Where should an NLP Practitioner put the boundaries in practice?

One of the things I love about teaching NLP is the enthusiasm I see in my students. They are often excited about how they can make a difference and help others. This is wonderful to see and the energy is very positive.

That said, I also take great care to caution my graduate NLP Practitioners to be careful about drawing their boundaries and making smart choices about who they work with.

Students practicing in our beautiful grounds. Hypnotising hypnotists
Students practicing in our beautiful grounds. Hypnotising hypnotists

What do I mean by that?

People seek out NLP Practitioners for many reasons and sometimes there are warning bells that new Practitioners need to take care to heed. Firstly, in terms of scope. While NLP is a very powerful tool and can help most people, some things take more experience than others to deal with.

For example, if a person is on medication for depression or any other mental health issue they really need to be working with an experienced NLP Practitioner who also has therapeutic training. To be clear, NLP Practitioner certification is not enough on its own for someone to be a therapist.

NLP Practitioner does give you the tools to work with people who want to improve their confidence, self-esteem, well-being etc. It is a great tool to use in a coaching practice or in the workplace generally.

It is a great foundation for therapy and can certainly lead to working with therapeutic populations.

So what to do if you are an NLP Practitioner wanting to work as a therapist?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Make sure you have a supervisor, usually your NLP Trainer or NLP Master Trainer can provide this. Having a supervisor is basic good professional practice. I offer my own students the chance to attend a regular supervision group and they can book individual sessions with me either in person or via skype.
  2. Keep a reflective learning log to continue learning from your own experiences.
  3. Attend regular further training beyond NLP Master Practitioner and Hypnotherapy. Attend conferences and specialist workshops in fields you are interested in. I still do this myself, for instance this month I’m attending a workshop with Connie Rae Andreas.
  4. Attend regular practice groups and peer supervision/practice groups. Remember you can always set one up if there is nothing based near you.
  5. Be clear about your own experience and expertise. What do you feel comfortable handling? Reality check yourself, specifically what tools and knowledge do you have? Put the boundaries of the type of client you are qualified to work with in your advertising.
  6. If you are working with a client and you are not sure what to do, seek supervision and/or refer the client to a more experienced practitioner.