What Is The Difference Between NLP And Hypnosis?

Difference between NLP & Hypnosis

Difference Between NLP And Hypnosis

A lot of new NLP students will often ask the question “what is the difference between NLP and hypnosis?” And I bet you have this question too, off course which is why you are here. So yes, there is a difference, but it is not something that every person can agree on. You can look at both NLP and hypnotherapy in a number of different ways, and defining exactly what they are will always be a challenge.
Well trying to define NLP and hypnosis is like trying to come up with an exact definition of “love”, which is tough because its different for everyone based on their outlook. Love exists in many forms, and there are all types of emotions and behaviors associated with each type. Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy will have different meanings to different individuals, and people use NLP in so many different ways too.

The Common Purpose of NLP and Hypnotherapy

A better place to start is with the common purposes of both NLP and hypnotherapy. If you take a broad view of this to help people get what they desire, they can use either or both of the techniques.
Most people will have tried to get what they want at a conscious level prior to using either NLP or hypnotherapy. The next step is to find something that will assist these people to resolve issues that they cannot do themselves consciously, or maybe changed habits that they are aware of but have been unable to change.
The unconscious (or subconscious) mind has programs that run all of your habits, so what both NLP and hypnotherapy will do is access your unconscious mind and reprogram it for you so that the right change can be made.

The Workings of NLP

When you use NLP techniques, there will be a large amount of conscious activity that is designed to tap into the unconscious. Consider the “Swish Pattern” used in NLP as an example here.
When the swish pattern is used, it is likely that you will first need to find an image that triggers a bad feeling in your mind. Ordinarily, you will not be aware of this image until it is time for you to identify it and select it.
Once the image is in your mind, you will need to have a resource image prepared, shrink it down, and then use the swish technique. Repetition of the process occurs until you only see the new image when you think about the original subject matter.
From this, you can see that there is a conscious activity used to access and reprogram a previous pattern that was in the unconscious mind. This is achievable with the swish technique as images have a profound effect on our feelings.

The Workings of Hypnotherapy

The workings of hypnotherapy are different from NLP. You can make direct suggestions to a subject after they are guided into a trance. Taking a bad experience example, they receive suggestions that will make them feel more resourceful and confident.
Regression techniques in hypnotherapy may be used which will take the subject back to where the bad feelings began. They will then be encouraged to reprocess the whole thing in a different way so that they feel more comfortable with it.
Then there is the library technique. Here a subject is asked to enter a library, find a book that has details of the problem they are experiencing, discover the value to them of experiencing the problem and then they would dispose of the book, therefore, disposing of the problem. They will find that a new book has replaced the old one and this new book is full of useful resources.

It is all about Changing Internal Representations

With both NLP and hypnotherapy the aim is to change the internal representations that a person has about something. This means that a subject’s internal imagery has shifted. NLP uses a series of conscious actions to do this.
It will access the unconscious mind and make the necessary change. In hypnotherapy, you will often be dealing directly with the unconscious mind and instructing it on what needs doing to solve the problem.
Now that you understand the difference between NLP and Hypnosis, it is time to confuse you. You can use NLP techniques when a subject is under the influence of hypnosis. For example, if someone is in a trance, then you can use the swish technique.


We hope that now you know the difference between NLP and Hypnosis. Keep reading our other posts to learn more specific applications of NLP and how it can help you in your personal and professional life.





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