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Integrity Within The Model (top tip for NLPers)

“She told me I was better than Tony Robbins” he said.

“(Better) at what?” I enquired.

“Making her feel fantastic” he smiled.

“So how did you do that? I asked (the NLPer)

“She just has to think of me and she feels amazing” he replied.

“But surely her dependency on you for fantastic feelings, contravenes our NLP ethics of a client’s ‘freedom’ of thought, emotion and behaviour?” I challenged.

“I have a special gift, and I can make you feel fantastic too” he offered.

“I gotta go feed the dogs” I retreated, thinking he sounded like a pawn on a chessboard – limited by single units of behaviour for his own feel good.


Have you ever have conversations like this? Where a person’s personality ‘needs’ (e.g. to feel important) are apparently more important than the skills available.


Can we do more to promote integrity when working with clients? Do we need to pay more respect to the reputation of our NLP profession?


History is littered with macabre anecdotes of people using their skills for personal gain across a myriad of professions. Can integrity be taught? I believe so and I believe it starts with increasing self-consciousness. Which is what we help our clients to do, only how many NLPers apply to self first? I wonder.


So you know you’ve got good NLP skills right?

And yet professionally, you’ve probably experienced strong emotional reactions to certain situations/people? Probably you didn’t get the best result because your personality hijacked you in some way.


Maybe you gave a presentation and ‘needed’ everyone to love your performance, leaving you vulnerable to frowning faces.

Perhaps you tried to ‘rescue’ a client by providing your (ill fitting) solution for them, leaving you frustrated by their lack of change.

Or have you ever found yourself sitting in judgment or even getting angry with a client? I certainly have.


Since a skilled NLPer feasts on feedback, reflecting on both process and outcome of client work is key and taking a Meta position helps evaluate both self and others (suggest using neurological levels as an evaluation tool).

The Law of Requisite Variety (key NLP presupposition) states that a brain with the most neuronal connections will have the most (thinking, feeling, behavioural) flexibility, just like the queen on a chess board, most powerful because she can move in many directions, unlike said pawn.


Think Meta again.


What are the structures of integrity?

Humans are primarily motivated by ‘what’s in it for me’ which makes the Ancient Greek aphorism ‘know thyself’ important, unless you are happy leaving your unknown, unconscious drivers in charge.


At the very least be clear about 3 things:

  • Is what I want to have happen in this situation ‘well formed’?
  • Is there conflict between my personality needs (approval, attachment, validation, security, certainty (right/wrong), etc) and the stated goal of my client?
  • How am I benefitting from this situation (money, experience, research etc or personality needs)?


At first, you may wish to reject your insights when answering these questions, until you realise there is nothing to judge or fear. Instead, by bringing your consciousness into your own deeper structures, you remove cognitive dissonance; gain self-esteem as well as clarity of the processes that enhance your work.


I suggest that before we ‘help’ other people, there are smart conversations to be had with oneself – the Meta Model becoming a mighty tool for self-awareness and not just for gathering information from the deeper structures of other people’s minds.















Chamomile Breathing


Chamomile Breathing – A guide for children, yet perfect for all!

Chamomile breathing is a simple technique that is proven to help you feel calmer and more relaxed. It’s so easy to learn, you’ll be able to do it at home or at school, or whenever, wherever, you want to feel relaxed.

Here’s how to do it:
Imagine you have a chamomile flower sitting right inside your tummy. Is it fully open yet? Maybe you can visualise the textures, smell and sounds of it.

As you take a big, deep breath in through your nose, you can imagine the air flowing down inside to open up the flower head – expanding it until it is completely open. Next, as you breathe out through your mouth you can imagine the flower head gently deflating and folding itself up into a little bud.

The deeper your in-breath, the fuller the imaginary flower head becomes. Your tummy will look like it has a balloon inside it when you make deep in-breaths.

The longer your out-breath, the smaller your tummy becomes. Your tummy will feel like it’s shrinking inside if you are making long out-breaths.

Make your in-breath and out-breath last for the same amount of time – maybe each to a count of 3 or 4?

After a short while you can begin to make the out-breath last longer than the in-breath – maybe in-breath for a count of 3 and out-breath for a count of 5?

Feel your tummy muscles expand and deflate, see the chamomile flower inside your imagination, gently opening and closing its petals.

Check to discover where in your body do you feel most relaxed? Perhaps it’s your shoulders, or your back? Maybe it’s somewhere else?

Remember! When your body feels relaxed and your mind becomes calmer, you feel happier and more able to cope with life’s whirlwinds.

Where else could this technique be useful to you? At school? Before bed? Somewhere else?

A bit more about the relaxation:
Obviously you are not really breathing into your tummy! In fact you are breathing into the lower lobes of your lungs and your diaphragm pushes against part of your nervous system telling it to relax more.

The visualisation technique (of a chamomile flower) helps your mind to learn faster, become more creative and solve problems more easily. Did you know that Einstein (a very smart guy) was a big fan of visualisations?

The plant called chamomile really does help you relax. Perhaps you’ve heard about chamomile tea or essential oil? There are special chemicals in chamomile that tell your nervous system to relax; one of these is called pinene. As you inhale the chamomile scent, special chemicals can reach your brain and help you relax more and feel less stressed. Maybe you will even feel a little sleepy. Chamomile is often used to help people sleep better.

Information for teachers and parents:
The breathing activity acts on the parasympathetic nervous system proven to calm. And science shows the phyto-chemistry of chamomile acts on the calming (GABA) pathways in the brain; chamomile can be mildly sedative.

Chamomile is a gentle herb that is popularly drunk as a tea. It is also popular as an essential oil (added to an aroma diffuser or as drops in a bath or on a tissue). There are many safe ways to experience the calming effects of chamomile including making a poultice for pain.

The flowering plant is called German (Chamomilla recutita, syn. Matricaria recutita). Its effects are anti depressant, reducing osteoporosis pain and the essential oil treats generalized anxiety disorder.

The non flowering plant (lawn) is called Roman (Chamaemelum nobile treneague, syn. Anthemis nobles). Clinically a mild sedative, anti-convulsant (childhood), analgesic (teething and earache), digestive and sleep promoter and its essential oil is verified for nervous afflictions like insomnia and anxiety.

Always consult a registered medical herbalist & inform your healthcare practitioner before taking or giving a child any herb medicinally. And be sure of the identity of your plant.

More facts and science about safe plants for brain boosting and wellbeing: