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TUCoPS :: Wetware Hacking :: Others :: nlpfaq13.txt


Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Frequently Asked Questions (NLP_FAQ), version 1.3
. Last updated by the editor on : 30OCT95
NLP_FAQ wants to introduce what the NLP field is all about. It explains what NLP is, what can be done with it, what has been derived from it and where to find more information. It also treats the roots of NLP and its links with the fields of AI and Cognitive Science.
This document is meant to be a reflection of input from the NLP-Community as a whole.
Edited by: 
Patrick E. Merlevede (CompuServe: 100117,1420), 
Master of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (University of Leuven, Belgium), knowledge of NLP and technical skills at Master Practitioner level.
Any comments / extensions welcome! Please send mail to the editor.
For more information about the history & statistics of the document: take a look at the end of this document... 

Index: basic questions answered
This document gives answers to the following questions, or contains pointers to places where even more answers can be found.
What is NLP?
definition, technology, presuppositions, use, DHE 
Where can I learn about it?
electronically, from books, by training 
Where does it come from
roots , "new code NLP", cognitive science 
Some other topics
Netiquette in electronic meeting places 
Is NLP a registered trademark? 

1. What is NLP?
1.1. Definitions of NLP
NLP stands for "Neuro-Linguistic Programming"
An often used explanation is
"The study of the structure of subjective experience", 
which some people complete by adding: "and anything that can be derived from it"
1.1.1. Presuppositions
NLP is based on some presuppositions. You can see these presuppositions as resources to look at matters from a different angle, or you can discuss whether they hold true under all circumstances. Acting as if these presuppositions are true will allow you to get more out of NLP models. The numbering of the presuppositions, and their wording will also show differences, depending on the training center, or the personal flavor that an NLP-trainer wants to add to it.
a. Basic Presuppositions are:
. The map is not the territory
. Life and mind are systemic processes
b. Further (explicit) operational presuppositions are
(quoted from an InMind-course, given by Peter Wryckza (100410.1423(a)
1. Mind and body are part of the same cybernetic system
2. Every behaviour serves a positive intention
3. All behaviour is useful in some context
4. All the resources we need are inherent to our own physiology
5. Human interaction is systemic in nature
6. The meaning of my communication to another is reflected in the response it elicits
7. There's no failure, only feedback
8. If it is possible for someone, it is possible for me
9. Since my experience is meditated through my own bodymind, I create my own experience and I am responsible for what happens to me
Note: The operational presuppositions can be derived from the 2 basic presuppositions.
c. Implied presuppositions in the models
Apart from the presuppositions under a) and b), the third category of presuppositions is not mentioned in typical NLP books or during NLP Practitioner or Master Practitioner trainings. They come from a basic modelling-question: "What else has to be true for this to hold true?"
. document section still under construction 
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1.2. What is NLP-technology? 
To quote Master Trainer Rex Steven Sikes, (CompuServe: 76113,1773):
"NLP is not something one does to someone else, it is not the techniques, it is not only the mind or the body. NLP, for me, is about how the NLP operator lives his/her life in balance. NLP can be one of the aspects of having a wonderful glorious experience."
NLP is a model about making models. These models are made by observing people who are seen as an expert in their field.
To observe experts, NLP offers some building blocks, such as:
. calibration techniques such as patterns in the language someone uses (predicates and the meta-model), the internal representations used (eye-movements and submodalities), Body posture & gestures
. models such as TOTE, SCORE and SOAR
. other analytical models: Logical Levels, Meta-programs, perceptual positions, time-frames
The use of these building blocks is taught during NLP training. That's why the trainings are called "NLP Practitioner" and "NLP Master Practitioner training".
Apart from the building blocks, some typical skills will be learned during NLP-training, such as
. Rapport
. Match-Mismatch
. Pacing and Leading
. Anchoring
. Eliciting Strategies
. setting up a psyhogeography
. The use of the Milton Model
. Sleight of Mouth Patterns
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1.3 What can I do with NLP?
