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Overcoming Addiction With NLP


NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is basically a science of human brain and behavior. It is a self help therapy to help you achieve your goals. So, for getting rid of your addictions, NLP may prove to be very useful. The NLP philosophy is that the best way to treat your addiction is to change the way you think. And NLP techniques work toward altering your thought process.



Whatever your addiction, whether it is alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling or anything else, to give it up you need to change the programming of your brain, change the way you perceive the things, people or yourself. It can be easier for a layman to tell an addicted person to stop altogether or moderate but you know you can’t stop even if you want to. Your addiction won’t necessarily stop because you want to or need to stop. That addiction is always stored in your subconscious mind and can be reached anytime. So your subconscious mind will keep telling you to indulge in your addiction again and you may readily oblige, thus setting the cycle in motion.



So, as said earlier, to stop altogether, you need to change the way you think and perceive and that is where NLP comes in. Neuro Linguistic Programming has many techniques which are applied to both conscious as well as subconscious mind to make required changes. NLP traces the origin of the triggers of your cravings for your addiction. Like your addiction may be related to some events of the distant past, which lead to negative thoughts and emotions. Here NLP helps you to dissociate yourself from these. It can provide positive triggers which you can use to replace negative triggers, every time your craving for your addiction rises. The NLP technique first understands the working of addict’s brain and their behavior pattern.



An addict (of any kind) has to deal with many inner things like heavy negative emotions and feelings, beliefs that limit their thinking which in turn limit their decision making. They generally have very low self esteem and confidence. The fact is that without them even knowing, they are trying to fulfill something in their lives at a much deeper subconscious level. NLP deals with prime concerns because addicted person has a lot of underlying issues which he/she needs to deal with and NLP helps in dealing with these in more efficient and faster way.



A prime concern here is a relapse into addiction or substituting one addiction with another. “Not indulging in addiction” and “doing something better than indulging in addiction” are two altogether different things. While thought of “not indulging in addiction” keeps one’s mind focused on the problem, “doing something better” helps focus on the solution. You are headed for failure if you keep focusing on the problem. So NLP doesn’t believe in a quick general hypnosis of the addiction and offer a quick solution.



Studying the working of the brain of an addict is a time consuming process and hence may require more than one sessions and ongoing support for the addicted person.



Addiction is usually only a symptom of a problem whose root lies elsewhere. And NLP understands that each addiction has a different root cause and a different presenting problem. Root cause could be anything like the past, search for freedom, lack of coping strength etc. NLP believes that human beings have extra ordinary flexibility capabilities and thus they can learn to handle everything that happens to mind and the spirit.



NLP generally uses three strategies namely Building Rapport, Meta Models and Outcome Specification.



Building Rapport means building a comfort level and trust. It’s a human tendency that when two people are alike, they like each other. So NLP counselor strives to build rapport with the addicted person or their families either by sharing similar experiences or replicating their body language or mannerisms.



In Meta Models, NLP counselor attempts to expand the limitations of individual’s thinking. An important aspect of this is getting the right and truthful information. Generally, verbal information doesn’t necessarily give the whole picture. This may distort the understanding of actual problem. So it is imperative to gather the correct information. Therefore, in Meta Models, a set of questions is there to understand individual’s perceptions clearly and to gain insight into their experiences.



In outcome specification, goals and desires of the individual are clearly understood and defined. Some people may still not be clear about what exactly they want. So they are presented with a further set of questions.



It has to be understood that keeping off addictions permanently is far more difficult than treating them initially. Addiction is a serious situation and has to be treated seriously. So it is always best to get help and NLP has the tools to help people overcome their addiction and lead a normal and happy life.