NLP FAQ - What is NLP? - What is the difference between NLP, Coaching and Hypnotherapy? -Is NLP as good as they say it is? - Is hypnosis safe?
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Cravings for sweet foods banished.

"My problem was that after three kids I had begun to stack on the weight and I had constant sugar cravings. So about five days ago I had a hypnotherapy session with Abby Eagle.

Anyway, since then my sugar cravings have diminished by 90%. And the amazing thing is that I have not had to use any will power or concentration.

It's absolutely amazing. If I want a snack I just eat a raw carrot. The change is that fantastic."Lavinia Rampino, Gold Coast, Australia.

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NLP and Hypnotherapy
Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Who founded NLP?
  2. What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)?
  3. What is Neuro-Semantics?
  4. What is Coaching?
  5. What is Hypnotherapy?
  6. How will I know that I have been hypnotised? What should I expect from a NLP hypnotherapy session?
  7. When is hypnotherapy sufficient by itself and when are other healing modalities required?
  8. Myths about hypnosis.
  9. What is the difference between Traditional Hypnotherapy and NLP Hypnotherapy?
  10. How does NLP differ from Psychology and Psychiatry?
  11. What are the applications of NLP?
  12. What are the principles of NLP?
  13. What is your background?
  14. Concerns about Hypnosis.
  15. Blog notes on Hypnosis
  16. What is the best personality typing tool?

1. Who founded NLP?

Richard Bandler is credited with 'discovering' the NLP modelling technique in the early 1970s when he inadvertently modelled Fritz Perls. According to John Grinder, Bandler and Frank Pucelik were highly skilled in both modelling and Gestalt Therapy by the time he started working with them in 1974. John was originally co-opted to turn what Bandler and Pucelik could already do into a coherent model they could teach to others. Credit also needs to be given to a host of other codevelopers who played a part in its development as a field.

Bandler went on to develop Design Human Engineering, Grinder developed the New Code NLP,  Anthony Robbins developed Neuro Associative Conditioning, Michael L. Hall developed Neuro Semantics, and many others have developed their own change models based upon the original NLP model.

If you have an interest in studying NLP it is recommended that you study some of the early books and training materials in order to gain an understanding of the spirit in which NLP was created.

2. What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)?

NLP is a behavioural and cognitive psychology that grew out of the Human Potential Movement (HPM) of the 1960's. Some of the key players in the HPM were William James, Aldous Huxley, Carl Rogers, Viktor Frankl, Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, Gregory Bateson and Moshe Feldenkrais.

NLP was also developed at a time when hypnosis was not looked upon favourably by the mainstream psychology and medical professions. NLP then became a way to covertly employ hypnosis.

Neuro from neurology. Our senses (abstracters), - visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory, gustatory (VAKOG), are the closest contact we have with the territory and abstract the information.

Linguistics refers to the way that language affects our perception of the world and creates behaviours.

Programming refers to the notion that the neural network pathways are programmed to work in predictable ways.

NLP is a methodology of modelling. It is the process of recognising patterns of excellence and defining them in such a way that others can use them.

NLP requires both an attitude of curiosity and scientific but playful approach to experiment beyond the traditional paradigms. NLP is not so much interested in the 'why' but in the 'how' to get results.

Major influences on NLP are as follows:

    • General Semantics: Non Aristotelian Systems. Alfred Korzybski. The map is not the territory.
    • Transformational Grammar: An evolution from General Semantics. A change in the structure of language affects behaviour. Linguistic analysis.
    • Logical Levels: Steps to an ecology of mind. Gregory Bateson.
    • Stimulus response conditioning: Ivan Pavlov.
    • Family Therapy: Virginia Satir. The Meta Model.
    • Hypnosis: Milton Erickson. The Milton Model.
    • Gestalt therapy: Fritz Perls.
    • Body work: Moshe Feldenkrais.
    • Physics: Laser technology and foray patterns.
    • Systems theory: Strategies. Galanter, Miller and Pribram.
    • Quantum physics: The observer influences the subject and therefore the outcome.
    • Psychology: William James. Principles of Psychology 1891.

NLP is a process of discovery that leaves behind it a trail of techniques. The techniques that are written up in the books and taught at workshops are not NLP. They are the results of applying the NLP methodology of modelling.

