Why should I be interested in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
Ever heard of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
Well it has to be said that over the years NLP has received some bad press. Why? Well that in the main in my opinion has been down to the un-ecological use of some of the techniques and the unfortunate spread of all the umcum bumbcum on the internet. Get rich now, pick up every time guaranteed and all that malarkey, peddled by those who’s ego needed some massaging’ or who are so focused at looking after their ID, that all that counts is money, money, money and as long as it is flowing in their direction they are not bothered who or what gets damaged in the process! We may have only ever heard about NLP by watching some well known celebrities using it along with illusion and other psychology for entertainment purposes, not something to which we subscribe to at all.
So what is NLP. Well it is not an invention or some dark manipulative art, more a discovery of how humans achieve what they do successfully. Of course, if you study a stonemason using a hammer, they are exquisitely using it to produce a work of art. The same hammer in the hands of someone with a very different intent can cause destruction or even death! Think about that. Its not the tool it’s the way and the intention of it’s use.
All of the conclusions and therefore models are drawn from studying very precisely, what a person is doing to achieve the results that they are getting, it is called modelling and is distinctly different from copying.
Richard Bandler and John Grinder were brought together in the early 1970’s at Santa CruzUniversity.
Bandler a computer programmer with an interest in Gestalt therapy was transcribing the therapy sessions of gestalt therapist Fritz Perls and Grinder was a linguist with a gift of acquiring languages had served in the US military before becoming a resident professor of language at Santa Cruz. Bandler being a wantonly curious guy took the unusual strep of trying out some of what he had been transcribing on some campus ‘guinea pigs well other students to be precise. To his amazement, he got the same results as Fritz Pearls, long regarded as one of the most effective post war therapists around. Yet Bandler had no therapy experience or for that matter training. He went to Grinder and told him what had happened with the result that Grinder said, ‘you show me what you are doing and I will tell you how you are doing it’.
Their work continued studying both Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson another two therapists with renowned for their ability to bring about behavioural change but all in very different ways.
Erickson by use of a language pattern that is vague, has inferences but little specifics or detail. From Perls came a questioning for the recovery of specific possibly lost information and from Satir the treatment of psychological problems within the context of the system that supports it in Satir’s cases the family. They recognised that people coded, ordered and gave meaning to their experiences in very different ways within their brains the ‘Neuro’
Grinder a linguist also started to notice that the students around them who by which time were becoming very interested in their work used different language patterns. The words they repeatedly used were describing the representational systems they were using both to gather and process information ‘Linguistic’ patterns.
What kept coming up in their work was, if you replicate exactly what the exemplar is both thinking and doing is doing then you get the same results, your running the same ‘program.’
Now many parts of the jigsaw of behaviour had already been studied many years previously to Bandler & Grinders work.
Korzbski 1933 General Semantics or as he was originally going to call it ’science of man’ http://www.generalsemantics.org/etc/articles/40-1-read.pdf
Ivan Pavlov the salivating dogs http://nobelprize.org/educational/medicine/pavlov/readmore.html
Gregory Bateson http://www.oikos.org/baten.htm
And it is by no means a complete ‘user manual for the brain’ as it is sometimes referred to as more a continuous work in progress. However unlike virtually every piece of complex equipment you should purchase or be asked to use or work with, we do not pop into this world with a user manual.
NLP is an interpretation of how we work, yes Bandler and Grinder were catalysts in bringing previous work and their own together and since the 70s many others have added to it.
To name but a few
In our next blog we will look at some of the techniques, or patterns already uncovered I will talk about there relevance to both work and personal life and where and what you should look for in NLP training.