Alternative Health Information

Neuro Linguistc Programming

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is the name of a set of techniques originally proposed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder to describe the relationship between mind (neuro) and language (linguistic, both verbal and non-verbal) and how their interaction can be calibrated to affect an individual's mind, body and behavior (programming). It is formally described by NLP proponents as "the study of the structure of subjective experience", and is predicated upon the assumption that all behaviors have a practically determinable structure [1]. Individuals considered to be highly successful in a field can be "modeled", or studied with the aim of separating out the various key factors which make them more capable than others. Proponents of NLP state they provide specific prepared and universally applicable techniques for programming the mind, so that such models can be used by others to emulate effective skills. NLP is most often applied to self-help and therapy, but it has also been applied to a variety of contexts including business, and sports performance. It is also promoted in various specific forms including as a quick fix or lay therapy, in some management training programs, and practices such as NLP trance seduction, and psychic or occult practices.
NLP adheres to the notion that the things people are aware of internally and externally, can always be described in terms of the five senses [2]. The methods of NLP involve programming and reprogramming habits and mental associations, which some NLP practioners consider to involve the altering of engrams (Sinclair, 1992; [3] Overdurf & Silverthorn, 1995; Drenth, 2003). The basic tenets of NLP include the map-territory relation, the observation of body language such as the movements of the eyes, and body, the notion of left/right brain myths (Sala et al 1999), and use of VAK language. Some NLP techniques include behaviour change, transforming beliefs, and treatment of traumas through techniques such as reframing (Andreas & Faulkner, 1994) and linguistic NLP "meta-modeling".
Studies by Heap in 1988, Sharpley in 1987, and Lilienfeld in 2003, examining the principles and processes of NLP state that NLP is scientifically unsupported. Sharpley stated in 1987 that "Certainly research data do not support the rather extreme claims that the proponents of NLP have made as the the validity of its principles or the novelty of its procedures". Writings by Eisner, (2000); Lilienfeld et al (2003), Helisch (2004); Williams (2000), and Drenth (2003) also state that NLP is a pseudoscience. The National Council Against Health Fraud (Loma 2001) considers NLP a "dubious therapy". Heap (1991) associates NLP with gullibility, naivety of thinking, and sheer fraudulence. NLP has also been identified by the British Psychological Society as quintessential charlatanry (Parker 1999).

