Well Being and Victims of Crime – NLP interventions to get your life back on track
I recently became a victim of burglary. After 32 years in the police service and previously been a Detective, Detective Sgt and Inspector I was surprised at my reaction to being a victim of crime.
Some people can be very accepting of serious crimes whilst others can have debilitating response to a crime that others may see as minor. There is no doubt that an individual response to being a victim of some from of criminal activity varies widely depending on the person, the crime and previous experiences.
So what is NLP?
Neuro-linguistic programming is a powerful tool connecting three elements:
- N: Neurology – relating to the brain and nervous system;
- L: Linguistics – the use and effect of language we use; and
- P: Programming – the behaviours used in achieving the intended goals.
It is a multifaceted concept used by many business, life and health coaches. It aims to improve communication, change behaviours and includes therapeutic interventions.
It is the therapeutic interventions that will have the most impact for victims of crime although I would propose that these would be blended with other aspects of NLP when appropriate.
NLP is rather like a huge treasure chest of psychotherapeutic tools.
In her paper “Changing Behaviours with NLP” in November 2013, London South Bank University’s Anne Harris recounts how Kalisch and others (when referring to individuals struggling to return to work after long sickness) (2005) demonstrated that changing modalities through NLP is effective in reducing emotional responses.
It is the emotional responses to being a victim of crime that can become inappropriate and become debilitating for some victims; holding them back in a cloud of negative emotions such as Anger, Sadness, Fear, Hurt and Guilt.
Using the tools of NLP, Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnosis offers people the opportunity for real and permanent change. What is different about the NLP approach is that the NLP therapist has the tools to help create new patterns of thinking within the client’s unconscious mind. A trained NLP Practitioner can uncover, understand and deal with the root of the problem.
In comparison, traditional therapy such as counseling generally focuses on the past and involves the client re-living traumatic events whereas NLP focuses on looking forward and helping them create a compelling future.
“Think of it like a dandelion, in that if you just pull off the leaves it will grow back again but if you are able to pull it out at the root the dandelion won’t return” – Ewan Mochrie
By using NLP techniques (above) with the victim the practitioner will be able to resolve the issues the client has decided to resolve. The techniques work on several fronts and can assist in dealing with phobias, confidence issues, negative emotions and other emotional or behavioural issues that may be holding them back.
When carrying out the interventions dealing with negative emotions the victim will be asked by the practitioner to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how badly affected they are by say Anger or Sadness. After the intervention has been carried they will be asked to rate the impact of the negative emotion again. These results can be collated to assist with any evaluation and demonstrate the impact for the victim.
Who will benefit from this support?
I would suggest any victim of crime who needs support to overcome the incident would benefit from working with an NLP expert. Providing those who presently work with victims of crime the knowledge of what NLP interventions can offer is essential. Deciding on the suitability of the victim to work with an NLP expert would be taken in conjunction with the officer in the case, Victim Support workers, other police / partner agencies who should have an understanding of the needs of the victim and their willingness to take part in the process.
The use of NLP may not be appropriate where the client is diagnosed with acute depression, is under the supervision of a GP or is seeking other professional medical help such as working with a Psychologist. However, a GP or Psychologist may authorize such an intervention.
The use of NLP will work especially well with people suffering stress or anxiety brought on as a result of the crime and those suffering inappropriate negative emotional responses as already outlined above such as Anger, Sadness, Fear, Hurt and Guilt which may be preventing them from moving on.
The graph below depicts the human change curve as devised by John Fisher. It is used to represent the response of an individual to a traumatic life event.
The eight-month time line is the average length of time it takes a person to go through the cycle without external support or interventions. Some people take much less time and for some it can be longer. The danger is where someone hits the crisis point at the bottom of the curve and this is where medical intervention is often required.
The use of an NLP intervention with suitably identified victims should ensure this eight month period is drastically shortened and the victim should get back to living a normal productive life more quickly.
Utilising NLP interventions to support victims of crime on their road to recovery would be a bold and innovative move for police forces and victim support organisations.
At the present time, there are several intervention strategies being utilised with offenders whereby they are given direct and often fast-track access to support services however the victims are not always offered the same opportunities. NLP can bridge that gap.
Another positive impact for the police service is the increase in public confidence, with both victims and the wider community.
M.Ed. (Dist.), B.A.Hons. ABNLP, ABH, TLTA™,
Certified Trainer and Master Practitioner of NLP, Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnotherapy
17th December 2015