Neuro-linguistic programming

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Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them" and "a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour"[1] The co-founders, Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder claimed it would be instrumental in "finding ways to help people have better, fuller and richer lives". [2] They coined the title to denote a supposed theoretical connection between neurological processes ('neuro'), language ('linguistic') and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience ('programming') and that can be organised to achieve specific goals in life.[3][4][5]

NLP was originally promoted by its founders, Bandler and Grinder, in the 1970s as an extraordinarily effective and rapid form of psychological therapy[6][7], capable of addressing the full range of problems which psychologists are likely to encounter, such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, learning disorders. [8] It also espoused the potential for self-determination through overcoming learned limitations[9] and emphasized well-being and healthy functioning. Later, it was promoted as a 'science of excellence', derived from the study or 'modeling'[10] of how successful or outstanding people in different fields obtain their results. It was claimed that these skills can be learned by anyone to improve their effectiveness both personally and professionally[11]

Because of the absence of any firm empirical evidence supporting its sometimes extravagant claims, NLP has enjoyed little or no support from the scientific community. It continues to make no impact on mainstream academic psychology, and only limited impact on mainstream psychotherapy and counselling.[12] However, it has some influence among private psychotherapists, including hypnotherapists, to the extent that they claim to be trained in NLP and ‘use NLP’ in their work. It has also had an enormous influence in management training, life coaching, and the self-help industry[13].


[edit] History and founding

[edit] 1970s

The first popular book on NLP, Frogs into Princes, first published in 1979, was based on transcripts of its co-founders, Bandler and Grinder, presenting at seminars live.

NLP originated when Richard Bandler, a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, was transcribing taped therapy sessions of the Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls as a project for the psychiatrist Robert Spitzer.[14] Bandler believed he recognized particular word and sentence structures which facilitated the acceptance of Perls’ positive suggestions. Bandler took this idea to one of his university lecturers, John Grinder, a linguist, and together they produced what they termed the Meta Model, a model of what they believed to be influential word structures and how they work. They also 'modeled' the therapeutic sessions of the family therapist Virginia Satir.[15]

They published an account of their work in The Structure of Magic in 1975, when Bandler was 25. The main theme of the book was that it was possible to analyse and codify the therapeutic methods of Satir and Perls. Exceptional therapy, even when it appears 'magical', has a discernible structure which anyone could learn. Some of the book was based on previous work by Grinder on transformational grammar, the Chomskyan generative syntax that was current at the time.[16] Some considered the importation of transformational grammar to psychotherapy to be Bandler and Grinder's main contribution to the field of psychotherapy.[17] Bandler and Grinder also made use of ideas of Gregory Bateson, who was influenced by Alfred Korzybski, particularly his ideas about human modeling and that 'the map is not the territory'.[18][19]

Impressed by Bandler and Grinder's work with Fritz Perls and Virgina Satir, the British anthropologist Gregory Bateson agreed to write the preface to Bandler and Grinder's Structure of Magic series. Bateson also introduced them to Milton Erickson who was selected as the third model for NLP. Erickson, an American psychiatrist and founding member of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis, was well known for his unconventional approach to therapy; for his ability to "utilize" anything about a patient to help him or her change, including his or her beliefs, favorite words, cultural background, personal history, or even neurotic habits, and for treating the unconscious mind as creative, solution-generating, and often positive.

At that time, the Californian human potential movement was developing into an industry. Its founders claimed that in addition to being a therapeutic method, it was also a study of communication, and by the 1970s Grinder and Bandler were marketing it as a business tool, claiming that 'if any human being can do anything, so can you'. After 150 students paid $1,000 each for a ten-day workshop in Santa Cruz, Bandler and Grindler gave up academic writing to produce popular books from seminar transcripts, such as Frogs into Princes, which sold more than 270,000 copies. According to court documents, Bandler's NLP business made more than $800,000 in 1980.[15]

[edit] 1980s

In the early 1980s, NLP was hailed as an important advance in psychotherapy and counseling,[20] and attracted some interest in counseling research and clinical psychology. In the mid 1980s, reviews in The Journal of Counseling Psychology[21] and by the National Research Council (1988; NRC) committee[22] found little or no empirical basis for the claims about preferred representational systems (PRS) or assumptions of NLP. Since then, NLP has been regarded with suspicion or outright hostility by the academic, psychiatric and medical professions.

In the 1980s, shortly after publishing Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Volume I[23] with Robert Dilts and Judith Delozier, Grinder and Bandler fell out. Amidst acrimony and intellectual property lawsuits, the NLP brand was adopted by other training organisations.[22] Some time afterwards, John Grinder collaborated with various people to develop a form of NLP called the New Code of NLP which claimed to restore a whole mind-body systemic approach to NLP[19][24] Richard Bandler also published new processes based on submodalities and Ericksonian hypnosis.[25]

[edit] 1990s

In July 1996 after many years of legal controversy, Bandler filed a lawsuit against John Grinder and others, claiming retrospective sole ownership of NLP, and also the sole right to use the term under trademark.[26][27] At the same time, Tony Clarkson (a UK practitioner) successfully asked the UK High Court to revoke Bandler's UK registered trademark of "NLP", in order to clarify legally that 'NLP' was a generic term rather than intellectual property.[28]

Despite the NLP community's being splintered, most NLP material acknowledges the early work of co-founders Bandler and Grinder, and also the development group that surrounded them in the 1970s.

