RESOLVE is an acronym for a seven-step process that describes a therapeutic session, based on NLP presuppositions and NLP interventions. The steps are: R: Resourceful state for the practitioner. The practitioner accesses a state of confidence and clarity of purpose, in keeping with NLP assumptions. E: Establish rapport with the client. S: Specify a well-formed outcome. O: Open up the client’s model of the world and begin to expand/reframe the client’s “map.” L: Lead with NLP “change techniques.” V: Verify that the change has taken place. E: Ecological exit process.
For those not astute in NLP, Bolstead includes an excellent chapter called “User’s Manual for the Brain” in which he covers the NLP constructs of subjectivity. The discussion includes sensory-based experience, perceptual processes, internal representations and maps, neurology, modalities and submodalities, eye accessing, strategies, the TOTE model, meta-states and state dependence.
Next, Bolstad sorts NLP interventions into ten categories that constitute the “L” (change techniques) in the RESOLVE model. The categories are: • Anchoring • Installing a new strategy • Changing submodalities • Trancework • Parts integration • Time-line changes • Linguistic reframing • Changing interpersonal dynamics • Changing physiological contexts • Tasking (giving the client an at-home assignment)
Bolstad explains each intervention in detail, along with findings from research and examples from case studies to emphasize his points. This chapter is a good starting point for beginners in NLP, as well as a review for seasoned practitioners.
Bolstad reviews several brief therapy models that are similar to the RESOLVE model, characterizing psychotherapy as a step-by-step process. “Self-help” studies (interviews with people who have helped themselves through some difficulty without therapy) also show that individuals faced with a major behavioral problem or emotional challenge move through various stages to achieve a favorable outcome.
Bolstad links the RESOLVE model to the Motivational Interviewing method (developed by Prochaska and DiClemente in 1994). It is a change strategy that does not focus on the content or origins of the problem. Instead, it guides the individual through the stages that motivate people to change on their own. These stages are: contemplation, determination, action, maintenance, and recycling through the process until an exit point is reached and the new behaviors are lasting and permanent. What Bolstad is saying here is that the RESOLVE model mirrors natural and intuitive human change processes.
Bolstad draws examples from Milton Erickson, Richard Bandler, and his own work with clients, to fully explain the intricacies of the RESOLVE model. He demonstrates how NLP interventions, in the RESOLVE framework, can be applied, with variations and adaptations, to a number of clinical problems/diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, addictions, and health issues.
Dr. Richard Bolstad is a certified trainer of NLP with affiliations in five national training organizations. He has a doctorate in clinical hypnotherapy and is a member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists. His previous book, Transforming Communication, co-written with his late partner, Margot Hamblett, is required reading in a number of degree-level programs for counselors, health personnel, and teachers. He has published in several journals and has taught the RESOLVE model around the world. His book, the Structure of Personality, co-written with Bob Bodenhamer, L. Michael Hall, and Margot Hamblett introduces the RESOLVE model in the context of working with “Personality Disorders”.
In RESOLVE, Bolstad gives NLP practitioners a framework for applying NLP in the therapeutic context in ways that are elegant, structured, solution-oriented, and respectful of the client as an individual. In the examples in this book, the RESOLVE model refers to a single “piece” (my word) of therapy—a single intervention against a stated outcome. From a case management standpoint, and given that therapists often schedule client