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  • Andrew Scott



I have long had an interest in NLP, and have gone to various NLP training events, read a number of books and so on. But increasingly, over the years, I have come to be much more sceptical about it. I include this post on it here in the blog because I think a lot of people who read about the ManyStory approach may previously be familiar with NLP, and think ‘Ah yes, the Map is not the Territory’ and conclude that what I am advocating is another version of the same thing. I maintain that it is not.

What I like about NLP is that fundamental understanding that we all create our own stories about reality, or maps, as NLP terms them.

What I am less happy with is almost everything else. In terms of re-writing stories, NLP seems to me to focus either on techniques such as re-framing which essentially involves putting on rose-tinted glasses, or slightly more fanciful techniques, such as running imaginary films backwards and forwards at high speed. As with most of the claims made for NLP, many of which are vast, these techniques seem to be refuted every time they are subjected to empirical research.

And there is something about the tone of Frogs into Princes and The Structure of Magic, (both by Bandler and Grinder, the founders of NLP) that I find disturbing: the first is almost cult-like; and the second pseudoscientific and almost impenetrable. Odd, for communication experts.

Moreover, I find it (how shall I put this?) thought-provoking when the founders and key practitioners of an approach that is designed to enhance rapport, communication, problem solving etc end up fighting each other in the courts for years.

And then there is the whole business of charging people huge amounts of money to call themselves Master Practitioner, when all the vast claims of NLP remain unsupported by evidence, and the title itself is completely unregulated and carries no recognised value. So I suppose my fundamental concern is that NLP has grown into a vast, successful, and highly lucrative ponzi scheme…

However, as with all my other posts, I am putting this out there for discussion: if you disagree (or agree, of course) do comment.

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