[T]he assumptions of NLP [Neurolinguistic programming], namely that our cognition, behavior and emotions can be “programmed” by mimicking the more superficial aspects of those with desirable attributes (for example posture and mannerism) are wrong. The last thirty years of research have simply shown that NLP is bunk. — Steven Novella, “Neurolinguistic programming and other nonsense,” Neurologica blog, March 28, 2007.
Since the mid-1990s when TV hypnotist Paul McKenna joined the NLP band-wagon, this mystical form of glorified cold reading has gone from strength to strength in Britain; allowing McKenna and his colleagues to become hugely rich by running week-long training sessions involving hundreds of people paying just short of £1,800 each. Well remunerated activities which McKenna supplements by his neat sideline in NLP-inspired self-help books, like Change Your Life in Seven Days, and I Can Make You Rich.
Here in Leicester, the controversial headmaster of Uplands Junior School, Dr Tim Luckcock, is proud to be an accredited NLP practitioner, as are his friends at Positive Engagement, the management consultancy to which he is affiliated. But Dr Luckcock is not alone in his belief in the power of NLP to help people. So the rest of this article will shed some light upon this pseudo-scientific phenomena by introducing some of the therapists kindly providing NLP to the residents of austerity-ridden Leicestershire.
Let’s start with the obviously named NLP Leicester, where one can benefit from the expertise of NLP Master Practitioner David Rose who is there “to help you improve your thinking, communication skills and ability to achieve the outcomes you want in YOUR life NOW.”
As one of his admirers, Douglas Clark, observes:”David Rose is a highly talented and gifted teacher of Hypnosis and NLP, he also produces some of the highest quality audio products on Hypnosis and NLP that I have ever listened to.” Based in Leamington Spa, Douglas Clark himself actually utilises both NLP and EMDR in his consultations, and boasts that he is“an advanced meditator practising the TM Siddhi Techniques [that is Yogic flying] as well as Reiki.”
For those in the dark, EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming, is a special way of moving ones eyes to forget bad memories.
Fellow EMDR and NLP therapist Sara Stevens operates out of Blaby, and adds to her bow of treatments something called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Quoting EFT founder Gary Craig, Stevens highlights the “fact” that: “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.”
Another specialist to combine NLP and EFT therapies is Ashby-de-la-Zouch -based Alexandra Bacon, whose Lotus Therapeutics “is focused on making that transition to success possible through enabling you to overcome your blocks to success.” She offers a “holistic approach to health and wellbeing using revolutionary healing tools and techniques” which includes Bach Flower Therapy. “Recent clients have included Shell and United Biscuits.”
While in Ashby-de-la-Zouch why not take the time to visit Perform UK Ltd, where you will meet Steve Shave, a NLP and Time Line consultant. Shave explains how he wants to help his clients unlock their “unlimited potential” as “often the biggest barrier to fulfilling your potential are your own personal attitudes and beliefs.” One of his specialties, Time Line therapy, itself having been developed by NLP guru, Tad James, to allow clients“to have total emotional control of your life.”
Similarly one could pop down to Empowerment Hypnotherapy Leicestershire (in Desford) to sample the delights of Alexia Elliott, who is a Master Practitioner in NLP and Time Line therapy. In Elliot’s other work as a Shamanic Healer, she understands that: “Contrary to the western model of illness, in the shamanic model there are only two basic causes; That is, either you are missing something you should have (termed soul or power loss), or you have something you shouldn’t (termed a spirit intrusion). In both cases it is understood that all illnesses are spiritual in origin, only becoming a mental or physical problem if left unattended.”
If that was not enough, then “Break through mental barriers and experience more focus, enthusiasm, creativity and fun in your life!” with NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotist and Time Line specialist, Stefan Dziewanowski, who works based from Leicester. He writes: ”If you are ready to let go of the negativity of the past, and to embrace a better, more optimistic future, then I am ready to help you get there with approaches that really make a difference.”
Another Master Practitioner in NLP with plenty of time on his hands is Syed Ali, who runs the PACT Clinic, which is located in the centre of Wigston Town. Luckily, he says he is only there to “show you that you have all the resources inside of you already, and to help you rediscover them.”
If you own a business you might consider calling upon the services of NLP trainer Sam Mawby of the Leicester-based consultancy Learning and Development — whose company boasts of working “with huge companies like, Ford, GM, Next plc to smaller companies like Severnvale Housing, Capstan Bay and SAAB.”