[edit] 2000s

In 2001, the lawsuits were settled with Bandler and Grinder agreeing to be known as co-founders of NLP. Since 1978, a 20-day NLP practitioner certification program had been in existence for training therapists to apply NLP as an adjunct to their professional qualifications. As NLP evolved, and the applications began to be extended beyond therapy, new ways of training were developed and the course structures and design changed. Course lengths and style vary from institute to institute. In the 1990s, following attempts to put NLP on a regulated footing in the UK, other governments began certifying NLP courses and providers, such as in Australia for example, where Neuro-linguistic programming is accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).[29] However, NLP continues to be an open field of training with no 'official' best practice. With different authors, individual trainers and practitioners having developed their own methods, concepts and labels, often branding them as "NLP",[30] the training standards and quality differ greatly.[31] The multiplicity and general lack of controls has led to difficulty discerning the comparative level of competence, skill and attitude in different NLP trainings. According to Peter Schütz, the length of training in Europe varies from 2–3 days for the hobbyist to 35–40 days over at least nine months to achieve a professional level of competence.[31]

In Europe, the European NLP therapy association has been promoting its training in line with European therapy standards.

In 2001, an off-shoot application of NLP, Neuro-linguistic psychotherapy (NLPt), was recognized by United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) as an experimental constructivist form of psychotherapy.[32]

[edit] Today

Today, NLP is a lucrative industry, and many variants of the practice are found in seminars, workshops, books and audio programs in the form of exercises and principles intended to influence behavioral and emotional change in self and others. There is great variation in the depth and breadth of training and standards of practitioners, and some disagreement exists between those in the field about which patterns are, or are not, "NLP".

[edit] NLP and science

At the time it was introduced, NLP was heralded as a breakthrough in therapy, and advertisements for training workshops, videos and books began to appear in trade magazines. The workshops provided certification. However, controlled studies shed such a poor light on the practice, and those promoting the intervention made such extreme and changeable claims that researchers began to question the wisdom of researching the area further.[20]

There are three main criticisms of NLP.

  1. NLP's claims for scientific respectability are fake, and it is really a pseudoscience, since it not based on the scientific method. Its very name is a pretense to a legitimate discipline like neuroscience, neurolinguistics, and psychology. It has a large collection of scientific sounding terms, like eye accessing cues, metamodeling, micromodeling, metaprogramming, neurological levels, presuppositions, primary representational systems, modalities and submodalities. Corballis (1999) argues that "NLP is a thoroughly fake title, designed to give the impression of scientific respectability".[33] According to Beyerstein (1995) "though it claims neuroscience in its pedigree, NLP's outmoded view of the relationship between cognitive style and brain function ultimately boils down to crude analogies."[34] With reference to all the 'neuromythologies' covered in his article, including NLP, he states "In the long run perhaps the heaviest cost extracted by neuromythologists is the one common to all pseudosciences—deterioration in the already low levels of scientific literacy and critical thinking in society.".[34] Proponents of NLP often deny that it is based on theory.[35]
  2. There is little or no evidence or research to support its often extravagant claims. Heap (1988) remarks [12] that if the assertions made by proponents of NLP about representational systems and their behavioural manifestations are correct, then its founders have made remarkable discoveries about the human mind and brain, which would have important implications for human psychology, particularly cognitive science and neuropsychology. Yet there is no mention of them in learned textbooks or journals devoted to these disciplines. Neither is this material taught in psychology courses at the pre-degree and degree level. When Heap spoke to academic colleagues who spend much time researching and teaching in these fields, they showed little awareness, if any, of NLP.[12][36] Heap (1988) argued that to arrive at such important generalisations about the human mind and behaviour would certainly require prolonged, systematic, and meticulous investigation of human subjects using robust procedures for observing, recording, and analysing the phenomena under investigation. "There is just no other way of doing this". Yet the founders of NLP never revealed any such research or investigation, and there is no evidence of its existence.[12] Indeed, Bandler himself claimed it was not his job to prove any of his claims about the workings of the human mind, "The truth is, when we know how something is done, it becomes easy to change" (ibid).[37] Tosey and Mathison say that "the pragmatic and often anti-theoretical stance by the founders has left a legacy of little engagement between practitioner and academic communities"[38][39].
  3. A significant amount of experimental research suggests that the central claims of NLP are unjustified. See NLP and science for a description of the literature. The majority of empirical research was carried out in the 1980s and 1990s and consisted of laboratory experimentation testing Bandler and Grinder's hypothesis[40] that a person's preferred sensory mode of thinking can be revealed by observing eye movement cues and sensory predicates in language use.[38] A research review conducted by Christopher Sharpley in 1984[41], followed by another review in 1987 in response to criticism by Einspruch and Forman[42], concluded that there was little evidence for its usefulness as an effective counseling tool. Reviewing the literature in 1988, Michael Heap also concluded that objective and fair investigations had shown no support for NLP claims about 'preferred representational systems'.[12] The conclusions of Heap and Sharpley have been contested[19][42][43] on the grounds that the studies demonstrated an incomplete understanding of the claims of NLP and that the interviewers involved in the many of the studies had inadequate training/competence in NLP.[38]

A research committee[22] working for United States National Research Council led by Daniel Druckman came to two conclusions. First, the committee "found little if any" evidence to support NLP’s assumptions or to indicate that it is effective as a strategy for social influence. It assumes that by tracking another’s eye movements and language, an NLP trainer can shape the person’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions (Dilts, 1983[44]). There is no scientific support for these assumptions."[45] Secondly, the committee "were impressed with the modeling approach used to develop the technique. The technique was developed from careful observations of the way three master psychotherapists conducted their sessions, emphasizing imitation of verbal and nonverbal behaviors... This then led the committee to take up the topic of expert modeling in the second phase of its work."[45] These studies marked a decline in research interest in NLP generally, and particularly in matching sensory predicates and its use in counsellor-client relationship in counseling psychology.[46] Beyerstein (1995) argued that NLP was based on outmoded scientific theories, and that its 'explanation' of the relationship between cognitive style and brain function was no more than crude analogy.[34]

[edit] Concepts and methods

[edit] Modeling of Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson

NLP began with the studies of three "master psychotherapists"[45], Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson. [47] Grinder and Bandler reviewed many hours of audio and video of the three therapists and spent months imitating how they worked with clients, in order to replicate or 'model' the communication patterns which supposedly made these individuals more successful than their peers.[48] The studies were an attempt to identify why particular psychotherapists were so effective with their patients. Rather than take a purely theoretical approach, Bandler and Grinder sought to observe what the therapists were doing, categorize it, and 'model' it.[49]

