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what is it? What is It?
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Abby Eagle challenge everything for the truth

NLP glossary of terms in the context of NLP, Hypnosis and Meditation... Phone 07 5562 5718 or send an email to book a free 20 minute telephone or Skype session with Abby Eagle. NLP Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Meditation. Gold Coast, Robina, Australia. Online NLP Coaching sessions on Skype and by phone also available.


NLP Glossary of Terms & Definitions - made simple


Acknowledge / Validate / Celebrate

Acknowledge means to express recognition, thanks or gratitude as in, "Thanks for that." Or, "I heard what you said." Acknowledgment is just a simple recognition. We can also acknowledge with body language and gestures - by turning our body towards the other, by looking at the person and nodding our head, or raising our hand in a gesture of acknowledgement.

Validation builds upon the foundation of acknowledgement and confirms the truth of something. We validate the person as a human being first and foremost just for who they are, acknowledging that they are worthy, and that they have a special gift or even being perfect in their imperfection. To give approval especially after examining it, for example. "I'd like to acknowledge the efforts that you have made to improve the health of your body."

Celebration is to praise, rejoice and publicly proclaim with positive emotion, for example. "Great stuff! That is fantastic. This is impressive. You have done well." In NLP terms, celebration may be used to reinforce a positive behaviour or understanding that the client expressed, but which they may not have acknowledged to themself.

Celebration can be the act of showing appreciation for an event that occurred, such as the full moon, a birthday, marriage, etc. It can praise the achievement of an individual for completing something such as a course of study, saving a sum of money, buying a new car, getting a job. It can measure the achievement of an organisation, for example. Ten years in business, one million in annual turnover, ten thousand daily visitors to website.


Is a psychoanalytical term for reliving a past event rather than mere recall.


The process of abstracting up and down over a range of specificity from details to the big picture. The ability to recognise and compare patterns between different ideas, concepts and things is a function of abstracting fluidly while simultaneously shifting the focus to another topic, subject or type of thing.


Total or partial loss of bodily sensation with or without loss of consciousness.


A lessening or total absence of pain without loss of consciousness.


NLP term for stimulus response conditioning where a stimulus is paired with a response. Thereafter when the stimulus - the anchor - is presented it reaccesses the response. For example, if you are in an intense emotional state when you hear a piece of music then at a later date the music will trigger the emotional state.


The term is used by hypnotists to refer to a state of lethargy in which the subject becomes unresponsive to suggestion. For the subject it can feel like going unconscious. Dave Elman refers to this state as artificial somnambulism.

Awareness continuum

A meditation procedure in which you scan the body for any pain, discomfort or tension. One just notices the sensation without making any attempt to change it.

Bliss technique

A simple yet powerful technique, similar to what meditators call ‘witnessing’, that can be used to clear negative emotions from past events.

Blow out a strategy

Refers to the process of altering a strategy in such a way that it is unable to produce its original outcome.


Is the process of reading another person’s unconscious responses (body language) by pairing observable behavioural cues with a specific stimulus. The best time to observe calibrations is when they change. The art of calibrating requires a refined sensory acuity. Some examples of behavioural cues in the kinesthetic modality are changes in lower lip size, skin colour, skin and muscle tension, eye movement, pupil size, breathing, gestures and posture. Examples of behavioural cues in the auditory channel are changes in voice volume, tonality, tempo and pauses. Examples of verbal cues are specific words and phrases.


A condition characterised by muscular rigidity and a lack of response to an external stimuli. The limbs remain in whatever position they are placed. It occurs in epilepsy, schizophrenia and is a hypnotic phenomena. Arm catalepsy, where the arm of the subject floats in mid air, can be induced through hypnosis or it can occur spontaneously as a result of it. (


A condition characterized by either rigidity or extreme flexibility of the limbs. The terms ‘catalepsy’ and ‘catatonia’ seem to be used as synonyms in the context of hypnosis.

Change History

An NLP technique which uses anchoring to add resources to past events as a means to heal them.