3. What is Neuro-Semantics?

Neuro-Semantics was developed by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. "As an inter-disciplinary field, the models of Neuro-Semantics come from the field of the Cognitive Behavioral sciences, from Developmental Psychology, the neuro-sciences, General Semantics, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), cognitive linguistics, cybernetics, and system dynamics. The first and core model of Neuro-Semantics is the Meta-States Model developed in 1994 by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. The Meta-States Model contributed to the NLP Model the modeling of self-reflexive consciousness and has taken NLP to a higher level of professional ethics." (L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

4. What is Coaching?

Coaching is the process of helping another person to access their internal and external resources, and utilise those resources to achieve a desired outcome that is in alignment with their highest potential. Coaching is a method to bring dreams about the future into the reality of now. Coaching may involve clearing up past issues that prevent the actualisation of your goals but the focus is always on the future. Coaching in Neuro-Semantics is called Meta-Coaching.

Coaches may specialise in one area of expertise, for example: business coaching, performance coaching, executive coaching, team coaching, personal coaching, life coaching, health coaching, wealth coaching, sports coaching, relationship coaching, spiritual coaching, transformational coaching, etc.

Business coaching focuses on the structure of a business as in financial planning, marketing, systems and procedures, business development, etc. Business coaching may involve working with an individual or a team.

Performance coaching focuses on improving performance in a specified area of expertise.

Executive coaching, personal coaching and life coaching are all similar in that they focus on personal development and on the individual performing better either in a business environment in their personal life.

Transformational coaching has the aim of awakening the client to their life's purpose and helping them to restructure their sense of self and then build a propulsion system towards achieving their desired outcomes.

Levels of Coaching

1. Performance Coaching: is focussed on improving the performance of current behaviours and skills. As one improves behaviour the changes may slowly filter up through to higher levels of mind and stimulates change in capability, beliefs, values, attitudes, identity and spirituality.

2. Developmental Coaching: is focussed on developing capabilities and new behaviours by working directly at the level of beliefs, values and identity.

3. Transformational Coaching: is focussed on facilitating a paradigm shift at the level of identity and spirituality.

5. What is Hypnotherapy?

Therapy is the process of healing problems that originate in the past from conditioning and life experience. Therapy gets you ready for coaching. Hypnotherapy is the process of using hypnosis for therapeutic outcomes. Combining NLP with hypnosis makes therapy more effective. Therapy may include some elements of coaching.

6. How will I know that I have been hypnotised? What should I expect from a NLP hypnotherapy session?

Most people are familiar with the traditional hypnosis style as used by the early hypnotists such as George Estabrooks (1885 – 1973). With the traditional style the hypnotist acts as-if, and sometimes believes, that they have a stronger mind than the subject; that they can control the subjects mind and that they can make the subject do anything they want. A typical trance induction method is for the hypnotist to hold a watch above the line of vision of the subject, forcing the subject to stare upwards. The hypnotist then repeats in a monotonous tone of voice for ten minutes or so words to the effect, “Your eyes are getting heavy…”  The traditional style also uses suggestibility tests such as taking hold of the subjects arm, straightening it out and suggesting that the arm has become stiff and rigid, and then challenging the subject to try and relax the arm. This style of induction is slow and laborious, sometimes taking half an hour just to get the client ready for the change-work. Traditional hypnosis does not respect the client as being the locus of change.

Stage hypnosis is based upon traditional hypnosis and gives the impression that the hypnotist has power over the weaker mind of the subject but nothing is further from the truth. There is an interface between the hypnotist and the subject. The subject takes in information via their senses and builds an internal representation in their mind. Stage hypnosis, like all hypnosis is self hypnosis, is autosuggestion. Stage hypnosis is also a totally different context to clinical hypnotherapy in that stage hypnosis attracts the type of person who has a vivid imagination, who wants to be on stage and perform and who is willing to follow directions without question. Any subject who does not meet these criteria is removed from the stage. When amnesia occurs it is generally because the hypnotist demands it or because the subject willingly plays along with the performance.

Dave Elman (1900–1967), used a direct hypnosis approach but speeded up the process of inducing trance, usually achieving a satisfactory trance within a couple of minutes. His style is recognisable by the line, “Close your eyes and relax the muscles around your eyes…” Dave Elman also used open eye and waking trance procedures.

Milton H. Erickson (1901–1980), developed a conversational style of hypnosis in which the subject was given permission when and how to enter trance. The eyes may remain open or not. For example, “Your eyes, may or may not, close now…” In this style the subject may not recognise that they have been in trance or are in trance.

Using the modelling tools of NLP, Richard Bandler (1950-) and others were able to map the actual structure used in trance induction and trance utilisation. With the NLP style of hypnosis a formal trance induction is usually waived and the practitioner may instead go directly for the outcome and say something to the effect, “Close your eyes and go into a deep trance now…” With experience the NLP hypnotherapist learns how to recognise trance from minimal cues and how to use the NLP change techniques in conversation. This is the most artful form of hypnosis but if the client is expecting traditional hypnosis with closed eyes, arm levitation and amnesia, they may feel like they have just been chatting and that they have not been hypnotised.