NLP can be used differently by anyone who has learned about it. 
It can be combined with whatever a person is doing. Click here to see how I use it in my job!
1.3.1. Basic NLP use
The contribution by Keith Fail ( also explains what NLP can be used for...
. Improvement of communication skills.
. A self-help discipline.
. A method of learning athletic skills quickly and easily.
. A series of sales techniques.
. A way of questioning that allows you to uncover information that is missing, unconscious or hidden, so that you can understand a communication fully.
. A model of human subjective experience.
. A set of presuppositions that allow humans to grow.
. A collection of skills for influencing people while maintaining your integrity and respecting theirs.
. A way to build stronger, more enjoyable relationships.
. A detailed understanding of how people learn and how to teach them.
. A model for business behaviors: coaching skills, leading by example and open, authentic communication that builds and maintains trust, commitment and responsibility between employees.
. A way to recognize and change problematic family patterns.
. A model of how to induce hypnosis.
1.3.2. What are Typical NLP applications?
Often NLP is seen as a bunch of applications, and is mistaken as being equal to the applications.
The items described below are just applications. These applications have been developed using the basic building blocks.
NLP is, among others, being used by therapists, and has applications like:
. collapsing anchors
. Visual squash
. 6-step reframing
. V/K dissociation
. Change Personal History
. Aligning Logical Levels
. Belief Change Cycle
. Reimprint
In NLP-jargon, these applications are often called "procedures" . These procedures form a set of change techniques that can be added to a therapeutic model. An NLP-therapist, therefor, is probably a therapist using some of the procedures mentioned above.
In business, NLP techniques can be applied in sales, recruitment and consulting.
If you don't know NLP, you won't notice when it's applied, except when complete models are used "as is".
Some specific applications are:
. the LAB-profile and the Phred Software (based upon the meta-programs)
The LABprofile is made up by Roger Baily (or something like that). It's a sheet that mainly helps to check for the meta-programs a person is using. They use it for selection and motivation. The Phred software is based on this profile. 
Chelle Rose Charvet (CompuServe: 70274,1035) organises LAB Profile trainings. She also has written a book about it, called "Words that change Minds"
. the Belief Assessment Sheet from Robert Dilts.
This is part of the material devellopped by Robert. The sheet is used for checking the weak point in the beliefs after a decision is made to reach a goal. It checks the 'want to', 'how to' and 'chance to'. The 'want to/how to/chance to' model itself was created by Joe Yeager, former owner of The Eastern NLP Institute. .
For enhancing creativity, the Disney Model was developed.
In Learning, you can work on the structure of the wow-state.
return to index 
1.4 What is DHE?
DHE stands for "Design Human Engineering". It has been developed by Bandler. 
As far as I know, it's supposed to be the successor of NLP.
In DHE-training, they build upon the NLP-building blocks. The basic idea behind DHE is that there are more powerful ways to develop strategies than to elicit existing strategies from experts (which is what NLP does).
During a DHE-training, you learn to install a control panel for yourself, with the push-buttons on the inside, so that you can better control yourself, in stead of having others pushing your unconsious buttons that are accesible from the outside.
A text about DHE is available from Carolin Sikes. It can be downloaded from the NLP-section of the library of some CompuServe forums and is available on the WWW.
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2. What do you need to 
begin, try, or learn more about NLP?
Depending on your learning style, there are different ways to learn more about NLP:
. read some books and other publications;
. talk to others about it (e.g. on CompuServe and Internet) i.e. the electronic meeting places;
. follow some NLP training: start by attending NLP Practitioners Training, then take a Master Practitioners Training, and end with a trainers training, if you want to teach others about it. 
Click here to read more about the international trainers list 
. above all: practice it!
