The NLP Parts Integration process is great fun. It is also really effective in helping people solve part-time problems. We are talking about problems that involve a part of someone being essentially incongruent with the real nature of the individual. You know, times when you say “A part of me just wants to…” These parts can cause us problems and NLP offers a technique and a process to help people with these kind of problems. Here are some examples:
A part-time confidence problem
“Through coaching sessions we have established some issues that a particular individual at work with Confidence, specifically, confidence speaking to others at a higher level than her, part of Jemma feels inferior, I asked her to recall a time when she felt inferior, she explained to me an occasion whereby she had to set up some equipment for a company director and she felt nervous and apprehensive , I asked ‘about what’ and she said that she ‘ may say something silly or do something wrong’. I asked ‘ how was this a problem?’ She said that it would knock her confidence and she would worry about what had happened and what may happen in the future, I agreed that this was a problem. I’m aware that this is a parts issue rather than a limiting decision as Jemma has given me examples of when she has felt confident – this is a part time problem rather than a full time one.
I explained to her that I would like to help her remove the part that’s feels inferior and unconfident; she agreed that she would be happy to let me!
I asked if Jemma was comfortable and if I could move her arms to allow the process to begin – I made sure that her arms were held out with her palms facing up.
I suggested that most people like to complete the process with their eyes shut and that they found the process a relaxing one and often felt happy once complete.
I asked what hand the part of Jemma that felt inferior would like to come out on – it was on the right, I personified the part by asking what did it look like/feel like / sound like someone she know? She said it looked like her- I asked Jemma if it was at the front / back middle of her hand – it was in the middle, I asked Jemma who the Person on the Left was – who did it look / sound feel like she said this was her also.
I said I would like to talk to the person on the right who felt inferior, and I asked what the purpose of this part was? She replied ‘ To remind me not to make mistakes ‘ I asked what’s the intention , she replied ‘ To not say something silly’ , I continued to chunk up with questions including ‘ what will that get you, what’s the purpose, what’s the intention?’ we eventually reached an abstract idea of ‘ to be happy’.
I asked to speak to the other part of her on the left, I asked what is the purpose of this part is and she said ‘ to achieve’ after further questioning she said the purpose was to‘ be happy’ – I pointed out that this was the same intention as the other part – she frowned but agreed and said ‘ yes it is’ , I asked Jemma if she had noticed that her arms were coming closer together and asked if she was doing this on purpose, she smiled and said ‘ no’ – I suggested that as she started to realise and notice that the intention of the parts had the same purpose, the same intention and that this was to be happy and confident that her hands would move closer together and the parts would become one, I suggested that as this happen she would feel her hands close and be drawn to her chest as this part becomes integrated so that she could be happy and confident.
Jemma sat for a while with her hands to her chest, as I asked her to just relax and let the process happen internally, I suggested she would start to open her eyes when she felt the process was complete.
I asked Jemma if she felt okay, she smiled and nodded.
I asked Jemma if she felt happy she said yes, I asked Jemma to imagine that when she got back at her desk she was asked to set up some more equipment for the Director and how would she feel about this? She said “fine”, I said “you would feel okay would you?” She said “yes.”
Gaining a balance between aggression and submission
We discussed my clients current conflict that she would like to resolve. She feels that she can be a push over or a total steam roller and pings between the two. First of all we discussed this in a few contexts to see if it is present all the time or only part of the time. It turns out that at work she is not a push over when feeling defensive or overly forceful/assertive when pushing her point, but simply in personal scenarios and she doesn’t seem to be able to acknowledge it as it is happening. I ask her, do you whole heartedly believe you are a push over? No she says, absolutely not. And a steam roller? Pushy, aggressive? No, definitely not who she is, or who she thinks she is. So these ‘parts’ present on their own and function differently to how she would normally, how she wants to behave. So I ask her to relax rest her hands on her legs palms facing upwards and let her eyes relax and close, if that feels comfortable.