On a more personal level, NLP Practitioner Mark Spalek is free to help in Leicester city centre, and he promises to help you “Replace negative behaviours and habits with positive ones, with immediate and significant effects.” Likewise NLP veteran Ian McPherson, who runs Passion Pumpkin Ltd on Granby Street, is there to help you; and says that his “’Raison d’etre’ is to wake people up to their unhappy conditioned beliefs and to begin a new journey of self discovery.”
Or you might get in contact with NLP trained Transactional Analyst, Hazel Hirst, who supplements her private work by working as a consultant for a dental clinic in Uppingham which boasts of her “98% success rate in helping patients overcome their phobias including dental fears.”
If that impresses you then contact Alan Furness at MBS Counselling in Leicester to witness his skills as a Transactional Analyst and NLP practitioner. Furness reassures prospective clients when he acknowledges: “I became a counsellor after I successfully went through therapy and then trained myself; so I know how hard it can be, especially to take this first step.”
And if you enjoy his company when not visit Brian Martin’s practice in Hinckley, where he combines Transactional Analysis, NLP and EMDR. As one of his former clients informs us: “Brian has changed my life. When I first came to see Brian I was in a terrible state and could not see a way out of it. He has helped me to change the way I think about things and deal with my problems. I would not have managed this on my own.”
Similarly you might be interested in “Discover[ing] How to Change Your Life the Easy Way Using Hypnosis and NLP” with David Allen, who has practices in Hinckley and Leicester. He can convince your “subconscious that smoking is a bad idea” which can only help since ,”the subconscious is in charge of running the body, so it has vested interest in stopping a habit that is damaging your vital organs.”
While in Hinckley why not sample the NLP wares of Tim Considine at Salad Seminars, or speak to the former owners of Salad, Jamie Smart and Nikki Owen, whose most recent enterprise is Jamie Smart Ltd (although one should note that since 2008 Smart has “shifted his focus [away from NLP] to a new paradigm, the principles of Innate Thinking”). And to round off your tour of Hinckley, say hello to Ann and Steve Finnemore, the owners and therapists at Getting You There, whose “massage couch is well-padded and can be lowered to enable those of you with mobility problems to get on and off easily and comfortably.”
Just outside of Hinckley in the tranquil village of Burbage you could also pop in to sample the delights of Peace of Mind Health. A practice run by Reiki whizz Jeni Stroud, whose other therapeutic skills lie in NLP and EFT. But don’t forget, as Stroud gently reminds potential clients, “you do not have to be in crisis or on the verge of one, before choosing to have this counselling as a therapy. You may be experiencing underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general, or be seeking balance in your life and spirituality.”
Finally, if straight NLP is not enough for you, then ask some of the aforementioned practitioners about it’s latest iteration, Neuro Hypnotic Repatterning (NHR), which in the words of NLP head honcho Richard Bandler…
…uses the hypnotic process to restructure experiences that people have at the neurological and chemical level. The only question is how much pleasure can you stand, how much excitement can you stand, how much success can you have? Instead of teaching people to lead with their minds, NHR teaches you to lead with your feelings. You learn to saturate your neurology with the chemicals that make us feel good. Because if you get your whole body in the right state there’s just about nothing that human beings can’t do.
It seems that the benefits that such neurobabbling practitioners can bring to society have no end: the mind is the limit… and perhaps the size of your wallet (although even that can be swelled via NLP)… however:
In the long run perhaps the heaviest cost extracted by neuromythologists [like NLP practitioners] is the one common to all pseudosciences — deterioration in the already low levels of scientific literacy and critical thinking in society. The purveyors of neurobabble urge us to equate truth with what feels right and to abandon the commonsense insistence that those who would enlighten us provide at least as much evidence as we demand of politicans or used-car salesmen. New Age slogans such as “You can create your own reality” reinforce our deep-seated longings for arcane formulae that will acheive our goals through imagination rather than perspiration. It would indeed be nice if mental and physical limits applied only to those who concede their validity. While distorting the real accomplishments of science and raising false hopes, pseudosciences also divert personal and societal energies from valid efforts to solve life’s problems. — Barry Beyerstein, “Brainscams: neuromythologies of the New Age,” International Journal of Mental Health, 19(3), 1990, pp.33-4.