Bandler and Grinder aimed to learn and codify the "know-how" (as opposed to "know-what" [facts] or "know-why" [science]) that set these experts apart from their peers. The expert therapists knew what they were doing, but there were tacit aspects of this knowledge (i.e., subtleties which cannot be explained or codified and can only be transmitted via training or gained through personal experience). In the initial phase of the modeling process, Bandler and Grinder spent months observing, in person and via recordings, and imitating how their models worked with clients.[19] The initial part ("unconscious uptake") of the modeling process involved putting aside prior knowledge or expectations:

While the style and approach of these psychotherapists were apparently different, Bandler and Grinder believed that all experts in human communication (including Perls, Satir and Erickson) have patterns in common that could be learned by others:

[...] when you watch and listen to Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson do therapy, they apparently could not be more different [...] People also report that the experiences of being with them are profoundly different. However, if you examine their behavior and the essential key patterns and sequences of what they do, they are similar. [...] The same was true of Fritz Perls [...] when he was operating in what I consider a powerful and effective way, he was using the same sequences of patterns that you will find in their work.

Bandler and Grinder 1979, [40]

They claimed that there were a few common traits expert communicators – whether top therapists, top executives or top salespeople – all seemed to share:

  • Everything they did in their work was in active pursuit of a clearly held goal or objective, rather than reacting to change.[50]
  • They were exceedingly flexible in approach and refused to be tied down to using their skills in any one fixed way of thinking or working.[50][51]
  • They had a strong awareness of the non-verbal feedback (unconscious communication and metaphor) they were getting, and responded to it [50][51] - usually in kind rather than by analyzing it [52]
  • They enjoyed the challenges of difficult ("resistant") clients, seeing them as a chance to learn rather than an intractable "problem"
  • They respected the client as someone doing the best they knew how (rather than judging them as "broken" or "working")
  • They had certain common skills and things they were aware of and noticed, that were intuitively "wired in".[51][53]
  • They worked with precision, purpose and skill.[53][54]
  • They kept trying different approaches until they learned enough about the structure holding a problem in place to change it.[50][51]

As a result, they claimed that there were only three behaviour patterns underlying successful communication in therapy, business and sales:

  1. To know what outcome you want, to be flexible in your behaviour,
  2. To generate different kinds of behaviour to find out what response you get, and
  3. To have enough sensory experience to notice when you get the responses that you want.[50]

The methods of observation and imitation Bandler and Grinder used to learn and codify the initial models of NLP came to be known as Modeling. Proponents maintain that NLP Modeling is not confined to therapy but can be applied to all human learning.[55] Another aspect of NLP modeling is understanding the patterns of one's own behaviors in order to 'model' the more successful parts of oneself.

[edit] Meta model

The meta model can be seen as a heuristic that responds to the words and phrases that reveal unconscious limitations and faulty thinking — the distortions, generalizations and deletions in language. Bandler and Grinder observed similar patterns in the communication of Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir (and gleaned from a set of transformational grammar language categories). The meta model seeks to recover unspoken information, and to challenge generalization the other distorted messages that involve restrictive thinking and beliefs.[18] The intent is to help someone develop new choice in thinking and behavior. By listening to and carefully responding to the distortions (generalizations and deletions) in a client's sentences, the practitioner seeks to respond to the syntactic form of the sentence rather than the content itself.

For example, if someone said, "everyone must love me," the message is overly general as it does not specify any particular person or group of people. Examples of meta model responses include "which people, specifically?" or "all people?" and questions to define the criteria that would be acceptable for this person to know when he or she is experiencing the state of "love". The practitioner also understands that words such as "must" also indicates necessity or lack of choice on the part of the speaker. A meta-model response might be, "what would happen if they did/didn't?" Practitioners choose when to respond and when not to, using softeners and linkage phrases from the Milton model to maintain rapport.

[edit] Milton model

In contrast to the Meta Model of NLP, which seeks to specify information, is the Milton Erickson-inspired Milton model described by Bandler and Grinder as "artfully vague"[56]. In it the communicator makes statements that seem specific but allow the listener to fill in their own meaning for what is being said. It makes use of pacing and leading, ambiguity, metaphor, embedded suggestion, and multiple-meaning sentence structures. It has been described as "a way of using language to induce and maintain trance in order to contact the hidden resources of our personality".[57] The Milton model has three primary aspects: First, to assist in building and maintaining rapport with the client. Second, to overload and distract the conscious mind so that unconscious communication can be cultivated. Third, to allow for interpretation in the words offered to the client.[58]

After spending months closely studying Erickson's language (verbal and non-verbal) and imitating the way that Erickson worked with clients, Bandler and Grinder published the Milton model in 1976/1977 under the title The Patterns of Milton H. Erickson Volumes I & II[59]. In the preface, Erickson said, "Although this book [...] is far from being a complete description of my methodologies, as they so clearly state it is a much better explanation of how I work than I, myself, can give. I know what I do, but to explain how I do it is much too difficult for me."[59] Erickson was known for his use of unconventional approaches, including the use of stories, and for deeply entering the world of his clients. The Milton model is a way of communicating based on the hypnotic language patterns of Milton Erickson.[60]

[edit] Representational systems and accessing cues

The basic assumption of NLP is that internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language consist of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, (and possibly olfactory and gustatory) representations (often shortened to VAK or VAKOG) that are engaged when people think about problems, tasks, or activities, or engage in them. Internal sensory representations are constantly being formed and activated. Whether making conversation, talking about a problem, reading a book, kicking a ball, or riding a horse, internal representations have an impact on performance.[22] NLP techniques generally aim to change behavior through modifying the internal representations, examining the way a person represents a problem, and building desirable representations of alternative outcomes or goals. In addition, Bandler and Grinder claimed that the representational system use could be tracked using eye movements, gestures, breathing, sensory predicates, and other cues in order to improve rapport and social influence.[40]

