Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. Tim Brunson, PhD

Strategies, How You Decide What You Do

Have you ever seen someone at a restaurant, trying to decide what they are going to order? They may look up, pause, look down, lick their lips, touch their stomach, then order something; or they may repeat the options to themselves, (in their heads, or some times out loud, "a quarter pounder with cheese, hum"). They may even ask someone else, "What's good?" (Hoping your tastes are similar). What ever they do, they are running some type of Strategy, and most, if not all, of it is preconscious. We are not aware of how we do it. We just do it.

Psychology tells us that it is a learned behavior; which it is. But once learned, it is put out of our conscious awareness. Even a Pavlovian response can be considered a learned strategy. Think about the classical Pavlov training. A dog is presented with food, paired with a bell, repeatedly, until the bell alone will elicit a saliva response in the dog. Some where in that dog's brain, it is learning. Bell = food = eat or Food = bell = eat. So it is with humans. We learn a strategy and then we use it over and over again, until we replace it or change it.

The problems begin to take place when our strategies are no longer working, or when we use an inappropriate strategy. This can be seen when you see someone use a strategy that works in business (profit and loss), in his/her personal relationships. They get out at the first hint of effort.

To make this easy to learn, think about what you ate the last time you went to a restaurant. How did you decide what to have? Did you look at the menu (visual), then mentally taste the food (gustatory, or kinesthetic)? Possibly you said something to yourself (auditory) , when you found something you wished to order. Then you exited the program. An aside, one reason it is hard for some people to order food when they are really hungry is that they get stuck in the program, they keep playing options. (That sounds good, that looks good, I always liked that.....etc)

You have a strategy for EVERYTHING that you do, and a lot of them over lap. You may use the same style of strategy in different contexts. This may, or may not be problematic. I worked with a man who used his business strategy (which made him rich) to find a wife. He found his prospect (business venture), did his research (dating) found he wanted to acquire this property, and was willing to pay the asking rate (marriage). So they got married. He then took a hands off approach, paid the price, bought the house and cars, now he was basically ignoring his wife, unless there was a problem (the way he would run a business). He needed a romantic strategy. The good part is you can change, install, or remove a strategy. This is one of the things we do with hypnotic suggestions.

Every person has their own strategy for everything they do. They will use these strategies when they communicate. These strategies are the primary (or lead), secondary, and tertiary representational systems of the person. For example a person can use a VISUAL, AUDITORY, or KINESTHETIC strategy for buying a car. SEE a car you really like; hear good things about the car; drive the car and it FEELS good; buy the car, then rationalize the costs.

There are a lot of nuances to strategies. There are internal and external cues, as well as what are known as META programs. These are strategies that you use in every situation, and you use then to develop, other strategies. We will go into those next time. But I want to show you how you can use this information today in your work.

First when a new client calls, ask them what they need to help them make a decision about your services. Then listen to what, and how they say it. Do they need to hear from others that hypnosis worked for them? Do they want to see something in print about you? Do they want to feel comfortable with you? Repeat back what they say, and then give them what they want, or tell them you will supply them with what they need when they come in. Once they agree to come in, the odds are they will become a client. Second, when you have a weight loss client, ask them how do they know when it is time to eat? Do they see others eating? At dinnertime, do they feel they must eat? When they see food, is it their first response to eat! Or do they feel they must eat when they feel good? Or feel the need to eat when they feel bad? You will find a lot of our clients do not use HUNGER as a cue to eat. A naturally thin person will almost always use HUNGER as the key cue of when to eat. They will not eat if they are not hungry, so they are seldom overweight.

Third, try installing the following eating strategy for a few of your clients. You can do this by having them mentally rehearse the program while in a trance.

The next time you're presented with a stimulus for food (by seeing food others are eating; or its dinnertime), check your stomach to see if you are hungry. If not, exit, saying to yourself, "You are not hungry. There is no reason to eat." If you are hungry, ask yourself, "What would taste good, and help me to achieve my other goals (weight loss, getting in shape, etc.)?" Imagine tasting the food and thinking, "How will this feel later?" If the answering reply is a negative response, repeat the selection process until you find a healthy choice. Reinforce this with your direct hypnosis and you will be amazed how this will add to (or subtract from) your clients results.

Strategies are often used in sales situations. If you can identify a person's buying strategy and customize your sales pitch to their program. You will increase your sales dramatically. The problem seems to be sales people try to get people to fit their selling strategy. Anyone who has had to sit through a network marketing presentation knows what I mean. The presenter hopes that his/her hot buttons (strategies) are yours. Freedom from work, easy money... etc. are common strategies. If, however, you do not find these things exciting (they do not fit your strategy) you are not interested. This could be why people who love what they do are usually not interested in a Multi level marketing idea.

The following example is how I used strategies in a clinical setting. I had a client that I had been using hypnosis as a form of therapy. The client had tried hypnosis in the past for weight loss with limited success. Now she was stuck. She would do very well at work and through the main part of the day. She would have a small piece of fruit in the morning, a light lunch, if she was hungry, or she would walk, and not stop after work for a snack. She was making notable progress. She would, however, start eating at night and would over eat. Since she had done hypnosis and had some success, I thought we would see what her strategy was for eating at night.

She relaxed and I asked her what happened when she got home. At first she just said, "It seems like I walk in and start eating."

"So you have a refrigerator by your door?" I asked. "Tell me what happens as you walk inside the doorway of your home."

"Well, I open the door and I see an empty apartment." She was divorced, and her youngest was in college. "Then what?" I prompted.

"I hear a voice that says a woman is not suppose to be alone".

"Whose voice?" I asked.

"My Mothers."

"Then what happens?" I countered.

"I feel bad, like a little girl, a bad little girl," she replied softly.

"Then what?" I asked.

"I hear another voice and it says, "EAT SOMETHING. YOU'LL FEEL BETTER." (Her mother again.)

"Then what do you do?" I prompted.

"I eat something, and I feel a little better. Then I feel guilty because I'm trying to lose weight ".

"Anything else?" I ask.

"I hear her voice again. 'EAT SOMETHING. YOU'LL FEEL BETTER.' " And so she was off on a binge.

The technique I decided to use was to bypass the whole mess. When she was opening the door she would say to herself that it was so nice to choose to live alone. She also would make plans to do things she had put off for years, dance class, movies, etc. We also did some reparenting about the intent of what her mother meant. This client did quite well.

I urge you to track your internal processes when you are making decisions so you can learn about strategies first hand. This is an advanced NLP process, but once you are comfortable with the idea, it will get easier, and it can be a very useful tool to learn more about how people think. Remember the why is not very useful. In the above example, we could have spent a lot of time on why. Why had her mother behaved so? But if we change the behavior first, we remove the emotional charge. Then we can readjust the program.

Until next time, when we will explore Meta programs, use the force. It will help you live long and prosper.

For more information visit: http://www.nfnlp.com.

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