NLP is… An operator’s manual for being human.
As with any significant technology there are several versions. NLP was the result of many people’s individual work and personal views combined together.
The original founders of NLP were Richard Bandler and John Grinder. They organized the original information and built in their new insights. They started with the psychology work of Sigmond Freud and Pavlov’s Stimulus Response.
Richard and John then added to it the work of Fritz Perls (gestalt, perception, responsibility, choice, paradox, behavior, needs, values, congruence), Virgina Satir (Family systems, representational systems, matching, predicates, feedback) and Milton Erickson(reaching the unconscious, metaphor, marking out the words, humor, puns, riddles, paradox). In the realm of Linguistics they took the work of Alfred Korsybski (Maps of Reality, we code our reality thus creating our reality, our coding has slip-page) and Noam Chomsky (Surface structure, deep structure, Impoverished and inadequate maps result from malfunctions in perceptions and thinking, presuppositions of thinking disclosed in language). They also used from computers and mathematics: chunking, ways of thinking and levels of abstraction. They looked and added in pieces that fit from Zen and other eastern religion philosophies, the work of Robert Assagioli, systems analysis, theory, cybernetics and others.
The original contributor and developer list includes: Judith DeLozier, Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Robert Dilts, David Gordon, Lynne Conwell, Michael LeBeau, Norma and Phil Barreta, Robert Hill, Genie Laborde, Jonathan Rice, Frank Pucelik, and Mary Myers.
It is no wonder that when you learn NLP that it is as different as the original developer that taught that person.
And, it is that different. Some NLP was designed by some people who didn’t want to have feelings. There is some NLP that emphasizes language. There is NLP that was developed by people that thought people needed cookie cutter approaches for changing things. This is very procedural. In fact most of the NLP out there is of this language only, cookie-cutter variety.
NLP has changed a lot since it was first developed. The style of NLP I do has been altered dramatically from its original form. My personal mentor developed it for over 30 years from what he had learned from Lynn Conwell, Leslie Cameron-Bandler and Jonathan Rice(the first psychologist involved with NLP) before I learned it from them. I further developed what I learned and applied it for therapy use for trauma exposure which I call “Therapeutic NLP.”
Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com