NLP is most widely known as a self-help development. NLP’s promotion through the advertisement and sale of books and seminars has become increasingly widespread through the popular psychology sections of bookshops and various media including infomercials and the Internet particularly by Anthony Robbins.
NLP emphasizes the mind-body connection (and some also include the spirituality connection). The term "neuro-linguistic programming" includes three ideas:
Assumes that from birth, our unconscious creates and develops behavioral programs. Sometimes named automata, these programs are called thus in reference to the operation of the computers.
Any behavioral program rests on a neuronal basis; the product of an engram resulting from our sensory perceptions.
Language is a manifestation of the internal states of the person, internal states resulting from the neuronal or engram programs. NLP is thus proposed as a study of the way in which the human beings structure their perceptions.
NLP's model (in contrast with theory) of how people store and retrieve past memories is based on transformational grammar as originally conceived (but later abandoned) by Noam Chomsky(Grinder & Bandler 1975a). In that model, the sentence as spoken is called "surface structure". It is seen as a transformation of the "deep structure" (John Lyons, 1970). By questioning the sentences on the surface structure for deletions, generalizations and distortions, NLP practitioners aim to recreate the original deep structure. Grinder had co-authored A Guide for Transformational Grammar (Grinder, 1973). NLP's Meta Model is an analysis of transformational grammar constructs as used by the therapists Bandler and Grinder originally modeled.
With the abandonment of the transformational grammar model by Chomsky, most NLP proponents now state that they do not have a theory to explain neuro-linguistic programming, and Bandler states that he does not do theory (Singer & Lalich, 1996). However, once modeled, NLP proponents have tried to relate their models to existing theories (or new theories have been developed). Robert Dilts asserts that NLP "is theoretically rooted in the principles of neurology, psychophysiology, linguistics, cybernetics, and communication theory" (Dilts et al 1980).
Engrams are a scientific term for a theoretical neurological mechanism considered by some scientists to be the means by which memory traces are stored in the brain. (Note: Dianetics uses the term but in a different way). Engrams, if confirmed to exist, would give a patterned response which has been stabilised at the level of unconscious competence and involve beneficial automatic activities as well as pernicious ones like addictive behaviour(Sinclair, 1992)(Derks & Goldblatt, 1985). The engram has been used to explain the NLP anchoring process that underlies patterns such as the "swish" process. As such it is a theoretical concept that people used to understand NLP (Drenth, 2003)(Levelt 1995). For instance, Sinclair (1992) theorises that NLP processes are explained through the neurological concepts of programming and reprogramming engrams [4] of the mind/body connection in order to effect change, to develop unconscious competence, and to treat traumas (Andreas & Faulkner, 1994). Other explanations of anchoring include: a form of Pavlovian conditioning, or "consciously creating the placebo effect" (Rex & Carolyn Sikes). O'Connor and McDermot (1996) state that NLP works through reframing and belief change methods.
NLP also uses the concept of hemispheric differences in order to promote NLP. The core concepts of eye accessing cues, and representational systems is related to the left (analytical) and right (creative) brain hemispheric differences: a popular representation of how the brain works. It is proposed that the eyes move in various directions according to the kind of representation in the mind (visual/auditory/ kinesthetic) and that these also correspond with the brain's hemispheres according to Robert Dilts. It is said that various other physical cues correspond to the hemispheres of the brain, and these can be used to model individuals and work out how they think.

The NLP user's goal may include changing a state of mind or "re-programming" their own or somebody else's beliefs and self concept. By detecting automatic body changes such as skin color changes, muscle tone, and eye movements, as well as other physiological responses, the NLP user attempts to discern how a client/subject or themselves perceive and relate to identity, life, personal beliefs, and life goal issues. NLP users claim to often help clients or themselves to replace false or negative perceptions, with positive, life affirming beliefs. Grinder describes NLP as "an accelerated learning approach for modeling human excellence" (Grinder, 2003).
NLP processes have also been applied to replace false beliefs, though the same process could be used to create false beliefs. NLP has been applied to therapy, coaching, self development, hypnotherapy, sports performance, business, and the New Age. NLP has also been applied to LGATs or large awareness training seminars (taught by NLP promoters such as Anthony Robbins), seduction workshops, and other more fringe practices such as shamanism, and psychic development.

