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Modelling in Therapy

Modelling in Therapy

A technique associated with NLP which is useful if not essential for hypnotherapy is Modelling.

Modelling is how NLP came to be. In the 1970s Richard Bandler and John Grinder asked the question “Why were certain people successful in some fields, whilst others were not?”. To discover why this was so, Bandler and Grinder decided to study certain giants. Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls were three of the people chosen to study. After some considerable research, Bandler and Grinder came up with a process called Modelling, which was a means of mechanistically copying what was important about these individuals and then installing their beliefs, values and behaviours in themselves, in order to make Bandler and Grinder more effective change agents.

The key elements in Modelling are matching and mirroring the physiology, filter patterns and strategies of the person one wants to model. The first element is modelling physiology, the key to which is breathing, and then modelling the posture. Great actors have been known to model these elements in order to make the portrayal of a character more realistic. The next is modelling the filter patterns. Filter patterns include things like values and beliefs. It is here we discover the emotional energy of the person being modelled. It is also here where many subjects for modelling are discovered to be inappropriate for us to model. Many years ago, I had a mentor whom I went to great lengths to model. I spent a great deal of time with this individual, only to discover that this person’s beliefs were so contrary to my own, that it was impossible for me to separate the values and beliefs from the reason I wanted to model this individual.

The final element is to elicit the strategy of how this person does what they do that makes the person a candidate for being modelled. In this aspect one may endeavour to find a model for one’s business and another model for one’s therapy, and so on. A model does not have to do everything well, just something that an individual would like to learn or become more effective at.

It is imperative to understand that modelling is not simple mimicry; it is the ability to separate what is essential from what is idiosyncratic. Additionally, you may have to take a significant behaviour and chunk it down into individual functions. For example, if one wanted to become the Chairman of ICI, one might first need to get the necessary education in order to do the job, which would be an individual function of a more significant behaviour.

Finally, a modeller needs feedback. It is essential that they get feedback regarding the modelling task. Also the modeller needs to know what the necessary mechanisms of the behaviour are and how they need to adjust them in order to maximise their success. To do this the modeller begins to start consciously dropping pieces of the strategy/behaviour to find out what is essential. Then using hypnosis one installs the behaviour/strategies into the modeller either through self or hetero means.

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