The NLP Milton Model Explained

The Milton model was designed and named for by famed teacher, therapist and hypnotherapist pioneer Milton Erickson (1901 -1980). Milton was a huge influence on John Grinder and Richard Bandler who are the founders of NLP. The basic patterns of NLP were founded on the Milton Model.Erikson was highly skilled at inducing trance states and making significant changes in his patients. The Milton model is vague in contrast to the Meta model which is aimed at obtaining specific information. Milton would start with pacing the patient’s reality and then lead the patient so that he introduced new ways of thinking. Milton’s style of therapy was permissive in that it respected the client’s reality.

The Milton model can be described as a set of language patterns which can be used to induce someone into a trance state. In this state the person is able to access unconscious resources which allow them to make changes in their own lives.The Milton Model identifies the same language patterns that were seen in the Meta Model. These are deletion, generalisation and distortion. To give an example the meta model when faced with a deletion statement will confront this statement but with Milton Model you will respond with something like “As you make sense of this in your own time..” or if confronted with a generalisation you might use “Every time you feel like this..”

You can also add tag questions to the end of a statement which will invite agreement. These are effective as they distract the conscious mind of the person you are talking to, as it something they can agree with. The result is that the tag question goes directly to the unconscious mind and is consequently acted on. Here are some examples “You can, can’t you?” “This is easy, isn’t it?

Another interesting element of the Milton Model is embedded commands which are sentences which contain with them the result desired by the therapist. For example ““I think you’ll be wise if you invest in this property today.” The idea behind embedded commands is that said directions straight to the unconscious mind without it being blocked by the conscious minds. For the command part of the sentence it should be emphasised in some way such as deepening your voice when speaking this part of the sentence.

Another concept from the Milton model is double blinds. These give people options but at the same time they are limited. For example “Would you like to talk to me before or after the meeting” in either scenario the result that you desire, in this case talking to the person, will take place but it gives the illusion of choice.

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