In article <CGKFoG.F9D@ucdavis.edu> firstname.lastname@example.org (John M. Price) writes:
As to this last, I'm not quite sure what you mean by it. In the Master Practitioner training I went through a year ago, I specifically asked Connirae Andreas if she would use me as a demonstration subject. She did a long piece of work with me which was very successful. Sure, from her point of view the main purpose was to use me as a vehicle for teaching the class. But as far as I was concerned, it meant having an expert therapist help me solve a major problem in my life for free --- I'd paid my money for the seminar simply to learn things and to have Connirae work with me was a bonus.
In general, your remarks reflect a problem that a lot of academics have with NLP. They find that NLPers are ``not our sort'' --- don't conform to the prevailing mores of the academic and scientific world. NLPers don't offer good empirical evidence for the effectiveness of their techniques but instead urge people to try them out for themselves (very unscientific!). They don't describe their ideas and techniques in the generally accepted manner and in the generally accepted places. They charge high prices for their training and they offer it to absolutely anyone who's willing to pay the price, so that one runs into people without the slightest knowledge of traditional psychology who go around claiming that they can cure everyone's problems.
In addition, some individuals are initially attracted to NLP because they have a naturally confrontational, abrasive style and they appreciate this quality in Richard Bandler. They then take this style, which is very uncharacteristic of most of the leaders in the NLP community and which Bandler himself has since toned down considerably, and use it in making grandiose pronouncements about the value of NLP and the complete lack of any redeeming feature in any other approach to therapy. Since these arrogant assholes are much more conspicuous than the average NLPer, their attitudes are often taken as representative of NLP as a whole.
(And academics seem to find my own articles on usenet much too personal for an academic style and often much too formal for the usual usenet style. Hence the ``Ross Perot'' label suggested by John Grohol.)
But whether or not all of these things are reprehensible, they are simply not scientifically relevant considerations. It's understandable that academics are not willing to accept NLP claims at face value, but it's incomprehensible to me that they don't have the curiosity to want to find out about NLP and explore the ideas.
I also wonder whether the fact that university departments of psychology favor approaching clinical psychology in a quasi-scientific, statistical, nomothetic way has more to do with the cultural anthropology of the academic world than with the effectiveness of this approach. Those whose research has a somewhat scientific veneer to it and who publish lots of papers in journals get higher status at universities than those who teach various arts and whose chief claim to recognition is their own ability at the art they teach. Is it then a total coincidence that psychology departments decide, on the basis of no particular evidence (as far as I know), that their clinical students can best be served by being taught by people who are good at writing papers rather than by therapists who are distinguished by virtue of the level of their skills?
An easy solution for the alleged excessive price of NLP trainings would be for university psychology departments to learn a little about NLP and offer the best of it as a part of their regular clinical psychology program. From what I've seen on usenet of the academic attitudes, I don't think NLP trainers need to like awake nights worrying about that happening.
When the main justification that a science has for itself is how scientific it is, rather than how many worthwhile discoveries it makes, that is a strong indication that something is wrong.