Springingtiger's Blog


NLP Conference Reflections – Divisions

Neelam and I have a relaxing day ahead of us, the NLP Conference has finished,  there is nothing we have to do today, so I am sitting in my pyjamas drinking tea at nine-o-clock and reflecting. 

I think one of the most important lessons for me was just how much of a team effort was the creation of NLP. It has since attracted its fair share of primadonnas. I was encouraged by Michael Hall and Frank Pucelik’s presentation about the NLP summit and the commitment to restore teamwork and cooperation to the NLP community.  However the community is very divided and unless we can be inclusive of the views of others the NLP summit is futile.  One of the goals is an internationally recognised certification standard, an ongoing source of division. I believe strongly in the accelerated learning approach,  perhaps because it suits my  Asperger’s better,  but others believe certification should require long hours of class work. I think as NLPers we should be models of flexibility and accommodate both approaches. I have met plenty of people who have done w long certification who are really not much good at NLP, or perhaps it was my inability to slow myself to their pace, if we are a community we must be inclusive.

The other big division in the NLP community is between those who like Richard Bandler and those who don’t,  he seems to be the human manifestation of Marmitism (the ability to elicit extremes of like and dislike in others). I am very much a liker of Bandler,  I didn’t train with him, but I have attended some of his seminars, I listen to his tapes for the joy of it. A few years ago I was in one of my periodic depressions,  being zombified with pills, when Neelam, knowing how much I like Bandler,  took me to a two day seminar he and Paul McKenna were leading. At some point in the first day I announced to Neelam that I was no longer depressed and haven’t touched an anti-depressant since. I don’t know what happened, it was a Bandler seminar so I spent most of it in trance, but since then I haven’t been able to do depression; I have felt myself sliding into depression,  but the depression doesn’t come even if I try to get it back (I don’t want it back,  it’s just dangerous curiosity). Neelam was certified as an NLP Practitioner by Richard Bandler, Michael Breen and Paul McKenna; she did her Master Prac. and NLP Trainer’s certification with Tad James and David Shephard. She has a saying that,  “When you study with Bandler you can do NLP and when you study with Tad and David you understand what you are doing”. The fundamental divide in the NLP community is poignantly manifest in the acknowledgement of Richard Bandler in “The Origins of Neuro Linguistic Programming”, and in John Grinder’s introduction, Bandler’s voice is missing and he “elected not to participate”. I have no right to comment on the conduct of the founders of NLP,  I know too little of the background,  but I will make this observation, our community is best served by unity and their division in some ways impoverishes us all, although,  perhaps, their rivalry may stimulate discovery can rivalry and friendship not cooperate? Further may I ask why should we divide because they have divided? That you love John Grinder and practice New Code NLP should not make of you an enemy, no more than practicing, Neurosemantics, Energetic NLP,  or DHE. We are enriched by our diversity and,  may I suggest, NLP lives in our exploration (please excuse the nominalisation) of the human mind and our wider world unfettered by the opinion, good or bad, of other people.

I had thought in one post to gather together my thoughts about the conference, I realise now I got too much from it to summarise so succinctly.

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