How NLP helped one survivor of the July 7 bombings

Jul 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Hypnosis and NLP in the News

The full horror of what had happened was unfolding: the city was under attack. “The staff put myself and others into a room and the police came to talk to us, taking all our details. I’d been trying to call my parents but the
signal had been cut dead. When I finally got through they were just so
grateful that I was alive, that everything was OK.”

However, the repercussions from the event were anything but over. As daily
life slowly drifted back into the capital, normality had a nervous and
fraught battle. “There was an eternal conflict, I was very grateful, but
also guilty that I’d survived. I was constantly anxious. Every time I’d go
to get on a train or a bus I’d think ‘this could be your turn now’. It was

Life and work became a battle. “I had to face the prospect of public transport
every day and I couldn’t cope. I was suspicious of everyone, analysing
everything. I was working for IBM at the time, they were brilliant and
understanding, but I was often in a state of panic. The things I used to
take for granted became a daily challenge.”

With her confidence and self esteem severely affected, Jaina eventually sought help. “I met Paul McKenna on a course that he was running for weight loss,” she reveals. “During a break he was handing out leaflets on neuro-linguistic programming. I was a bit dismissive but he told me it could help me. Ultimately I had nothing to lose so I booked into a course.”

Luckily for Jaina, Richard Bandler, the man who helped invent neuro-linguistic programming, was due to lead the event. Bandler, who counts Bill Clinton and Al Gore as fervent fans, is credited with revolutionising alternative psychiatric treatment. “He said he would put me in a trance, that I’d then be in a receptive state so that he could work with me. He told me to imagine the bus, to make the image smaller in my mind, to scribble it out. He made the whole event seem really silly. He sang circus music as he was doing it. By altering my memory, it changed from being a huge thing in my mind, to a tiny speck that I could just flick away.”

The impact was astounding and immediate. “I was smiling when I came out of the trance,” explains Jaina. “It felt really weird, suddenly the experience on
the bus didn’t bother me any more. My life changed from that moment on. He taught me that you can’t live in fear all your life, and now I don’t.”

Is it really possible to experience such a remarkable recovery in moments?
Bandler explains that the science behind NLP dictates that phobias are best
treated as they are born, instantaneously.

“Irrational fears are created when the person is in a high intensity moment,”
he says. “The individual is in an altered state. Feelings are burning strong
and therefore psychological impact is more profound. By recreating that
state then we can have huge success.”

An estimated 13 million Britons suffer from some form of phobic disorder.
“Psychiatrists are obsessed with reliving painful events,” says Bandler. “I
am not interested in the past, I’m interested in the future. NLP diminishes
the bad memory once and encourages people to move and get on with their

Jaina is now moving her life forward in huge steps and is working as an
actress and broadcaster. “NLP is essentially about instilling confidence,”
she says. “Anyone suffering from a phobia should challenge it, rather than
suffering in silence.”


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