2.1. Reading about NLP
2.1.1. Some good books for Beginners:
Personally, I would like to recommend "Introducing NLP, revised Edition" (1993) from J.O'Connor (CompuServe: 100013,2002) & J.Seymour as a good, structured introduction. An experienced NLP-er has to keep this book around as a refrence. This book has also been translated in several languages.
From a contribution by Bob Janes (CompuServe: 71307,1415): here are some more book "for beginners" 
(the list is limited to books that he has read).
. for everyone: maybe Anthony Robbins, maybe Patrick Porter's cover version 'Awaken the Genius'
. for a businessperson: probably Genie Laborde's 'Influencing with Integrity'
. for health professionals: Robert Dilts et al 'Beliefs'
. for intellectuals: Leslie Cameron-Bandler 'The Emprint Method'
. for a musician: Joseph O Connor's 'Not Pulling Strings'
. for 'self-developers': 'Frogs Into Princes' by R.Bandler & J.Grinder
. for a singer: Eloise Ristadt's 'A soprano on her head' (a wonderful book and a great pity that she was killed before she wrote the sequel)
. for a teacher: the Suzette Haden Elgin 'The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense series'
. for a therapist: perhaps Stephen Lankton's 'Practical Magic'
2.1.2. Other books:
I uploaded a file "Patrick.txt" to the NLP sections of several CompuServe Forums.
This file describes all the NLP-books that are sitting on my shelf. The file includes authors, publishers and ISBN-numbers and provides a short comment to some books. The file is still under construction (especially the reviews will be elaborated).
On WWW, you can click here to see "Patrick. htm" , the WWW-version of the text mentioned above!
Apart from that, I'd like to mention "The structure of Delight" from Nelson Zink (72674,117) who wrote the first NLP novel. (Mind Matters, 1991 , ISBN 0-9629621-0-4). Tom Dotz (76075,1753), a Californian NLP trainer calls it "NLP presented in a Carlos Castaneda style".
2.1.3. Some NLP-magazines are:
. Anchor Point (American): contact Anchor Point Associates/ 346 South 500 East #200 / Salt Lake City, UTAH 84102 USA, Tel: 1-800-544-6480. Outside USA call (801) 534-1022. 12 monthly issues for $39(US).
. MultiMind - NLP (German / German spoken): Junfermann / Postfach 1840 / 33048 Paderborn / Tel (+49) 5251 340 34 / Fax (+49) 5251 363 71. Or contact Klaus Marwitz (100273,2057) 6 issues a year for 76,- DM
. NLP World (European): Contact Peter G. Winnington, Les 3 Chasseurs, 1413, ORZENS, Switzerland, Tel (+41) 21 88 777 21, Fax (+41) 21 88 779 76, 3 issues a year, $50(US) (CompuServe: 100031,3620)
. Rapport (British): ANLP, 48 Corser Street, Stourbridge DY8 2DQ, England, Tel: (+44) 1384 443935, Rapport is either free to ANLP members (L23 or L30 per year) or costs L25.00 for four issues per year
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2.2. The electronic meeting places are:
2.2.1. On CompuServe
. MIND/BODY forum, section 5: "NLP/Hypnosis" (moderated)
Since NLP shares a section with hypnosis in this forum, hypnosis is discussed a lot here
I mainly recommend the AI Expert forum section. Other forum-sections deal with NLP, but can't be considered being stable NLP-resources and are less visited by people having a lot of NLP knowledge.
Messages in the forums will typically be kept for about 10 to 15 days. However, if forum-activity gets higher, its is possible messages disappear earlier. It's also possible that the author of the message decides to delete it (although this is rarely done).
Together with these message area's, there are also the library sections. These are also valuable sources of information (e.g. for dates on seminars, etc). Check them out! Recent update
. AIEXPERT forum, section 10: "Neurolinguistic" (unmoderated).
The oldest NLP electronic meeting place around, started by accident. (click here to know the story)
Probably the meeting place most frequented by NLP-trainers.