A complex is an emotionally charged group of related ideas, feelings, memories and impulses working together, mainly in the unconscious. (Leslie LeCron.)

Core outcome chain

The process of following a chain of meta states towards higher states of abstraction.

Critical faculty

A term used by Dave Elman. Under hypnosis the subject is in control of all his faculties except the critical faculty which recognises the difference between reality and fantasy. The critical faculty is related in some way to the concept of the conscious mind. The unconscious mind has the ability to dream.

Decision destroyer

An NLP technique in which you install a resource on the timeline that precedes a negative event, which has the effect of changing the event.


Is the relationship between things and their environment. With regards to bringing about a personal change using NLP, ecology refers to the acknowledgment of all aspects of one’s mind (both conscious and unconscious), and seeking agreement between all parts such that there is a feeling of congruency in body and mind.

Eye closure

means that the eye lids have closed. Eye catalepsy means that the eye lids are clamped shut. Sometimes the term ‘eye closure’ denotes ‘eye catalepsy’. You need to get the meaning from the context in which it is used to make the distinction.

Eye catalepsy

See ‘eye closure’.

Conversational postulate

A command that is disguised as a simple yes/no question. For example, "Can you close the door? Have you got the time? Can you relax?" Invariably the listener will close the door; give us the time, or relax.

Esdaile state

Named after Dr James Esdaile, a 19th century physician who performed surgery in India using hypnosis to produce anesthesia. Also known as hypnotic coma.

Fast Phobia Cure

See visual kinesthetic dissociation.

Future Pace

NLP term for post hypnotic suggestion to trigger a response to a specific stimulus. Whenever you mentally rehearse something you give yourself a post hypnotic suggestion to behave in a certain way.


If you sort a series of events by a common element then you have a gestalt. There is one element that stands out amongst all of the events and separates the element from the background. For example, if you sort a series of events where the common element is the emotion of anger then you have a gestalt. The pattern gives meaning to an otherwise unrelated set of events.

Graves Value System

Values hierarchies interact at varying levels of specificity, within a structure that has order and relationships, to form a system. Professor Clare Graves developed a model to show how people, organisations and nations evolve through levels of values. The most basic level dealing with survival while the higher levels dealing with self actualisation and spirituality.

Hypnotic coma

The hypnotic coma state or Esdaile state is the deepest stage of hypnosis, characterised by immobility, euphoria and anesthesia which is suitable for surgery. Dave Elman gives four stages to hypnosis: light trance, medium trance, somnambulism and Esdaile or coma state.

Ideomotor response

Ideo refers to mind. Motor refers to body. Ideomotor action is the tendency of thoughts to be translated into specific patterns of muscular activity. It is a communication from the unconscious mind expressed through body movement that is out of conscious control. Reflexes are examples of ideomotor action. Other examples are head nods and shakes, arm, finger and facial movements. In hypnosis the signals are known as ideomotor responses’. By calibrating the signals for ‘yes and no’, a meaningful communication is established with the unconscious mind.

Ideosensory response

An ideosensory response is an automatic response like the ideomotor response but it involves actions such as blushing or salivating at the thought of food.

Internal representation

The content and submodalities of a specific thought. It may involve one or more of the visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory representational systems.


Linguistically, meditation is classified as a noun but in fact meditation is a process of inquiry into the self. Meditation can have very different meanings depending upon the context. In the West, meditation is defined as an exercise in devotion or contemplation, sometimes on a religious or philosophical subject. Contemplation is an activity that uses the mind. In the East the purpose of meditation is to take you beyond the mind. Thinking is not something to be encouraged as the mind is seen as the root cause of all tensions, hence thinking is to be transcended.

Logical levels

The NLP Logical Levels Model was inspired by Gregory Bateson and developed by Robert Dilts et al. It gives us a model of the world at meaningful levels of abstraction: spirituality, identity, attitude, values, beliefs, capability, behaviour and environment.

