3 NLP Techniques To Practice

3 NLP Techniques To Practice  

I meet lots of life coaches who have trained as NLP practitioners.


On the NLP practitioner course, the coach is often impressed by the quickness of results the NLP techniques produce.


An NLP practitioner course is taught by practicing the techniques. Often, post course coaches stop practicing the learnt techniques, which results in the coach using old practices.


To keep your skills up todate your should practice the techniques on a regular basis, either at a NLP practice group or with a fellow coach. Below are 3 key techniques you should practice and keep up todate.





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NLP Technique One  – Milton Model


Today we will look at 3 Milton Model Language Patterns


  • Double Bind (creates an illusion of choice but offers no choice)
  • Tag Questions (a question added to the end of statements designed to soften resistance and gains agreement)
  • Complex Equivalence (gives meaning to something that people simple accept without questioning the statement)


The aim of tonight’s practice session is to get your client to relax/close their eyes.




Double Bind

“Do you want to relax now or in the next few minutes?”

“Can you relax all the way or part of all the way?”

“Which eye would you like to close first?”


Tag Question

“I can see that you want to relax, don’t you?”

“Its true that you can relax deeper, cant you?”

“Your eyes are feeling heavier, aren’t they?”


Complex Equivalence

“The way you have positioned yourself in that chair means that you want to relax”

“Your breathing has slowed down which means you are ready to let go”

“You are listening to my voice this means my words make sense to you in your own particular way”




“How relaxed are you on a scale of 1-10?” (this is for practice only, just to check the increased relaxation in your partner)


“Take a deep breath….that’s right …..and notice which part of you starts to relax first? (double bind)and ask yourself, do you want to relax all the way down or part of all the way down? You are probably already starting to feel more relaxed, aren’t you? (tag question) which means you can relax deeper (complex equivalence) and deeper because the more you think about relaxing deeply the deeper you will relax, wont you?…”


Add your own “….sitting on that chair means _____________(complex equivalence), as you hear my words you will_________(tag question)and as you relax deeper you can__________ or _________ (double bind)


At the end of the practice session ask “How relaxed are you on a scale of 1-10?” (This is to compare the distance moved during the session)




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NLP Technique Two – Future Timelines



  1. Imagine you can see your future in front of you, a future where you are at your best and at your peak performance. A future where everything has gone well for you and the future has happened as you wish it would, with you achieving all your goals.


  1. Look down your timeline from the now, to the future you. On your timeline imagine you can see several images that represent positive and significant events that will happen in your future.


  1. Imagine walking down your timeline until you come across your first significant image. Look at this image and understand what the event means to you, make the picture bigger and brighter, turn up the volume and step into the image so you can see what you can see, hear what you can you hear and feel the emotions you feel …(get the client associated to the event)


4. Do this for several important future events, each one going further into the future, until you can see yourself in the future full of knowledge and life experiences.


5. As you get to the end of your timeline, imagine you are the positive future you who has achieved all your goals, look back down your timeline to the present you. If you were the future you and you could meet the present you, what advice would you give yourself.


6. Go back down the timeline and return to the present you, take a deep breath and breathe in all the goodness and experiences you have gained by going into your future.





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NLP Technique 3 – Sudmodalities


First ask your client to think of a few past memory or event coming up in the future, when thinking about this event/memory, I want you to become aware of the image you create in your mind


STEP 1. Check current level of emotion

ASK “On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 representing negative and 10 representing positive, where on the scale does this image/memory makes you feel?”

STEP 2. Uncover the submodalities of the image in their mind

  • How big or small is your image?
  • Where is your image (near to you or far away)
  • Is the image in colour or black and white?
  • Does the image look like a photograph or a moving film?
  • Do you have any audio?


STEP 3. Change the submodalities (always check the emotional response to each change)

  • Move the picture closer and closer until its right up in front of your face like a giant cinema screen – how do you feel?


  • Now move the image further and future away until it becomes hard to make out the details of the image – how do you feel now?


  • What would happen if you made the colours brighter? Or dimmer?


  • How do you feel if you turn up the sound or turn the sound down? Or if you add a funny or sad tune?


To change your emotions, change the submodalities of the image you are imagining, try to do the opposite first (if the image is near push it far away) play around with the submodalities until you can control your own emotions; reduce the power of negative emotions and increase the intensity of positive emotions – whenever you want to.


Colour or black and white

Image; near or far away

Bright or dim picture

Small or large image

Stilled picture or moving film

Where do you see the image (behind you – in front of you/ to left/to the right) – can you move it?

Are you in the picture/film or just looking at it from an outsider’s point of view?

Does the image have a frame or is it frameless?

Is the picture real or represented as a cartoon/drawing/figure etc


Does the image have a sound?

Turn the sound on or off

Turn the sound up or down

Speed the sound up or s-l-o-w it down

Where does the sound come from – can you change it?

Is it your voice or someone else’s

Do you hear (as an example) music playing or real life sounds (breathing)?


Do things feel lifelike or created (as an example some people have said the felt like they were made out of marshmallows)? Remember your imagination can be as creative as it wants to be

Do objects feel hard or soft?

Are your feelings inside (emotions) or outside your body (feel heat if you imagine yourself next to a fire)?

Temperature – in your body or in the real world? Cold or hot emotions?

Fast or slow emotions (speed of the emotion running through your body)?


STEP 4. Check the outcome

ASK “On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 representing negative and 10 representing positive, where on the scale does this image/memory makes you feel?”

The image should be represented differently on the scale. Once you uncover the most effective changes, you can repeat the exercise several times which will often result in the original image/memory being hard to recall.


Advanced NLP Submodalities Techniques


Change the representation of the submodality

  • Turn a picture into a sound, a sound into a feeling or a feeling into a picture
  • Change the submodaility as above (turn the volume down, move the image away, pour a different colour into the feeling)

Swop Images

  • Think of something you truly believe in (I am talented, a peoples person, I can cook)
  • Think of something you don’t believe about yourself and imagine this was true
  • Check the difference in submodalities from the two beliefs
  • Change, one by one the submodalities of the second belief so they match the submodalities of the first belief.



Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events


Chris Delaney is also a published author “The 73 Rules of Influencing the Interview – using Psychology, NLP and Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques”

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