Maximising Transformation Using The Parts Integration Process

by Lynn Timpany, NLP Trainer.

A few weeks ago a man came to see me. He was a very sceptical, yet open person, who had one significant issue that was clouding all areas of an otherwise successful life. An issue of identity. During outcome elicitation it became clear that there was a significant parts conflict. He had formed a construction business and operated it very successfully, yet he still walked around his own company feeling inside like a fraud, like he didn't deserve to even be there! He was using words like: "Well it's sort of like there's a part of me that knows that I am success ... but there's a part of me that can never believe it, or feel it, and it's ruining my career."

Together we completed the parts integration model and he left, and I have never seen him since. What I have seen is a steady trickle of new clients saying they were sent by this man, who told them that this one process changed his life totally!

Sometimes of course it may be a bit different, and although the process works well in almost all instances, the degree and intensity of the shift varies quite a lot.

What Makes The Difference?

Over the past few months I have noticed a significant increase in the number of parts integrations that have produced very dramatic change. In asking the question "What makes the difference?" I am looking for behaviours or skills as a practitioner that may account for this shift, so that I can do more of it! Something's working really well! Now, what could it be?


A significant factor in influencing the breadth and depth of change achieved by NLP processes is the way that the processes are preframed. Preframing is the way that you introduce and set up the change process. When you preframe a change process effectively, several things can happen

The result of perfecting preframimg skills, when working one on one or with groups, is that processes go more easily and quickly and the changes achieved are more transformational in nature.

I would like to share with you some preframes that I usually use with each client immediately before the first experience of the Parts Integration process.

The Whole Neurology Yes Set

I have developed this series of questions as a valuable way of 'softening' the parts, once a conflict is identified. It goes like this:

"You're only one person. Right?"

Do not proceed to the next question until you have agreement. An unconscious nod is fine. (If you have difficulty getting agreement with this first question, refer on immediately!!)

"Because you're only one person, that means that you only have one neurology. Right?"

"Because you only have one neurology then anything that exists in that neurology, that appears to be in conflict must only be an illusion. Right? Because you only have one neurology. You are one whole person. Right?"

The usual response to that statement is a look of confusion! Continue right on...

"The unconscious mind does sometimes set up the illusion of separation as a way of responding to a stressful situation, where there doesn't seem to be much choice. Usually when a person is very young. Little kids don't have so many choices as you have now as an adult."

It is essential to have agreement at each step before asking the next questions. Wait for the nod. Use intonation changes (as suggested by italics) to embed suggestions and a congruent, matter of fact, voice to enhance the effect.

Metaphorical Preframes

Straight after the 'Yes set' (especially if the client is wanting to discuss the above in detail!) I tell this beautiful metaphor developed by Richard Bolstad for preteaching the Parts Integration process.

The Peaceful Country

Once upon a time there was a country, a very young country. It was idealistic, and the people in this country had great dreams about what the country would be like. It would be a country without war. It would be a gentle country. They wanted to live together in cooperation and peace.

Unfortunately, in the early history of this country, there was an unexpected attack from outside. And not just one attack, but several.
The people of this country didn't know what to do. They didn't know how to respond, and the whole of the country was thrown into turmoil. They wondered what to do, to deal with the situation in the best way that they could. Someone suggested,
"Lets ask for volunteers, and then we can set up a small group of people inside the country, and this small group can be in charge of defending the border."
And as they didn't seem to have very many choices just then, and at least this way most of the people could carry on living their normal peaceful existence, they agreed that this is what they would do. So, they sent the small group out there, to the border, to defend it.
The small group knew that they were there to control the border. That was their job, and they wanted to do it the very best way that they could, and you did... you know.

Now, after a while very disturbing news began to come back from the border, news of what was going on over there. The news was, that the small group over on the border was causing chaos. It was doing things that the people in the centre didn't approve of at all. Things that were damaging to the community.
Naturally, the people in the centre were really concerned about this. They just hadn't seemed to be able to find an ecological solution, you know... one that works in all ways.
Time went on... and unfortunately more problems occurred. They started getting messages from the small group, messages saying that to defend the border more territory was needed. The group at the border wanted to control more of the country.
At first the people in the country agreed, but they thought... well, that this could go on and on. And they began to wonder... who is really in charge here.
They had to really consider what to do.

