Motivational Coach Certification Trainer
Listen to the interview Benjamin did for Global NLP Radio: Cancer, Chemotherapy, NLP and Exercise
NLP can be used in various ways from learning to communicate effectively with your significant other and family members to negotiating for business purposes. As a freelance journalist and writer NLP techniques prove to very useful especially when I conduct interviews and I notice that the other person is not engaged in the conversation or the questions I ask. Unconsciously I had developed skills in order to plan ahead and foresee well-formed outcomes in the past, including having a couple of academic books published. However, I was not aware that these skills could be applied to all facets of my life. Ironically my first conscious encounter with NLP started in the scariest period of my life. I remember sitting in a brown-leather chair in the oncologist’s office when she calmly told me that I had a cancer known as Hodgkins Lymphoma. Upon anticipating the outcome of numerous MRI’s and Petscans I had hoped for any other diagnosis from weird bacteria to Lyme disease, but nope it was the ‘C’ word. I couldn’t get the word out of my mouth, let alone believe I had it. The following days continued in a frenzy of telling family and friends the diagnosis which amounted to that I relived the tragic diagnosis every time I had to tell it. An intensive chemotherapy treatment of six months would start within a week and I needed to make arrangements job-wise. I just started working freelance as a writer. I also started teaching spinning classes, a hobby I loved very much. My oncologist warned me that I would probably have less energy and be more tired, and that I would be more susceptible to infections, colds, flu’s. In my mind I would have to give up my spinning classes and lie in bed for the next six months. On top of that my friends, family, and things I had read on internet spelled out the nasty side-effects that chemotherapy caused.
But then something happened. My partner simply explained to me that chemotherapy had the best results for curing my type of cancer, and that a period of six months was a foreseeable amount of time. Suddenly the distorted notions lodged in my mind started to dissolve. I envisioned the period passing quickly, and realized that I had probably wasted more time in my life watching TV, bad TV for that matter, than the six months of treatment would entail. Indeed he was right. Those six months passed quickly. In fact, they were reduced to four months because the treatment was more successful than my doctor had anticipated. In fact, within six months after my last treatment, my oncologist proudly told me that I was in the top three of all his patients and that most of his patients needed at least two years before they recovered as well as I had done in a mere six months.
My partner had become a NLP master practitioner just a few months before my diagnosis and used his NLP skills and techniques on me. That made all the difference for my positive state of mind. Impressed with his knowledge and skills that he had learned from NLP I wanted to do the same, and at the same time help other cancer patients while undergoing chemo. As a spinning instructor, I started a spinning class for chemo patients. During my own treatment I continued to teach spinning classes. The intensive cardio-training had helped me psychologically and was also good for my metabolism during the treatments. I noticed the benefits and started a small group of patients undergoing chemo at a local gym, but also realized that I wasn’t psychologically equipped to protect myself and coach them. In the past, I had worked as a teacher and researcher at the University of Groningen and the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands where I had taught history and educational science students, but this was a whole other ballgame. And nothing affected me more either.
That’s when I decided to learn the techniques of NLP – skills that I could help others overcome for what they perceived as fear, and put life’s obstacles in perspective. That’s one of the great things I’ve learned. In the end, it all works out, one way or another.