NLP for Carers
Caring for people can be immensely rewarding and sometimes really challenging. If you care for a relative or work in the care profession, you may find it hard to look after your own needs sometimes. NLP can help carers look after their well-being and support the service user more effectively.
Having cared for my Grandmother with dementia and Parkinsons for years I have experienced the challenges and the immense relief after learning NLP. It was incredible to see that despite my Nan losing her logic and ability to communicate with the right words or sentences, she did exceptionally well at working with NLP. We were able to use NLP techniques to relieve some of her physical symptoms and develop her confidence in expressing herself.
The results were extraordinary. Where before she was up all night anxious and unsettled, she started to sleep and relax more. It was a relief for her and for us as a family. Four years ago we were told she was approaching end of life and now we are nearly four years down the line. She communicates really well, often articulating her points eloquently, despite having a medical label that is a permanent and progressive condition.
When you care for your relatives, it’s often a 24 hour job, you don’t get weekends off like most. Because I know how tough this can be, I have a keen interest in openly sharing my personal experience as well as the NLP tools that can help carers and those they care for. Caring requires a range of skills. The UK Care Guide have written an article on the 10 qualities and skills care workers and support workers need in 2018 which you can access here. Number one on this list is patience. The ability to stay calm.
Whilst I am sure all care workers understand and agree with this, we are human and it can be challenging sometimes, particularly when your own needs are put to the side.
Before I get to the NLP techniques that can help, let’s look at how and why NLP works.
Have you ever been driving to a different destination yet the route is similar to your normal journey and you end up taking your normal turn out of habit? That’s because we have a deeper part of our mind, our unconscious mind (more commonly described as the subconscious mind).
If you think of your mind as a magnificent magical garden, just as a plant needs light, our minds seek enlightenment and evolution. If plants are not taken care of they start to look different and become unhealthy. Often weeds can get in the way of growth. These weeds may be limiting beliefs, unwanted emotions, counterproductive habits or unresolved memories.
You’re the gardener of your mind garden, NLP provides the kit you need to eliminate the weeds and plant new seeds that can grow into what you want to be and achieve in life. Therefore, NLP can help you develop patience at a subconscious level. This means that you won’t have to concentrate and try and force yourself to be patient, it will just happen, because the change has occurred at a deeper level. We had a Care Home Manager on one of our recent courses and she was amazed and how valuable it will be for her team and her residents. Here are some NLP techniques that can help you have more patience and maintain your sense of calm.
The Now State
The essence of the Now State is the ability to be in the present moment. When you are completely present you do not have regrets of the past or worries about the future blocking your mind and energy. You are in a state of complete awareness of everything happening now.
Many people on our courses describe it as blocking out the internal noise, because all the things you may say to yourself can become part of everything. This techniques fades unwanted thoughts out because your sensory channels are being fully utilised by what is happening right now.
When you’re using this technique correctly, you are completely open to receive all the information of the present moment, making you more acutely aware of even the most subtle changes. When you’re present, you enhance your connections with people. Caring for people can be hard sometimes, often you have a multitude of things to think about. If your mind is full up with these thoughts then it can block your deep rapport and connection with the individual you are caring for.
As emotional needs are so high for vulnerable service users, the ability to connect can transform lives.If you would like to find out more about this technique, we have an article and video on this here. Or you can look over an infographic on the Now State here
I can say from experience that life is so much easier when you master the ability to be present. It’s one of the first exercises we train on NLP World courses because this alone can significantly impact your way of life. It does take practise. I shared the technique with a client I worked on anxiety with. She has now developed it to the standard where she uses it for her whole journey in to work. She started off with a few minutes every day and now manages her whole 45 minute journey into work and throughout her working day. She cares for young people and the management have reported a significant improvement in her ability to control what is happening in the room.
Interesting that it is often called ‘present state’ because this technique really is a gift and therefore the word ‘present’ is extremely appropriate. Moving on to other ways that NLP can elevate your skills as a Carer and make your role easier, let’s look at the power of language. The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health has posted information on what service users and carers want, one point they raise is “person centred communication”. You can read more about this on their website here.
Language is a filter within our minds. We all make variations of meanings about words based on our own life experiences and inner values. This means that when you master how to be flexible with your language, you can be more person centred in your approach, adjusting to suit what will get the best reaction from the individual you are working with. We have an article on how words work and useful language tools here. Adapting your language makes a significant difference to who you are communicating with. If you followed the link to the article above you will have seen that there are different representational systems. Depending on the preferred system of the individual you are working with, you can adjust your words accordingly.
My Nan often likes reassurance that she is safe. You can say this in many different ways… We have double locks on our doors, all the windows are closed and we have four people in the house. (This is Auditory Digital language – the facts.) You can see that the doors are big and thick and you’ll have our smiley faces all around you, looks lovely and safe to me, can you see how you’re safe? (Visual)
Listen to that silence. That means that we will hear even the tiniest of sounds and the alarm bells will be ringing so that we always protect the harmonious and safe environment. Sound good? (Auditory) When you’re tucked up in bed, feeling the warm, soft blankets all around you, you’ll feel all cosy and safe. We have been around and checked the door handles with our own hands to get that feeling of safety. Does that sit comfortably with you now? (Kinaesthetic)
As you read these, which one had the most impact on you? Which one do you think would have the most impact on your Service User? Becoming conscious of your language will deepen your connections and make a difference to the happiness and well-being of those around you.Information on the Carers UK Website, states that it has never been more important to ensure that carers have good quality information and advice. You can see their comments on how important this is, here.
With this in mind, we recognise how valuable NLP is for Carers and are keen to make information available to you. You can learn more about language in our article here. alternatively if you would like to speak to us about how our courses could help you within your care role, you can contact us for information or
NLP for Carers, written by Natalie Rea