Tag Archive for unconscious

Presupposition #8:The outcome is the true intention (for the part generating the outcome)

At some level, we are always in control and doing exactly what we want. Much of our true motivation is out of consciousness and is based on beliefs that are out of our consciousness (we are not conscious we are making our decisions based on hidden beliefs). Self-actualization comes to the degree that we are able to take responsibility for all of our experience.

Have you ever blamed someone else for your issues? Like a loved one… have you ever got mad at someone for something and then felt worse? Many times this is because we are in control of doing exactly what we want. And, although it is scary and humbling to take on our own issues, it causes us to grow in some wonderful magical ways.

The exercise of taking on more and more responsibility for our actions allows others to be off the hook or free of being encumbered by unknown expectation. Sometimes our younger more vulnerable parts of ourselves act out. For those parts of the action we took was the intention of those younger versions of us even if our elder parts of ourselves know those behaviors are unwarranted and inappropriate. NLP helps us seek those younger versions of ourselves to allow them to heal and effectively grow them up.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

Presupposition #6: Language is a tertiary representation of experience

This presupposition I go back to time and time again. You know the old adage: A picture is worth a thousand words? Well, an experience is worth 1000’s more. In fact most of the time we can’t get the words to explain the experience to someone.

When we experience something, anything our senses are bombarded with 2 billion bits of information but our conscious mind can only deal with 5-9 pieces of information at a given moment. So, there is so much more information that gets filtered out of our conscious awareness.

When we experience an event, our conscious brain sorts from the information it gets the meaning associated with how our brain reacts to this information… so if we get painful feelings our conscious mind says something like “don’t like that, don’t want that to happen again.” Then it goes back and checks the experience and reinforces the meaning associated with it. This is the experience of the experience – A secondary event.

When we put language to the event, we are not putting language to the primary event, we are putting language to the experience of the experience.

These are levels of modeling and have a direct effect on our experience of the world. These levels of modeling could be depicted as layers, which separate us from the world at large. (picture) The three layers are: 1.) our sensory experience, 2.) our experience of experience and 3.) our language. 

Each level of modeling is meta to the level below it. (Meta means moving up to a higher level or awareness of our awareness.) The higher the level at which the modeling occurs, the greater the distance between the model and the world at large. Language is a useful representation of experience, but it is a representation, not the real thing. Which means language is a model of our internally constructed model of reality. The problem comes in when we assume ours or other’s language is reality.

I remember a time when I was asked to take part in an introductory seminar of an organization that used a modified version of NLP to have people sign up and take their course and eventually become zealots for their company. This example was once part of their introductory seminars:  

They called this process “un-collapsing the vicious circle.” They asked participants to find an area of their life when they had experienced being trapped with their job or family. They then drew a diagram of a circle to the left on the board and labeled it “what happened” instead of the “experience.” Then they drew another circle to the right of the first circle and call it the “concept” or the “story” about what happened – which is really the “experience of the experience”.

And then they would explain, “So what human beings do is have an experience, then make up a story about the experience. They then review the experience and then go back again to their story and then back to the experience, over and over and over again until they aren’t living in the experience or what happened. They are living very far away from the reality as a result of the vicious circle.” Then the spokesperson for this organization would say if you sign up for their seminar you will have the experience of un-collapsing this vicious circle so you can always be present to what happened in your life.

Never in their introduction or any where else in their training did they say, this is an entirely human concept – so everyone experiences this. And that there is no way to get out of this process ever because it is the way your brain processes information – by continuously updating our maps of reality!

But there is a way to change the negative feelings associated with experiencing your experiences. And, it is called NLP. The only thing available from these seminars is the illusion of elation or emotional release from going from and environment where you are sitting practically on top of the people next to you to having space around you. Due to their inability to be specific enough in a seminar setting, this company can only at best make a behavior change. But without creating a change in the corresponding belief that supports the behavior, the new behavior doesn’t last. Usually it lasts only for about a week tops…which is precisely how much time they have to get you enrolled in the next seminar.


Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

What is NLP? Definiton #3

NLP is… The art of modeling the form & sequence of internal states, internal computations & external behavior so that any known ability maybe replicated and taught (mostly).

A model is a set of instructions, procedures or steps that allows people to understand how a given talent or ability or can be performed. Models are different that theories. Theories deal with the “why” and not the “how” of experience.

Think about this way: The theory of flight gives you the reason why or why not successful flight will occur. A model airplane either flies or doesn’t fly. Because NLP is a model, it may not always work in theory, but it usually works in practice. And, a model is not the truth, but provides usable information about the truth.

