I have printed out several past articles by Dave Pascal, where he wrote a number of interesting points about NLP training in general and the ``vagueness'' of DHE. I have kept these articles, read through them, and thought about them. The following is the product of my thoughts on the subject.
Caution: The following is a rather harsh look at the NLP community as a whole. It is not meant to bash any one organization in particular, but rather, an intelligent discussion on the merits of some NLP based training programs. I mention no names as I have a strict policy against speaking badly of any other person or organization by name. I feel that critical evaluation is healthy and if we had no way of evaluating ourselves, then we might as well call ourselves a religion or a cult. I believe we can all grow and prosper in our diversity and that diversity should be discussed openly and intelligently as well as celebrated.
First, let me say that I think that Dave has made many excellent points and has basically hit the nail on the head when it comes to the weaknesses in the NLP community as a whole. Dave, you have a true knack for going right for the jugular.
Secondly, judging from many of the things that Dave has said, I think that Dave has probably never experienced a true teacher - someone who challenged him, pushed him, enticed him and gotten him to streatch outside of his own map - at least not a teacher of the NLP variety. Now, he may disagree with this or take offense at this, but no offense was intended. After all, if you've never experienced something, then you don't know what you're missing and have no reference experience to draw from.
I judge the quality of an NLP training by what the participants are able to do with their life after they leave the program - not by what they know after the training. In the same vein, I don't expect people to be 100% behaviorally competent 2 days after the training, because NLP is meant to be lived, practiced, experienced in the real world, not studied from a book. Learnings from a good practitioner training, like fine wine, will be more potent and flavorful with age, 6 months and a year after the program if the student sticks with it. I think that most of a trainers job is to install in his students a zest for learning - generative learning - not just step 1, step 2, and step 3.
I believe what Dave calls ``intellectual learning'' or what I call ``informational learning'' is valuable - but does not belong in seminars. You can get informational learning from books and tapes. Information does not lead to transformation. Doing or being leads to transformation. When people pay lots of money to do training and the trainer reads from prepared notes, bores his/her class to sleep, teaches patterns from a book, and follows rule-structured, pre-formated class structures, they are missing out on what makes this field wonderful and exciting. These trainers don't know how people actually learn new things!
I agree with Dave that some people have made NLP into a religion, telling people to follow all the rules and blindly accept the methods being taught. We've been telling people for years that NLP is about adding choices to your life, not adding more rules! NLP is as content-free as you can get, yet there are trainers out there making up all kinds of rules about what is ecological and what isn't ecological based on their beliefs! One trainer I know of told a student that making big pictures in your head was unecological! This kind of thing is just rediculous!
Somewhere in the formalization and mass-production process, some training programs emerged the idea that learning is leveled and that it takes a certian number of days in order to learn this stuff. ie: Practitioner, Master Practitioner. I have news for you, there is no such thing as 3rd grade math or a 6th grade word, just as there is no such thing as a Master Practitioner of NLP. I've met people who have never had NLP training and they know how to live life more fully than many Master Practitioners I've met. You cannot measure learning, you can only experience it. It's a process.
Somewhere amidst the commercialism, the NLP journals, the NLP study groups, and the NLP ``association'' groups, the idea that we are supposed to use this stuff to be happier got lost. People sit around and intellectualize it, rather than use it to change themselves! They've created certification requirements and made themselves really stupid. There are certification courses out there that tell people that they cannot learn timelines in Practitioner training - that they must be master practitioners before they can do that. They tell people that they must follow all of the steps of the techniques otherwise they won't work. They tell them that they are ``unecological'' unless they first get rapport. They tell people that they have wounded inner children. They tell people that they have low self esteem. They tell people that they are not ``ready'' to make a change yet, because first they must go back on their timeline and clean out all the crap from their past. These silly notions go against the fundamentals of NLP - but they say this stuff all the time!
One student came to us after some bogus NLP trainer actually told her, get this, that she had a ``learning disability'' and that she probably couldn't learn NLP because of it!!!! Well, guess what? During our program, she excelled beyond belief, and learned more than other people in the class who were busy trying to gain more ``intellectual'' knowledge.
Certification is a process that started a long time ago so that therapists could give themselved another title. The concept is really very outdated - but nonetheless still exists as a standard in the field. The problem with it is that there is no all-powerfull, enforceable organization that can control the quality of certification programs. It's a buyer beware market, yet people still mistakenly choose training based on geographical area and what is the most convienent time frame. Then, they bitch (excuse my language) about how poor their training was and generalize it to the entire NLP community! This is a mistake, because there are a few excellent training sources available - but people must do their research before they go and spend all that money.
(BTW Dave, refusing certification to a candidate does not mean a refund - at least we've never refunded tuition because of this. We tell people that they can come back for free until they become skilled enough to get certified.)
