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NLP for Therapy

Written by Franciska Neuhauser
For enquiries about NLP for Therapy,
contact Franciska at

Neuro-linguistic programming is a method for modelling excellence. It is the study of how we do what we do, especially the behaviour that works well. By studying thinking patterns and behaviours that create excellent outcomes, NLP professionals can teach other people strategies for achieving their own best outcomes. These goals range from personal (such as improving self-confidence, quitting an addiction, resolving trauma and health problems, becoming happier...) through to corporate success (such as increasing sales, improving public speaking, developing better marketing strategies, creating better workplace dynamics). NLP supporters love NLP because it creates rapid change by providing tangible steps for a person or an organisation to put in place to create great outcomes.

How NLP may be useful in Therapy

NLP is an extremely powerful, goal-oriented, and practical therapeutic approach to problem solving, self development, and health management. It is based on the premise that each person has their own “map” or model of the world (with no map/model being more “real” than any other); and that the processes inside a person (memories, thoughts, and ways of thinking), and between a person and their environment (attitudes, habits, and behaviours), are linked together.

Everyone has all the resources they need to make positive changes in their life and NLP techniques can be used to facilitate these changes by teaching skills to stop that internal nagging voice; to move on from disappointment; to decide on a new way of behaving; and establishing new patterns of behaviour.

Some of the most common issues that people use NLP therapeutically for are:

  • Addiction / Obsessions

  • Anxiety / Nerves

  • Confidence / Self-Esteem

  • Depression

  • Fears / Phobias

  • Grief

  • Motivation / Procrastination

  • Relationships

  • Stress

  • Trauma


NLP Technique for Therapy


Anxiety is a common issue experienced by people and often it comes up because we worry about things in the future. NLP offers some quick and highly effective techniques to help you overcome those debilitating feelings associated with anxiety. Here is one that you can try for yourself.

NLP Grounding
  1. Think of a recent time when you experienced complete calmness. (If you can’t think of a specific time, create an imagine of a place that you would feel completely calm in.)

  2. Put yourself into that experience (or imagined place) as if you were there, right now.

  3. Look around you and notice everything you can see: is the image in colour or black and white? Is it bright or dull? What colours are standing out the most?

  4. Now pay attention to the sounds around you: what can you hear? What direction are the sounds coming from? Are they near or far? Are they loud or soft? Are they low or high pitched? Is there a rhythm to the sounds?

  5. Finally, what physical sensations are you aware of? Is the air around you still or is there a breeze? Is there a sensation in your body, and if so, whereabouts? Is there a temperature associated with the sensation? Is it hot or cold? Does it feel soft, or hard? Smooth or rough? Does the sensation have a rhythm? Does it spin, and if so, in which direction?


NLP Technique for Therapy

Here is a video of Steve Andreas demonstrating the “Spinning Feelings” technique to rapidly resolve anxiety.


Research About NLP in Therapy


Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) has been shown to eliminate Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms in over 90% of returned US military veterans who were treated using this NLP protocol. The pilot study was first published in 2015 and subsequently replicated three more times in 2017 with similar results.

4 Steps for Dealing with Bereavement was developed using NLP modelling techniques. This research paper explains the model, discusses two case studies to demonstrate its application in both short-term and long-term therapeutic processes, and concludes that this NLP model provides a practical set of techniques to apply in crisis intervention as well as undertaking deeper therapeutic work.


Books About NLP for Therapy

RESOLVE: A New Model of Therapy

Dr Richard Bolstad is a New Zealand born author, internationally recognised NLP Master Trainer, Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy, Chi Kung Instructor, Teacher, and Registered Nurse, who is widely known in the global NLP community for his promotion of research-based NLP. In this book, Richard outlines his RESOLVE framework – which integrates NLP's effective brief therapy and the personal encounter of psychotherapy – and provides examples from his work with PTSD in Bosnia-Herzegovnia, and with addictions, depression, anxiety conditions, personality disorders, and psychoses in clinical practice in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Changing Belief Systems with NLP

Robert Dilts is an internationally respected developer, author, trainer, and consultant in the field of NLP. Primarily drawn from a manuscript of a seminar on belief change, this book describes advanced NLP techniques for identifying and influencing key beliefs. By doing so, it presents and preserves some of the feeling and interactive insight that comes from the real-life experience of working with people and their beliefs.


How the Writer of this Page Uses NLP in Therapy

Franciska Neuhauser

I was 35 when the world around me came crumbling down. After years of trying to be everything to everyone, I found myself burned out and suffering from a variety of emotional and physical health issues. I was stressed, distressed, and desperately unhappy. Then my marriage ended and my vision of what the future entailed, completely wiped away. Enter grief. Then survival mode. Followed by healing. And a process of transformation.

Having left the business world behind, it was during my counselling and psychology training that I discovered NLP. Experiencing first-hand the healing power of NLP, I couldn’t wait to share these powerful therapeutic tools with my clients.

Today I am a certified NLP Master Practitioner and have the pleasure of helping others manage and overcome grief, trauma, anxiety, and phobias; and empower people to restore their self-esteem, confidence, health, wellbeing, and better relationships. I work with both individuals and couples, so that they may enjoy better, more fulfilling lives. Although I am based in Christchurch, I also offer therapy/coaching sessions via Zoom.


For enquiries about using NLP in therapy, or to join our NLP for Therapy online professional development and peer supervision group (for Associate and Professional Members of NZANLP), contact Franciska Neuhauser: