How Can Spiritual NLP Dramatically Improve Spiritual Coaching Results?
To be brief, we could say that NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is the study of the structure of perception, thought, and experience. (More material is available here.)
The strength of NLP is in creating systematic step-by-step methods that work.
Spiritual traditions have been fulfilling human needs for thousands of years. They clearly have something meaningful to offer a sincere seeker, and can help resolve suffering.
However, spiritual traditions are often good at inspiration, without being especially strong on methodology. And that’s where NLP comes in.
Because NLP can generate step by step methods that actually work, reliably and consistently, NLP has the potential to bridge the gap between a sincere desire to live a spiritual life, and actually doing so.
However, most of NLP works at levels of behaviors, emotional responses, skills, and/or beliefs. Many NLP methods are highly effective at changing behaviors and solving problems, without actually including a spiritual dimension.
These methods can also be useful for a Spiritual Life Coach, because a person who is on a spiritual journey will want to transform any behaviors, responses, or beliefs that aren’t yet congruent with who they are, spiritually.
However, a method that works at a more superficial level without accessing a spiritual dimension wouldn’t be a core methodology to build a spiritual practice around. For that, you’ll probably want a method that actually enhances a client’s sense of their spiritual existence.
And there are actually only a very few NLP methods which can truly be called “spiritual.”
Not All “Spiritual NLP” Is the Same
Nowadays, many NLP training organizations have hopped onto the “spiritual” bandwagon. However, the world of spirituality is filled with more authentic and less authentic versions of spirituality, and the same can be said of Spiritual NLP.
Here are a few of the ways we recognize what we view as authentic Spiritual NLP:
1. Is a trainer using NLP in a straightforward way?
Is the trainer seeking to help participants and clients notice reality as it is, or are they using tricky methods to manipulate people?
In our experience, true spirituality only emerges through straight-forward, honest means. Any attempt to deceive ourselves or others will only slow our progress toward spiritual living.
Some NLP trainers use NLP with integrity. Others use NLP to trick people into doing things they wouldn’t do, if they had the whole story.
Usually, the “tricky” NLP trainers also teach participants to use NLP in a way that lacks integrity. If you attend an NLP trainer, and the trainer is teaching you to do things that really come down to taking advantage of other people, then this isn’t a good place to learn about spiritual NLP.
2. Does a trainer seek to provide service in the context of an appropriate energy exchange?
We recommend learning Spiritual NLP from trainers whose whole approach is about being of service to others, with an appropriate energy exchange, rather than getting as much money from others as possible.
What Is an “Appropriate Energy Exchange”?
An appropriate energy exchange means that when I receive something, I give something back. When I give something, I get something back. And this can be in a way that’s appropriate to the life situations of both parties.
Here’s our take on this:
If I’m already wealthy, then it’s appropriate for me to make my skills available to those who have less, without expecting top dollar from them, at least some of the time. It may be appropriate to volunteer some of my time, and the “energy exchange” might, in some cases, be the satisfaction of helping others.
If I’m not particularly rich, and/or if I’m supporting a family, then it’s appropriate for me to be more choosy about clients, and be sure that most or even all of my clients have the means to pay my normal rates.
And it’s never OK to extract a phenomenally high fee from someone who really can’t afford it. An ethical person considers what’s good for the other person as well as what’s good for themselves.
An ethical person also does their best to provide value for their clients, so that it’s a win-win.
Of course, it’s unlikely that we would ever know exactly what someone else’s financial situation is. However, we can at least operate from a basic principle of seeking an appropriate energy exchange, rather than maximizing personal gain at the expense of others.
To be clear, there are situations in which it’s totally ethical to charge a high fee. Often, clients who are wealthy would prefer to pay a high fee for a coach who’s super-skilled, who will give them outstanding service. Many wealthy clients are concerned about not wanting to waste their own time, and are willing to pay more to make sure they won’t. In these situations, charging a high fee for your services can be the most appropriate energy exchange, so long as you have the skills to provide the value your client is looking for.
3. Does the trainer apply a spiritual methodology to himself or herself?
If a practice is truly spiritual, it will gradually lead a person toward more and more integrity, authenticity, natural compassion, and oneness.
Spirituality generally yields a surrendering of the ego, and a sense of being with others as equals.
While it isn’t useful to expect spiritual perfection from anyone, including ourselves and each other, it’s worth asking the question at least silently to ourselves: Does a trainer appear to be benefiting from his or her own methodology?
How Do Andreas NLP Methodologies Fit with “Spiritual NLP” Principles?
Let’s go through our three criteria above, and apply them to ourselves and our work.
1. Andreas NLP Methodologies: Very straightforward processes.
The primary methodologies that we teach are Core Transformation and Wholeness Work.
Both of these methods are inherently straightforward approaches. If someone is attempting to be tricky or manipulative, they aren’t doing CT or WW.
In fact, it is normal for all of us, as humans, to sometimes deceive ourselves, or hide things from ourselves that we prefer to avoid. With CT and WW, we are undoing these self-deceptions, so that ultimately, there is nothing left to avoid within our experience.
We could call this “true spiritual freedom”: having nothing to avoid within ourselves.
2. Andreas NLP: Seeking to provide a service in the context of an appropriate energy exchange.
Our organization has always been about providing service and good value. The Core Transformation Coach Certification course, for example, provides significantly more support for participants’ learning, compared to similarly-priced Coach Certification courses we can find.
3. Andreas NLP Trainers: Applying spiritual methodologies to ourselves.
Both of our core methods, Core Transformation and Wholeness Work, are most effective if the guide also uses them him- or herself. So the guide isn’t asking a client to do anything that he or she wouldn’t do.
All of our trainers apply Core Transformation and Wholeness Work to ourselves, and have been doing so for years. This is mainly because we love these processes so much. Why wouldn’t we want to get the same benefits that our clients are getting?
In addition to using CT and WW any time we notice an “inner challenge,” we often apply the methods to ourselves while preparing for a training. This puts us into an optimal state for training the material, both for our own comfort as well as for the participants’ benefit.
We also teach this in our courses. For example, our advanced Core Transformation course includes an opportunity for participants to get benefit from using CT as a daily practice for 21 days. This is very effective for experiencing the true power of CT, as well as preparing participants to be better guides.
Much more is written about the spiritual aspects of Core Transformation and Wholeness Work, for example here, and here.
In closing, whether or not you decide that Spiritual Coaching is for you, we wish you the very best with your personal and professional journey.