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I have studied some of the principles of hypnosis, and wrote a paper about its medical usage during med school. At one point, I was considering working under Dr. David Spiegel, who has done a great deal of research on the effects of hypnosis on cancer patients, but this never worked out. I have been especially interested by the work of Milton Erickson, and the field of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) that arose out of a careful study of his techniques and those of fellow therapist Virginia Satir.

I first was exposed to NLP through Anthony Robbins, whose tapes I listened to as a teen. The idea with NLP is that the mind works in pictures, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile feelings. It doesn't work nearly as much in words alone, but words can be used to evoke the sensations in the brain. Each person has a primary mode, for instance mine is definitely visual. Many also have a secondary or tertiary mode. My secondary mode would be auditory.

In terms of creating change in habits, thoughts, and feelings, we need to deal on this level of images, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings. A small group of us can be swayed by purely academic writing, but even then we are only swayed because we translate that data into images, sounds, etc. in our minds. NLP tells us that certain language patterns can be used, depending on a person's strongest modes, to help them improve their self-esteem, overcome addictions, fall in love, or any number of other desired outcomes.

You can explore many more resources regarding NLP by visiting the Neurolinguistic Programming section of my bookstore.

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