History of NLP

(Allegedly this stuff happened)

NLP originated in the melting pot that was the University of California in Santa Cruz in the 1970s. Students were encouraged to choose whichever classes they wished, to blend Arts and Sciences subjects and basically to design their own education according to their needs and desires. In addition, students and teachers were accorded basically the same privileges and freedoms which led to close relationships being formed across the campus.

At that time, Richard Bandler, a 20 year old, long haired, chain smoking psychology student was running a gestalt therapy group at the university which was having quite a degree of success. He was also transcribing the therapeutic sessions of Fritz Perls (the father of Gestalt psychology). It’s likely that Bandler was unconsciously using some of the techniques he’d picked up by observing Perl’s work. The problem he faced was that he was unsure of what exactly he was doing that led to his amazing successes in the gestalt group and whilst skilled at achieving these results himself, he was less skilled at teaching others to do what he did.

John Grinder, at this time was the youngest professor of linguistics in the US and was also based at the University. He was approached by Bandler and asked to observe the Gestalt group in order to see if it would be possible to identify the principles underlying what Bandler was doing. Both became friends during this time.

It is said that they then began to examine the work of Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir (an eminent family therapist) by analyzing their writings, listening to and watching their tape and video recordings and by observing Satir in action. Later, they got to know and became admirers of Gregory Bateson who, in turn, introduced them to the work of Milton Erickson (a brilliant hypnotherapist).

What Grinder noticed was that Bandler and (Perls, Erickson and Satir) were applying certain principles of linguistics / using the same linguistic patterns. They also noticed that Satir spoke to some clients using primarily visual terms, to some using auditory language and to others using kinaesthetically oriented language. Satir had herself said that she had been unaware that she was doing this!

From this work, Bandler and Grinder wrote a series of which described the linguistic patterns and aspects of non-verbal communication which were used to successfully influence and help people. Incidentally, this caused Satir a degree of difficulty as Bandler and Grinder were able to point out the very skilful covert things she did with clients to get her results. Once she realized she was doing these covert things, Satir would stop doing them, because ‘manipulation’ was against her principles. (more on the history to come…)

>>Continue to Part 2

I personally prefer the word fulfilment, and work under the principle of serving others for what they want. it is my belief that if you are looking to help people create change as long as you are doing it ecologically, so that if fits with the values of the person and others you can put aside the word manipulation. I look to help people get the life they want and be the person they dream to be in the most ecological way possible.

Click Certified Hypnotherapist to work with a master of NLP.

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