Negative Thoughts After Divorce? Try Neuro-Linguistic Programming NLP S.2, Ep. 40


Welcome to another episode of the exEXPERTS Divorce etc… podcast where we give you all kinds of information and tips on everything divorce. Why? We’ve lived it, so we get it! We’re T.H. & Jessica. 

T.H.: Welcome everybody to today’s podcast. We are thrilled on a Monday to have Jasmine Rice here. She’s a certified life coach, and ready for this…an NLP Practitioner. Do you even know what NLP is? There are so many abbreviations for these professions, but that’s what caught my interest with her. She’s a Neuro-linguistic programming practitioner. I thought that was all about teaching my kids how to speak when they’re babies, but it’s not. It’s about teaching us as adults how to properly communicate our own feelings. I think I’m kind of hitting it, but welcome, Jasmine to our show today.

Jasmine: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here.

Jessica: We’re so excited to have you here, especially because what you do seems so different than so much of what’s actually out there. T.H., let’s get started.

T.H.: What is a Neuro-linguistic programming practitioner? Then we’re going to get into how this came to be for you. So tell us what it is first.

Jasmine: It’s a mouthful so NLP is much easier. Really, Neuro-linguistic programming is behavior modification techniques that are intended to help improve someone’s self-awareness, their competence, and shifting the mindset, which we’re all about that when going through challenging transitions in our life, especially a divorce. We’re working on subconsciously shifting the thoughts in our brain. That’s a quick overview to what that is.

T.H.: Is it like hypnosis? Is it like a little voodoo? What is it? I still need more.

Jasmine: Absolutely. It is not hypnosis. That is something completely different. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is something that sometimes is compared to Neuro-linguistic programming. I have a degree in psychology, so this has always fascinated me. I wanted to start using Neuro-linguistic programming after I learned about it years ago. It came about in the 70s, and I learned about it when I was going through school in psychology. Again, it’s very common to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that I think more people have heard of that. Again, we’re shifting our thoughts. We’re trying to take more control over our subconscious thoughts. Going through a divorce, we have a lot of negative thoughts. It’s trying to balance those out to be more forward-focused and taking control of them.

T.H.: Now, based on our conversation we had before this podcast when you and I first met, I said, how did you even get into this? What was your journey? And just so you all know, Jasmine is a real-life expert, like the two of us and 42% of you out there. She’s coming to this from a place in our heart, just like Jessica and I are with exEXPERTS. We want to pay it forward. We want to help people learn the way that we’ve learned and share our experiences and our lessons in the lane that we’ve chosen.

Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your own personal journey and how this came to be as a profession for you? 

Jasmine: Absolutely. It’s a Monday, so [Laughs]. I, as I mentioned, have a degree in psychology and the mind has always fascinated me. I was planning on going and getting my master’s, but my life kind of shifted, and I was in nonprofit work for about 19 years. Shortly after my divorce, I lost my job, and so everything was kind of tumbling down at once. It gave me an opportunity at that time to really reevaluate what I wanted to do. I really wanted to be able to help women the way that I felt like I didn’t have that help when I was going through my divorce. I got really frustrated with conflicting information out there from this self-help book to this self-help book. That’s when I decided that coaching was really what I wanted to focus on. But I wanted to go on a deeper level and bring in the NLP because I had learned about it years ago. That’s really what helped me going through my own divorce. I’m a product of my product. I work with people based on what I used to help myself get through my divorce.

T.H.: Tell us about your divorce. What you’re comfortable sharing, tell us about your marriage. It’s not an unusual story so I want people to hear what you’re comfortable sharing because you’ve lived it, so you get it. You might be able to help someone in that spot right now.

Jasmine: I did live it, and I’m here today and I’m so glad I am. I was with my ex-husband since high school. We were high school sweethearts, and I met him when I was 15. We began dating when I was 17. We moved to Colorado. We got married here, one of the happiest days of my life still, even though I’m divorced. 14 years later, it ended in divorce, and I was devastated. I grew up with this person. I was with him from the time I was a child, and I didn’t know how to live without him. I didn’t really know myself. There was a lot of self-discovery during this time. There were a lot of dark times. It was when I really began shifting my mindset through the NLP was when I started making progress in my own divorce.

