Hypnosis vs. NLP: What Should You Learn First?

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is an incredible tool for personal change. Excellent hypnotists also learn NLP so they can help clients, using NLP techniques and principles, within a hypnotic trance.  

If you plan to learn both NLP and hypnosis, which should you learn first? Does it even matter? That’s what we’ll answer for you here, along with a short video to make things even easier! 

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Mike's Story

Mike Mandel is both a hypnosis trainer and an NLP trainer.  He learned hypnosis first, but only because he was 12 years old and his father allowed him to purchase any book he wanted.  He saw a hypnosis book and figured he could learn to control people.

Kids and their crazy beliefs, right?

Mike was born in 1953 so it was about 1965 when he learned hypnosis.  NLP didn’t even come along until sometime in the 1970s.

NLP was developed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. They modeled three highly effective therapists in order to discover what made their methods work.

Virginia Satir was an incredible family therapist.  Fritz Perls was a strange, but effective gestalt therapist. Then there was Milton H. Erickson, arguably the greatest hypnotist of all time.  

Mike Mandel became a professional stage hypnotist in 1975, long before he ever learned NLP.  It was only around 1990 when he discovered the power of Neurolinguistic Programming and added it to his own personal toolbox.

Chris' Story

By 1993 Mike started incorporating NLP concepts into a lecture that he designed called “Brain Software”.  Chris Thomspon happened to be a university student in Ottawa, Canada, where Mike delivered this presentation on campus.

Chris was already interested in hypnosis, but NLP seemed much more practical for him, so he started learning NLP on his own by reading books.  Chris didn’t learn hypnosis until a bit later.

So does it matter which skill you learn first?

No. It really makes no difference whether you learn hypnosis first, or NLP first.  We just encourage you to learn the key principles of both skill sets and put them to use making your life, and your clients’ lives, better.

If you learn NLP first, you’ll not necessarily learn the nuances of language patterns and the hypnotic voice.  You won’t learn inductions or deepeners. You won’t learn the art of hypnotic suggestion.  But every NLP technique, when done well, will result in some level of trance automatically.

And if you learn hypnosis first, you’ll get all the hypnosis skills to put people in trance and offer hypnotic suggestions.  But you won’t necessarily know how to perform NLP techniques on your hypnotized clients.  And that’s fine!  You can learn that later.

Where To Start?

We'll leave you with the classic hypnotic double bind.  Would you prefer to decide, right now, whether to learn NLP first or hypnosis? The good news is we have you covered either way.

The Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy is our flagship online hypnosis course. We don’t formally teach NLP in that course, but since there's plenty of overlapping between the two, you’ll learn a lot of NLP no matter what.

But if you prefer a stand-along NLP course, check out NLP Essentials. You’ll master the fundamental concepts of NLP in about 6 hours, a good portion of which came from the legendary work of Dr. Milton H. Erickson (hypnosis!)