Mark Plunkett – Ireland – NLP and Weight Loss Program

It’s with great pleasure that I am receiving Mark Plunkett today, for the first interview of this series ‘NLP in the world’. Mark is practising from Ireland, Edenderry and can be found on Facebook.

Talking4good (T4G): Mark, welcome and thanks really much for participating in this series. My first question is rather simple. How did you come into contact with NLP?
Mark: I’m sure I read an article at some point but the really first time I came more in depth with NLP was a night course I attended in Clane. Now I did a course in 2005. I suppose Anthony Robbins was really the first person I would have come across. I did not know he was doing NLP at that time but I had read a couple of his books. This would have been about 1999 maybe earlier.

T4G: What NLP qualification do you have?
Mark:  Actually two NLP practitioner certifications then a Clean Language one. I had to repeat the NLP practitioner course, with the first one somewhere the message did not really come across. The second training had more material support and recordings of the training which have been invaluable for me. I have listened to these recordings over and over.

T4G: Which NLP association would your qualifications be accredited by?
Mark: I guess the American Board of NLP, and the Clean Language association but I’m not really sure actually.

T4G: Have you joined any NLP association?
Mark: No.

T4G: What do you like best in NLP?
Mark: The thing that sums it up for me is the communication model, and the supposition ‘the map is not the territory’. It means then that you’re not a slave to your past, you’re not governed by your memories and your emotions and there is a way of letting go of how you use to think.

T4G: So tell us about NLP and Weight Loss Program?
Mark: I guess from nearly 18 years working in fitness and health where most of those years would have been spent doing exercises with people and spent trying to get them to eat the right sort of food and to educate them about the right sort of food. And every single person that has come to me trying to lose weight, has wanted to lose weight. It’s not that they were not doing it for them, even if they had some external motivations. They did not want to be the weight they were, but I have to say most of the time they were not successful. Considering they did not want to be overweight, what was missing? They wanted to lose weight, they knew exactly what they had to do, still they were falling off the wagon something like 2 or 3 weeks down the line, or they did it for a while then put on the weight again. There was always a missing link in terms of why this was happening, and I believe it starts in the head, it starts in the brain. When I came across NLP, that was a kind of a light bulb moment, the missing link in terms of that’s where you start, you start in their head, you start with their own image of themselves, you start with their limiting beliefs, you start with their habits, you start with their procrastination issues, and then once you have dealt with that then the rest will fall into place and it would be much easier for them to follow the diet, much easier to stop the over-eating, much easier to get into a habit of healthy eating and exercise.  For me NLP seems the missing link in the equation. It’s about changing the map, about getting the map right and then everything falls into place.

T4G: How is NLP present in your country?
Mark: I would say it’s still low key in this country. Most people I have mentioned it to they would not have heard about it. It seems that a lot of people using NLP don’t call themselves NLP practitioners. Having said that there is actually a lot of NLP practitioners in the country.

T4G: What opportunity do you have to meet with other NLP practitioners?
Mark: Not many, the practice day we have sometimes with Quantum Leaps. My brother is also into NLP and an acupuncturist friend of mine.

T4G: What about NLP and research?
Mark: I think it would give more weight to NLP. What I like about that book, RESOLVE (Richard Bolstad), is that every techniques presented was backed up by research having been done. For me NLP needs to be backed up by something, otherwise some of it can appear a bit hairy-fairy.

T4G: Any NLP research you would like to be involved with?
Mark: Why not? Research in weight loss could be great.

T4G: What would be your next step with NLP?
Mark: I’d like to run some programs, like 6 weeks courses with half-an-hour talk focusing on how people can use NLP to assist them in weight loss and then the exercises they can do. I would also like to run programs for people in long-term unemployment situation or facing depression. There is also NLP and healing, or coupled with energy work. I am interested in the spiritual aspect as well and I think everything is tied in. From a coaching perspective I don’t think you can leave any of these elements out, so maybe something like ‘holistic NLP’.

T4G: A last comment to conclude?
Mark: I still feel like I am on the very first step of the ladder and it’s exciting. As my trainer would say ‘Stay curious!’ I genuinely want to a- help myself, b- help other people, it’s all an on-going process.

© 2011 Florence Dambricourt – talking4good.com/

2 thoughts on “Mark Plunkett – Ireland – NLP and Weight Loss Program”

  1. Sorry, a basic question… under this article as good as any other one.

    How is NLP not about manipulating people?

    For example in this interview, “*you* start with *their* foo”…

  2. Pascal,
    Thanks very much for your comments. Much appreciated, and your question will actually deserve a full post in the future. But for now let me start with a short reply.
    From my post on ‘what is NLP about’, you can see that NLP can ‘Empower individual to achieve self-improvement or self-achievement’ ’ by increasing their choices in life, this is done by expanding their vision of the world. The NLP practitioner is actually seen as a ‘helper’, who will start with one of the NLP pre-suppositions -‘respect the other person vision of the world’- and will work with the client to identify what they want to change in their vision of the world, however the decision remains at the client, and they will make their decision based on their values and what they find is right for them.
    As Mark mentioned in his interview, you indeed start by assessing with the client their representation of the world and what is for them the problem in their own words (and this is very important ‘their own words’), and then you assess with the client if this vision can be expanded (still in their own words), creating therefore more choices for the client. However the client is the only one deciding if changing them will assist him/her in his/her goals, the same way that the client is the only one deciding on how to expand the vision of his/her world.
    So no NLP is not about manipulating people, it is about empowering people.

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