T.H.: Who even introduced you to NLP? I mean, what’s the aha moment that all of a sudden, you’re like, this is where I want to be. I mean, it doesn’t happen overnight. And this is not a common divorce coach, I’m not downgrading any of those other professions, because we’ve interviewed so many awesome ones, but this is still a little bit niche.

Jasmine: It definitely is. Well, I learned about it years ago, again, when I was in college, getting my degree in psychology. It wasn’t something that we were taught in the psychology program, but that’s when I first heard about it. We really do it in our lives on a daily basis without knowing it. It’s that shifting perspective or looking at things from a different perspective.

There are hundreds of different techniques in NLP, but there are specific ones that can help when you have those negative mindsets. That’s really what I focus on.

When I was hitting my rock bottom in my divorce, I woke up after–I’ll be honest, I passed out in the bathtub. I was choking on water because I was drunk, basically, because I didn’t want to feel. I wanted to numb myself. When I kind of got myself together, that wasn’t the life I wanted, and I knew I needed to change something. That’s when the NLP was what I was focusing on to help myself. And because of how successful it was with helping me, I wanted to be able to help other people with that.

Jessica: I feel like I have heard a little bit about NLP before. Even though you were explaining it before, I’m interested in breaking it down even a little bit more. I mean, this is oversimplified, but isn’t it just telling yourself, reinforcing positive messages over and over again so that becomes the natural go-to kind of fallback of your mindset? That then replaces those negative thoughts that we might have about ourselves. Whether it’s where we are in our life based on divorce, whether it’s body image, whether it’s you’re not good enough because of x, y, and z, it sounds to me like it’s reminiscent of the idea of having mantras that you’re saying throughout the day and just being extra repetitive with them so that’s where your brain goes first. Am I explaining it kind of right?

Jasmine: Yeah, that’s great. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is more on the conscious level, and NLP is going to be more on the subconscious level. We are not having to consciously remind ourselves to stop thinking in certain ways. You can use NLP for so many different things. Weight loss, that that’s a great one, education, business, a lot of businesses will bring in NLP coaches for leadership training. But then in the coaching world, or the therapy world, it’s more gaining control over those thoughts, subconsciously, so exactly like that. There’s, again, hundreds of different techniques out there, but there are specific ones that I feel are more specific to helping you get through a lot of those negative thoughts that we have when we’re going through a divorce.

Jessica: Can you break down–I understand that someone might need actual sessions in order to do it, but what can you share with us here on the podcast that someone can listen to as a practical tip that they can take away? Like two or three of the ways that you’re talking about and how that can help someone who is going through a divorce?

Jasmine: Yes. So the three main techniques that I use are reframing, which is seeing things from a different perspective. The second would be anchoring. I think that’s a good one to talk about on here. Then disassociation is an activity that I do in the free webinar that I offer. Anchoring would be similar to if you’ve heard of the term tapping when you have a happy moment in your life that you can think about doing an activity that’s very subtle. It could just be that you’re tapping your finger and your thumb together or you’re touching your knee, very subtle. When you’re having that happy moment, you do that over and over. When the negative thoughts start to come in, if you’re doing that action, again, it’s shifting your mindset at that time. You’re gaining control over that and it’s bringing that happy thought into that moment. This isn’t a one-and-done. It takes time.

T.H.: I don’t get it. I don’t understand. I don’t tap my fingers. How do I even train myself? Do I leave post-its everywhere to remind myself? How do you do that? And what if you don’t do those things, those tactile movements?

Jessica: But keep in mind, I think, T.H., it’s like how do I meditate? If you go one time to a guided meditation, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to come home and you’re going to be able to necessarily meditate successfully on your own. I think that part of it is this tapping, and these rhythms, and the technique, for anyone listening out there, you have to do it over and over. You have to be committed to make the change and to do it, because I think it would be very easy for someone to be like, oh, yeah, I tried it twice, and it doesn’t work.