Some of these ideas of sensory representations and associated therapeutic ideas appear to have been imported from gestalt therapy shortly after its creation in the 1970s.[40]

[edit] Accessing cues

An eye accessing cue chart proposed for a normally organized right-handed person.
Key: Vc : Visual construct, Vr : Visual recall, Ac : Auditory construct Ar : Auditory recall, K: Kinesthetic, Ai : Auditory internal dialogue

Bandler and Grinder claimed that matching and responding to the representational systems people use to think is generally beneficial for enhancing rapport and influence in communication.[40] They proposed several models for this purpose including eye accessing cues and sensory predicates. The direction of eye accesses was considered an indicator of the type of internal mental process (see the eye accessing cue chart).

The sensory predicates, breathing posture and gestures were also considered important.[40] In the sensory predicate model, if someone said:

  • "that rings true for me", rings predicates auditory processing.
  • "that's clearer now", the sensory predicates clearer indicates some internal visual representation.
  • "I can see a bright future for myself", the sensory predicates see and bright indicates some internal visual processing.
  • "I can grasp a hold of the concept", the sensory predicates grasp and hold indicates primarily kinesthetic processing

These verbal cues are often coupled with posture changes, eye movements, skin color, or breathing shifts. Essentially, it was claimed that the practitioner could ascertain the current sensory mode of thinking from external cues such as the direction of eye movements, posture, breathing, tone of voice, and the use of sensory-based predicates.

[edit] Preferred representational systems

The majority of research (as published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology in the early 1980s[41]) focused on Bandler and Grinder's claim [40] that a preferred representational system (PRS) exists and is effective in counseling-client influence. Put simply, they claimed that some people prefer visual, auditory, or kinesthetic processing. Further, a therapist (or communicator) could be more influential by matching the other's preferred system. Christopher Sharpley's review of counselling psychology literature on PRS found that it could not be reliably assessed, it was not certain that it even existed, and it could not be demonstrated to reliably assist counselors.[41] Buckner (published after Sharpley) found some support for the notion that eye movements can indicate visual and auditory components of thought in that moment.[61]

While some NLP training programs and books still feature PRS, many have modified or dropped it. Richard Bandler, for example, de-emphasized its importance in an interview with the Enhancing Human Performance subcommittee.[22] John Grinder, in the New Code of NLP, emphasizes individual calibration and sensory acuity, precluding such a rigidly specified model as the one described above. Responding directly to sensory experience requires an immediacy which respects the importance of context. Grinder also stated in an interview that a representational system diagnosis lasts about 30 seconds.[19]

[edit] Submodalities

Submodalities are the fine details of sensory representational systems or modalities. In the late 1970s, the use of visual imagery was common in goal setting, sports psychology, and meditation. Not only did Bandler and Grinder begin to explore imagery in all sensory modalities (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Gustatory, and Olfactory), they also were interested in the qualities/properties of internal representations, the "submodalities".[62]

Bandler and Grinder observed[40] that for some people, by increasing the brightness, changing the color or location of an internal imagery, intensity of their state also increased. They observed similar patterns in different sensory modalities (e.g. Auditorial and Kinesthetic systems) in other people and changes depending on context.

This work with submodalities inspired a number of novel interventions within NLP, therapeutic, and personal development settings. For example, the swish pattern is proposed to reduce unwanted habits. It involves first deciding on a positive alternative. The desired alternative may be in the form of a representation of the self, resourceful and happy. The internal representations that previously triggered unwanted behavior are identified and recoded in the form of something that is uninteresting to the participant, typically small and dark. The desirable outcome recoded in a form of something that is highly motivating, typically bright, colourful, and large. After the initial preparation, the participant is asked to bring to mind the representation of the unwanted behavior. As this is brought to mind the participant immediately makes it small and dark and brings forth an image of the desired alternative. The process is repeated and revised as required. To test it, the participant then put himself into the context where the old behavior used to be triggered. The process is considered successful if the participant remains resourceful when recalling the context where the unwanted behavior used to occur and automatically thinks of the desired alternative.[63]

[edit] Techniques

[edit] Rapport

NLP proposed a number of simple techniques involving matching, pacing and leading for establishing rapport with people.[40] There are a number of techniques explored in NLP that are supposed to be beneficial in building and maintaining rapport such as: matching and pacing non-verbal behavior (body posture, head position, gestures, voice tone, and so forth) and matching speech and body rhythms of others (breathing, pulse, and so forth).[40]

[edit] Anchoring

Anchoring is the process by which a particular state or response is associated (anchored) with a unique anchor. An anchor is most often a gesture, voice tone or touch but could be any unique visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory or gustatory stimulus. It is claimed that by recalling past resourceful states one can anchor those states to make them available in new situations. A psychotherapist might anchor positive states like calmness and relaxation, or confidence in the treatment of phobias and anxiety, such as in public speaking.[64] Proponents state that anchors are capable of being formed and reinforced by repeated stimuli, and thus are analogous to classical conditioning.

