Thursday, March 20, 2008

NLP Techniques Rapport Anchoring Swish Reframing Parts integration

NLP Techniques

NLP proposed a number of simple techniques involving matching, pacing and leading for establishing rapport with people. There are a number of techniques explored in NLP that are supposed to be beneficial in building and maintaining rapport such as: matching and pacing non-verbal behavior (body posture, head position, gestures, voice tone, and so forth) and matching speech and body rhythms of others (breathing, pulse, and so forth).

Anchoring is the process by which a particular state or response is associated (anchored) with a unique anchor. An anchor is most often a gesture, voice tone or touch but could be any unique visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory or gustatory stimulus. It is claimed that by recalling past resourceful states one can anchor those states to make them available in new situations. A psychotherapist might anchor positive states like calmness and relaxation, or confidence in the treatment of phobias and anxiety, such as in public speaking. Proponents state that anchors are capable of being formed and reinforced by repeated stimuli, and thus are analogous to classical conditioning.

Anchoring appears to have been imported into NLP from family systems therapy as part of the 'model' of Virginia Satir.

Swish is a novel visualization technique for reducing unwanted habits. The process involves disrupting a pattern of thought that usually leads to an unwanted behavior such that it leads to a desired alternative. The process involves visualizing the trigger or 'cue image' that normally leads to the unwanted behavior pattern, such as a smoker's hand with a cigarette moving towards the face. The cue image is then switched a number of times with a visualization of a desired alternative, such as a self-image looking resourceful and fulfilled. The swish is tested by having the person think of the original cue image that use to lead to the undesired behavior, or by presenting the actual cue such as a cigarette to the client, while observing the responses. If the client stays resourceful then the process is complete. The name swish comes from the sound made by the practitioner/trainer as the visualizations are switched. Swish also makes use of submodalities, for example, the internal image of the unwanted behavior is typically shrunk to a small and manageable size and the desired outcome (or self-image) is enhanced by making it brighter and larger than normal. The swish was first published by Richard Bandler.

In NLP, reframing is the process whereby an element of communication is presented so as to transform an individual's perception of the meanings or "frames" attributed to words, phrases and events. By changing the way the event is perceived "responses and behaviors will also change. Reframing with language allows you to see the world in a different way and this changes the meaning. Reframing is the basis of jokes, myths, legends, fairy tales and most creative ways of thinking." The concept was common to a number of therapies prior to NLP. For example, it appeared in the approaches of Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls and Milton Erickson and in strategic therapy of Paul Watzlawick. There are examples in children's literature. Pollyanna, for example, would play The Glad Game whenever she felt downhearted to remind herself of the things that she could do, and not worry about the things that she could not change.

Six step reframe
An example of reframing is found in the six-step reframe which involves distinguishing between an underlying intention and the consequent behaviors for the purpose of achieving the intention by different and more successful behaviors. It is based on the notion that there is a positive intention behind all behaviors, but that the behaviors themselves may be unwanted or counterproductive in other ways. NLP uses this staged process to identify the intention and create alternative choices to satisfy that intention.

Ecology and congruency
Ecology in NLP deals with the relationship between a client and his or her natural, social and created environments and how a proposed goal or change might retreat to his or her relationships and environment. It is a frame within which the desired outcome is checked against the consequences client's life and mind as systemic processes. It treats the client's relationship with self as a system and his or her relationship with others as subsystems that interact so when someone considers a change it is important therefore to take into account the consequences on the system as a whole. Like gestalt therapy a goal of NLP is to help the client choose goals and make changes that achieve a sense of personal congruency and integrity with personal and other aspects of the client's life.

Parts integration
Parts Integration creates a metaphor of different aspects (parts) of ourselves which are in conflict due to different goals, perceptions and beliefs. 'Parts integration' is the process of 'identifying' these parts and negotiating (or working) with each of these parts separately & together, with a goal of resolving internal conflict. Successful parts negotiation occurs by listening to and providing opportunities to meet the needs of each part and adequately addressing each part's interests so that they are each satisfied with the desired outcome. It often involves negotiating with the conflicting parts of a person to achieve resolution. Parts integration appears to be modeled on 'parts' from family therapy and has similarities to ego-state therapy in psychoanalysis in that it seeks to resolve conflicts that constitute a "family of self" within a single individual.