Jasmine: Exactly. Or like acupuncture, I’ve heard of that as well if someone goes to acupuncture once and they don’t have results, they think that’s not working for them. But it is about continuously putting in the work. That’s one of the things I talk about with my clients is I want to work with people who are willing to put in the work because it takes a lot of work. You can’t just expect that you’re going to read one book and you’re going to be fixed, or you’re going to do one of these techniques once and it’s going to work. It’s that repetitive over and over until it becomes unconscious for you. Like, subconsciously, you’re able to do these and you’re not even thinking about it on a conscious level.

Jessica: You’re really using your other senses in a way because if you– I’ve never done tapping, but I know a little bit about it. It’s like if I was always going like that, at a time where something great was happening, then the idea being that over time, if I’m feeling depressed and I start going like that, it’s going to make me think of the positive associations of having that tapping. Or your sense of smell – I mean, I do a lot with essential oils. It’s like if I always smell something before I go to bed and that helps me relax and go to sleep, then there might be other times if I’m not able to sleep, if I smell that oil, it tells my brain, okay, it’s time to calm down. It’s time to relax and sleep now.

Jasmine: Like Pavlov, the dog experiment.

T.H.: I understand. I think it’s just so interesting. And now, it is a little bit more relatable to me. For me, it would be with food, to tell myself, you just eat. The voice inside my head: you literally just stood here, go take a walk, go for a drive, go on the phone, do something for three hours, fill your three hours before you need a snack. Okay, I understand it.

Jessica: I’m really interested in knowing would what a time be that someone would be using this, Jasmine, specifically for going through a  divorce? Can you give us an example? Like, I come to you with what type of issues or problems that you are going to help fix, so to speak, with this technique?

Jasmine: With this technique, specifically, it’s usually a negative thought that you’re having like, I’m never going to find another partner again. That could just be a negative thought that’s constantly coming into your mind and it just makes you feel anxious, it makes you feel sad, all of those unknowns that you’re feeling at that time. But when you practice anchoring, what we’ve already done at that point is your happy place is somewhere without your ex, that you can be happy when you think about that at the beach, maybe that’s your happy place. And so that’s the memory we focus on first. Then when the memories start popping in your head, I’m never going to find another partner again, or I’m never going to be happy again, that’s when you start to do the anchoring. And again, it’s not going to just take that thought away immediately, but it changes your body at that time. It’s actually shifting your mind at that time. You’re calming down because that happy thought is now associated with that tap.

T.H.: And you’re taking away the power from the negative thought. You’re giving more power to the positive and less power to the negative. If we were to come to you, so this is like our consult, like, hi, how are you going to help me? Take us through this.

Jasmine: I walk people through what NLP is. I usually do that in my free 30-minute consultation because I want to make sure that they’re on board and they understand because a lot of people haven’t heard of NLP. We’ll talk about how long they have been divorced? Are they currently divorced? I primarily work with divorced women. Then we will talk about these different techniques and we go through activities on how they can use these different techniques, and we work on those. Then there are a lot of other things we do as well. We’re looking at goals and I help my clients be accountable for those [inaudible] and making sure that they’re measurable as well. These techniques are just a part of it, but that’s why there are so many different techniques because not all of them work for everybody. But it’s usually the combination of a few, that’s when you’re really going to see those results.

T.H.: How do you make sure that you’re not also someone’s therapist? Because I would imagine that they’re going to come and say all these things, and you’re going to have to get through the clutter. How do you manage that? I feel like you would become a therapist.

Jasmine: There’s the crossover between coaching and therapy, but I’m very clear that I am not a therapist because I don’t want people coming to me thinking, well, I’m not a certified therapist. But I also don’t want them coming to me if they’re still in need of a therapist. I used a coach and a therapist going through my divorce. Coaching is very forward-focused. Therapy is past, present, and future. If I notice that someone in the 30-minute consult is constantly talking just about the past, and they’re really still living in the devastation of the divorce, they’re not really at a point where they’re ready to start working with the coach. It’s when you’re ready to start moving forward. It’s the innovators, they’re ready to start going. You might still be hurting, there’s still pain for years, but they’re very focused and ready to move forward in the future. And again, it’s not all just about the past.