Anchoring appears to have been imported into NLP from family systems therapy as part of the 'model' of Virginia Satir.[65]

[edit] Swish

Swish is a novel visualization technique for reducing unwanted habits. The process involves disrupting a pattern of thought that usually leads to an unwanted behavior such that it leads to a desired alternative. The process involves visualizing the trigger or 'cue image' that normally leads to the unwanted behavior pattern, such as a smoker's hand with a cigarette moving towards the face. The cue image is then switched a number of times with a visualization of a desired alternative, such as a self-image looking resourceful and fulfilled. The swish is tested by having the person think of the original cue image that used to lead to the undesired behavior, or by presenting the actual cue such as a cigarette to the client, while observing the responses. If the client stays resourceful then the process is complete. The name swish comes from the sound made by the practitioner/trainer as the visualizations are switched.[66][67] Swish also makes use of submodalities, for example, the internal image of the unwanted behavior is typically shrunk to a small and manageable size and the desired outcome (or self-image) is enhanced by making it brighter and larger than normal.[25] The swish was first published by Richard Bandler.[25]

[edit] Reframing

In NLP, reframing is the process whereby an element of communication is presented so as to transform an individual's perception of the meanings or "frames" attributed to words, phrases and events.[68] By changing the way the event is perceived "responses and behaviors will also change. Reframing with language allows you to see the world in a different way and this changes the meaning. Reframing is the basis of jokes, myths, legends, fairy tales and most creative ways of thinking."[69] The concept was common to a number of therapies prior to NLP.[21] For example, it appeared in the approaches of Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls and Milton Erickson and in strategic therapy of Paul Watzlawick.[70] There are examples in children's literature. Pollyanna, for example, would play The Glad Game whenever she felt downhearted to remind herself of the things that she could do, and not worry about the things that she could not change.[71]

[edit] Six step reframe

An example of reframing is found in the six-step reframe which involves distinguishing between an underlying intention and the consequent behaviors for the purpose of achieving the intention by different and more successful behaviors. It is based on the notion that there is a positive intention behind all behaviors, but that the behaviors themselves may be unwanted or counterproductive in other ways. NLP uses this staged process to identify the intention and create alternative choices to satisfy that intention.

[edit] Ecology and congruency

Ecology in NLP deals with the relationships between a client and his or her natural, social and created environments and how a proposed goal or change might retreat to his or her relationships and environment. It is a frame within which the desired outcome is checked against the consequences client's life and mind as systemic processes. It treats the client's relationship with self as a system and his or her relationship with others as subsystems that interact so when someone considers a change it is important therefore to take into account the consequences on the system as a whole.[72] Like gestalt therapy[73] a goal of NLP is to help the client choose goals and make changes that achieve a sense of personal congruency and integrity with personal and other aspects of the client's life.

[edit] Parts integration

Parts Integration creates a metaphor of different aspects (parts) of ourselves which are in conflict due to different goals, perceptions and beliefs. 'Parts integration' is the process of 'identifying' these parts and negotiating (or working) with each of these parts separately & together, with a goal of resolving internal conflict. Successful parts negotiation occurs by listening to and providing opportunities to meet the needs of each part and adequately addressing each part's interests so that they are each satisfied with the desired outcome. It often involves negotiating with the conflicting parts of a person to achieve resolution. Parts integration appears to be modeled on 'parts' from family therapy and has similarities to ego-state therapy in psychoanalysis in that it seeks to resolve conflicts that constitute a "family of self" within a single individual.

[edit] Uses

[edit] Psychotherapy

In contrast to mainstream psychotherapy, NLP does not concentrate on diagnosis, treatment and assessment of mental and behavioral disorders. Instead, it focuses on helping clients to overcome their own self-perceived, or subjective, problems. It seeks to do this while respecting their own capabilities and wisdom to choose additional goals for the intervention as they learn more about their problems, and to modify and specify those goals further as a result of extended interaction with a therapist. The two main therapeutic uses of NLP are use as an adjunct by therapists[74] practicing in other therapeutic disciplines, or as a specific therapy called Neurolinguistic Psychotherapy (NLPt)[75] which is a recognized by the UKCP.[76]

[edit] Interpersonal communications and persuasion

While the main goals of Neuro-linguistic programming are therapeutic, the patterns have also been adapted for use outside of psychotherapy including business communication, management training[77], sales[78], sports[79], and interpersonal influence[22].

For some, the techniques, such as anchoring, reframing, therapeutic metaphor and hypnotic suggestion, were intended to be used in the therapeutic setting. Research in counseling psychology found rapport to be no more effective than existing listening skills taught to counselors.[citation needed] Furthermore, Druckman found weak empirical support for PRS and little theoretical support in counseling psychology and the experimental literature for NLP as a technique for social influence.[22] Sharpley concluded that most of the other techniques available in NLP were already available in counseling.

Outside of psychotherapy, the meta model, for example, is seen by some as a promising business management communication technique.[80]

