NLP and psychotherapy are both targeted approaches towards understanding the human mind and moulding a person’s thought processes towards a more positive, happy and confident direction. Both these therapies have been in use for many decades now with various people experiencing the benefits that they bring. But how different are they and which therapy can be considered as the better alternative for resolving a person’s issues? This blogpost will examine both these therapies in detail and attempt to understand whether Neuro Linguistic Programming is a better alternative to psychotherapy.

NLP and Psychotherapy – the differences

NLP and all forms of traditional psychotherapy are different in terms of their methodologies, concepts, principles and understanding of the human mind. Psychotherapy is like talk therapy. The troubled person goes to a therapist to talk his heart out, and the therapist, through analysis and observation, brings to light the root cause which is responsible for the patient’s behaviour. They can then, together, work to slowly help a patient move on in life and build the personality that they wish to have. NLP, on the other hand, does not focus on the process of discovery of the cause – rather, it focuses on the desired results, and works its way back to eliminate the cause. There is no diagnosis of a person’s mental health here. It proposes that people are not broken, rather they just need a means to channelize their thoughts and behavioural processes towards more positive and productive outcomes. All NLP techniques are focused on helping people to become the best versions of themselves.

NLP and psychotherapy – the better alternative

One of the biggest complaints of psychotherapy patients is a lack of structure in their sessions. They meet their therapist, let their thoughts wander for about 50 minutes or so and share their feelings and leave without any real sense of progress. The same ritual is repeated for multiple sessions with psychotherapy. NLP takes on a more targeted and result oriented approach here. The principles of NLP prohibit asking of questions that contain “why” and “because”. This essentially results in saving precious time that, in psychotherapy, is spent chasing tails. NLP asks “what”, “who” and “how” instead. The NLP therapist will never ask “What do you see?” Rather, their interest is in “How you see what you are seeing.” This is where NLP wins over traditional psychotherapy – it gives a patient direct control over their reactions and personality traits, helping them develop a more positive and productive approach towards handing different situations.

You can expect results from NLP for certain, while in psychotherapy, things can go both ways. There is really no further explanation needed – NLP is certainly better than psychotherapy if you are result-focused.

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