NLP Today

“If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism;
if you steal from many it’s research.”

– Wilson Mizner

Much of NLP training and writing today resembles the early formulation of NLP. Over time, patterns and ideas have been added, but this is mostly window dressing when compared to the core of NLP that first developed. Some of the more influential additions to NLP techniques include Core Transformation and Eye Movement Integration (similar to EMDR, and allegedly predating EMDR) from Connierae Andreas, and Timeline Therapy from Dr. Tad James. 

Since the two founders of NLP have gone on to write more books and evolve their work, I’ll briefly mention their more recent activities. 

Richard Bandler

Grinder and DeLozier’s New Code

In the mid-1980s, John Grinder and Judith DeLozier began creating new ways of doing NLP that focus more on leveraging unconscious resources. He calls this “new code.” He continued working on this and publishing materials with Carmen Bostic St. Clair. This approach often has the coach and subject producing change without knowing what solutions will spontaneously emerge from the work. An interesting feature of the new code work is that there is an overall, generic pattern used. Grinder claims that it can surpass the more specific interventive patterns that NLP is known for. One of the ways this is done is to use a game or activity of his design to produce a positive, flowing state in a person, and then have them connect that state with the problem. Grinder also continues to work with modeling, and would like to see more emphasis on modeling in the NLP community. 

He has also criticized NLP developers for not putting more effort into creating solutions for society and organizations, and he has focused much of his subsequent professional work on organizational excellence. 

Bandler’s Design

Bandler coined the term “design human engineering” (DHE) and, having learned from his loss of control over the NLP moniker, applied trademark protection to his new term. 

The approach emphasizes the creating of powerful states that “propel” people to excellence. It uses a variety of “mental tools” to achieve this. Although it makes use of subconscious resources, it includes a clear, conscious understanding of the states and outcomes desired. Thus, he is keeping the idea of NLP “well-formed outcomes” alive. Unlike Grinder, he is continuing to focus much of his efforts on the struggles of individuals, rather than organizations. 

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