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes and references

  1. ^ "'n. Neurolinguistic programming' Oxford English Dictionary (2003). Retrieved January 23, 2009, from [1]
  2. ^ From the book jacket of Bandler and Grinder (1975b)
  3. ^ Tosey, P. & Mathison, J., (2006) "Introducing Neuro-Linguistic Programming Centre for Management Learning & Development, School of Management, University of Surrey.
  4. ^ p.2 Dilts, R., Grinder, J., Delozier , J., and Bandler, R. (1980). Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Volume I: The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications.. ISBN 0916990079. 
  5. ^ However, Bandler has claimed that humans are literally programmable. "When I started using the term 'programming,' people became really angry. They said things like, 'You're saying we're like machines. We're human beings, not robots.' Actually, what I was saying was just the opposite. We're the only machine that can program itself. We are 'meta-programmable.' We can set deliberately designed, automated programs that work by themselves to take care of boring, mundane tasks, thus freeing up our minds to do other, more interesting and creative, things." Bandler, R., (2008) Richard Bandler's Guide to Trance-formation: How to Harness the Power of Hypnosis to Ignite Effortless and Lasting Change Publisher: Health Communications (HCi) ISBN 0757307779
  6. ^ It is explicitly stated (e.g. Steve Andreas (forward p.ii) in Bandler & Grinder, 1979; Lankton, 1980, pp 9-13) that by using NLP, problems such as phobias and learning disabilities may be disposed of in less than a single one-hour session; whereas with other therapies, progress may take weeks or months.
  7. ^ Full reference missing. According to Michael Heap in a paper on NLP written in 1988 for The Psychologist (the monthly magazine of the British Psychological Society p 261-262) one NLP workshop announcement claimed that spelling problems may be eliminated in five minutes (NLP Training Programme). Bandler and Grinder state, "Our desire in this book is not to question the magical quality of our experience of these therapeutic wizards, but rather to show that this magic which they perform - other complex human activities such as painting, composing music, or placing a man on the moon - has structure and is, therefore learnable, given the appropriate resources. Neither is it our intention to claim that reading a book can ensure that you will have these dynamic qualities. We especially do not wish to make the claim that we have discovered the 'right' or most power approach to psychotherapy. We only desire to present a specific set of tools that seem to us to be implicit in the actions of these therapists, so you may begin or continue the never-ending process to improve, enrich and enlarge the skills you offer as a people-helper". (The Structure of Magic)
  8. ^ It was even alleged (Grinder & Bandler, 1981, p 166) that a single session of NLP combined with hypnosis can eliminate certain eyesight problems such as myopia, and can even cure a common cold (op.cit., p 174)…..(Also, op.cit., p 169) Bandler and Grinder make the claim that by combining NLP methods with hypnotic regression, a person can be not only effectively cured of a problem, but also rendered amnesic for the fact that they had the problem in the first place. Thus, after a session of therapy, smokers may deny that they smoked before, even when their family and friends insist otherwise, and they are unable to account for such evidence as nicotine stains’.
  9. ^ e.g. Bandler & Andreas 1985
  10. ^ p.6 Bandler, R. & Grinder, J. 1975b, The Structure of Magic: a book about language and therapy. Palo Alto: Science and Behavior Books
  11. ^ O'Connor, Joseph & John Seymour (1993). Introducing Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Psychological Skills for Understanding and Influencing People. London, UK: Thorsons. ISBN 1855383446.(see p.xii)
  12. ^ a b c d e Heap. M., (1988) Neurolinguistic programming: An interim verdict. In M. Heap (Ed.) Hypnosis: Current Clinical, Experimental and Forensic Practices. London: Croom Helm, pp.268-280.
  13. ^ Heap (1988) states, "How widespread or popular NLP has become in practice is difficult to say with precision, though. As an indication the number of people to have been trained to `Practitioner’ level in the UK since NLP’s inception seems likely to number at least 50,000. Trainings in NLP are found across the world, principally in countries where English is the first language, but including Norway, Spain and Brazil. There is no unified structure to the NLP practitioner community. Probably in common with other emergent fields, there is diversity in both practice and organisation, and there are resulting tensions".
  14. ^ Spitzer, R. (1992) Virginia Satir and the Origins of NLP, Anchor Point, 6(7)
  15. ^ a b Frank Clancy and Heidi Yorkshire (1989) "The Bandler Method". 'Mother Jones' Magazine
  16. ^ John Grinder, Suzette Elgin (1973). "A Guide to Transformational Grammar: History, Theory, Practice". Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 0030801265. Reviewed by Frank H. Nuessel, Jr. The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 58, No. 5/6 (Sep. - Oct., 1974), pp. 282-283
  17. ^ Bradley, E., Biedermann, HJ. (1985) "Bandler and Grinder's neurolinguistic programming: Its historical context and contribution." Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training 22(1) pp.59-62.
  18. ^ a b Bandler, Richard & John Grinder (1975). The Structure of Magic I: A Book About Language and Therapy. Palo Alto, CA: Science & Behavior Books. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Grinder, John & Carmen Bostic St Clair (2001). Whispering in the Wind. CA: J & C Enterprises.. ISBN 0-9717223-0-7. 
  20. ^ a b Devilly GJ (2005) "Power therapies and possible threats to the science of psychology and psychiatry" Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 39:437–45(9) doi:10.1111/j.1440-1614.2005.01601.x
