“WHAT?” & “HOW?”


NLP (‘Neuro Linguistic Programming’) has been described as “The study of subjective experience through the use of a set of concepts and tools designed and empirically proven to increase personal effectiveness” – Robbie Steinhouse (Master Coach).
Neuro:- The brain and other neurological systems in the body.
Linguistic:- How we process information – such as Language as well as well as our 5 ‘Senses’ and our ‘gut instinct’.
Programming:- Implies that many thoughts, reactions and behaviour patterns are programmed ‘into’ our brains and just ‘run’ (like computer software). NLP propounds that many of these can be programmed ‘out’ to be replaced by new and more helpful thoughts, reactions and behaviour patterns which are then programmed ‘in’. In the treatment of PTSD, it is the Programming element that comes to the fore.

The technique is one of ‘double dissociation’ called the “Visual Kinaesthetic Dissociation Protocol” – aimed at the Extinction and Reconsolidation of PTSD.

It enables the Sufferer to reprogram their brain’s response to the original (causal) experience by separating (‘Dissociating’) mental pictures (‘Visual’) and their associated feelings (‘Kinaesthetic’) so that irrational fear and behaviour in specific contexts are no longer triggered.

This NLP technique has been proven to be an effective approach for treating PTSD (and other emotional psychological trauma and phobias).

It was developed in the U.S.A. in the early 1980s and has evolved over the years. It is supported by anecdotal reports by practitioners covering a period of over 30 years. Among these are reports provided by Richard Bandler, Steve Andreas, Robert Dilts and Dr William McDowell who have each treated 1000’s of Clients suffering from PTSD and phobic conditions who have experienced complete symptom alleviation and long-term results.

A Case Study provided by Dr William McDowell PhD (Professor Emeritus & Chair of Counselling at Marshall University in Huntington W VA) on a 30-year old Iraq War veteran diagnosed by the US Veterans’ Association as suffering from PTSD is in Video format opposite. It is a remarkable testimony to the efficacy of the NLP technique.

NLP is an effective, speedy and low-cost technique in the right conditions which does not re-traumatise the Client and provides a lasting and effective cure. Our provision of a ‘Self-Help Toolkit’ is also an important element in recovery. It is a different and, we think better, way to providing a solution than traditional therapy – as is an Aston Martin to a Ferrari.

Watch and listen to Dr Doug O’Brien talk about NLP for PTSD and how it compares to traditional therapies in the Video opposite – it is a truly remarkable clip.


First, we take you through the “17 Question PTSD (Military) Checklist” designed to establish how you are using your memories now of your ‘traumatic event’.The Checklist is used at the start of treatment to identify a ‘baseline’ position as to the extent of the PTSD. We also take notes to personalise the context of your Answers to the 17 Questions to particular circumstances and stimuli. We do not seek to get you to relive your ‘traumatic event’ in detail – other than very briefly right at start (no more than 1-2 minutes) to put things into context. We then ask you to give your ‘traumatic event’ a bland and disassociated name (“XX”).

We focus on the present and how you use those memories now – and if they are damaging/painful (as they undoubtedly are) – we seek to break the pattern of current use and change it – ‘changing the disc’ as it were. To do this, we get you to bring to mind a very pleasant and positive experience which you then describe in great detail using all 5 senses. You then give this experience a memorable, upbeat/positive name (“YY”). We obtain permission to place a finger on your right hand and explain that every time we do this, we effectively ‘anchor’ that very pleasant and positive experience (“YY”) into your mind. This enables us (and later you) to ‘fire’ that anchor should you, at any time, experience painful, distressing, negative thoughts arising from the ‘traumatic event’ (“XX”)

It’s a “Trip to the Cinema” and the ‘double dissociation’ is where you maintain a position of looking at yourself watch yourself (on screen) and then running the memory backwards fast (in an associated position) which has the effect of scrambling the meaning associated with the memory. It makes the unbearable bearable and makes whatever is on screen easier to watch because you are not looking directly at the screen. This safe and relaxed state enables us to guide you to reprocess the traumatic memory so that you can update the meaning that your unconscious mind equates with that experience in the present time.


A simple and effective process which works by discovering the traumatic event which caused the issue and then you distance your current self from it and thus ‘unlearn’ it. The reprogramming effect of the technique integrates new perspectives that result in your nervous system no longer triggering unnecessary activations of the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. We briefly “Reawaken a memory to then modify it”

So, for that ‘Self-Help Toolkit’ – to help you be 100% sure that everything is OK and that you are OK going forward – over time you’ll see it really is ‘as easy as A B C D”

A. Brief reminder to self of “XX”.
B. Relive your “YY” and anchor it to your mind by touch.
C. Make a movie of “XX”, watch yourself watching it from opening credits & to end in Black/White.
D. Finally jump into Black/White movie at end and give advice to younger & self before playing movie 3-4 times in Colour in Fast Rewind mode.

“Eliminate the negative effects of the memory by restructuring it”