By Victoria Brewster, MSW
SJS Staff Writer
I attended an all day workshop on NLP-Neurolinguistic Programming yesterday here in Montreal. NLP at its most basic, is a form of Behavior Modification. It has been around since the 1970’s- think Fritz Perls, Milton H. Erickson, Virginia Satir (family psychotherapist that added Systemic Constellations) but is most known for Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Their book ‘Frogs into Princes’ published in 1979 is from a two day training workshop that took place in 1978. It is a hard book to get a hold of. I got it originally through inter-library loan, but managed to snag a used copy off of ebay, locally no less.
In the mid-1970s Virginia Satir’s work was extensively studied by the co-founders of Neurolinguistic Programming-NLP by Richard Bandler and John Grinder who used it as one of the three fundamental models of NLP.
Bandler and Grinder also studied Fritz Perls extensively by watching old movies and videos of Gestalt Therapy in action. Fritz Perls was a German born psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Gestalt Therapy is, enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion and behavior, in the present moment.
Milton H. Erickson was a psychiatrist in Arizona that specialized in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He is also noted for influencing brief therapy, strategic family therapy, family systems therapy and solution focused brief therapy and all of this was an influence on Bandler and Grinder in developing NLP.
Do I have your interest yet?
One of Grinder and Bandler’s students, Steven Andreas, edited the book and describes NLP as, “Use NLP to describe any human activity in a detailed way that allows you to make many deep and lasting changes quickly and easily”
Do I still have your interest?
It has been used for phobias, assisting children and adults with learning disabilities or disorders, for insomnia, to eliminate unwanted bad habits like smoking and can be used in the family dynamic or interactions in couples.
My original interest in NLP stemmed from my reading books and articles on neuroscience and neuroplasticity; learning the brain is not static or set, but is fluid and can relearn and adapt after a trauma such as a stroke or head injury.
So, back to the one day workshop I attended with Hugh Comerford of NLP Works. NLP Centres CANADA belongs to the Dilts/ NLPU academy of trainers; Hugh is a founding member of an International organization of Elite NLP Trainers, NLPRAI,
He is easy to learn from and humorous. His style is flexible, relaxed, open, and he adjusts his training to those that are in attendance based on where the ‘students’ are coming from and what they want to get from the day.
I met a wonderful group of people (there were 8 of us in total). We all came from different employment sectors, marketing, sales, real estate, teaching, sport physiology, social work, and social services. We all learned techniques that can be used with clients in a non-confrontational way that uses a combination of verbal and non-verbal cues. In essence, all the different NLP models out there and with a focus on visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
As a MSW, my training is to sit face to face with a client, but in the workshop, I learned the value and importance of sitting side by side with a client-non-confrontational. There was a focus on see, hear, and feel. We learned about three perceptual perceptions, 1- me oriented, 2- empathic oriented and 3- analytically oriented. All have relevance in our lives and there are times we will be in each of these positions, but the goal is to spend more time in positions 2 and 3.
This is worth looking into. I walked away with quite a few techniques I can use right away both for myself, but with clients as well.
I also walked away with an appreciation for continued learning and the need for professionals to continually upgrade their skills.
I liked the one day workshop so much that I am looking into the 18 day certification training on NLP to learn even more!
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