The Power of Positive Thinking

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A course in Neuro Linguistic Programming

Members of AEI’s youth and women groups followed two four-day courses in April-May on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The courses were given by Sytse and Marlies Tjallingii, two Quakers from the Netherlands with a long experience in giving such courses in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and elsewhere. NLP aims to help participants to communicate effectively and to reach goals in life. Here are some impressions from the women’s group as noted down by Simone, a Dutch student and volunteer.

In a first meeting a woman said: “We are always in a hurry and fear that bad things are going to happen. We need to control our nerves.” The NLP-trainers responded: “Don’t see this as a problem but a challenge to change a particular way of thinking and feeling.” Thinking positively and looking at problems as challenges were key during the discussions.

The course had many exercises. The first one was to write down the personal goals with regard to the NLP course. During the other three meetings the trainers gave tools for reaching those goals in a constructive way. The NLP course provided the participants with tools to feel mentally strong even under circumstances of occupation.

Thinking about differences between observation and interpretation was another exercise. It made the women think about their own interpretations. They learned that their mental map was not the same as the territory in which they live: What you have in mind is different from reality.

Another exercise that helped the women to get self-confidence was writing down an empowering belief; then to note down supportive experiences in which she had communicated the empowering belief, and finally what she can in the future do with those beliefs. Women and youth started thinking about what they had already achieved in their life and the moments they felt strong, proud, powerful and happy.

At the end of the course the women felt encouraged to contribute actively, to share experiences and listen to each other. They learned to focus on their abilities, and to increase the power of positive thinking - to believe in their dreams and wishes.


Simone Claessens

Student politics and society, volunteer at AEI


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