Principles and Presuppositions
Main article: Principles_of_NLP
The principles and presuppositions of NLP are sometimes described as an epistemology. NLP studies the way people take in information, how a person describe it to themselves with their senses, filter it with their beliefs and values, and act on the result. NLP calls some of these principles "presuppositions". A presupposition (linguistic term) is a background belief and is treated by the NLP practitioner "as if" it is true when working with a subject, with the intent to increase the effectiveness of change work.
Presupposition can mean, a statement that one treats as true for the purpose of discussion, thus "Suppose money was no object, would you still want that?". This is a form of As-if, used with the intent to increase the client's ability to explore their options and feelings free from previous limiting preconceptions.
It can also be used in the context of a Metamodel pattern, in which an assumption about the world is made in a sentence. These could be manipulative "Have you stopped beating your wife?" (the question implies, but does not state explicitly, "You have at some time beaten your wife, the only question is whether you have stopped or not"), or beneficial "When you get off drugs what will you do next?" [presupposes you will get off drugs].
According to Jane Revell, a British NLP trainer, the presuppositions of NLP are not a philosophy or a credo or a set of rules and regulations. Rather, they are assumptions upon which individuals base future actions and plan for meaningful learning experiences. [5]
Two fundamental presuppositions in NLP are: (Dilts et al, 1980)
The map is not the territory. "NLP epistemology" follows Alfred Korzybski (1933) and Gregory Bateson's (1972, 1979) postulations that there is no such thing as " objective experience". The subjective nature of our experience never fully captures the objective world. It is assumed that each of us creates a representation of the world in which we live - that is, we create a map or model which we use to generate our behavior. Our representation or map of the world determines to a large degree what our experience of the world will be, how we will perceive the world, what choices we will see available to us as we live in the world (Bandler and Grinder 1975 I). Thus, the view of NLP assumes that individual people in fact do not in general have access to absolute knowledge of reality, but in fact only have access to a set of beliefs built up over time, about reality. Bateson and Koryzbski considered this a necessary distinction; our beliefs, values and perceptions (the "map") are distorted representions of reality (the "territory").
Life and 'Mind' are Systemic Processes. The processes that take place within a human being and between human beings and their environment are systemic. Our bodies, our societies, and our planet form an ecology of complex systems and sub-systems all of which interact with and mutually influence each other. This assumes that looking from different vantage points may result in quite different and yet equally valid descriptions and emphasis of what is important in the system. (Example: the description of a business problem and what is seen as relevant will be quite different depending if you ask the CEO, a worker on strike, or a client). So it is considered important to gather a lot of information from multiple viewpoints to gain a fully appreciation of the complexities involved before intervening, and the same principle is believed true even when working with one individual person.
These presuppositions are considered groundbreaking by NLP proponents because of a contradiction with the modern scientific Aristotelian view that reality can be objectively measured (Thaler Singer 1999).
The other most commonly related presuppositions are:
Behind every behavior is a positive intention. This is a model taken from Virginia Satir's belief system, and means that whatever a person does, positive intent is attempting to be fulfilled (of which the person may not be aware). It assumes that the current behaviour exhibited by a person represents the best choice available to them at the time. Generating alternatives from this point of view (a method sometimes used in NLP reframing) is thought by NLP proponents to be a useful way of helping people to change unwanted or undesirable behaviours.
There is no failure, only feedback. If you think you have failed, consider instead what you have learned and how you might do it better next time (do not dwell unnecessarily on the failure). This is a principle of feedback loops, borrowed from information theory (see Asbby, Cybernetics). This truism is considered groundbreaking by NLP (Thaler Singer 1999).
We already have all the resources we need to succeed. It is argued that this is useful for the subject to believe when attempting a change. Christina Hall has argued that people's resources consist of sensory representation systems and the organisation of these representations.
Multiple descriptions are better than one. This makes use of the perspective of self, another involved individual, and a detached third person in that situation. By moving between perceptual positions it is asserted that one can develop new choice of responses (Bostic & Grinder, 2002 p.247).
Other more specific presuppositions can also be adopted for change in NLP. For example it has been claimed that the presuppositions of Jesus of Nazareth have been identified using NLP modeling [6]. This means, a set of beliefs and a structure that a person could explore, to gain a deeper understanding of Jesus's inner world.

NLP Modeling
Main article: Modeling (NLP)
NLP modeling is a method proposed for duplicating somebody's competences. It is considered by some users to be at the heart of NLP. It can be thought of as the process of discovering relevant distinctions within these experiential components, as well as sequencing of these components aimed to achieve a specific result, and NLP proponents claim that it is used to discover and codify patterns of excellence as demonstrated consistently by top performers in any field. It has also been applied to clinical conditions, such as schizophrenia and notable dead people of whom we have only writings, such as Jesus of Nazareth. NLP models are widely used as the basis for learning, training or operations, in clinical, management, educational and other settings.
An NLP "modeling project" involves spending time studying and observing in depth, discussing, and imitating and practicing many different aspects of the subject's thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors (ie, acting ""as if" the modeler is the expert) until the modeler can replicate these with some consistency and precision. Once this has been achieved, it is proposed that the modeler then refines the target skills, building a learnable/transferable model, and tests it by seeing if it can be taught. An example of a simple model is given in the eye accessing cues diagram of this article.
Most NLP proponents do not state that anyone can be Einstein. Rather they claim that know-how can be separated from the person, documented and transferred experientially, and that the ability to perform the skills can be transferred subject to the modelers own limits, which can change, and improves with practice.
It has been strongly argued that modeling from writings is unverifiable, and scientists such as Carroll (2003) have stated that it is impossible to determine a "correct" model, and that applying one particular model to everyone is over-simplistic and will be no substitute for hard earned expertise. NLP proponents reply that in common with most forms of heuristic approximation, there is not intended to be "one correct way", but only more and less effective and transferable skillsets.

