• Naheed Hanif

NLP – Where All Else Failed

I recently realised, I have experienced all sorts of “therapy” for an entire 24 years before discovering a different tool that did the job: Neuro- Linguistic Programming (NLP).  In short, NLP has been faster in results, a lot less painful and a whole lot cheaper than all other Psychotherapy sessions – for Me.


As a child, a teenager and a young adult, my background unfortunately had some serious consequences on my well-being at the time and also for a long time after.  I hear I am not alone.

Let’s first look at the actual resulting issues that I needed help for – in the hope that this can help someone else too as these are common problems in society:

  1. Depression

  2. Lacking self-belief and confidence

  3. Intimacy issues, normally leading to attracting abusive people into my life.

  4. Trust issues.

  5. At more serious times, unwanted flashbacks.

For the purposes of understanding, I do think it is only fair to mention some causes.  These have been summed up quickly here in “Ten Things I Have Beaten” and further revealed in this Toastmasters speech.


One traditionally meets with a Doctor to get help.  The Doctor eventually refers you to a medically qualified therapist.

I have seen a variety of Therapists, in a variety of cities with a series of treatments from hypnosis to CBT and much more.

For anyone considering therapy or visiting a psychotherapist, if you are reading this, no doubt you are familiar with this… or soon will be:

“This is a painful thing to go through and it will take time.  How much time – we cannot say as everyone is different.  Some people move on in just six months, others with serious traumatic experiences like yours, can need therapy for a number of years.

…Sometimes you need to re-live the experience to recover; it often gets worse before it gets better.”

There was one time I burst into a fit of anger saying this is not helping, nothing changes, no difference in how I feel, and am still as hopeless as I was 18 months earlier.  The therapists’ response:

“I would not have known that.  Now I feel you are actually depressed and need to visit the Doctor to get some medication.  Come back to me after…..”

The rest is history.


At one time I eventually got sick.  Physically sick with depression.  I didn’t know that could happen.  The symptoms were such that my life was literally on hold.  At that point, I gave in to the medication for the first time.

The thing about medication is that although you may feel better for operating that bit more than before taking the medication, it does nothing for the underlying problem which left me with the fear that without the pills, I would be a mess.  Lucky for me that it was during this period that NLP was brought to my attention.

NLP – where all else failed:

I was used to Psychotherapy and expected to go back regularly and of course pay more like I had done for many years previously.  That was until the NLP Practitioner told me that we need to take a break.  She could have continued on and charged me.  But she reminded me, a maximum of 3 sessions is all it was supposed to be, but I keep booking more and yet I am not ready for more until I digest what I am supposed to have learnt… by practicing it.

I had not at all understood or accepted that I need to use what they teach you in these sessions.

The reality is, when you are told to do something really easy as it will help a terrible situation, they can tell you as much as they like.  Fact is, the easier it is, the less likely you

In a moment of utter desperation, I finally picked up a book bought for me some years earlier, not realising it is based on NLP.  I got through it in hours and told my soulmate how I have found something that makes me feel better… “It’s making me think of what I want my future to be”.  My soulmate is the one that got the book for me in the first place.  He immediately ordered some more for me.  I got through them, one after the other.  I started practicing what I was learning by reading.  I was now immersed.   Many techniques in the books where what my NLP practitioner had taught me. There lies the Trigger Point.  I became motivated to learn more and started taking NLP courses.

NOTE:  I didn’t take the “Practitioner in just 1 week” courses; I took the full blown 8 month curriculum.  Then I took it to Master and Trainer level.  I still believe there to be a higher value to the chance to test drive, observe and implement the learnings during the course – an experience that simply cannot be gained in just 1 week.

NOTE 2: I did the courses not to treat others, but rather to master it for myself.  I hold the belief that once you find a treatment that works, don’t just get treated.  Go Master It.

The result:

I was back on my feet in no time, and each and every month and year since, I have only been improving.  Stronger, tougher, wiser and more patient.  Most of a

Some serious traumas that have ruled my life have either gone or become very manageable.  I am not sure all traumas actually disappear into thin air.   I feel it is the awareness of them, their impact, your own behaviour & reactions that you become more efficient at handling.

It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was fast in comparison to any other therapy I had experienced anywhere.  It was cheaper, and becomes more efficient with time and practice.

So why did NLP work so well whilst so many Psychotherapist sessions did nothing?

I am sure many would argue much work had been done.  I believe no work was ever done prior to NLP – the main reason: because I was worse off after 23 years of that “work”.

I believe my story applies to me and many others – maybe not necessarily everyone.  NLP may have worked better because the results are faster and therefore my belief in the practice was gained sooner.  My question is, who wouldn’t want faster and cheaper results which also give you the tools for the future – with no subscription fee?!

Conclusion / Summary

I feel that traditional therapy (or Psychotherapy) is a much longer process and often means re-living the trauma and the periods in between sessions can be even more tormenting as a result.  Entering into a long process, a patient commits to it and can end up years later realising that actually, it was never a commitment enough for it to work if the patient is:

  1. Ambitious

  1. Has plans to be something that takes effort in a good state of mind

  2. Needs the time to achieve his or her goals – in a good state of mind instead of being sat in a therapists chair for decades.

How can such a patient achieve this if 20-40 years are spent getting to a good state of mind…. That is if they ever even get there?

What is even worse is that it should take decades for the patient to realise this.  For me, all the wasted years do tarnish my view of Psychotherapy but I hear that it may work for others.  I can only imagine there are people that need hand-holding for a long period of time, others may simply need the downtime their body and mind is comfortable with.

However, I am yet to find anyone (a patient) that raves about therapy the way I know people raving about NLP based treatments.

This post is not aimed at therapists or NLP practitioners please allow for views of all patients and persons curious to know more about any treatments that are supposed to help them.


©2020 by Naheed Hanif.