In addition, as Eastern meditation techniques become more integrated into Western Psychology, the New Age and personal development models, we find a blurring between the distinctions of what is hypnosis and what is meditation? In fact, not only is deep hypnosis identical to deep trance but in deep hypnosis you are actually more aware of your experience than in your normal waking state. In deep trance you are 'wide awake' – the mind is quiet, you feel contented but you are not asleep. Only in rare cases do people demonstrate amnesia.

Clinical hypnotherapy is nothing like stage hypnosis which actually creates false expectations of what the experience should be like. The hypnotherapist does not do things to you, have power over your mind or make you achieve your desired outcome. That is to say, a hypnotherapist can not make you stop smoking, they can not give you confidence, they cannot make you feel motivated to exercise. On the contrary, the role of the hypnotherapist is to put you in the drivers seat of your mind and show you how to work the controls such that you become more response-able. To put it another way, hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness in which you learn how to get in touch with your unconscious mind and reorganise the matrices of your mind such that you are able to access inner resources and utilise outer resources to achieve your desired outcome. On a finishing note is it more important for you to believe that you have been hypnotised or to get your desired outcome?

7. When is hypnotherapy sufficient by itself and when are other healing modalities required?

Traditional hypnosis link) is highly effective for changing bad habits such as cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol and eating problem foods but only to a degree. If there are negative events, negative emotions, trauma, low self esteem, low self confidence, stress and multiple addictions then a more cognitive structured approach is required hence we draw upon the methodology, tools and techniques of NLP and Neuro Semantics.

In the context of weight loss, people sometimes seek help for motivation to exercise, thinking that somehow hypnotherapy can be used to make them feel motivated. But motivation is not a feeling that you can attach to a behaviour. Motivation is a nominalisation – a gestalt state. People generally lack motivation because they don’t have a well defined goal or because the goal holds insufficient meaning for them. In this case we use NLP to build a well formed outcome (a goal) and then add intentionality and value to the steps involved in taking action towards the goal. Motivation is best built using NLP, Neuro Semantics and Conversational Hypnosis rather than traditional hypnosis.

8. Myths about Hypnosis

  • "The hypnotist has power over the subject and can make them do anything that he wants." Not true - all hypnosis is self hypnosis. The person sets an intention to achieve an outcome. The person gives prestige to the hypnotist such that the hypnotist is then able to help the person to change their state of consciousness and enter a trance such that they can develop a better communication system with their unconscious mind.
  • "The person will have amnesia for the experience." Not true - in most cases the person will be totally aware of whatever is said during the session, and will remember what happened.
  • "All the hypnotist has to do is wave his magic wand and all of your problems will disappear." Definitely not true.

Hypnosis is not like visiting a doctor, taking a drug, having an anaesthetic or having surgery. Hypnosis is a state of mind that allows you to access inner resources and think about things in a new way such that you can make steps towards acheiving a desired outcome.

Some people will say, "I want you to hypnotise me to stop smoking." As if the hypnotist has some power over the mind and behaviour of the person. Nothing is further from the truth. All hypnosis is self hypnosis. All a hypnotist does is show the subject how to run their own brain. Like training wheels on a child's bicycle. Once you know how to run your own brain you no longer need the hypnotist.

The statement, "I want you to hypnotise me to stop smoking.", also puts the locus of control outside of yourself. As if the person has no control over their behaviour; as if the cigarettes just light themselves and jump into their mouth. Step one with all changework is that the person realise that it is they who are doing the behaviour. The person needs to take responsibility for their behaviour before any therapist can help them.

9. What is the difference between Traditional Hypnotherapy and NLP Hypnotherapy?

NLP provides a methodology for identifying the structure of the mind. NLP allows us to map out our unconscious process much like a road map. Traditional hypnotherapy provides a method to communicate with and make suggestions to the unconscious mind but it can be a little vague and ill defined. For example, with traditional therapy one may be advised to attend four to five sessions and then wait and see if you get the desired outcome. However, by combining hypnotherapy with NLP you get immediate results while you are in the session room. By the end of the session you should know that you have made significant changes. Often times the changes are transformational. That is why on the NLP Hypnotherapy feedback pages you will read so many examples of people having made massive change in one or two sessions.

10. How does NLP differ from Psychology and Psychiatry?

Both psychiatry and psychology tend to focus on the content, hence psychiatrists and psychologist may spend considerable time having you talk about your past problems. Both psychiatry and psychology ask "why" the client has a problem. They analyse the client until they decide upon a diagnosis which invariably means the client ends up wearing a label. Psychiatry and psychology are related to the medical model.