One of the earliest influences on NLP were General Semantics (Alfred Korzybski) as a new perspective for looking at the world which included a kind of mental hygiene. This was a departure from the Aristotelian concepts of modern science and objective reality, and it influenced notions of programming the mind that NLP includes.
General semantics influenced several schools of thought, leading to a viable human potential industry and associations with emerging New Age thinking. By the late 1960s, self-help organizations such as EST, Dianetics, and Scientology had become financially successful, receiving attention and promotion from human potential thinkers such as Fritz Perls who had a great interest in the engram concept, and during this period, promoted and operated a Dianetics clinic (Clarkson and Mackewn 1993). Hubbard's methodology provide raw material for Frederick Perls' Gestalt therapy (Joyce 1989). The Esalen human potential seminars in California began to attract people, such as the aforementioned Fritz Perls, as well as Gregory Bateson, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson.
The first 3 people Grinder and Bandler modeled were
Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy)
Virginia Satir (Family therapy)
Milton Erickson (Ericksonian Hypnosis)
(source Andreas & Faulkner, 1994)
Two other people were later modeled:
Frank Farrelly (see eg. Provocative Therapy, a lesser known 4th model for NLP).
Feldenkrais (eg. Feldenkrais Method, Bandler & Grinder modeled Feldenkrais, some says this is the NLP for the body).
These individuals were considered by Grinder and Bandler to be highly competent in their fields, and the patterns of therapy detected became the basis of NLP applications, along with influences from Korzybski and Bateson (who coined the NLP expressions "The map is not the territory", and "the difference that makes the difference", respectively). Grinder and Bandler analyzed the speaking patterns, voice tones, word selection, gesticulations, postures, and eye movements of these individuals and related this information to the internal thinking process of each participant.
The practice of neuro-linguistic programming attracted mostly therapists at first although it eventually attracted business people, sales people, artists, and "new-agers" (Hall, 1994). As it expanded, Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Judith DeLozier, Robert Dilts, and David Gordon made further contributions to NLP and the seminars of Bandler and Grinder were transcribed into a book, Frogs into Princes. This became a popular NLP book; demand for seminars increased, which in turn became successful human potential attractions (Dilts, 1991).
NLP's core methods and hypotheses have been tested since the early 1980's and are scientifically unsupported, and as such, scientists classify NLP as a pseudoscientific self-help development in the same mold as that of Dianetics and EST (Lilienfeld, 2003; Drenth, 2003; Levelt, 1995; Barrett, 1997; Carroll, 2003; Eisner, 2000; Raso, 1994).
Following the influence of the Esalen Institute, NLP is often promoted in combination with New Age developments such as biofeedback, neurofeedback, intuition development, remote viewing, and psychic development.

Basic Tenets
The basic tenets of NLP are thought of as 5 elements that NLP proponents claim can indicate an individual's internal strategies. These all refer to a notion that internal strategies are subjectively represented via the senses; either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (with a less likely extra olfactory and gustatory).
body posture,
gestures towards eyes ears or body,
eye movements (See eye accessing cues and PRS), and
language patterns (meta-model) and predicates such as "I see!" "Sounds right! or "I feel that..."(Dilts et al, 1980; Dilts, 1998).


Post a Comment

<< Home