Simply put, NLP can be used to aid in forgiveness. This has been a topic that has frequently come up in my coaching practice as well as in NLP training classes. In all honesty, I used to beat my head against the wall over it. I think this largely related to my understanding of forgiveness in my personal life. But once i understood what forgiveness was, and how I attained it through using NLP, it mad it much easier to provide coaching on the topic.
Lesson learned: NLP coaching on forgiveness comes much easier once you have learned to forgive others. And by forgiving others, you ultimately forgive part of yourself.
Step 1 (In The Present): Step into the Shoes of the Other Person (2nd Perceptual Position of NLP)
Imagine or pretend as if you are standing in the shoes of the other person. You would see, hear, and feel what they would. What specifically do you learn? And what specifically is the positive intent motivating the behavior?
Step 2 (In The Past): Observe This Persons Entire Life (3rd Perceptual Position of NLP, dissociation, observer)
Imagine seeing a movie, with the other person in it from the day they were born, and watch the movie of this person’s entire life, or what you imagine it to be. The raising they received from their parents, their childhood, all the things they experienced. Their generation, the location they grew up, their education, socio-economic background, influence of the media, teachers and others. At some point in the movie you would be introduced. Their behavior can then be explained by their entire timeline.
Step 3 (In The Past): Step Into the Shoes of the Other Person (2nd Perceptual Position of NLP)
Imagine you are born as this person, and live their life until the present. You see, hear, and feel what they would, throughout their entire life.
Step 4: Explore the Positive Intent Motivating the Behavior of the Other Person
The presupposition of NLP: “There is a positive intent motivating every behavior.” This includes bad behavior. A person does what they do because they are chasing a positive intent, a positive outcome. What specifically is the positive intent motivating this persons behavior? Be neutral. Rather than automatically assuming things like control, success, or money,consider concepts like: safety, security, protection, change, love, grown, etc.
Step 5: Explore the Positive Intent Motivating your Behavior
What specifically is your positive intent holding on to the lack of forgiveness? And how is this serving you? How can you best be served by offering forgiveness?
Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. When using NLP for forgiveness, it is not about forgetting your experience, or even accepting the behavior, but the way you’re processing it inside the brain. For more serious topics I do recommend doing a custom design for your client, by using the design process to create your own patterns. We teach this in our NLP Master Practitioner course. This way, the NLP forgiveness pattern ends up with being specifically tailored to the client.