So they organised a meeting with the people out on the border, and they called in a negotiator to assist them. The people from the centre, the small group and the negotiator begin to communicate.

The people from the centre said that some of the things going on out there at the border really concerned them, and they wondered if the small group had a good reason for it. And it was very important the way that they said that, you know, because they really wanted to understand the small groups highest intentions, and they were careful to express it to them in a way that showed that.
So they asked the small group about their intentions, and the group said that of course they were defending the border. They had to get tough they explained, because it was so critical that this was done well.
And then the negotiator asked them what they were wanting to achieve by defending the border in just that way. If the border was defended fully, what would they have through that, that's even more important than the defence itself.
And they said that the country would be safe, and that's what they're trying to achieve.
Then the negotiator asked what would happen, as a result of that safety, that's even more important than the safety itself.
And the small group thought about it, and explained that then they would be able to live in peace, harmony and cooperation.
The people from the centre said that now they understood what had been happening, and explained
"That's what we want too."

So they were able to really begin to cooperate and find ways that they really could begin to have more peace and harmony, because, you know the really important thing about this story?

The most important thing to know is that the attack had been finished years ago.

That's right...

... it's been over for years.

Use Of Examples As Preframe

Having a good success story to tell about, respecting confidentiality, is an effective preframe. Choose a story that demonstrates the positive intention of a challenging part if possible.

I often tell of a client I once had, who had gone through 24 jobs in 2 years! He had a pattern of getting furiously angry, doing outrageous things, and storming away from his workplace and not going back. ( It shows how generally resourceful he was, in other ways, that he actually managed to find that many jobs in the first place!) This man had even hit and damaged his own car while angry. Mercifully he didn't have a partner.

When we explored the intention of the part that didn't want to let go of the emotion totally we discovered something really interesting. As a small boy this man had an older brother who had often teased and tormented him. The only time that he had been able to escape was when he was uncontrollably angry. He hadn't had many choices then (the parents weren't around much). A part of his unconscious mind had thought that was a useful behaviour, and it was, back then, when he didn't have as many choices about how to respond.

Stories about other people's change ought to be brief, concise and simple. Give the overview and skip the details.

Preframing Relaxation And Trusting Unconscious Responses

The more that a client is able to relax, and trust with their own unconscious response, the easier the process goes to go. I have developed a frame that allows most people to relax and go along with the process by saying things like this:

"You know that your unconscious mind doesn't differentiate what's real from what's not real? Have you ever had the experience of getting emotions in a movie? In a horror movie, you know it's not real, don't you? Yet your unconscious mind goes right ahead and responds as if it were real, and produces adrenalin! Isn't that amazing!"

"It doesn't matter what's real and what's not real, here, because your unconscious mind will just go right ahead and respond to the images, and make the changes anyway!"

"The unconscious mind's quite symbolic sometimes... that's why dreams can be a little unusual! Some times it might even seem like you're making it up, and that's OK too."

" So that means that you can just relax and go along with the things that pop into your mind. What we are doing here is communicating to your unconscious mind in a way that will cause a change. So that means that it's good to let go of any concern about whether it's real or true, and really enjoy relaxing and going along with your own responses."

A useful frame to deliver around the time that the hands are coming together is that it's completely normal for the unconscious to make changes like this.

"You can really trust your unconscious mind, you know. Because your unconscious has always made changes automatically, if you were to relax now your unconscious mind would automatically make changes in your breathing, It would slow down.... as you relax.... automatically... just in the right way to cause the perfect amount of oxygen to be taken in... and you don't have to think about that... because your unconscious makes all those changes automatically... that's right.... very good."

Preframing is a useful and fun way to dramatically increase your experience of sharing life changing experiences with clients in a relaxed easy way. These are only examples, you can, trusting your unconscious... and you know that you can... trust...your... that's right... develop your own style of preframing, by noticing ...

What works ?