Richard Bandler (one of the guys that created this NLP stuff) defines himself as the world’s best human modeler of unconscious behaviour. His career has been aimed at developing behavioural technologies to help people solve problems and achieve goals. And, I think at its essence, this is really what NLP is about – helping people be, do and have what they want.

In my own practice I’ve seen people change in front of me when they realize what the want is in their grasp. What many people don’t realize is that if they want something and someone else has it, it is available to them through this modeling technology. And, if the model that is currently being used in not working it can be changed or re-modeled into something that works better for that individual.

The reason why someone might opt for this technology instead of counseling, coaching or psychotherapy is that imbedded in the structure of the practice of NLP is teaching the client’s brain how to do the work so that they don’t need to be reminded to be different – In essence teaching them how to fish rather than just giving them a fish.

The process of modeling behavior whether applied to individuals, groups or organizations requires representations of the present state, desired state and resources. That is, the internal and external smells/tastes/picture/sounds & feelings that go along with the present state, desired state and resources. 

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com 

Ever wonder how do we process information? How do we learn?

We learn by processing information in patterns of senses (pictures, sounds, feelings, smells, and taste). No matter what it is, our brain uses our sense as triggers to go back to that memory… the more times the brain reviews the memory the easier it is for you to instantly access the memory.

So when we review or repeat our learning we are imbedding more and more sensory information. The more we review something the more true to reality that piece of information gets. Because our brain is always comparing the information that comes in with what is already stored. The more times you review the information you are trying to learn, the more time the brain can correct or alter the memory. This is also the reason why there is an issue with eye-witness testimony. The information in our brain is always changing. And, the way we are questioned can change our memories very easily.

Most people don’t have a problem learning, they have a problem accessing the information they have already learned. Our unconscious brain processes 200,000,000 bits of information per second. It’s our conscious brain (the one that  judges and tells us we’re not able to remember and sometimes tells us off) that filters only 40,000 bits of information per second… This means, consciously we are make judgements on a fraction of the available information. This also brings to light creating your own destiny – so if your conscious brain says you can’t remember a fact, in reality this is why you can’t.

My secret when someone tells me they can’t do something is to ask them: “… and if you could remember (or action they say they can’t) then what would happen” or “how would you accomplish the task.” You would be surprised how many people can fill in the blank after they feel heard – pretty much everyone!

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

What do you want? Success? Money? Happiness?

(Please make sure to see and do therapeuticnlp twitter feeds for Steps 1-15)

Every NLP session I do starts out with the question “What do you want?” In fact the whole session is about what the client wants. We spend 2.5 to 5 hours (depending on the client) clarifying that question and creating change around the answer.

Over the past 2-3 days, I’ve asked you to look at one word. The word “success.” And, what it means to you.

Notice how it is not the same as the word “successful.” “Successful” has it’s own pictures sounds and feelings that are distinctly different. Trying to communicate to someone the difference between these 2 words is a lesson in futility and is why paraphrasing back what some else says doesn’t work. (STOP USING ACTIVE LISTENING as a process for communication – it doesn’t work! It just puts people on the defensive.) We have visceral experiences for words. Actually it’s the other way around. We have names for our visceral experiences. One person’s use of a label for their visceral experience doesn’t necessarily equate to another’s visceral experience where they use that same label.

Now back to the exercise…

So when you are clear about your goal, crystal clear about the visceral experience related to your “success”, you can have yourself experience it: You can do this by remembering a time when your life was like that – where you felt “success.” If you have never experienced it, you must have someone in your acquaintance you know who has experienced your “success.”

Once you can locate that experience, you want to imagine yourself experiencing that exact “success.” What is it like hear all those things, that people are saying to you while you are experiencing “success”? What is like to see and have the experience of “success” you previously described? How does your breathing change in this experience of “success” in comparison to your life currently? What is different? What is new? What are your emotions? How does your body feel? Is there tightness, or stiffness anywhere?  Are you light or heavy on your feet? How does the air feel different around you? What is easy for you now that was not previously?

Being able to get answers for these signals that your unconscious brain has processed the information we’ve given it so far. If you don’t get answers to theses immediately – like you have to search for the answer, you are experiencing something Gregory Bateson (an early NLP developer and contributor) would call an “ecological objection.” This means something in your system is not wanting you to make a change. If this happens go back and explore who might have and issue with you having this “success” in your life. If there is someone, would that affect your relationship with them? is there something you could do to make a difference for them, to say make them feel safe no matter how much you change? Then go back and imagine your clear visceral experience of “success” and repeat the instructions in the above paragraph.

This is the first step, in being able to have your “success.” The next step is setting your world up so you can have that. So, what do you now need or want to set that up? Let me know.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com