The Origins of NLP

Publisert onsdag 15. mai 2013, av CoachMagasinet, i Boktips

Finally we have a second book on the history of NLP, one that adds more information about the early days and gives much more of a human face to the adventure called NLP. In 1990 Terry McClendon published the first book, The Wild Days: NLP 1972-1981. This now gives us two books on the early history. Yet while we have a second book, it is still not complete and there’s lots more about the history and origins of NLP that is missing from this book. This book is mostly, the origins of NLP from Grinder’s perspective.


I’m genuinely delighted to see this book in print because it really does put more of a human face on the origins and enables us to see a little bit more into the minds and hearts of the men and women who brought about the field of NLP. It also highlights the cultural context of the early 1970s in southern California where NLP arose. And yes, the book is one-sided in that it fails to deal with the darker-side of NLP— the conflicts, the lawsuits, the breakups…

The book has ten contributors— John Grinder, Carmen Bostic-St. Claire, R. Frank Pucelik, Terry McClendon, Judith DeLozier, David R. Wick, Byron Lewis, Stephen Gilligan, James Eicher, Robert Dilts.

The Value of the Book
Do I recommend this book? Yes, it’s a very good book! It is a valuable read for many reasons. What you will discover are lots of historical facts about the earliest period: 1971-1972 when Richard and Frank were playing around with Gestalt Therapy. The next period: 1972-1974 when John entered and they began using Transformational Grammar to model the language patterns of Perls and Satir, and finally 1974 and following when the Meta-Model was developed, used, and published that launched NLP as such.

You’ll discover that terminology of NLP— “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” came about in 1976 and that it was not until almost the end of the 1970s that the formatting of practitioner and master practitioner developed. I especially enjoyed the chapters by Frank Pucelik, Terry McClendon, Robert Dilts, and Stephen Gilligan. Their spirit and attitude of NLP reflects how I think about NLP and wrote in the book, The Spirit of NLP (1996).

What’s New?
The third co-creator of NLP! This is actually the first work that fully identifies Frank Pucelik as “the third man” who played a co-creating role in the origins of NLP.

NLP was born of some Encounter Groups. This also is new! The Origins of NLP highlights Frank’s role in first working with Richard doing the gestalt “encounter groups” and then inviting John into the experience to model the linguistic structure of what they were doing. From Frank also we learn that there were two original groups of people who brought about NLP, the first group, called “the meta people” or the “meta kids” by Frank, experimented with the encounter group format and helped developed the Meta-Model. The second group experimented with the Meta-Model, Milton Model, Strategies, etc. A discovery that Origins reveals is that Kresge College itself and the experimenting pre-NLP groups grew out of the Encounter Groups. Now imagine that! Today’s overly individualistic NLP field full of many sub-communities began as an Encounter Group! It was created in the context of twelve to twenty people (as identified by Frank Pucelik in his chapter) experiencing “gestalt” therapy as practiced by Richard and Frank and later analyzed by John. NLP began as a community!

The Cognitive Psychology Foundation of NLP. Most of us have long known that the key personalities responsible for the Cognitive Resolution in Psychology— Noam Chomsky and George Miller were at the heart of the development of NLP. This explains why “NLP” is usually put under the category of “Cognitive Psychology” in textbooks.

The Origins of NLP —a fascinating book which provides wonderful glimpses into more of the history of NLP. In the book you will get bits and pieces of a dozen or two human stories as it presents many of the men and women who initiated the beginning of the adventure that we call Neuro-Linguistic Programming. You will discover that NLP was created by a community and in a community of people fascinated by personal growth and development. And for me, that is the true spirit of NLP that we need to recover today.

Edited by John Grinder and R. Frank Pucelik

Skrevet av L Michael Hall
Innsendt av Lene Fjellheim

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