Jessica: What type of thoughts other than–it was a great example, I’ll never find another partner. I think that probably everyone who gets divorced is worried about that on some level, to some extent. What are some other mindsets and thoughts that you find that you’re successfully able to help people with that are common themes that people go through?

Jasmine: I do also work with people who are going through changes in job loss because I happened to lose my job so close to my divorce. It was the feeling of failure, especially if it was a termination, that you’re not good enough to find another job. You’re settling basically at that point. I got fired, and I’m just not good enough for another firm, and so that would be another example that I’ve used with one of my clients that’s not related to divorce. But with divorce, many times it is that they’re not either going to find another partner or just be happy in general or be able to provide if they have children. That’s very scary as you all know, the financial piece of it when you’re going through a divorce, just that fear and that anxiety that comes in when you’re thinking of how I’m going to provide for my family.

T.H.: I think what you said about the difference between a coach and a therapist, I just want to go back for a second, is just really, really, really important.

We talk about you could be grieving through your divorce, but if you didn’t love, then you’re not going to grieve. I was just worried for my children, but for myself, I was hallelujah and out. It’s just really interesting in where you are at that point of your divorce. I was in a different place than Jessica was in. I was ready to hit the ground running and she was grieving quite a bit over what was happening. Properly using the resources of a therapist at the right time, and then getting to a coach at the right time, so we’ve spoken to so many different people and a life coach certification, divorce coach certification is so random. There’s no real regulatory unit like for an attorney or an accountant. You have to make sure that whoever you speak with, anybody listening, that this person is helping you move forward if you’re with a coach, and helping you repair the damage of your past if you’re working with a therapist. These are the questions you need to know when you meet people so that you’re making good choices for yourself.

Jasmine: I made the mistake of working with a coach first before my divorce was even final and I was thinking that’s what I needed to be focusing on. Honestly, she shouldn’t have worked with me because I was using her as a therapist. It was when I decided to work with a therapist and a coach I realized that’s what I needed. That’s again why I do that 30-minute consult because I don’t want to work with somebody if they’re not really ready because if they’re at a place where they still need to be working with a therapist or maybe even just having their time to process and grow on their own, that’s okay too. But I really make it clear that they have to be willing to put in the work and it’s very forward-focused.

Jessica: I love that idea of there just being this niche in general, specifically for the divorced category because it’s such a needed service that I think not enough people are really willing to acknowledge or think that it is kind of a big enough niche to be warranted for the business. You had something else on your website also that talked about the concept of stroft? Can you tell us what that is?

Jasmine: Yes. When I was in the thick of the divorce, everyone just kept saying, be strong, be strong, you’ll make it through this, be strong. Honestly, it pissed me off, because I’m like, I want to cry today. I don’t want to be strong today and I just want to feel my feelings. I realized there could be both. You can be strong, but you also can be soft. I think when people hear that someone’s soft, it’s that they’re a pushover, they’re a softy, and that’s not the case. I think that it’s important to be strong to be able to move forward. You really realize how strong you are when you have made it through. But you can be bold, you can be strong, and you can be soft. That’s where the term stroft came in for me.

T.H.: Do you think you are strong and soft?

Jasmine: I do. I do. In the beginning, when I was trying to be strong, I realized I became hard. I was kind of like, hardened. I was putting up a wall around people close to me. It was when I let that down, and I allowed some of my softness to come back, which is who I am, I saw myself becoming stroft.

T.H.: Jess, what about you?

Jessica: I think that I was more strong than soft. I definitely think that’s how I’ve been over the last few years. It’s something that I’ve been talking about a lot with my therapist more recently, just this iron shield that I have around me that I have to be strong all the time. I feel like I’m soft with my friends, but that’s probably really it. I feel like it’s a side of me that I don’t really show anymore. Part of it may have been my past career as well. I mean, just working in network news and running shows, you don’t have time for bullshit. It’s like everything has to get done and being the boss and the buck stops with me. I always had to have that persona. But the working on allowing my softness to come through is something that I definitely have a ways to go with. What about you T.H.?