Then I asked her to think of the unwanted behaviour, part (I introduced this word here to use it throughout) and in which hand she felt it would like to stand on, so she said her left, and when asked where, in the middle of her palm. I asked her “does that part look, feel or sound like someone you know?” and she replied it looks like her mother but it still sounds like her.
I asked her if the opposite part, the part most in conflict, the opposite part would like to come out and stand on her other hand. She says yes, and I ask her, “who does this part look/sound/feel like?” and she replies, it looks like her father but sounds like her again. It is aggressive, and pushy. She doesn’t like it.
I take a moment to reassure her, great, great.
And I say, we are going to talk to the first part, your mother, “what is the intention of this ‘push over’ part?” and she replies ‘to avoid conflict’ so I ask “for what purpose?” and she replies ‘so I am liked’ and we continue to chunk up until we reach “to protect me”.
And the second part, the aggressive part, we chunk up in exactly the same way, until we reach the higher purpose “to protect me”. So we have the whole of the two parts, and I say that now the parts realise they were part of the larger whole and they serve to protect you and that is good, and if they could integrate and return to the whole and acknowledge what resources or attributes of these behaviours theses parts have that the other would like to have. Her hands twitch gently and her physiology relaxes and her breathing is a lot softer and deeper. She acknowledges the ‘aggressive part’ can help protect her from being a push over, by allowing the push over to gently assert itself and stand its ground, and conversely the soft part can tone down the aggressive part so although she is making her point, she can do so gently and peacefully.
And I say to her that as the parts integrate her hands will start to move, and that is good, and I keep saying, ‘good that’s great, well done’. And her hands come together.
Finally I say, “now take the integrated part inside and have it merge in to the wholeness inside.”
And then we run through a few theories to test and future pace it.
I felt this went really well, I found it much easier to assess that it was a part and not a limiting decision than I thought I would. I was more worried about this part than working through the rest. She was absolutely thrilled that these two parts of her character that she really disliked actually serve her and each other very well, when integrated. I reassured her that the parts will continue to integrate and will work to serve the higher purpose and benefit her.
I felt that in future I could make a point of keeping the client fully associated, ‘how does that make you feel?’ working with more questions to really keep her as associated as possible. Or saying “as you merge notice how you feel inside and as they merge let the merge happen inside too.”
I didn’t feel I had much time to move to positive as her hands moved together, thankfully she kept her eyes closed so I really used the script and I realised that although the process itself is relatively simple and the person does all the work really, I do need to work on memorising the prompts and scripts very well so that I lead them through very naturally, fluid process.
Wow, I really saw how ‘parts’ that once were integrated and part of the whole act on their own and create a real conflict, they present in great extremes, like north and south and together they really do work for a higher intention. Very interesting and it really brought me the understanding how, after an SEE, the part separates and acts on its own.
More on the Parts Integration process in NLP
A problem of being misunderstood
I have a client with a problem. This client has the issue that she feels that she is misunderstood because she comes across very hard, as if she does not care about other people.
This is a problem for her for several reasons. She is a nice person and wants to be liked. It makes it difficult for her to make friends and therefore she is very often alone. On top of that it means that her partner hears from other people that she is not nice and this makes her partner feels sad.
I sat down with her and we started the NLP parts integration where the problem part is the misunderstood part. She calls this part john and she has the main part of her who is understood and she calls that part “mom”. I started to ask where John was and if I could talk to him. He appeared on her left hand and her mom on her right hand. I started chunking up John (using the appropriate questions) until the answers starting repeating. I tried to keep chunking up but it felt to me as she was chunking down. I kept with it and we reached again to the level where she started to repeat the answers. I realized that she was answering with words like they, them and you and not with words like I and me. I asked her how that made her feel and she went back to chunking up. I switched to the mom and started doing the same. I saw her closed eyes move fast and I saw her hands move just a bit. I asked her if she realized this and if she did this on purpose. This was not the case. I started asking questions, why it was that she thought that the two parts had the same purpose for her. She told me that it was for protection and that John had felt that when she opens up that she gets hurt. Her mom said that if she opens up that she gets loved. John said that when she gets hurt that she would not be happy. The mom said that if she opens up that she would be happy. Her hands moved quicker at this moment, quicker than I anticipated.