Meta Model

The Meta Model is an NLP linguistic tool used to gather high quality specific information from a client. The Meta Model challenges the three human modelling processes of distortion, generalisation and deletion.
- Distortions: mind reading, lost performative, cause-effect, complex equivalence and presuppositions.
- Generalisations: universal quantifiers and modal operators.
- Deletions: nominalisations, unspecified verbs and simple deletions.

Meta programs

Meta programs are perceptual filters through which we view and act upon the world. They are a means of sorting information, for example: self or other; people, systems or things; sameness or difference; towards or away from; necessity or possibility, big picture or details, etc.

Milton Model

Whereas the Meta Model is used to bring the subject out of trance by having them specify what they mean by their statements, the Milton Model uses intentionally vague language to induce a trance state. The Milton Model refers to the language patterns used by Milton H. Erickson.

Milton Erickson (1901-1980):

A medical doctor who developed a style of hypnosis that became known as Ericksonian Hypnosis. Milton Erickson was modelled by Bandler, Grinder, et al. Erickson’s work has been published in dozens of volumes by Ernest Rossi.

Myers Briggs

A personality profiling tool developed in 1958 by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs based upon the book, Psychological Types written in 1921 by Carl Jung, which was based upon the Chinese I-Ching The Book of Changes.

The Myers Briggs personality profile attempts to describe how four dimensions of personality combine to form an individuals personality type. Introversion - extroversion. Intuition - sensing. Thinking - feeling. Judging - perceiving. Taking the first letter of each dominant dimension we get an abbreviation such as INFJ.

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (1987) combines the four types of Hippocrates into the Myers Briggs analysis system to identify four major types: Guardians - fact oriented. Artisans - action oriented. Idealists - ideals oriented. Rationalists - theory oriented.


A model of psychology founded by Richard Bandler, John Grinder and Frank Pucelik in the early 1970’s and developed with a host of codevelopers over the next two decades. NLP is a modelling methodology that was initially applied to studying the excellence of Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson. Most people think of NLP as the techniques when in fact they are the result of the modelling process.


An abbreviation for Neuro Linguistic Programmer.

NLP anxiety model

A technique which shifts a person’s perspective away from looking towards a future event to looking back on the successful completion of the event. It works on the premise that once the event is finished then anxiety can no longer exist.


Contemporary Zen Master, 11 December 1931 - 19 January 1990. Osho was born in Kuchwada, a small village in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India. Becomes enlightened at the age of twenty-one, while majoring in philosophy at D.N. Jain college in Jabalpur. 1957-1966 University Professor and Public Speaker. 1966 onwards devotes himself to raising human consciousness. Addresses gatherings of 20,000 - 50,000. Read a complete biography.

Perceptual positions

First position is where you are looking out of your own eyes, listening with your own ears, and feeling your own feelings, and hence grounded in your own body. Second position is where you stand in the shoes of another person (or object) and look out of their eyes, listen with their ears, and feel their emotions. Second position is also known as empathy. Third position is actually second position with a space outside of your body from where you are able to observe both yourself and another person/s or object/s.

Peripheral sensing

Utilising the peripheral aspects of the sense organs rather than focussing in. For example, in the visual modality you can concentrate on what is in the direct field of vision or relax into an awareness of what is in the periphery. In the auditory modality you can concentrate on one sound or just be aware of the sounds around you that move into and out of your awareness. When you bring peripheral sensing to one modality it tends to relax you into peripheral sensing in the others too.

Post hypnotic suggestion

A suggestion given to a subject in trance that is carried out sometime after when they come out of the trance. An individual can also give themselves a post hypnotic suggestion, for example. To have a cigarette when they get home.


Refers to the process of creating a state of liking between two or more people. Rapport is the establishment of trust and harmony in a relationship. It is the key element in the art of obtaining the support and cooperation of other people. 93% of communication is transmitted by your body language and the way that you speak (analogue communication). Only 7% of the message is carried by the words (digital communication). Most of the time your analogue communication is unconscious. By developing an ability to work at both the conscious and unconscious levels of communication, you can learn how to establish deeper rapport and build trust and harmony - with virtually anyone, in a much shorter time frame.

