Hypnosis, NLP, and EFT - a Comparison


Depending upon the issue you are trying to resolve its fairly common to come up with the three options of Hypnosis, NLP, and EFT, and unless you have experience of any of them, then it's difficult to know which direction to head in.

The aim of this article is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of Hypnosis, NLP, and EFT to help you make an informed decision.


Out of Hypnosis, NLP, and EFT, hypnosis has been around the longest.

The strength of hypnosis lies in dealing with complex issues such as smoking cessation or losing weight - issues where there are multiple parts to the problem.

For instance helping someone to lose weight may involve dealing with issues as different as food compulsions and motivation to exercises.

NLP is also very good for dealing with such issues, but the difference is that these issues would be dealt with separately whereas a hypnotist would probably cover all the issues in a single season. That's not to say that hypnosis is more cost or time effective, just that the approach is more general. Imagine trying to shoot a room full of rats with a shotgun as opposed to a rifle. Hypnosis is the shotgun and NLP is the rifle.

On the other hand, EFT isn't designed for dealing with these kind of issues at all.

Another kind of issue you may wish to resolve are fears and phobias. For these I would suggest that hypnosis is moved to the bottom of the list.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

EFT is really good at one thing, and that is separating a stimulus from a mental state. So fears and phobias are its main strength, along with other emotional issues where it is clear that a specific stimulus causes an unwanted emotional response.

If your issue is more complex and cannot be summed up as 'when X I feel Y' then EFT is not the best approach.

EFT is based upon returning the client to the negative experience, while tapping at specific places on their body based on acupuncture points.

As someone with quite a lot of NLP experience I believe I can get the same result as EFT by taking an NLP technique (based on confusion or shifting states) and making it look exactly the same as the EFT technique. Also, the NLP approach wouldn't have the added 'noise' or dogma attached. Of course, maybe I'm being too flippant and the acupuncture element is important rather than just a way to add some kind of 'science' to the technique.


NLP has the strengths of both approaches in that while vague or complex issues can be dealt with, NLP is also very good for dealing with very specific issues (remember it's a rifle). I don't believe that EFT can be used to resolve any issue where NLP cannot be equally as successful.

Hypnosis on the other hand may suit some people better than NLP does, simply because it offers a softer approach to the problem. Most NLP revolves around unpacking the client's thought processes and some clients find this more uncomfortable and more difficult that it should be. Maybe the couch suits such clients better.


It's impossible to leave this comparison without bearing in mind the therapists that are likely to offer help using these therapies, and I think its important because it makes the decision much easier.

Some Hypnotherapists use NLP, and a few smaller number use EFT.

NLP Practitioners will more often than not have a good background in hypnosis from their NLP training (though few will have official hypnotherapy credentials if that's important to you), and some will have EFT in their arsenal of tools as EFT is quite a good addition to the NLP skill set.

I expect that currently few therapists are solely EFT practitioners because it has quite a small market at the moment.

So really it comes to deciding between Hypnosis, NLP, and EFT, it all comes down to a couple of issues - your own personal preferences based on your current beliefs about Hypnosis, NLP, and EFT, and the type of issue you are hoping to resolve.

In simple terms EFT is good at changing emotional responses, but hypnosis and NLP are good at changing behaviors.

If you want further help choosing between Hypnosis, NLP, and EFT then feel free to contact PlanetNLP.


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Previous comments

Confidence Hypnosis

EFT is really good at one thing, and that is separating a stimulus from a mental state.

Confidence Hypnosis

Posted November 18, 2011 at 10:17