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Visualisation - why it doesn’t work for everyone

Visualisation techniques are so popular nowadays that Coaches, Trainers, and Consultants use them freely without considering that they might not work for everyone. They are commonly used for setting goals, business and personal and in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) they are used extensively for anchoring techniques, phobia cure and for timeline work...

Visualisation - why it doesn’t work for everyone

Around 40% of the population has a preference for processing the world visually, it is estimated that a further 30% of people are able to visualise well. This is why visualisation techniques are so popular, they work for a lot of people. Some people though really struggle to visualise or create images in their mind’s eye, for some this is just not something they do well, visuals are too fuzzy or vague and for some people, they don’t experience mental images at all. This condition is called Aphantasia.

Aphantasia is the condition where people don’t experience mental images, it is thought to affect as many as 1 on 50 people. This is not a ‘condition’ in that it’s a problem for them. Most people with Aphantasia don’t experience any particular difficulties as a result, they are just different in this respect. It’s important to understand this condition so that you avoid judging someone or beating yourself up for not doing a ‘good enough’ visualisation.

Find out more about Aphantasia here:
http://www.iflscience.com/brain/cant-imagine-pictures-your-mind-you-might-have-aphantasia

Does this mean that people who cannot visualise can’t use NLP or create compelling goals? Not at all, we have had several people with Aphantasia train with us and they actually make brilliant Practitioners as they follow the process and don’t get drawn into giving people advice or telling them what to do. They are usually really good a modelling because they have a natural curiosity. They also find it fascinating to learn about how other people process (and other people learn a lot from them too)

You can also adapt pretty much any NLP technique for someone who either doesn’t visualise well or has Aphantasia by using other senses to help them, instead of pictures they can recall or experience sounds, words, smells, tastes or feelings as appropriate.

What is NLP? Find out more in this short video [link to video] or join one of our free webinars.

You can find out more about research into NLP and applications of it on our website here.

Karen attained ranking #6 in 2018s Global Gurus - NLP Gurus top 30 ranking. Find out more about it here.

Blog post photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash
 John McLachlan

Founder of Monkey Puzzle and an INLPTA NLP Master Trainer, John is also a Clinical Hypnotherapist and author of the award winning book Real Leaders for the Real World. His new book Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever is out now.

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