. NEW AGE B forum, section 12: "NLP" (moderated)
This section contains a few interesting messages from time to time.
During the weekend of 28 and 29 october 1995, a libel from a lawyer claiming to defend Richard Bandler has resulted in closing down the NLP-sections in the AI Expert Forum and in the New Age B forum. The libel concerned an article to be published in Germany. The basis for the article was an interview with Bandler in Koln during September. I highly regret this way of reacting of the Bandler clan, resulting in the limitation of freedom of speech. Other "defence" actions were possible, certainly since the current action causes more damage to the NLP Community than the damage Bandler can claim. The whole case shows a lot of resemblance to the actions taken by the Church of Scientology.
Both forums have decided to close their NLp-section permanently. The trouble caused by the NLP-sections was not worth it to them.
2.2.2. On Internet
. alt.self-improve (often contains info about Tony Robbins)
. alt.psychology.nlp (unmoderated, dedicated to NLP only)
The purpose of alt.psychology.nlp (as described in its FAQ) is twofold. First and foremost, it is intended as a forum for NLP-practitioners to share and discuss information with each other. Second, it is also a forum for presenting and representing the attitudes and skills of some of it's practitioners to the interested public.
you can get the FAQ-file from the alt.psychology.nlp newsgroup from: in ~/pub/ic/ice/alt.psychology.nlp-
. (supervised by Stever Robbins (CompuServe 71220,1356))
. (supervised by Dale Kirby (Compuserve 102106,2400))
. : a promotional web site from Tad James
a german spoken site ("Erste deutschsprachige W3-Seite")
. http:// : a french spoken site that resides in my country (Belgium)
. : page where a lot of books about NLP and hypnosis can be ordered from.
Mailing List: 
Send a message with as text SUBSCRIBE NLP to (about 60 subscriptions end of May 1995). Mailing list is supervised by Jeff Oliver (e-mail:
Electronic meeting places tend to change quite fast. Maybe some have ceased to exist, and others have been born since the last update of this FAQ.
Notes on Netiquette 
Advertising is not apreciated by everyone in the CompuServe-forums. It can easily start some flaming (especially in the AI Expert-forum). Therefor, I'd like to give the following advice to potential advertisers (especially for lengthy ads):
. post ads to the library
. warn the sysop of the forum in private of the upload
(if you don't have confidence of your ad arriving)
. check one or two days later if it arrived
. send a NEUTRAL message to ALL (not too much sales talk) when the file arrives in the library.
. delete the ad from the library once it has expired
When communication in the Mind/Body forum on CompuServe, take into account the point of view of Jim Hart (SYSOP) 76702,646):
"Ad hominem attacks are prohibited by both CIS and forum rules and ad hominem arguements really have no place here either. The use of ad hominem in an argument only indicates that the user is unable to argue facts and must resort to personal attacks upon others in an attempt to hide this inability."
It is also recommended to avoid "Strong wording".
return to index 
2.3. Institutes that teach NLP:
The International Trainers' List is available in the Library Sections on CompuServe, as well as WWW page. This file includes addresses of institutes, the names of the main trainers and the kind of courses they organise
If you want to know more about a particular NLP-institute or trainer, or if you want to find out which institutes organize NLP trainings close to you (or what the course-dates are), check out WWW sites or send a posting to one of the electronic meeting-places. I'm sure you'll get some reactions.
2.4. NLP Conferences
The ones I know are:
. US: 
- NLP Conference: Park City, April 20 & 21, 1996 contact: Betty Peterson, 6298 Madrid Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84121 (tel 801 278-3580)
- NLP Comprehensive Conference
. France:
. UK: ANLP (in London): Summer Conference (in '95:1st,2nd July) & Autumn Conference (in 95: 25 & 26th November) contact: Jo Hogg, 27 Maury Rd., London N16 7BP (tel/fax 0181 806 6165)
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3. What are the roots of NLP ?
