At the moment I’m enjoying an unusually bright and mild November morning in Oxfordshire; and considering a question I’m often asked when I first meet someone who’s interested in the work that I do.
They are aware that I offer Counselling and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP); and colleagues and prospective clients alike, often feel curious because they’ve heard different things about both approaches and wonder if they are compatible. They often ask me to give my view of what the differences are and which approach is most effective?’
A very reasonable question
I think this is a very reasonable question and in my experience, many people who request this information have an issue or behaviour that they are finding challenging and would like to change (either in themselves or someone else). So I find it useful to find out what this person’s expectations are, how much time they prepared to invest in the process of transformation and if it’s something they want to do for themselves alone.
I believe that finding a therapeutic solution is like planning a journey and that some people find the journey as much or even more exciting than reaching their destination. Others will want to get the journey over as fast as possible so that they can get to the destination; and for them the vital part of the experience starts once they get there.
Many people plan their journey with military precision and others have no obvious plan. Some people are no sooner at their destination and they start to plan a new one; and for others once they reach their destination their journey is complete.
There is no right or wrong way to travel providing each traveller’s journey meets their personal and unique expectations and they get to the place they want to be or are at least satisfied with their transition.
Counselling is an exploration
When people choose counselling they embark on a journey that explores what is happening in their lives, in their thoughts and imagination. This passage towards personal insight can be brief and solution focussed, or can take much longer and become open ended. Counselling involves engaging with another person and developing a unique professional relationship over an agreed period of time.
NLP is content free
NLP concentrates on methods that change the way we feel or approach an issue or behaviour, rather than exploring the content of what or why something has happened.
This is also a professional relationship where trust and client confidentiality are key. However clients are not required to engage on an emotional level when practicing NLP. Provided you can follow instructions, approach the work with an open mind, and an attitude of curiosity you can transform your life in a very short space of time without revisiting issues at a deep level.
Finally I believe it’s important to respect that each traveller has a different pace and their journeys and destinations are unique. So if it’s not the right time to embark on a journey, that’s fine provided the traveller takes responsibility for that decision… and that leads me to think about another topic.
Best wishes – Anne