How to Do NLP Parts Conflict The steps

"A part of me wants to eat cake and a part of me wants to go on a diet!"
"A part of me wants to drink less but when I go out I think sod it!"

Have you ever said something similar to this yourself? If you have you have had what is comonly called
in NLP parts conflict. This is when you feel like you are fighting with your self and are fragmented.

A happy life is more easily found when you are aligned for the things you truly want and your behaviours are working easily and effortlessly towards them. 

Internal conflicts occur when two or more "parts" of a person lead to behaviours which are contradictory. The most problematic conflicts occur when the opposing parts have negative judgments about each other.

The Parts integration technique comes from the modelling of Fritz Perls – Gestalt therapy and Virginia Satir – Family therapy. The following is a general overview of the basic NLP technique for integrating conflicting 'parts'.

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1.     Identify the conflict and identify the 'parts' in conflict.

Ask the subject to discuss the conflict as they see it, look and listen for the different parts in the conflict. It helps to see these as distinct arguments, e.g. a part which wants to express itself, versus a part which wants to control this.

2.     Find the purpose and positive intent of each part.

Can I talk to the part of (person’s name), who wants to e.g. ‘express itself’?


What do you do for (person’s name)? Acknowledge the positive intention, e.g. that it’s a good thing to want for (person’s name).

What would you like to be called? – e.g. ‘Expression’ – ensure it is stated in the positive, if not work to enable the part to state in the positive.


3.     Talk to each part to express its perceptions of the other


What do you think of the part of (person’s name) which wants to e.g. ‘control‘?


Understand the issues the part has. Work to help the part get the issues out so that they can be dealt with.


Carry out steps 2 and 3 for each part.


4.     Make sure that each part recognises and accepts the positive intent of the other.


Ask each part, “Did you hear what the ‘Expression’ part does for (person’s name)?”


Get the parts views on the positive intent and help them to recognise it. If necessary look for collaboration and joint intent for (person’s name).


Use chunking up questions to get to a mutually collaborative place, e.g. “So if you have that (positive intent already stated by the part), what would that do for (person’s name)?”


At this step it is sometimes useful to re-engage with the person, by asking “could I speak with (persons name)?” to ask them to review what they have heard and consider if there is any other parts, or if there is a collaborative joint intent they could offer.


This could then be offered to the parts for discussion.


Establish a common goal, e.g. to keep (person’s name) safe.

5.     Identify the resources and capabilities that each part has that would be helpful to the other part in order to accomplish its’ own positive intention and the common goal.

Look for ways in which the parts could collaborate


Ask each part - What would they like to happen differently? How could the conflict be resolved?


Offer the suggestions between the parts, using the parts language and checking to ensure movement.  It is necessary at this stage to move between each part and keep rapport.


Ask the part what they heard, What they think about what they heard ?, filling in anything which they may not have heard which could be useful – sometimes they will have listen to all that is said, sometimes not a word.


If the part is holding anything which they heard as negative, or taken a slightly different perspective help them to find a way to make it work for them, or suggest alternatives. What would make this work for you? What other suggestions do you have?


Move between the parts, working towards a mutual solution for the conflict, working on the details of – How they will work together?  What will each part bring and how they can get the best from each other towards the common goal.

6.     Gain Agreement

Once you have reached a solution between the parts, gain the agreement of each part to the solution.


Get the part to describe the solution and you summarise and gain agreement.


Carry this out for each part.




7.     Check Ecology

Ensure that there are no other parts which would want to input/comment on the solution.  If there are other parts, discuss with the parts their input and as necessary work with the existing parts to bring the new part into the solution, re-gaining the agreement of all parts.

8.     Physical Parts Integration (Optional, if appropriate / ecological to do so)

At this stage you could, if there were only two parts, bring them together and integrate back into self.

9.     Future Pace (Optional)

Imagine what it is like to go into both your past and future, taking this integration with you and experiencing how it positively influences the events.


10.  Check with Subject to ensure movement on the conflict

Ask the subject, How is that for you now?


Is there anything else that would be helpful to the situation?


You are checking for movement (which you should have already witnessed in the above steps) and to ensure that there is nothing else left in the background.


You can also at this stage embed some commands, suggesting that over the coming days and weeks the parts will be thinking about and working on their agreed solutions.

11.  End Rapportfully!



How To Do NLP Parts Conflict The Steps 

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