3.1. Contribution from Jeff A. Weakley (74434,40):
NLP was originally started by a computer whiz and Gestalt therapist - Richard Bandler - and a Linguist named John Grinder. Their goal was to design a meta-model. A way of building models of how people do things and transferring that knowledge to other people. It started around 1976 and their original forays involved "modeling" successful therapists like Milton Erickson (The Father of Modern Hypnotherapy), Virginia Satir (The Mother of Family System Therapy) and Fritz Perls (a son-of-a-bitch and a leader in the Gestalt Therapy movement). Since much of the early modeling was done with therapists it has a psychological bent to it though many people are now branching out into a lot of other fields with it: Health, Sales, Business, Organizational Development, Comedy, and Screenwriting to name a few. You may have seen the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of NLP through a infomercial huckster named Tony Robbins. His is an excellent introductory book by the way, "Unlimited Power" if you want 
to know more. And I might recommend "Frogs Into Princes" by Bandler and Grinder, the creators of this "technology". It is edited transcripts from some of their earlier seminars.
3.2. Contribution from Tad James (73160,352)
(just off the top of his head)
Most everything in NLP came from somewhere else. I think that the following is more or less correct:
. Eye patterns - Stanford University, research on synesthesia in the early 70's, and SyberVision published eye patterns in 1979 in a book called SyberVision.
. Anchoring -- Behavioral Psychology -- Pavlov, "Conditioned Reflexes", 1904
. Chunking -- Alfred Korzybski, Erickson, Watzlawick -- General Semantics
. Strategies, TOTE -- Miller, Galanter & Pribram, "Plans and the Structure of Behavior," 1965
. Milton Model -- Milton Erickson, "The Advanced Patterns of MH Erickson, MD", by Jay Haley.
. Meta Model -- Virginia Satir, "Conjoint Family Therapy"
. SubModalities -- Work on Synesthesia at Stanford University 1970-1978 suggested this.
. Outcome Frames -- Virginia Satir
. Parts -- Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir
. Reframing -- General Semantics, Watzlawick, Keeney,
. Sleight of Mouth -- Patterns of Plausible Inference, G. Polya
. Time Lines -- William James, Principles of Psychology, 1890, the Chapter on Memory.
Any definitive references to the early work that underlies NLP can be found in the bibliography to The Structure of Magic.
3.3. Some additions by the editor.
1/ See also "The roots of Neuro-Linguistic Programming" by Robert Dilts (dating from 1976); "EEG and representational systems" (1977) and "Applications of NLP" (1978), written by the same author. These 3 texts, published by Meta Publications in 1983 (collected in a book) point out some of the roots, especially about eye movements.
2/ Some early NLP-ers were also inspired by the books of Carlos Castaneda. I heard Judith Delosier referencing to "The teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui way of knowing" during a training on second position modelling (in Oct. '94).
3.4. What is new code NLP?
(Answer is a summary of the answer given by Judith Delosier in September'94)
Actually, the term should be "New coding", or as a synomym: "another description"
It was invented in '85 by Judi, Robert Dilts and John Grinder as a reaction the the perception at the time that NLP was a set of techniques. The question was: "What didn't we code yet?" (after "discovering" the metamodel, representational systems and submodilities, anchors and applying these representations to come up with techniques like 6-step reframing, ...) At the time people where thinking there was wisdom in the techniques, but wisdom is in the persons using the techniques.
The things that came out of the "new coding" period where perceptual positions (based on Bateson's quote "It takes two to know one.") and (neuro)logical levels (going back to logical levels in mathematics). "New coding" meant "applying perceptual positions and the logical levels to describe the "experience" of a person, and look what came out of it (what comes out of the tension?). A seminar where the term new code was introduced was also more based at the unconsious level than at the councious level, since the concious level was already studied (but this had nothing to do with "new coding").
Now, the focus of attention in NLP is moving towards relationship (systems thinking).
