NLP vs Hypnosis: What is the difference?

Every once in a while a student will ask, “Isn’t NLP just hypnosis?”


If you’re an NLP Practitioner, you have probably received similar questions.


Here’s an explanation:



Hypnosis is a specific set of tools and techniques to help you enter into a trance-like state (in layman’s terms, your conscious mind goes bye-bye).


NLP, on the other hand, has no formal induction. It doesn’t use the same tools and techniques as hypnosis, because both your conscious mind and unconscious mind are involved.


So when NLP was discovered, the early pioneers looked at hypnosis and modeled it. But NLP alone is not necessarily hypnosis. This is why, in our NLP Master Practitioner training, we teach both modalities together. We also show you how to know which one to use with a client, depending on what your client will benefit the most from.


I hope this explanation is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions!




  1. Nice explanation!

  2. Great explanation. I had been looking for a simple explanation and couldn’t find one, but here it is.

  3. Thank you!!

  4. Linda Lewis says:

    Great explanation! Now I understand it better.

  5. shobha javalgikar says:

    very well explained.👍

  6. Ok so NLP is the latest version of Ericksonian hypnosis, thanks for clarifying.

  7. Aloha SirClock,

    Within the video, I explain the connection, specifically starting around 45 seconds into the video.

    When being created, NLP founders, Richard Bandler and John Grinder modeled many things that Milton Erickson did (Milton was an American psychiatrist and psychologist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy). So, many techniques are modeled from someone who is considered to be a foremost expert on hypnosis. NLP did look at some of these behaviors and model them to develop the tools and techniques within NLP. However, when you look at NLP alone, it is not specifically hypnosis.

    In the NLP trainings we teach,, especially in the advanced trainings, we bring both these modalities together to help integrate them and utilize them in whatever specific form needed.

    I hope this helps to clarify.

    Dr. Matt