I was first introduced to NLP back in the 1980's through Anthony Robbins book 'Unlimited Power' a fascinating self help book that introduced the key elements of NLP in a very practical way. From this point on I was hooked. In the early 1990's I went and did a local introductory course to learn more. However, it was my first NLP Practitioner course with Paul McKenna, Richard Bandler and Michael Breen in the late 1990's that really opened my eyes to the potential.
I was fortunate in that my company at the time Scottish & Newcastle PLC funded my first NLP course with a view to me training some of the best elements to the sales force which I duly did. Sadly, for my company, it also put me on track for a new career in NLP therapy and training. Within the next few years, I trained to Master level, Meta Master level and Trainer level, also taking the opportunity to assist Paul McKenna and Dr Richard Bandler on their training programmes. I think over those years, I must have participated either as an assistant or delegtate on 8 NLP Practitioners, 4 Master NLP Practitioners and 2 Trainer Trainers as well as one off seminars such as Hypnosis, Weight Loss, Phobia's elimination, Happiness to name but a few. For me at the time, I couldn't get enough training and practice. Every seminar I learned something new!
One of the biggest convincers as to the power of NLP was doing Phobia days as part of the NLP Practitioner training. Paul McKenna would get Tarantula spiders and snakes from London Zoo for the day in order to test that delegates had got over their fears. This was amazing to see as a delegate someone with such intense fear being completely over the fear within 20 mins, so I know there must be something in it! As an assistant one year, I remember Paul asking me to be in charge of the spiders for testing. This involved me having a Tarantula spider crawling up and down my arm and then when delegates having gone through the NLP Fast Phobia Cure would come to me to test that they had overcome their fear by holding the spider and allowing it to crawl up and down their arm. I have to admit to being abit reluctant when Paul asked me to do this as I had never held a large spider myself before! However you have got to walk the talk in order to be able to help others.
Whilst doing my NLP training and practising as a NLP Coach, I also started training as a Hypnotherapist to advanced diploma level as the link between NLP therapy and Hypnotherapy was so natural. This enabled me to practise as a Hypnotherapist with a strong NLP therapy specialism. This led me to opening my first clinic Norwich Hypnotherapy Practice and first training business the East Anglian Institute back in 2001 which was opened by Derren Brown at the Old Palace on Heigham Street in Norwich.
Since those early days of training, I have trained hundreds of students in NLP and Hypnotherapy and helped hundreds of clients using the NLP methods. Even to this day, NLP forms a key part of any therapy work I do. Having studied Paul McKenna over the years and watched him help thousands of people through his books and live demonstrations, I realised early on that the most effective parts of his work was the NLP work he did. Therapy methods come and go and get reinvented under different names or guises, however I suspect that I will do NLP until I retire. Why change something that works so well?
I tell this story to students because it is important to see the amout of practice that is required to become truly proficient in something to the point that you will see success in your work. I have often seen students come on courses and expect that one diploma or practitioner course will be enough to have a career as a hypnotherapist and NLP coach, usually as you can see from my story the first course is only the beginning!
John Plester is a Clinical Hypnotherapist specialising in NLP at Norwich Hypnotherapy Practice, Norwich, Norfolk as well as the specialist NLP Tutor at the East Anglian Institute of Hypnotherapy.