Dr Phil Parker NLP trainer

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I’m Dr Phil Parker, and I’ve been working, researching and training in NLP for over 30 years. It’s a fantastic field to be working in as the kind of changes that NLP can create are so uncommon in classic psychotherapy and psychology approaches.

For example, phobias are often resolved in a single session (see here): confidence, deep relaxation, creativity, and any other state you wish for, can be developed and rapidly recalled (experience how here); with skilled help, more complex issues such as PTSD and other long-standing traumas can be comfortably resolved, without having to re-experience the trauma itself in order to move on and even allergies can become a thing of the past (see here). The list, surprising and varied as it may seem at first sight, is almost endless…

Training people to effectively learn to use NLP clinically is equally extraordinary as interested and engaged students can learn to consistently reproduce these same kinds of therapeutic effects.

2 day NLP practitioner training courses – they’re cheap but are they any good?

Recently there have been NLP training courses showing up that claim to be able to turn us all into effective NLP practitioners in a day or weekend, and this kind of overpromising, and under-delivering, makes many suspicious of NLP.

Unfortunately, they’re right, NLP can only be judged on the quality of the practitioners currently claiming to practice it. So if too many people are poorly trained in NLP it lowers the general standards of NLP delivery and harms NLP’s reputation.

I always consider the ‘plumbing rule’; could you be taught to be an effective plumber, in a weekend?  If you can’t then it’s unlikely you would be able to teach someone to become an effective practitioner of NLP, or anything else that involves helping people make change, with all the complexities of human experience and life, in that short time frame either.

I originally trained as an osteopath, the 4-year course involved an in-depth and long-term clinical portion of the training. So I was amazed to find out that most NLP courses are non-clinical; meaning your only experience of practising your NLP skills is on yourself or fellow course participants.  To me this is like having a qualified plumber, turning up to fix your bathroom, who has never having worked on a real one before.  So in the courses that I’ve designed and taught, I’ve always ensured there is a clinical component for those people who want to take the skills and apply them to become a well-trained NLP practitioner.

Standards in NLP training

I’m currently involved in designing some robust research into NLP with the School of Psychology at London Metropolitan University.  One of the questions from the research team is ‘How do we know that the practitioners involved in any study will all be trained to the same level and doing the same thing?’  This is a very reasonable and important research question to ask.  Unfortunately, it’s one that has no good answer as there is currently no standardisation in NLP training.  This doesn’t mean that all NLP trainings are bad at all, most are excellent.  The same is true of the majority of experienced practitioners – after all, if you’re not very good or competent your practice is not likely to have longevity as your patients will vote with their feet.  But it raises an important issue if you’re thinking about training in NLP, which is how do I find a good course?  It takes a little work but isn’t hard to do, I’d recommend following these top tips to assist you to make the best decision…

Questions to ask when choosing an NLP training course

1. What do you want from your NLP course?

This is the most important question to start with.  Are you interested in becoming a practitioner who can work with clients or are you just interested in finding out more about this fascinating field?

If you have just a general interest then most courses will be appropriate for you, although you will still want to check that the trainer has been working with clients using NLP and has been training NLP for a number of years.

If you are looking to become an NLP Practitioner, now or in the future, then you’ll need to be much more selective and look for a course that is in-depth and clinically based.  The rest of the article will help you further with this.

2. Why choose in-depth NLP training courses

If you are interested in becoming a genuinely good practitioner you’ll need to do a course that is more than a weekend.  Ideally, you will need about 20 days of full training over the course of a few months.

I would also strongly recommend taking a course that has a clinical component – that’s not just working with the course members but working with members of the public with real issues under close supervision.  Unfortunately, these kinds of longer courses with in-depth supervision naturally cost more than the short, less interactive or simpler courses.  However, if you want to invest in a practitioner training, you really only want to do it once, and you want to make sure you’ve made the best choice the first time.

For an idea of what an in-depth course looks like, see our NLP training course details.

3. Would I recommend online NLP training courses?

I used to think that online courses were not nearly as good as attending in person.  However, recent events have provided an opportunity to challenge that belief and to discover new ways for people to learn NLP and Coaching.  The development of better technology and internet speeds has helped enormously so you can now get the same level of training as face-to-face, as long as the training has live interactive components and there are enough members of the training team to help you learn effectively.

To get an experience of this for yourself, why not join me for one of our FREE taster sessions on NLP and Coaching.

It’s an opportunity to:

  • Meet me and some of our training team
  • Learn some tools for free
  • Get a feel for our training style
  • Discover our range of personal and professional development courses
  • Ask any questions about training in NLP and Coaching

4. Is it approved by an NLP training accreditation body?

This is a good thing to look for, but don’t be swayed too much by prestigious sounding institutes or affiliations.  Remember, there’s not just one college or accrediting body so there is no guarantee that a college with a great sounding name will deliver the best training.  Stick to ones listed by ANLP, BIH or INLPTA.

5. Ask graduates of NLP courses about their experience?

Finally, ask people in the know who can advise you, but make sure they don’t have any financial interest in the course they are recommending.  Chat to ex-students and the course trainer, and see if you like their style and get on with them.

Luckily many organisations now provide videos (one of mine is at the end of this piece) of these kinds of things online.  Many also have taster sessions which give you a chance to see how it really works so you of can get a sense of what it’s like before parting with the full course fees and committing yourself to course.

It takes a little research to find the right course, but it’s so worth it. Learning how to use NLP is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my professional and personal life, so if you’re interested in it, get to it, it is genuinely life-changing!

If you want to know more then check out the options below:

FREE Essential NLP Podcast
NLP Life Skills
NLP & Coaching Practitioner Training

For answers to other commonly asked questions about NLP training please go here.