T.H.: Well, first of all with your response, I think that the soft part–it’s so funny because Jessica, she’s like me. We’re doers, and we just get shit done. Get shit done. Don’t think, don’t feel, just go, go, go, go, go. Except Jessica has been selling essential oils for the last several years, and she has embodied the scent and relaxation and the routines. I still cannot do that. I do like a good perfume, but I can’t do a whole regiment before bed. But I think that because I was in survival mode for the last five or so years of my marriage, I was 100% strong. I was 100% strong because I felt I needed to be strong for my kids, but I was killing myself. And physically strong too – I was boxing, I was lifting, I was pushing my physical strength as well as my mental. Then I remember that I hurt my foot soon after I separated and my therapist said great, so now you can’t go to the gym, are we ready to get some work done here? And I was like, uh…I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know! And so she’s the one who helped me realize that it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay for your kids to see you cry. It’s not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. You are a human, you’re not a robot. You’re not superpowered. You’re just trying to figure it out the best way that you can. I think that’s how I became a little bit soft, but I think it was purely for self-preservation that I was strong otherwise I would hear what he was saying and it was going to hurt me. If I just didn’t hear, then I couldn’t get hurt, right?  

Jessica: There’s probably still a part of it that is survival mode, but I definitely feel like I can’t really show my soft side all that much. I have to get that the iron shield down.

T.H.: We’ll work on that. We’ll work on that. Jasmine, what are your lessons learned in terms of this working? How do you identify success for your clients? How do you even see that? Do you maintain relationships with them? Is there like six months and then, okay, you’ve got to go out into the world now? I’m pushing you out into the world. Like, how long? I know it’s going to be different for every person but…

Jasmine: With the techniques itself, there is a rule of thumb that it’s about 30 days with repetition of practicing one of these techniques for it to start to just become second nature to you. My program’s when I work with someone one on one over 12 weeks, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t continue to work with them. And I do stay in touch with my clients, and they stay in touch with me, which I think is great. I can just see their progress and how they’re doing. But when you’re looking at one of these techniques, specifically, it’s usually that repetitive 30 days doing this, it does take work. You have to be willing to put in that work, which is why again, I talk about that in the very beginning before I work with somebody.

Jessica: Remind us the name of your website, because I feel like everybody listening right now is going to want to go and find out a little bit more about this. I mean, no matter where you are in your life, the truth is the strategies that Jasmine’s talking about can be helpful for you. Obviously, we’re catering to people who are going through a divorce or who have been divorced, but as Jasmine said, it’s applicable in so many different areas: body image, weight loss, employment issues, everything like that. Where can people go to find out more about you?

Jasmine: My website is All the information is on there. If you would like to apply to work with me, again, we will just do a free 30-minute consultation. I also do offer a free webinar where we walk through one of these techniques, and I offer them twice a month. If you’re interested, and you’re not sure about working with me, and you want to try it out, I step by step walk you through doing one of these techniques specifically in that as well. That information is all on my website.

T.H.: I think that’s so great. That way, you take a baby step, there’s no risk. If you don’t like it, you walk away. I think we should just give it a shot, Jess. We should see.

Jessica: We totally should. We totally should.

T.H.: Yeah, we should do that.

Jessica: For everyone listening, Jasmine will have her own Experts page on our website as all of our other experts do. You’ll be able to find all of her links to social, the website, and reaching out to contact her. We highly recommend checking it out. She’s offering a service that we don’t hear about very often. It’s highly specialized and we are advocates, so go check her out. Thank you again, Jasmine, so much for your time today to educate all of us about this. It’s amazing.

Jasmine: Thank you so much for having me. I love what you ladies are doing and your website is so amazing. Thank you so much.

Goodbye: For everyone out there listening, if you know anyone at all who would benefit from what we talked about today please share this episode and everything exEXPERTS.  Be sure and click to subscribe, rate, and review our podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts and please follow us on social media @exEXPERTS Divorce etc… on Instagram, Facebook TikTok, and YouTube @exEXPERTS, and our website at  Thanks for listening!

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