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In a previous article about Ericksonian Psychotherapy we pointed out, that the Ericksonian school split into two different disciplines.

One of these disciplines was tasking.

Tasking known today as “The family systems theory”, originated from the way  Milton Erickson worked.

When Milton worked with clients he used at times to give them tasks. The idea behind tasking was to let the client reach inner understandings and results, by performing the appointed tasks.

There are many stories about such tasks.

The way it worked was by asking the client for a commitment to accomplish the task. Explaining that the task was possible to be achieved, and giving the task once the commitment was obtained.

In his book “My voice will go with you”, teaching tales of Milton Erickson – Sidney Rosen gives numerous examples.

An example of such a task is a story from old folklore.

Once upon a time there was this husband and wife, who kept quarreling.

Life was unbearable.

The wife deciding to change things asked for advice. The elder women advised her to go and see a certain witch that lived in the woods.

The wife went to that witch and after recounting her problems with her husband, the witch advised the following.

During a full moon the wife should take a big jar and go to seven special wells and fill the jar with water from all seven wells.

Having acquired the water, each time her husband started quarreling she should take a sip of water and keep it in her mouth until he was finished. Swallowing the water, only after he has finished shouting.

Lo and behold, the quarreling stopped.

This task teaches in an indirect way, that when someone starts shouting at you one of the wise ways to eliminate a quarrel would be to keep quite.

When your mouth is full with water you cannot answer back.

When one stops to think, for a moment. Tasks can be simple yet very powerful.

According to the wonderful work done by Don A. Blackerby, people suffering from ADD have been found, to have a deficiency in their auditory faculty.

By tasking the client to read loudly certain articles or books, the auditory sense can be enhanced.

As you see, the possibilities are endless and the beauty is that it can be applied to any situation. Be it to the individual, a family, or any group and even in business situations.

Tasking was only one part the genius of Milton Erickson.

For us, it is a real treasure.

Emil Capone

Certified Trainer of NLP, CCHT and Advanced Practitioner of EFT.

The Meta Model

As we wrote in a previous article NLP is composed of many tools and techniques.

There are the tools for gathering information. Those for analyzing the client’s map of the world and those with which to do change work.

I do not believe any of these tools can be pointed as the best. I believe all of them are good and the only difference in their capabilities would be the need for them at that specific time.

With all that said, one of my favorites is the Meta Model.

To explain the Meta Model, we need first to understand our mental processes.

When we are faced with an event, which can be anything from seeing something that is happening, through hearing some noise or feeling something. Be it internal or external. We gather the information with our senses. We then go on to processing it.

We do the processing through a set of filters until we get a feeling of completeness.

Finishing the process by making an imprint of that specific event.

The filters are our beliefs, our values, our criteria, our experience and many others.

It is a known fact that anything passing through filters gets refined. What that means is that part of the substance is excluded. That is true for everything including information.

Considering the type of filters mentioned we can conclude, that we Delete, Distort and Generalize a big part of the incoming data.

Therefore the output will not be the same as the input. In that sense we say that “The map is not the territory”. The map is only our subjective experience of reality.

Taking all this into account it becomes obvious that we need a tool with which to reconstruct or rebuild the missing information.

The Meta Model is just the tool for doing that.

By listening carefully to the way a person talks we can regain a big part of the missing information by using challenging questions.

We recognize, by the way the person talks about his experience, when he is deleting, distorting or generalizing.

One of the beautiful kinds of deletions is called “Nominalizations”. It happens when a person changes a process (verb) into a name.

For example: “My relationship is in trouble”.

Just by changing the verb “relating” into a nominalization “relationship” he has deleted considerable information.

Challenging the deletion by turning the “Nominalization” back into a verb or process, we can rebuild a big part of the lost information.

In this case the challenge would be: “What about the way in which you are relating is causing you to feel troubled?”

Learning to use the Meta Model gives the operator a wonderful tool with which to enrich the client’s map of the world.

For deeper knowledge and understanding of the model you can find much information in NLP literature.

There is also a software program that coaches you into learning how to use the model.

It is produced by my friend Paul Jerome at :


Emil Capone

Certified Trainer of NLP, CCHT, Advanced Practitioner of EFT.

