How does Mindfulness fit with other therapeutic approaches such as NLP, Hypnotherapy and EFT?
Often when we seek therapy it is because we have identified a problem in the way we are feeling. We are stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by our circumstances or the challenges we are experiencing. In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we would refer to this as a problem state. It is helpful if we recognise how this state is being created. In order to do so we need to become mindful of (that is aware of) what we are experiencing – what we are feeling emotionally and physically, and what we are believing about ourselves and the situation. From here we are able to establish the steps we need to take to move out of that state towards something that feels better.
A mindfulness practice such as daily meditation that asks us to be present and to notice our thoughts and feelings encourages us into a state in which we are calm, centred and connected. A state where we aren’t worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. When we experience this on a regular basis we are more likely to be able to access that sense of calm within our daily lives. This can be very helpful if our tendency is to get caught up in our thinking and feel overwhelmed by stress or anxiety.
NLP techniques work with our conscious and unconscious minds to help us to access more helpful states when we need to. For example, if we are feeling anxious about having an interview and worrying that we will feel tongue-tied and overwhelmed, it would be helpful to anchor in a state of calm in which we feel grounded. If we have experienced this state before, for instance through meditation, it is easier to access it in the moment when we need it. It is a bit like when an Olympic athlete gets into “the zone” just before a race.
Jon Kabat Zinn defines Mindfulness as a “means of paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally”, that is the intention. During hypnosis, we have a single point of focus, but unlike with meditation, the aim in hypnotherapy is to positively influence the subconscious mind by by-passing the conscious mind. It can be described as being like “meditation with a purpose”, the benefit of which is to bring about change, for example to help us feel more confident in a certain situation or to let go of an unwanted habit (not to cluck like a chicken on stage as some people think!).
For Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping to be most effective we must bring attention to our current experience as it is, therefore it is a mindful practice. By tapping on acupressure points on the body while focusing on how we are feeling emotionally/physically, what we are thinking and what we are believing to be true, we are signaling to our body and mind that all is ok and that we are safe. This allows us to experience acceptance of what is. In doing so we release the negative feelings and energy.
In addition, Mindfulness encourages us to cultivate certain attitudes which can be helpful for us to apply to ourselves and others in our daily lives such as: non-judgement, patience, beginners mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go. Also, encouraging curiosity and compassion. These attitudes are the foundation of both a mindfulness practice and a helpful relationship with ourselves. That helpful relationship to ourselves is what the different forms of therapy aim to encourage.
I am an accredited practitioner of NLP, Hypnotherapy, EFT and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. If you would like to work with me please get in touch here.