  21. ^ a b Sharpley C.F. (1987). "Research Findings on Neuro-linguistic Programming: Non supportive Data or an Untestable Theory". Journal of Counseling Psychology 34 (1): 103–107,105. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.34.1.103. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Druckman and Swets (eds) (1988) Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories, and Techniques, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Academy Press. doi:10.1002/hrdq.3920010212
  23. ^ Dilts, R., Grinder, J., Delozier , J., and Bandler, R. (1980). Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Volume I: The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications.. ISBN 0916990079. 
  24. ^ Grinder, John & Judith DeLozier (1987). Turtles All the Way Down: Prerequisites to Personal Genius. Scots Valley, CA: Grinder & Associates.. ISBN 1-55552-022-7. 
  25. ^ a b c Bandler, R., Andreas, S. (ed) and Andreas, C. (ed) (1985) Using Your Brain-for a Change ISBN 0911226273
  26. ^ NLP Knowledge Centre
  27. ^ NLP Schedule
  28. ^ Cite web: ANLP News: NLP Matters
  29. ^ Cite web: NTIS: Graduate Certificate in Neuro-linguistic programming
  30. ^ Carroll, Robert T.. "The Skeptic's Dictionary". .. Retrieved on 2003. 
  31. ^ a b Peter Schütz (Accessed 24th December 2006) A consumer guide through the multiplicity of NLP certification training: A European perspective
  32. ^ McDonald, L., (2001) Neurolinguistic programming in mental health in "Communication and Mental Illness" Eds. France, J. & Krame, S., Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ISBN 1853027324.
  33. ^ Corballis, MC., "Are we in our right minds?" In Sala, S., (ed.) (1999), Mind Myths: Exploring Popular Assumptions About the Mind and Brain Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons. ISBN 0-471-98303-9 (pp. 25-41) see page p.41
  34. ^ a b c Beyerstein, B. 'Distinguishing Science from Pseudoscience', Centre for Professional and Curriculum Development, Dept. Psychology, Simon Fraser University.
  35. ^ " A question often asked of NLP is that of whether it has a theory. As noted above, authors in the field emphasise pragmatism, and have seldom shown interest in articulating NLP as a theory. Because NLP has always aimed to model `what works’, one can find evidence within its practices of an eclectic approach that draws from (among other things) cognitive-behavioural approaches, Gestalt therapy, hypnotherapy, family therapy, and brief therapy. For more extensive discussion of NLP’s theory in relation learning see Tosey and Mathison ( 2003; 2008)."[2].
  36. ^ See also Efran and Lukens (1990), claiming that "original interest in NLP turned to disillusionment after the research and now it is rarely even mentioned in psychotherapy"(p.122) -- Efran, J S. Lukens M.D. (1990) Language, structure, and change: frameworks of meaning in psychotherapy, Published by W.W. Norton, New York. ISBN 0393701034
  37. ^ Bandler 2008
  38. ^ a b c Tosey P. & Mathison, J., "Fabulous Creatures Of HRD: A Critical Natural History Of Neuro-Linguistic Programming ", University of Surrey Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research & Practice across Europe, Oxford Brookes Business School, 26th – 28th June 2007
  39. ^ They add that "The literature in academic journals is minimal; in the field of HRD see (Georges 1996), (Ashok & Santhakumar 2002), (Thompson, Courtney, & Dickson 2002). There has been virtually no published investigation into how NLP is used in practice. The empirical research consists largely of laboratory-based studies from the 1980s and 1990s, which investigated two particular notions from within NLP, the `eye movement’ model (Bandler & Grinder 1979), and the notion of the `primary representational system’, according to which individuals have a preferred sensory mode of internal imagery indicated by their linguistic predicates (Grinder & Bandler 1976)." - Tosey and Mathison 2007
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bandler, R., Grinder, J. (1979). Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming. Moab, UT: Real People Press.. pp. 149 (p.8 (quote), pp.15,24,30,45,52). ISBN 0911226192. 
  41. ^ a b c Sharpley, C. F. (1984). Predicate matching in NLP: A review of research on the preferred representational system. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 31(2), 238-248.
  42. ^ a b Einspruch, E. L., & Forman, B. D. (1985). "Observations Concerning Research Literature on Neuro-Linguistic Programming". Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32(4), 589-596. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.32.4.589
  43. ^ Beck, C.E., & Beck E.A., "Test of the Eye-Movement Hypothesis of Neurolinguistic Programming: A Rebuttal of Conclusions" Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1984, Vol. 58, p 175-176 doi:10.2466/PMS.58.1.175-176
  44. ^ Dilts, Robert (1983) Roots of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Meta Publications, Capitola, CA, ISBN 0916990125
  45. ^ a b c Druckman, Daniel (2004) "Be All That You Can Be: Enhancing Human Performance" Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 34, Number 11, November 2004, pp. 2234-2260(27) doi:doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb01975.x
  46. ^ Gelso and Fassinger (1990) "Counseling Psychology: Theory and Research on Interventions" Annual Review of Psychology doi:10.1146/
  47. ^ Hill, RG., (2007) "Review of Brief NLP therapy." Existential Analysis. Jan Vol 18(1) 189-190
  48. ^ Robert Dilts and Roxanna Erickson Klein (2006) "Historical: Neuro-linguistic Programming" in The Milton H. Erickson Foundation: Newsletter Summer 2006, 26(2).
  49. ^ Druckman et al. (1988) Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories, and Techniques see page p.138
  50. ^ a b c d e Frogs into Princes, p.54-55.
  51. ^ a b c d Frogs into Princes, p.10: "One of the systematic things that Erickson and Satir and a lot of other effective therapists do is to notice unconsciously how the person they are talking to thinks, and make use of that information in lots and lots of different ways."
  52. ^ According to Haley, a well known writer on Milton Erickson, Erickson was notable amongst psychiatrists, because he would respond to metaphor with other metaphors, rather than by attempting to "interpret".

