About MNLP Coaching

The field of psychology has known for a very long time that insight alone is not sufficient for change.

And yet, much of talk therapy (and most coaching approaches as well) are designed to generate yet more insight.

Most of the people I speak with already have a great deal of insight into themselves and their history, but are frustrated when all that intellectual understanding simply allows them to be painfully aware of exactly what’s happening when the old patterns continue to play themselves out anyway.

They also already know that, really, the only thing standing between them and the things they would like to do, create, experience, and become… is themselves. Another way to express this same idea is: you already have the skills and capacities you need to move forward in whatever ways you would like. The only (heretofore) unsurmountable obstacle has been within yourself.

I have faced these struggles myself of course, and though the process of insight —> change (resolving our internal obstacles) is non-linear and unpredictable at best, the most effective tool I have found (by a very wide margin) is MNLP, Marin-Style Neurolinguistic Programming. (MNLP is quite different from its more mainstream NLP cousins, and you can visit this page to find out more if you’re curious.)

MNLP sessions are 90-minutes long, because more time is needed to accomplish both insight and change. We start by looking at the structure and patterns of your frustrating, unwanted experienced through the MNLP lens; this will help illuminate the nature and functioning of those inner obstacles from angles you likely have not considered before. The kind of learning that comes from this does change you, but by itself, the insight may or may not penetrate to the parts of the mind where the underlying pattern is actually held.

These patterns were originally created as “survival strategies,” fired into rigidity in the crucible of early life adversity and trauma. In MNLP, we say that these strategies are “quarantined,” meaning that they were at one time deemed so necessary for survival that they were locked into place, rendered unreachable and unchangeable by any further learning or experience.

So when life brings us the situations that resemble the original adversity enough to activate our survival strategy, we are presented with an opportunity. Painful though it undoubtedly is, the activation of the quarantined strategy makes it more available for new learning and updating. And that is the process of resolving our internal obstacles.

This backward-looking approach is only half the equation, however. The mind will not release an element of its operating system if you don’t give it something to replace it with. So we also work extensively with the question, “What would you like?” Simple though it may seem, I see over and over again that when it comes to the things they’re really struggling with, people have a remarkably hard time even imagining how things could be different or better.

So in the second part of the session, I use the information we gathered about the underlying pattern as well as the fully fleshed out vision of what it is you would like to design intensive, experiential processes that can create a bridge between the part of the mind that holds the insight (and all the resources of your adult self), across the membrane of the quarantine, and into the part of the mind where the pattern/obstacle is stored.

The between-session time is also longer than traditional coaching/therapy. Each session is like updating the operating system on your computer - it needs time to reboot and propagate the changes out into the rest of the system. In this time, you can also begin observing the way that the outer world will begin to spontaneously shift in a way that mirrors the shifts you are making in your inner world. This will give us valuable information about where to start in our next session.

Strange though it may seem, we all have parts of ourselves that object to having what we would like, becoming what we would like, and experiencing the things we would like to experience in life. When these objections are resolved and there is no more inner resistance to that thing, whatever it is, it tends to come in and come through in easeful and oftentimes unpredictable and surprising ways.

The frequency of sessions and the length of our time working together ultimately depends on your current circumstances and the level of support you’re needing there. More is not always better - there is a sweet spot where we can maximize the time/cost to benefit ratio, and that’s what I shoot for with my clients. It is my belief and my own experience that this kind of work, for many people, is both more effective and more efficient than the forms of weekly therapy/coaching that can span several years.

I recommend that my clients schedule one session every other week for an initial period of three months, and then to go down to one session per month for another three months. This initial period of more intensive work accomplishes two things: it provides more continuous support in times of more acute challenge and difficulty, and it accomplishes a deep and thorough updating of your inner operating system. At the end of that period, since the bulk of the “updates” have already been done, you are welcome to schedule sessions with me as needed.

When a course of traditional therapy is complete, you stop seeing your therapist altogether. But this can come as a significant loss, because your therapist now knows you (and perhaps you also know him/her) in a deep and intimate way. And when new challenges and new opportunities arise, you naturally want to consult with the person who has seen you through the prior passages of your life. Structuring my practice the way I do results in less regularity on my end, but it means more flexibility for you, and it means that we can have a working relationship that has both efficiency and longevity. You have the option to return at any time without restarting a significant, weekly investment.

Other options for session frequency include once per month, or simply as-needed, right from the very start. You get to decide your own pace in this work, and in our consultation, I can help you discern what that is if it isn’t already clear to you. The cost structure is straightforward and simple: $150/session.

Sessions are conducted via phone or Zoom, based on your preference. Zoom is free software that you can download to your computer if you would like, but it is not necessary as it can also be accessed right from your web browser. Zoom also allows you to record your session directly to your computer, if that’s what you would like (recordings are not available via phone).