When her hands met I asked her to put her hands to her chest and let the integration complete. Then I asked her to complete the integration and when this was done that she could open her eyes. This took almost two more minutes. (I thought she was sleeping lol) and she opened her eyes. We did future pace and that looked good.
The days after she was more open, and more friendly to colleagues. The problem is, was, that she had burned some bridges and people did not believed that she was sincere. We talk a lot about this in the last days and how that makes her feel and why and how long this will last before people around her will see the difference. I told her that I really saw a lot of difference in her attitude towards other people. She was a bit skeptical of the part integration before we carried it out and now she believes that this made a change! I told her that it did not matter how the change took place but that it took place and she tells me that she is a lot happier at this moment.
Feeling lazy? Lack of motivation? Maybe an NLP parts integration could help
I have recently conducted a Parts Integration with one of my course mates at university. Before I did the Parts Integration, I tested her depth of trance since Parts Integration would be using Ericksonian suggestion. I used the ‘balloon and books’ method to test her depth of trance, in which I asked her to hold out both of her arms straight in front of her, one of the palms facing the floor and the other facing toward the ceiling. I then asked her to imagine one of her palms was holding some very heavy books, while the other palm was holding some balloons which were getting lighter and lighter. Both of her hands moved significantly and that indicated she was open to hypnotic suggestions.
After explaining the function of Parts Integration to her, I moved on to identify the problems X and Y, by using the question ‘How is that a problem?’ I also used the question ‘Do you believe that all the time?’ to make sure her problem is a part of her unconscious rather than a limiting decision. Her X was intuitive that sometimes she became very ‘lazy’ and just wanted to spend time doing leisure activities rather than her academic works, while her Y was more rational that she understood she had to work hard in order to accomplish any achievement in her life. X and Y were conflicting and causing problems because she could not focus on her academic work and kept trying to escape from it, and that had been delaying her schedule.
I then asked her to place X on a hand she chose and to place Y on the other hand. I asked her to get VAK images for X and then Y. Her X looked like a female child with school uniforms and keep on shouting and jumping around (on her palm probably), while her Y looked like a short-haired young lady with office wears and glasses. I requested to talk to X first and chunked it up by asking about purpose and intentions, I then also used to question ‘what would that do for you’ in order to get deeper into her feelings and motivations. I then chunked Y up as well.
Eventually I chunked both X and Y up beyond their boundaries. X’s intention was to seek happiness and prevent worry, such that it tried to escape from works, while Y’s intention was also to seek happiness, but by working hard and achieving happiness in a long term. I requested her to make sure X and Y were facing each other and I noticed her hands were coming closer and closer, then I started to give suggestions including ‘You may not notice that but your hands are moving together’. I mentioned the intentions for both parts were the same and suggested the representations of X and Y to move together for the internal wholeness. I also used additional suggestions such as ‘Don’t move the hands together until you are ready to seek wholeness’.
When her hands moved very close to each other, I internalized the parts integration by suggesting ‘Noticing the hands come together, have it merge into the wholeness inside’ and asked her to create an image that the representations of X and Y were holding hands. Finally, I did a future-pacing by asking her to imagine three months (the coming autumn), five months (the coming winter) and one year (the coming summer) later, using different weather to separate different period of time and asked how she felt academic works now that both parts were fully integrated.
One of the things I noticed was that she had difficulties to describe the highest intention for Y and eventually it took a long time. I thought the reason was that Y, as a representation of success and achievement, might be a bit abstract to a university student. The most important things I have learnt from this session is that even we may consider some parts of our unconscious mind ‘bad’ or ‘unwanted’, but they may always have some good intentions which have common grounds with the ‘good’ parts.