I listened to a BBC Radio 4 program on NLP this morning whilst on a break at my clinic. You can listen to the programme by clicking here – I thought I’d share a few thoughts of what I made of it.

One of the grey areas that struck me from the outset is what exactly they thought NLP is! Many believe it to be a therapy in it’s own right, many find it a process to “model excellence”. Here is my take on it..

My interpretation of NLP is that it’s a tool for modelling people who achieve great success in their fields, and the “template” used to establish it and to present the findings of the co-creators, Dr Richard Bandler & Dr John Grinder, was in the realm of therapy and psychotherapy – so that is how it’s most commonly taught.

Along with CBT I also run a private clinic, counselling worthing residents. I recall during my training that Bandler & Grinder reviewed recordings of counselling sessions by prominent counsellors, hypnotherapists and gestalt therapists to find the structure of how these people worked with their clients to achieve such great results.

Another example of NLP is the work of Paul McKenna. McKenna has modelled the eating habits and behaviours of naturally thin people and written self help books for people wishing to loose weight. From personal experience and his book reviews on Amazon, he is doing very well.

So if we take NLP to be a process of modelling, and the therapeutic applications we know of it as a “product” of this modelling, NLP could be applied to almost anything.

You could model how a successful racing driver achieves great results, and pass the learning’s down to new drivers by  dissecting the driving styles of  say..Lewis Hamilton or Alain Prost and call them the “Hamilton Model” or the “Prost Model”.

Like Dr Bandler and Grinders work, it would take hundreds or even thousands of hours or interviewing the drivers, their engineers, reviewing telemetry, video footage etc to get a complete overview of how the driver does “what they do” in such detail that it can be taught consistently and to a high standard.

I’m informed by a prominent NLP trainer that the fastest growing field of NLP modelling and applications at the moment is found not in the field of medicine, sport, education or even business training. I was shocked to learn that the #1 field for NLP modelling revolves around dating and relationships!

This did make me chuckle – I do wonder if this is what Dr’s Bandler & Grinder originally had in mind?

Category: CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Worthing West Sussex