Why I have never been so proud and grateful

September 4, 2008

I’ve used NLP with my daughter Katie since I took my first practitioner training when she was only two. I’ve always been pleased with how effective NLP tools are at helping us communicate, understand each other, and how it has helped her improve her confidence and sense of self. Now seven, Katie is confident, happy, and secure. She interacts well with others. Katie is her own person, she speaks up for what she wants and lets others know how she feels.  Katie is also sensitive to how others are feeling. Now I know I’m completely biased because I’m her mother so, of course, she is perfect J, and I’ve always put it down to using NLP with her.

But after Monday’s challenges I have never been so grateful for my NLP skills and never so proud of myself for handling such a difficult situation as well as I did.

Katie had an accident in the playground, she feel off the monkey bars and broke her wrist. From the minute I scooped her up right through the casualty, theatre and now into recovery I have been using NLP, not only with her, but with myself.

I used trance and hypnotic suggestions to keep her calm on the way to the hospital. I used hypnosis again in casualty to guide her to turn down the pain. I used anchoring and state management to keep myself calm, centred and balanced during the ordeal of waiting and especially when the consultant informed me of the extent of the damage to her wrist. I used meta model questions to extract from the doctors exactly what was going on.

I used it all, and I’ve never been so grateful for those skills. Without them I would have been a mess, Katie would have been terrified and I believe her healing and recovery would be longer. Here is the full story.

Katie’s Story

Shortly after Katie fell off the monkey bars and broke her wrist she started to go into shock. On the way to the hospital I used positive suggestions to get her to relax. Her breathing slowed, the pallor left her face and she started to look more comfortable. 

To help her with the pain whilst waiting at the hospital I used hypnosis and got her to ask her nerves to stop sending the pain message. I started putting positive suggestions. About 20 minutes later she is organising a game with some other children in the waiting room (ever the leader is Katie).

It took 4 hrs before the consultant saw us and looked at her x-ray.

Now I know that consultants have done a lot to get better at communication and as I’m pretty good at it I have high standards, but the way he informed us of what was going on was , well to be polite, not empowering, informative, or supportive.

He introduced himself, which was good, he’d obviously learnt to do that. Then he goes on to inform us that Katie had indeed broken her wrist (at this stage we only know it is damaged in some way) and that she will need surgery like this…

Consultant: “So Katie, how did you break your wrist?”

My internal Dialogue “oh my god, it is broken then!”

Lisa: “so it’s definitely broken?”

C: “Oh yes. But one that we can potentially fix. Katie, is this your first time having an anaesthetic?”

My internal dialogue “POTENTIALLY, POTENTIALLY! what doesn’t he mean POTENTIALLY? Does that mean it WON’T heal? What happens if it doesn’t heal? How likely is it? Is she going to be all right? Why is he talking about anaesthetics? What does he want to do to her? Is he going to operate, cut her open? Oh my god”

Lisa: “Tell me about the break, what is the procedure? What are you proposing?”

C: “the break is in rather a nasty position, and we need to get the bones into position?”

Internal dialogue “oh my god, oh my god, what is he telling me? It sounds really serious? How bad is it? What is going on? What is he going to do to my little girl?”

At this point I see Katie’s eyes getting wider and wider, she is holding her damaged wrist and moving as if to protect it from anyone touching it. I have good sensory acuity (an NLP skill) and notice. I interrupt the consultant who is saying something else incomprehensible at this time.

“Katie – look at me”. I look her straight in the face. I muster all my state control to become calm and centred. I know I need to be her rock that she can rely on and trust. I find my centre. She turns her wide face to me and stares deep into mine. I see the look of pleading for me to tell her it will be all right. I keep my voice steady, serious, reassuring and steady.

“It’s all right, you won’t feel any pain. All they will do is put a little injection into your other hand and you will fall off to sleep. The next thing you will know is that you’ll be woken up and it will all be over. You won’t feel a thing; you won’t even know anything about it. Just like having a sleep. OK?

Katie nods and I see her start to relax a little, she is still tense, and unsure, but has found her centre. Her breathing lowers in her chest.

Then we are on the conveyer of pre-op prep. Changing into a gown. Put on a bed, wheeled down to theatre. Every time we are alone I just keep telling her.

“This is a really common thing. The doctors fix this all the time. You can feels safe knowing they will mend your arm. You are such a good healer. You will heal from this really quickly. Your body knows how to heal this. Your body can heal this quickly and perfectly. You can just relax knowing that that is the best way to heal. Your body knows how to mend your arm. You body can fix it perfectly. Everyone is going to be amazed at how quickly you can heal your arm. Any time you hear anyone say anything otherwise that’s because they don’t know just how clever your body is at healing. They are making the mistake of thinking your body is like other’s who don’t know how to heal. But yours just knows how to heal it and can heal and it will.”

And so on. She must have been bored by it, but that’s part of the technique. I was using the NLP technique of planting positive suggestions and neutralising any negative ones she might hear.

I also neutralised the authority suggestions by making light of the fact that next time she saw the consultant he would be in pyjamas and wearing a silly hat. This would have taken the edge off some of his authority. Katie thought it was very funny that he would wear pyjamas at work.

Positive suggestions are CRUCIAL at this time, because when in shock, pain or even a light trance (which accidents and hospitals tend to induce) the unconscious mind is like a sponge it will absorb any and all suggestions. ESPECIALLY those from an authority figure, like say, an important looking consultant.

When anyone is in shock their conscious filtering faculties are switched off. The Unconscious mind is WIDE open to all and any suggestions.  It’s essential to be careful what you say at this time because everything will be taken on as a direct suggestion. If they hear “it will take a long time to heal” their unconscious mind will do just that – make it take a long time to heal.

The manipulation went fine. Katie recovered from the anaesthetic quickly. I stayed with her all night until she was allowed home the following day. I knew she would have been fine but I was her shield against any negative suggestions so stayed.

She’s home now coping with her plaster cast well and is cheerfully looking forward to going back to school and showing it off to her friends. She even said that the hospital stay was like a little holiday. Kids eh!

I am just so grateful that I was aware of the importance of positive language at such a crucial time. I am so grateful that I know how to control my state so that I could be calm for Katie. If I panic, even if I hid it, like all kids she would have picked it up and started to panic herself.

I continue to use hypnotic suggestions, especially when she least expects it.

And the prognosis? The doctors say there is a chance that she may not regain full use of her hand. And yes it is her dominant hand. But for my part I simply will not entertain any such outcome. The only future I am creating is one where she is completely healed whole and magnificent. I will keep you posted of her progress.

This experience has taught me the utter importance of understanding the mind, its effect on the body, the power of language and how essential it is to use it to help not heal.

I wanted to share this with you so that you could get an appreciation of the power of NLP. People give me a hard time for promoting NLP so much, they tell me to get off my soap box about NLP.

But, quiet frankly I have seen the positive effects of its power, and just how much it can improve people’s lives too often to stay quiet about it. If you don’t like NLP, you probably don’t like the way it’s been used, which is why I teach it the way I do.

If you want to learn to stay calm no matter what is going on around you, to communicate with your loved ones, to help others heal, or heal yourself, then get yourself onto our NLP practitioner training in October. You never know when you might need it.

After Monday’s challenges I have never been so grateful for my NLP skills and never so proud of myself for handling such a difficult situation as well as I did.

Call me on 08000409115 to discuss how you can benefit from NLP.