxiety, self confidence, or panic attack difficulty. In this case aim to evaluate your options after your first therapy session and, whatever the therapist says, if you have not experienced a significant shift in your experience by the end of the third session it is change-therapist-time.
This may be tough on therapists but is based on my own experience of working as a psychotherapist for over 20 years and is also supported by Brief Therapy research which indicates that most people gain most of the benefits of counselling and psychotherapy within the first six sessions – benefits trail off significantly after this.
(5) Assess their helping style
When doing your initial telephone interview you should aim to gauge whether they are of the advice-giving and talk-at-you school.
If this is the case avoid them! Because they are, quite literally, worse than useless since they will impose their views on you rather than help you identify and evaluate your own solutions. So their approach is, at best, unhelpful…
If, on the other hand, they are of the minority who ask lots of questions which are designed to enable you to find your own answers you’re off to a good start.
More information about NLP
By Reg Connolly, Director of Training, Pegasus NLP