Should You Learn NLP?
You might have heard about NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and wondered whether it is something you should take a look at for yourself.
NLP is one of the most misrepresented practices I have ever come across. And to be honest, the reason I haven't written about it over the last six years is because there is a lot to tackle!!
My NLP Background
Being kind of a mind freak at an early age, I studied NLP under Robert Dilts and Judith Delozier (two of the four authors of NLP Volume I).
By the end of 1993, I was a "Master Practitioner." And by 1995 I was a "Trainer's Trainer."
However, you will not find NLP anywhere in my biography or previously on my resume.
There is a reason for that.
Before I go into this, let me state up front that studying NLP has definitely helped me in quite a few areas of my life.
It can serve as a great "gateway" to some of the great minds of the mid-20th century, and by default takes you out of your own perceptual position.
Said more simply, you start to pay attention to the way other people see the world and to social systems in a way that most people simply do not.
NLP: Science, Fiction or something in between?
First, I simply have to let you know that NLP is NOT a science. Not even close. There is no theory generation, testing, peer review, or anything to control quality. The variety in training is astronomical! And testing practitioners is basically non-existent. So, all people really have to do is pay for a certificate (kind of like hypnosis practiced by non-licensed therapists).
A lot of the initial teachings of NLP have been debunked. For example, "eye accessing cues" representing "representational systems" has been falsified. But ask almost any NLP practitioner and they will preach it as the gospel.
In fact, there really hasn't been anything developed by NLP that has stood the test of time.
And as far as being a "persuasion machine," NLP will not do the trick on its own. You are better off reading the persuasion literature.
But Don't Throw Away NLP Yet
However, NLP did bring a lot of stuff from other disciplines and made it easier to understand. It takes some work from Fritz Perls, Gregory Bateson, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson and actually makes it accessible to regular people. This is where the value lies.
From Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir, you learn about systems and perceptual positions. This is extremely valuable in getting along with others and yourself.
From Gregory Bateson, we learn about ecological thinking. Robert Dilts does a great job of using Bateson's logical levels in a lot of NLP techniques. This practice can really help organize your thinking.
And what NLP learned from Milton Erickson can also be helpful. This is the value of metaphor as well as "pacing and leading." I am friends with Milton's daughter Betty Alice. She told me that Erickson was NOTa big fan of NLP, but admits they did a decent job of modeling hypnosis structurally (although not therapeutically).
So, there is something there. Just go in with the proper expectations and your eyes wide open.
Knowing NLP Does NOT Make You a Therapist
This is my biggest pet peeve about NLP (and hypnosis, by the way). Going to a 30-day course does not make you an expert in anything...especially something where testing is not taken seriously.
When I studied NLP, I simply could not believe the crazy people who were walking out of there with certificates! (Myself included! I was 23 years old and was in no position to counsel anybody.)
So if you do learn NLP, do it for yourself. Don't pretend you are somehow now qualified to deal with somebody's deep emotional issues. You really need to get a counseling degree from a quality institution. It is irresponsible to do otherwise.
This goes for hypnosis as well. We only publish programs from practitioners with doctorates in psychology and a license to practice mental health. This is important.
Your Opportunity to Learn NLP
I have been given a lot of NLP courses to evaluate over the years. Most of the stuff has been way overpriced for what they deliver. I have finally found one that I think delivers the goods in an easy to understand way and at a very affordable price.
The irony is that the guy who created it and I couldn't be more different in our philosophies.
He has been practicing hypnosis without any counseling experience for years, sells NLP as something you can go and make money with in just 4 weeks, and definitely leans metaphysical.
If you know me, you know I am not into anything metaphysical (not a big fan of the New Age).
But at the same time, he has created the most complete and affordable home study NLP course out there and I don't want my personal opinions about his other work to get in the way of you giving it a try.
So, if you have always wanted to at least get a taste of NLP without breaking the bank, then I recommend you give this course a try.
The only thing I ask is that even though one of the sales pitches is that you can start practicing when you are done, don't do it.
Sorry for the long post, but I really value honesty and transparency.
But the long and short of it is that if you have not had real exposure to NLP, this is the best program for the money out there.
Steve G. Jones is almost done with his doctorate in Education from Georgia Southern University. It shows because this course is well thought out. Just don't go out and start doing "therapy" with a home study course!!!
And the fact that Steve and I are about as far apart as two people could be on metaphysical issues should not get in the way of you experiencing some really good content.