3.5. Is NLP a registered trademark? 
Independant of how much the founders of NLP have contributed to the domain, NLP cannot be protected. Richard Bandler has been known to claim NLP as his invention, as I could read in an article that appeared in Rapport (an Interview of John McWither with Bandler). In that article Bandler especially disputes whether anyone but The Society of NeuroLinguistic Programming has the right to issue certificates. A lot of discussion went on several CompuServe forumes about NLP's protection. And rather than go deeper into the topic, I'd like to chare a contribution from Robert Dilts (76053,3472) with you.
"In 1979 my father, a patent and copyright lawyer who was representing Richard (Bandler) and John (Grinder) at the time, attempted to get some kind of protection for the name Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the name NLP. He was unable to do so. My understanding is that it was because the name and initials had already been in public use for several years. If that was so 16 years ago it is probably even more so today."
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4. How did Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) end up in the AIExpert Forum?
4.1. Contribution from Jeff A. Weakley (74434,40):
Instead of reading Neurolinguistic like it does now, the message dialog box used to read NLP and meant Natural Language Processing. And the NLP people, like they are apt to do, cannibalized what other people are doing and made it there own. A minor forum coup of sorts. Since no one kicked them out I think they just hung out and others followed.
return to index 
4.2. What does NLP have to do with AI ?
One of the basic NLP-metaphores is the computer-metaphore. Simplified, this metaphore states that the human hardware (the body-mind) is quite standardized, an the the software (our concious and unconsious) is making the difference. So by "re-programming" our brain, we can enrich our world. Persons from the AI world will recognise this idea: by writing computer programs, you can try to get a better understanding od the workings of the brain!
The link between AI (or Natural Language processing) and NLP is stronger than one would think at first sight: NLP took over some elements from research on transformational grammar, and started applying it to human beings. NLP-ers call this the "meta-model". It actually works quite well!
Elisa is maybe another example of links between AI and NLP. Often NLP-ers are like Elisa: they seem to ask "stupid" questions, often they are psychologists (actually, in the NLP practitioner training I followed, half of the students were psychologists.
I've also read some of Shank's work, and I like his idea's about stories. In NLP they also do a lot with stories: Erickson, one of the "NLP "-examples used story telling as a "healing"-technique. To me, those experiences prove that Shank must be right in some way. I wonder if we ever will succeed building a good story-telling machine (I never got further than writing a Pascal-version of Elisa).
I'm currently working in "small AI": I'm a developing expert systems as a consultant, in area's like help desks and finance. Currently I'm doing something closer to management consulting, since we found out that building systems doesn't really solve the customers problems: we all know how little successful applications have been built. Doing this, I use my experience as knowledge engineer (and knowledge acquisition techniques, as well as NLP techniques (e.g. the meta-model for asking questions, rapport makinng skills, ...). They fit together!
Related disciplines and sources: 
If you want to learn more about Cognitive Science, check out the web site on
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Version info: 
This file started last year as the FAQ about NLP as it was published on the main CompuServe forums dealing with NLP, namely the AI Expert Forum. Currently the WWW-page is nices than the version that can be downloaded from CompuServe.

. Version 1.1: Version was distributed on 22JUL95
. Version 1.2: This version was enhanced by the author to fully use the WWW-capabilities. Was put on the WWW servers distributing pages of Dale Kirby and Stever Robbins at the end of september.
. Version 1.3: I added some info to the FAQ (completion of incomplete sections) and better hypertext-links. I also moved some text around to provide a better page-readability.
. Version 0.1 of the FAQ was downloaded 283 times from December '94 to may'95
. Version 1.0 was downloaded 217 times during May and June'95 (AI Expert & New Age B Forums combined)
. Version 1.1 was downloaded 756 times from the CompuServe forums, (July till september) and, thanks to Dale Kirby, has available on the Internet as the previous version of this WWW-page, and as message on UseNet and on the NLP mailing list.

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