More About Coaching, NLP, & Other Approaches to Personal Change

About Coaching

Coaching is unlocking a person's potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them." - Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore

Coaching is a conversation, a dialogue, whereby a coach and coachee interact in a dynamic exchange to achieve goals, enhance performance and move the coachee forward to greater success." - The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work by Perry Zeus and Suzanne Skiffington

Relationship, Goal, and Facilitation

The key features in any good coaching are that it is:

  • Relationship based: Personal Coaching involves a relationship between you and the coach that is tailored to your needs and aims.
  • Goal-focused: You determine the goals of the coaching. The role of the coach is to help you formulate goals in such a way that they have every chance of being achieved and to help you stay focused in working towards those goals.
  • Facilitative: The coach's role is a supportive one, helping you in processes involved in working towards your goals." - The NLP Coach by Ian McDernott and Wendy Jago

Fields That Overlap But Are Not The Same As Coaching

Therapy tends to be past-oriented, problem-focused and progress measured while coaching is future-oriented, solution-focused and performance measured.

Training tends to be based on a learning agenda set by the trainer and aimed at transferring skills and understandings from trainer to trainee, while coaching is based on the coachee's agenda and utilises their skills and understandings.

Consulting tends to be based on skills and expertise delivered by the consultant to a business organisation, while coaching is based on developing the skills and expertise of an individual coachee.

Mentoring tends to be a relationship where someone with experience in the mentoree's field shares that experience and advises about career decisions towards a future similar to the path taken by the mentor, while coaching is a relationship where a coach helps the coachee utilise their own experience to set their own goals and work towards those.

Applications of NLP

Phobias and Trauma

NLP has become very well known for its success in rapidly changing phobias and post traumatic responses. This may take as little as half an hour depending on the precise nature of the problem. The change involves re-coding the way the memory has been stored in the nervous system.

Once we show the brain how to respond more effectively at the deeper unconscious level, it does that naturally, without even thinking about that consciously ever again.

Allergies & Asthma

Allergies are like fearful, or phobic, reactions of the immune system to some stimuli. Some people will be able to produce the allergic response just by thinking about being in the presence of the substance they are allergic to. For example, someone allergic to the pollen may start sneezing when they see a plastic flower. The pollen is not there, but their body-mind thinks it is time to start sneezing. What happens is that the immune system makes a ‘mistake’ and marks out some harmless substance as being dangerous. From then on, whenever this substance is introduced to the immune system, it responds inappropriately, i.e. ‘overreacts’. With the NLP process, we teach the immune system a more appropriate response.

With Danish government support a controlled research study on the use of NLP with adult asthma was conducted in Denmark (Dr Jorgen Lund). Without teaching any new breathing or medical techniques, the control group participants were taken through NLP processes to teach their brain how to respond the way a healthy person’s brain responds (including using the one session allergy cure). On a follow up, a year later their use of inhalers had dropped to zero and the lung capacity had risen by an average of 200ml. The lung capacity of the control group without NLP decreased by 50ml.


A one session process for teaching children labelled “dyslexic” to spell perfectly is worth more than hours spent diagnosing exactly what brain systems “cause” the problem. This is where NLP is different from some traditional modalities of psychology or counselling. In NLP the aim is not to give a ‘label’ to what was wrong. The aim is to CHANGE.

Complimentary Modalities

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a widely accepted and researched method of enabling people to make changes in their health, personal development, and relationships. It is a process of communicating with our own or someone else’s unconscious mind, assisted by having the person enter a relaxed state. It allows us to connect with the deepest programming within our minds and bodies. When body relaxes and mind quiets, a natural rebalancing function of the body-mind system occurs. Body knows how to heal automatically.

Chi Kung (Qigong)

You can learn exercises (as little as 15 min to 1 hour a day) to harmonise and build up your energy levels.

Chi Kung is the ancient Chinese health system, the basis of Tai Chi, Kung Fu and acupuncture. Research shows that Chi Kung breathing, movement and mediation techniques promote health, prolong life and assist healing, including healing illnesses which do not respond to other treatments. The main function of these exercises is to collect and exchange Chi between human beings and nature. With daily practice it also helps to strengthen body, promote creativity, develop intellect, and improve quality of life.


Huna is the Hawaiian tradition of shamanism, an ancient way of living in harmony, respect and oneness with all life forms. It implies working with the powers of the mind and the forces of nature. Huna techniques help release physical, emotional, and mental stress, change limiting beliefs, create harmony and improve relationships.

Universal Tao Energy and Healing Exercises

The Healing Tao is the natural way of inner health and healing. As with other shamanic traditions, it serves to empower oneself, affirming spiritual autonomy and self-mastery. Exercises are taught to improve and develop the physical body and spirit as well as transform negative emotions into positive ones. The Universal Tao System promotes health, happiness and fulfillment.