Rather than focus on content NLP works with the structure of the mind. NLP is solution oriented. NLP is process oriented. NLP is not interested in why you have a problem. NLP is interested in how to get a result as quickly as possible. NLP is probably not considered to be scientific by the psychological profession but NLP is practical and methodical and most importantly NLP consistently gets results.

11. What are the applications of NLP?

NLP can be used as a therapy to heal the past and to help people change bad habits. Most importantly NLP can be used to create peak performance in the areas of business, sales, health, sport, education and learning. NLP can be used to influence most things in a person's life. The NLP models can be applied to an organisation as well as an individual, and can be applied to the study of any discipline such as science and religion.

12. Principles of NLP

  • NLP is the study of subjective experience.
  • The mind has a structure that can be mapped.
  • Mind and body are not separate. Mind-body is one system.
  • The meaning of your communication is the response that you get.
  • There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.
  • People are not broken - they work perfectly. We just need to find a solution.
  • If your beliefs limit you then rather than changing the world change your beliefs.
  • All behaviour has a positive intention. The intention needs to be acknowledged. Behaviour is the output of the matrices of mind.
  • We need to add choices, not take them away. People will always choose the best option.
  • If someone else can do it, then their is a possibility that others can to.
  • There needs to be sufficient degree of rapport (trust and respect) between the coach and the client for transformational change to occur.
  • The NLP Practitioner / Coach / Hypnotherapist acts as a facilitator to help the client reorganise their matrices of mind.
  • The session outcome needs to be well formed.
  • The client has all the resources they need to bring about a change.
  • The client is responsible for the changes they make.

13. What is your background?

Abby Eagle NLP hypnotherapy qualifications.

I started out my academic life by studying Applied Science and working as a Laboratory Technician at the University of Western Australia, department of Botany for twelve years. I completed half of first year towards a degree in Psychology before deferring due to ill health. In retrospect not completing a psychology degree was one of the best things that happened to me as I did not get indoctrinated with an antiquated model of change work. After the Lab Tech position I held a number of telemarketing positions and then explored a variety of self employment opportunities. For a short period I held a position as Honorary Probation and Parole Officer at Department of Corrective Services in Fremantle WA which involved interviewing offenders and writing personal history reports.

Just after leaving the university I took Sannyas with the contemporary Zen mystic, Osho. I participated in many types of meditation practice and personal development workshops with other Sannyasins between 1984 and 1990. In 1984 I took a weekly psychic skills development class with Jesse Greene at which we learned how to develop intuition and psychic skills for the purpose of deepening our meditation. It was at her classes that I was introduced to NLP and hypnosis. Jesse went on to specialise in the field of Addiction and Co-dependency.

I travelled to the United States and India to visit Osho's communes and explore meditation and leading edge personal growth procedures. On returning from India I promoted various psychologists in the personal growth industry, the most relevant one being Terry McClendon who delivered the first NLP Practitioner Certification to be held in Perth.

After that I applied my NLP skills to modelling clairvoyants, channelers and psychics, and proceeded to run courses in Psychic Skills on the Gold Coast. Over the years I have presented talks on NLP to industry bodies, associations and to any audience that would listen; and given personal consultations and delivered workshops on NLP and hypnosis. For three years I consulted at Hippocrates Health Centre on the Gold Coast Qld where I was able to observe the healing effect of the mind on the physical body.

I branched out a from personal development for a while and applied my skills to marketing for small businesses. Up until 1999 my sales experience had been restricted to direct sales, seminars and telemarketing so I took a job as a show room sales consultant with a Gold Coast retailer and sold furniture for six months before moving back into marketing.

From 2001 to 2003 I managed the business development arm for Bazdale Finance Brokers on the Gold Coast. I wrote their administration manual, designed recruitment procedures, compiled a training manual for their agents and consultants. Sometime around 2002 I refocused my energies back into the application of NLP, hypnotherapy and meditation for stress management and mind-body healing.


14. What is the best Personality Typing Tool / Profile / Test?

Some personality typing tools may invite lots of discussion and warm fuzzy feelings but are useless when it comes to facilitating rapid personal change. If you are like me, then you want to know which are the best personality typing tools for personal and business applications? Which ones will give you a clear set of distinctions that you can use to bring about measurable change and higher levels of success in life, relationships, career, sports performance and health?

I have reviewed some of the most useful personality typing tools such as: I Ching - Myers Briggs - Keirsey Bates Temperament Sorter - iPersonic Personality Type - Enneagram - DISC Personality Types - INSIGHT Inventory Personality Profile Test - Holland's theory of career choice - NLP Meta Programs - Wealth Dynamics Personality Profile - Talent Dynamics Profile and the Wealth Spectrum Test. Compare the best personality tests.


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