Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is defined in Wikipedia as “an approach to psychotherapy and organizational change based on a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them. It is also "a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour".

NLP practitioners are trained to explore the nature of people’s unconscious communication patterns and unlock keys that help in the healing and transformation of their clients. Also, they are trained to use NLP techniques to eliminate unhelpful behaviours. But how do they work with clients who are diagnosed of depression? Does it help someone who is already on Prozac?

While it is true that there has been no empirical studies to show the effectiveness of NLP for depression; there are several documented cases. I also had clients who are suffering from depression for whom I use NLP as part of their therapy. I am certain that there are other counselors and healers who have been successful in using NLP. But, having said that, it is still not safe to generalize and say that NLP as a rule is effective against depression.

In my experience, NLP is effective when my client and I pinpoint the specific changes that my client desires. “To use NLP with depression, you first need to ``chunk down'' to identify very specific behaviors (and thoughts and feelings) that need to be changed”, says an article from the Psychology Department of the University of Hawaii.

Example, depression can be related to negative beliefs. NLP provides very fast techniques for changing negative beliefs. And if this works, this provides a clear path towards the treatment of depression, if and only if, their depression is coming from negative thoughts and beliefs.

There are NLP techniques that are found useful for stopping negative thoughts that repeatedly went through people’s mind. These can distract the mind from fully entertaining the negative thoughts and reinvigorates the body and the mind to look and entertain positive ones.

This is just one of the many ways in which NLP can be used in the treatment of depression. But, again, what is important is to start with the specific change which the client really wants.

Author's Bio: 

Cathrine Margit Moller was born and raised in Denmark
She began her career in radio and television, and worked in that capacity until moving to Canada in 1998.

For the past twenty-six years, she has pursued a career in the healing arts at the same time, focusing on alternative health care and healing. By training under some of the leading wellness experts in the world, Cathrine keeps escalating her quest toward personal excellence, so she can offer you the best of the healing arts. This has included studies in Denmark, the U.S., Canada, and England, studying under leading experts in alternative medicine.

Her background in hypnotherapy is extensive. In 1999, she was certified Hypnotist by the 'National Guild of Hypnotists' and certified Master Hypnotist at the 'Ontario Hypnosis Centre' in 2000. Her work in hypnosis and hypnotherapy is diverse, and includes clinical use of hypnosis designed to empower her clients in areas ranging from the stresses and problems of their everyday lives, to past life regressions, and Self-Hypnosis training. She has also been certified as a hypnocoach by Dr. Lisa Halpin.
Her expertise also includes Somatic Healing, Reconnective Healing, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), NGH, and Reiki, all of which offer powerful but simple solutions to a range of physical and emotional issues. She also offers NLP, which offers additional access to identifying self-limiting behaviors. These techniques are discussed at more length elsewhere on this site.

Her Personal Mission Statement
Cathrine sees people as incredible beings of infinite potential, whom she can empower and guide toward fulfilling on their goals and their dreams. As an Intuitive, Cathrine knows the Universe and trusts it to steer her in the right direction. Her goal is to help people, and enable them to find their full potential, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her greatest joy is in seeing a person evolve into all they can become, on every level.

She looks for the miracles in everyday life, and uses them to connect strongly to the forces that enable her to tap into the forces that have shaped a person’s life. As an intuitive, she uses her abilities to uncover the old and unproductive patterns that keep people “stuck,” working with them to purge the unproductive patterns that entrap them.

Cathrine’s own life has had personal challenges that have informed and transformed her, the most significant being when she was diagnosed with apparent MS. Rather than regarding this as a limitation, she has embraced it and used for personal transformation. Working with it in her personal practice, she has not only brought herself back to good health, but has used it to inform and illuminate her life’s path