NLP started out as the study of effective use of language to enable change in people, to this end it was perhaps natural that Richard Bandler and John Grinder would end up incorporating perhaps the oldest, most flexible language based change mechanism – Hypnosis.
For many people the moment that they hear the word Hypnosis they run for the hills. Either their mind jumps to the Stage Hypnotist making their subject do weird and embarrasing things all in the name of entertainment, or to the Hypnotherapist having their clients lie on a couch and go to sleep.
In NLP, Hypnosis is neither of these and is about the language of Hypnosis, specifically the language and techniques of Milton Erickson; a hypnotherapist in the 1960’s & 1970’s who used covert language patterns to create change in his patients.
Although the Hypnosis is an important part of the NLP practitioner program it will not be covered in depth here. There is a complete Hypnosis training course elsewhere on this site and it is suggested that you review that program should you wish to get a better understanding of Hypnosis.
NLP, Hypnosis and The Milton Model
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is about changing the representations of experience to improve a persons behaviours and beliefs and Hypnosis is an ideal tool for tapping in to the unconscious processes. However, within NLP we rarely (if ever) consider putting people into deep trance through the normal hypnotic techniques and the integration of Hypnosis into NLP is a use of The Milton Model set of language patterns.
Ericksonian hypnosis is somewhat different from classical hypnosis and it is often refered to as Covert or Conversational hypnosis as it is designed to work on clients by putting them into a trance without even noticing it, a waking trance.
Where the Meta-Model is designed to identify specific information and to get to greater detail, the Milton-Model works the other way and was created to be artfully vague. Erickson used the vague language to create world of possibility within his clients by taking them out of reality and structured order.
The Milton-Model has a similar structure to the Meta-Model and but the Milton Model contains a number of strategic Meta-Model violation which creates confusion and uncertainty in the client, and this in turn opens them up to suggestions that can enhance the change process.
Understanding and using the Milton Model is an important part of NLP however as with all of the techniques it needs to be combined with the other components to be at its most effective.
Review the additional Milton Model articles to fully understand the way the model works and most of all practice the language techniques using the training exercises elsewhere on this site.