NLP for distance learners

As a student of Saybrook University – a distance learning school – I am confronted with the issues everyday myself  

–   how to stay motivated and on track, when there is no class room community helping you stay focused

–   how to deal with writer’s block, when there is no one to personally bounce ideas off of

–   how to stick with those self made deadlines, when it is really all up to you and instant gratification all around you suddenly raises its seductive flags

–   how to keep the belief in you and the dream alive all the while family, job and the everyday demand their attention, too

–   how to deal with the guilt of allowing yourself to take so much time for yourself

–    how to keep anxiety in check when those clocks are ticking away (they DO tick louder when you have student loans going…)

–   how to keep those voices in check that tell us that our third grade teacher was right all along and that we are indeed lazy, unreliable and incapable after all 

On November 15th I hosted a regional (East San Francisco Bay) student meeting aiming at looking at the above and other points with the eyes of an NLP trainer.

First of all it was wonderful to sit together and talk openly about our issues and discover that we were definitely not alone with them! Grief, frozenness, disconnectedness, shame, and fear can sit deeply underneath of what makes us procrastinate, or create chaos, or what makes us lose and forget things. That sudden urge to watch Judge Judy, do the dishes or bring that thing you never wear to the dry cleaner’s (this CAN’T wait, you have to admit that!), that sudden urge is trying to “help” us avoid some very real and deep pain. The source of this pain lies in our upbringing, our culture, our personal stories and some of it truly in the fact of being alive, of being a complex human being with three different brains (reptile, limbic and neocortical) that we would probably engineer differently if we’d have had a choice. How can we hang in there and how can NLP help?

And also learning itself – since I have studied extensively with Stephen Gilligan I have become more and more intrigued by the role bodily awareness plays in learning, How to get the material into the muscle, how to use our creativity, intuition and ability to connect to the field to aid in writing those papers and dissertations.  

Since NLP offers a myriad of tools to help with states, to aid in finding and living our mission, to turn negative self talk into powerful mantras, to organize our perception of time in a more useful way and so much more, I had a lot to choose from. I have also experienced, that, even though mind techniques can be intriguing and powerful, they need to work “through the body” in order to have more than a temporary effect. And as master Hypnotherapist Stephen Gilligan puts it: There are times in which to not trust your conscious mind. Einstein says you can’t solve a problem with the same mindset as with which it was created. All that said, let’s employ the conscious mind a bit to get support and have all the horses pull the wagon in the direction we want to go in, let’s use the wisdom of the body and let’s dive down into the depths of the unconscious!  

My agenda for my presentation were two items:

1 – Well formed Goals and Outcomes

2 – The SCORE Model (Robert Dilts, Judith DeLozier)  

Well Formed Goals and Outcomes:

As for the L (as in linguistic) in NLP – NLP is very useful and precise in using language in a way that can aide in getting us the outcomes we want. Through asking questions in the NLP way we can get our neurology set off in a certain direction. Because certain things have to be true to understand a particular question, we subconsciously say “yes” to these “presuppositions”!  

We went through a series of questions eliciting the present state (such as, what specifically is the problem? How do you know that it is a problem? How do you know how to have it? And more) and then eliciting the desired state (for example, What specifically do you want? What resources do you have to accomplish this? How will you know when you have it?)  

Going back to what I said about presuppositions earlier, just observe, for instance what happens in your neurology as you ask the question “What resources do you have to accomplish this?” In order to understand this question it has to be true that:

• there are many resources

• you have many resources

• you can accomplish this

• there is something you want to accomplish 

It was great to do this exercise in the group, going from eliciting the present state to eliciting the desired state. The energy in the group lifted remarkably and it was inspiring to hear about other folks’ resources. 

The SCORE model

Without going into too much detail how the score model works, here is briefly what this is about: The neurology has many ways of manifesting information in the mind-body. By taking on a body pasture of a certain belief, thought or behavioral pattern we bypass the critical mind. Most likely the conscious mind will have opinions about or resistance against this procedure, which is fine, as long as we keep going! And it gets easier with just doing it! Where we feel resistance and work through it with the body, the mind will follow as well! Now we access the issue through the body’s wisdom, letting the body’s intelligence find its own solution.   


1 – utilizing the stored information of body pastures that are linked to a Symptom (I am frozen in front of my computer!),

2 – going into the body information that is stored in the body when thinking about a possible Cause (I am terrified to be rejected!)

3 – finding a bodily manifestation for a Resource (I am a creative artist!)

4 – going into the desired Outcome (I am happy with my achievement!)

5 – and finally, stepping into the body pasture of the long term Effect (I have the ability to achieve my goals!) 

Through “stepping” into these different body positions on imaginary placements in time and space in a certain sequence (it is not linear 1 through 5, rather 1-2-1-3-4-5) we get new neurological patterns into our muscles. Through repeating these dance steps faster and faster the neurology will usually respond to an immediate pull toward the solution pastures. We can feel a lot less stuck in a few easy steps! 

Hypnosis and NLP offer a whole palette of further tools and techniques to help us with our daily student routines and more. For information on NLP consultations, seminars or any of the above, you may contact Dr Heidi at

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