Select Page

NLP Therapy VS Medical Therpist: Differences

NLP Therapy VS Medical Therpist: Differences

What is NLP Therapy ? How does the NLP method work, how does it differ from other therapeutic methodologies and with what intention should it be practiced? Read further…

The 4 basic steps of any NLP intervention technique

The basis of any NLP technique involves finding a ‘resource’ ( trait, quality or state of mind ) in yourself that you had once displayed in a different context.

Every NLP intervention technique follows these four steps:

  1. Feel for the problem, so with feelings.
  2. View the problem from a distance without feeling.
  3. Feel comfortable with a resource that could come in handy in that problem situation. The most common method of doing this is to go back in your mind to a time when you were already showing that resource.
  4. Associate the resource with the problem: “Feel this resource and go back to the problem in your mind. What is different now?

In addition, there are other NLP interventions for therapy purposes

Over the years, NLP has been further developed and many techniques have emerged that deviate from the above standard model. Here you will find an overview of all the most commonly used NLP techniques.

There is not much difference between NLP and normal therapy

Put NLP therapy and normal therapy side by side. Then you see the following:

  • In normal therapy, there is talk , exercises are done, the client is slowly influenced towards new options and homework is given. There is also visualization and metaphors : “What if you gave the worrier plant less water?”
  • NLP therapy involves talking , exercises , the client is slowly influenced towards new options and homework is given. There is also visualization and metaphors : “What if you gave the worrier plant less water?”

So there is not much of a difference between NLP and normal therapy, although many NLP trainers will tell you for the dramatic effect that there is a big difference. In practice, normal therapists also simply use NLP elements.

And the reason is simple: NLP is not a stand-alone method, but NLP is based on existing, effective therapy methods, as you can read in this article about the origin of NLP. So it is very logical that therapists use NLP techniques and vice versa.

So what is the difference in NLP therapy?

The difference is in the speed of the therapy process and the talking-practice ratio . NLP believes more in the strength of the client, so that the client is released more quickly and requires fewer sessions. There is also less talking and more being done.

Another important difference is that NLP is not intended for practicing serious therapy. Therapists have undergone years of undergraduate and graduate degrees in college, and NLP practitioners may have had as little as four days of training.

An NLP person is a Legal Complementary Health Provider , and  not a Licensed Medical Doctor , Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Master in Family and Child Counseling or a Master in Social Worker.

The intention of NLP is to provide people with extra self-confidence and practical steps to achieve their goals in a complementary way – that is outside formal therapy.

The NLP methodologies are self-regulated, holistic and client-oriented. NLP which there  is no medical degree  is,  should confine its operations to issues such as:

  • Smoking
  • Weight loss
  • Stressreductie
  • Improve performance

Finally, an important difference is that NLP focuses mainly on the desired outcome, while classical therapists focus more on the problem – to run away from it. For example: being less unhappy. Less emphasis is placed on determining what can replace it. But again: nowadays therapists are also using more and more ‘NLP techniques’ and will also look at the desired situation.

How you got the problem isn’t the most relevant. With that psychologizing you are not actively solving the problem.

But isn’t that a symptom relief ?

Good point: if you don’t look at the problem, but at the solution, isn’t that a symptom control? Then you are not tackling the core of the problem, are you?

Indeed, that is why it is also important to look at where the problem comes from. However, it is then important to implement clear actions and interventions to tackle that core problem. So we will actually solve that core problem.

And what is the difference between the NLP method and other types of self-development?

NLP is not about empty slogans such as ‘standing in your strength’ or ‘getting closer to yourself’. Someone who guides you according to the NLP principles and methodology wants to know exactly which steps you are taking towards your goal:

  1. “How many nice men are you going to approach to get that partner? How many phone calls with municipalities are you going to make this week to sell your feedback training courses? How many products are you going to put in your webshop?”
  2. “Okay, to give you an extra boost, we will do a (visualization) exercise and then I will send you out into the world where you can show it.”

If you feel more like sitting passively in a chair and talking about ‘drives’ and ‘standing in your strength’, you can go to the next manifestation girl.

Exam tips for coaching with the NLP method

An exam can be taken at the end of NLP courses. You will coach someone with the NLP method by applying an NLP intervention. What are the best ways to handle the exam?

  • Rapport is the most important thing in NLP coaching. Without a report you cannot lead someone to a certain outcome. You can therefore only fail if you do not have a report.
  • You don’t need to know the exact steps of the NLP techniques. Because when you have rapport, you can make anything you want, and something positive will happen. And in the end it’s all about that positive end result. Moreover, the NLP interventions are so strong that they even work if they are performed ‘incorrectly’.
  • Of any NLP technique, just remember “the difference that makes the difference.” What is the most essential step of a technique? With the Swish intervention that is: looking at a desired self-image. With the New Behavior Generator , that is: simply visualize your flawless top performance. With visual squash that is: talking with conflicting feelings in yourself, so that they recognize each other. And that way you can bring all NLP techniques to the essence.

To your success!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!