The Milton Model

One way of understanding Ericksonian therapy would be by understanding the Milton Model from the world of NLP.

The Milton Model is built of Hypnotic language patterns that pace the listener’s experience allowing him to process the information by himself, without any external additions.

The patterns move the listener into higher levels of thought and more introspective states of mind and therefore induce trance naturally.

Cause and effect: Where what is said proposes that it came to be because of a cause.

Which can be true or not.

For Example. “If you do not eat ,you will not grow”.

Mind reading: Where one claims to know what someone else is thinking or feeling..

For Example. “I know that you think I am bad”.

Presuppositions: Where something that is not stated is taken for granted.

For Example. ” After you relax for a while I wonder what you will be doing next”.

Nominalizations: Where a verb is turned into a noun.

For Example. “Trance is a naturally occurring phenomenon”.

There are something like 21 language patterns that can be found in any NLP literature.

The point is that those language patterns are only part of Ericksonian therapy.

There is of course also the beautiful part of Tasking.

In which you give the client a task that while performing it he processes the

meanings of what he is doing and thus reaching new conclusions.

To add to all these, we have Embedded commands, Metaphors with nested loops or without and we have Guided Imagery and the workings of Gestalt.

Milton used to say, “Utilize everything”.

Putting all those tools together we can do Indirect Hypnosis and achieve wonderful results.

No wonder therefore that Ericksonian therapy is so proclaimed among therapists.

Emil Capone

Certified Trainer of NLP, CCHT and Advanced practitioner of EFT.

The Problematic world of NLP

Now that we have met with NLP, we can go on to discuss the question of why.

Why is NLP perceived as problematic ?

When we look at the history of NLP, we can also ask…why did it take NLP so long to surface and become so popular?

The answer to those two questions can probably be, the fact that NLP is a body of growing knowledge.

The other that NLP is very systematic and includes a lot of methods and techniques.

At the beginning the originators used a special jargon in order to explain the methods and techniques.

There were those who found it difficult to understand the language.

There were those who believed the system to be too complicated.

Even today, there are those who want only parts of the system and find it difficult to accept the fact, that in order to know, one must learn.

There are so many variants and variables that one has to learn methodically in order to achieve proficiency.

Yet when you look at the things one must learn you can see that every part is a stepping stone to the next one.

It starts with the understanding of our brain and how it works. It goes on to how our senses gather the input. How our brain processes the information and how we produce the output.

When we have that, we go on to learn how to read and understand the information we gather.

We proceed in learning how language works on our brain. We learn of the different ways people present the information they have gathered.

From here we go on to learn how we can bring change or just teach others how to do something with exceptional results, the same as the model we modeled.

As we can see there is a lot of knowledge to be obtained.

From gathering information easily and correctly, through interpreting minimal cues.

On to understanding how language is used and how we can get the correct information by using a model called “The Meta Model”.

How to induce states of mind and how to change them.

We learn to anchor states and break states.

Then we learn how to frame content and how to reframe it.

We learn about “The Milton Model” with which to induce change.

It goes on and on and constantly develops.

I believe that only what I have written until now can show how there would be some people who would call NLP complicated. Yet becoming a professional is never easy.

We can say that today we have become lucky due to the simple fact that the knowledge can be taught in very simple terms and all one has to do is find the right teacher.

In concluding I would say that if one wants to master the knowledge he has to decide that he wants to and go and do it methodically.

One day he will realize that it was above any expectations and worth every minute and dollar of his investment.

Emil Capone

Certified Trainer of NLP, CCHT and Advanced practitioner of EFT.

Welcome, fellow visitors…

This website was built with the purpose of discussing NLP and Ericksonian Psychotherapy.

Everyone who comes here is invited to join, send articles or just write a comment.

With time, the site will grow and become a basis of free information for all who wish to extend their knowledge and enhance their practice. Be it as teacher, user or just curious.

Mainly I believe it would be a place for similar minded people who practice NLP, Psychotherapy or Coach.

You do not need to be certified in order to participate. All you need is a flexible and open mind.

Of course the information will be moderated and only articles and comments that follow the purpose and trend of this site will be published.

So let it be…


Emil Capone

Certified Trainer of NLP, CCHT and Advanced practitioner of EFT.