    He does not translate unconscious communication into conscious form. Whatever the patient says in metaphoric form, Erickson responds [matches] in kind. By parables, by interpersonal action, and by directives, he works within the metaphor to bring about change. He seems to feel that the depth and swiftness of that change can be prevented if the person suffers a translation of the communication.

    Haley, "Uncommon therapy", 1973 + 1986, p.28

  53. ^ a b For an example of "wired in" precise skills, Frogs into Princes, p.77: "One of the things that we noticed about Sal Minuchin, Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls is that they intuitively had many of those twelve questions in the meta-model wired in."
  54. ^ Frogs into Princes, p.162: "One of the things that I think distinguishes a really exquisite communicator from one who is not, is to be precise about your use of language... If you are precise about the way you phrase questions, you will get precise kinds of information back."
  55. ^ Jacobson, S. (1994), "Info-line: practical guidelines for training and development professionals", American Society For Training and Development Alexandria, VA Adapted version available online
  56. ^ Grinder, John and Richard Bandler (1981). Trance-Formations: Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Structure of Hypnosis. Moab, UT: Real People Press.. ISBN 0-911226-23-0. 
  57. ^ Joseph O'Connor, John Seymour (2002 (first published 1990)). Introducing NLP. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 1855383446. 
  58. ^ Pruett, Julie Annette Sikes (2002) The application of the neuro-linguistic programming model to vocal performance training D.M.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 151 pages; AAT 3108499 OCLC 54062030
  59. ^ a b Grinder, John, Richard Bandler (1976). Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume I. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications.. ISBN 1555520529.  John Grinder, Richard Bandler, Judith Delozier (1977). Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume II. Cupertino, CA: Meta Publications.. ISBN 1555520537. 
  60. ^ Norma Barretta (2004) Review of Hypnotic Language: Its Structure and Use. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. Bloomingdale: Jan 2004. Vol.46, Iss. 3; pg. 261, 2 pgs
  61. ^ Buckner, Meara, Reese, and Reese (1987) "Eye Movement as an Indicator of Sensory Components in Thought" Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 34(3), pp.283-287 doi:10.1037/0022-0167.34.3.283
  62. ^ Tosey, P. Jane Mathison (2003) Neuro-linguistic Programming and learning theory: a response The Curriculum Journal Vol.14 No.3 p.371-388 See also (available online): Neuro-linguistic programming: its potential for learning and teaching in formal education doi:10.1080/0958517032000137667
  63. ^ Dilts, Robert B; DeLozier, Judith A (2000). Encyclopedia of Systemic Neuro-Linguistic Programming and NLP New Coding. NLP University Press. ISBN 0970154003. 
  64. ^ Krugman, M., Kirsch, I., Wickless, C., Milling, L., Golicz, H., Toth, A., (1985) "Neuro-linguistic programming treatment for anxiety: Magic or myth?." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Aug, Vol. 53(4) pp. 526-530. doi:10.1037//0022-006X.53.4.526
  65. ^ Haber, Russell, (2002): "Virginia Satir: An integrated, humanistic approach" Contemporary Family Therapy, Vol 24(1), Mar 2002,p32 pp. 23-34 ISSN 1573-3335 doi:10.1023/A:1014317420921
  66. ^ Bandler, 1984. see p.134-137
  67. ^ Masters, B Rawlins, M, Rawlins, L, Weidner, J. (1991) "The NLP swish pattern: An innovative visualizing technique." Journal of Mental Health Counseling. Vol 13(1) Jan 1991, 79-90. " abstract
  68. ^ Grinder, John and Richard Bandler (1983). Reframing: Neurolinguistic programming and the transformation of meaning. Moab, UT: Real Petrol Press.. ISBN 0-911226-25-7. 
  69. ^ Joseph O'Connor NLP: A Practical Guide to Achieving the Results You Want: Workbook Harper Collins 2001
  70. ^ Sterman, CM (1990) Neuro-Linguistic Programming in Alcoholism Treatment. Haworth Press. ISBN 1560240024 p.
  71. ^ Alice Mills (1999) Pollyanna and the not so glad game. Children's Literature. Storrs: 1999. Vol.27 pg. 87, 18 pgs
  72. ^ Cooper and Seal (2006) "Theory and Approaches - Eclectic-integrative approaches: Neuro-linguistic programming" In Feldtham and Horton (Eds) The SAGE Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy 2nd edition ISBN 978-1412902755
  73. ^ Schabracq, M. (2003) "Everyday Well-Being and Stress in Work and Organisations" In The Handbook of Work and Health Psychology Schabracq, Winnubst & Cooper (Eds.) John Wiley and Sond. p.15 ISBN 0471892769
  74. ^ Field, ES., (1990) Neurolinguistic programming as an adjunct to other psychotherapeutic/hypnotherapeutic interventions. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. PubMed
  75. ^ Bridoux, D., Weaver, M., (2000) "Neuro-linguistic psychotherapy." In Therapeutic perspectives on working with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients. Davies, Dominic (Ed); Neal, Charles (Ed). (pp. 73-90). Buckingham, England: Open University Press (2000) xviii, 187 pp. ISBN 0335203337
  76. ^ UKCP Recognised Experimental Constructivist forms of therapies
  77. ^ Yemm, G., (2006) "Can NLP help or harm your business?" Industrial and Commercial Training, 38(1), pp. 12-17(6) doi:10.1108/ 00197850610645990
  78. ^ Zastrow, C., "Social workers and salesworkers: Similarities and differences." Journal of Independent Social Work. 4(3) p.7-16
  79. ^ Ingalls, Joan S. (1988) "Cognition and athletic behavior: An investigation of the NLP principle of congruence." Dissertation Abstracts International. Vol 48(7-B), pp.2090. OCLC 42614014
  80. ^ Dowlen, A. (1996) "NLP - help or hype? Investigating the uses of neuro-linguistic programming in management learning " Career Development International, 1 (1) , pp. 27-34(8) doi:10.1108/13620439610111408

[edit] Further reading

  • Bandler, R., Grinder, J. (1979) Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming. Real People Press. 149 pages. ISBN 0911226192
  • Bandler, R., Grinder, J. (1975) The Structure of Magic I: A Book About Language and Therapy Science and Behavior Books. 198 pages. ISBN 0831400447
  • Bandler, R., Grinder, J. (1981) Reframing: Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Transformation of Meaning Real People Press. ISBN 0911226257
  • Bandler, R., Andreas, S. (ed) and Andreas, C. (ed) (1985) Using Your Brain-for a Change ISBN 0911226273
  • Bradbury, A., Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Time for an Informed Review. Skeptical Intelligencer 11, 2008.
  • Dilts, R., Hallbom, T., Smith, S. (1990) Beliefs: Pathways to Health & Well-being
  • Dilts, R. (1990) Changing belief systems with NLP Meta Publications. ISBN 0916990249
  • Grinder, M. Lori Stephens (Ed) (1991) Righting the Educational Conveyor Belt ISBN 1555520367
  • Laborde, G. (1987) Influencing with Integrity: Management Skills for Communication and Negotiation
  • Grinder, J., Bandler, R. (1976) Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson Volume I ISBN 091699001X
  • Newbrook, Mark, 'Linguistic aspects of "Neurolinguistic programming"', Skeptical Intelligencer 11, 2008.
  • O'Connor, J., Seymour, J. Dilts, R. (foreword), Grinder, J. (preface) (1995) Introducing Neuro-linguistic Programming: The New Psychology of Personal Excellence Aquarian Press. 224 pages. ISBN 1852740736
  • Satir, V., Grinder, J., Bandler, R. (1976) Changing with Families: A Book about Further Education for Being Human Science and Behavior Books. ISBN 083140051X
  • Tosey P. & Mathison, J., "Fabulous Creatures Of HRD: A Critical Natural History Of Neuro-Linguistic Programming ", University of Surrey Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research & Practice across Europe, Oxford Brookes Business School, 26 – 28 June 2007.

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