Representational systems

We have five senses - visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory which gets abreviated to VAKOG. Since visual, auditory and kinaesthetic are the three primary representational systems this gets shortened to VAK. Read more.

Resource state

An emotional state that helps a person to perform at a higher level and achieve a desired outcome.

Second position shift

Refers to perceptual positions. Getting a sense of what it is like to experience something from the perspective of another person or object.

Secondary gain

If a person gains something positive from having a symptom or problem then we say they have a motivation for the symptom/problem. They have secondary gain.

Selective thinking

Is a term used by Dave Elman to refer to the selected thought processes that a subject maintains or entertains while in trance. Elman talked about implanting selective thinking. Other hypnotists use the term ‘suggestions’ to mean much the same thing. In trance the subject entertains a narrowed model of the world.

Sliding anchor

A sliding anchor is used to amplify a state.


A deep state of hypnosis useful for personal change work. It can be used to create anesthesia suitable for surgery. When it was first named it was thought that the state resembled sleep walking but in fact somnambulism is nothing like sleep - it is more a heightened state of consciousness. Dave Elman gives four stages to hypnosis: light trance, medium trance, somnambulism and Esdaile or coma state.


A strategy is a sequence of internal and external processes that involve one or more of the five senses, and that work to consistently produce an outcome. All behaviours and emotional states are produced by strategies.


Sub distinctions within the visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory senses. Examples of visual submodalities: colour / black and white, movie / still, size, brightness. Examples of auditory submodalities: volume, tonality and tempo. Examples of kinaesthetic submodalities: location, sensation, temperature, pressure / tension, movement, size, etc.

Subtle bodies

There are a number of models of the subtle bodies. In one model there are seven subtle bodies. 1. Physical body. 2. Emotional body. 3. Intellect. 4. Mental body. 5. Spiritual body. 6. Cosmic body. 7. Nirvanic body. Each subtle body has a corresponding centre or chakra. The names of the subtle bodies vary depending upon the spiritual tradition. For more information see The Seven Subtle Bodies.


In terms of the sense organs it refers to connections in the brain between the different centres for vision, audition, kinesthesion, olfaction and gustation. For example, such that when the visual cortex receives sensory information this information is also delivered to the other sensory centres. In this way one can experience warm colours, and sounds can take on a colour.

Time Line

A conceptual tool for working with memories in respect of time. Timeline allows one to work with large chunks of information without having to go into details. It provides a structure that enables one to associate or dissociate, and change perspective in relation to a singular event or a group of events, from the position of past, present or future.

Trance state

A trance is an altered state of consciousness. In common usage it refers to losing conscious awareness of one’s surrounding and entering a daydream or waking sleep state. At the extremes one may enter a trance through ecstatic dance or by sitting with closed eyes in meditation.

Two part reframe

A technique that is used to resolve conflict between two or more conflicting internal parts.


An abbreviation used by NLP’ers to refer to the five senses: visual, auditor, kinesthetic, olfactory, gustatory.

Visual Kinesthetic Dissociation

A technique developed by Bandler and Grinder. In this technique the subject views the memory as if watching it as an old black and white film from the projection booth of a cinema. The technique creates a state of double dissociation. The subject then associates into the memory and runs it backwards. This effectively neutralises the emotions.

Waking suggestion

A suggestion given to someone who is not in a trance and the suggestion does not cause a hypnotic trance state.

Waking hypnosis

When hypnotic effects are achieved without formally inducing a trance state it is known as waking hypnosis. It involves a bypass of the critical faculty and the implanting of selective thinking. (Dave Elman Hypnotherapy page 69).


A term used by meditators to denote the act of noticing the thoughts as a dispassionate observer.


How to Change Your Frame of Mind


How to change your frame of mind using NLP

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