In terms of the ``commercialism'' that has occured in the field - I totally disagree with your belief that it became the downfall of the field. I think the commericialism has forced us to try new things, experiment with teaching processes, and develop new stuff (albiet, many new techniques, no new models). The minute you begin to formalize the field, it will loose all it's power. Already it has begun to occur - there are trainers out there who were taught to present an NLP class but were not taught how to actually teach people because someone decided to formalize the training enviornment. The result is a dry training where they teach specific techniques on specific days but have no real understanding of things like language patterns, the attitude, or the Meta Model, all of which are the basis of NLP. They aren't modeling it out for their students, they are merely presenting information (or ``intellectual'' knowledge).
Someone once suggested to me that the NLP community should have a nomenclature (spelling?) conference, where we all get together and collectively decide on the ``correct'' definition of NLP jargon. It's a good thought, but will never work. Why? Because the minute you begin to do stuff like this, you limit creativity - you limit how far we can go.
If you look at the educational institutions in the U.S., they are 300 years behind the times - they are formalized and tested, etc. and they are behind. They are effective in the sense that they are successful at producing academicians who can quote things - but they can't change things. They have taken all the juice and joy from learning and created bored learners. Same thing with NLP ``associations'' that try to collectively decide on guidelines for the field and attempt to formalize it. This is like regulating art. It just doesn't work. Instead of trying to make us all conform - we need to celebrate our diversity! It's wonderful that I can totally disagree with some other institute! They have a lot to offer - so do I. They have beliefs - so do I. Hurray!
Dave, you said that a critical view of NLP doesn't make money, that no one takes an ``unsentimental look and then reports, this technique's good, that one's weak...'' etc. You are completely wrong. We've been doing it for years and we make money! We've also been very controversial because we do it. We've been praised, thanked, criticized and called names because of it. We've taught people for years to question NLP, to take a critical viewpoint, to trust their own judgements, to learn from the world, etc. We've taught people that the training begins when the training ends. That we give them distinctions, we point them in a direction, we give them a reference experience, we motivate, inspire, challege and entice - but they can't gain skill unless they actually do it!
We've taught people that NLP is about adding more choices to your life - not taking choices away. People who teach you to blindly accept it or make rules about it (``you must always have rapport'') are teaching you a watered-down, dogmatic version that removes choice. I like Ross Jeffries explanation best, the ``throw a marshmallow'' method of NLP.
Maybe you can help me with this Dave. In one post, you state that NLP was meant to be lived - that we learn more about NLP through our life experience, rather than learning the concepts. I reference your comment, ``Why train elsewhere but in the actual world, in the actual living of your life? That's where the real lessons are; it's where they always have been.... the responsibility for drawing it out, for applying it to one's life, doesn't lie only with Bandler or Grinder or Bateson or Erickson. It lies with you. Or me. Or whoever makes the personal effort to think things through, to create, to act, here and now. `` Yet, in your post to Stever about DHE, you strongly emphasize the value of reading about DHE in a book and having the intellectual understanding! I'm sure that in your mind it all makes sense, but it doesn't make much sense to me.
On the note of DHE: I agree that there isn't much solid, ``how-to'' information about DHE available right now... And believe me, I continue to put in hours and hours of effort to inform and explain it and will continue to do so. I can, however, explain it much better on the phone than in writing because then I can give people specific answers to specific questions.
The only way I can explain it for now is this:
DHE is like an art form - performance art - and very hard to describe in words. There aren't many ``step-by-step'' techniques like there is in NLP. There are, however, underlying principles and concepts - but they are hard to put into words without loosing lots in the translation. Ron Bieber attended our recent 3-day DHE seminar and one of his first comments was to tell me that what he's read on the net about DHE doesn't even come close to the actual experience of the seminar. He's been working on a description for the net - I'm not sure if he's come up with anything yet. He has posted a couple of things to compuserve although.
Personally, I think that when NLP was documented, it lost most of it's power. I've spoken with lots of people on the telephone who tell me that they ``know'' NLP because they've read it in books. When they finally get in our seminars, they are totally blown away by how much they were missing.
Many people write about the techniques in NLP because they can be easily articulated - the step-by-step hallmark of NLP. True learning, however, does not occur in a step-by-step, chunked down version. When you learned to ride a bike, you didn't learn it from a book - you learned it by doing it. You didn't learn to chunk down each section of the bike and concentrate on one item at a time - you just hopped on and tried to coordinate everything at once.
It's like describing all of the complex, phenomenal emotions you feel when you look into the face of your newborn baby - there really is no way to come up with the words that will give the person an accurate representation of your expierence.
You can intellectualize all you want about how, precisely, you ride a bike or look into the eyes of a newborn baby, but untill you experience it, you'll never know the joy of it. Intellectual (or informational) knowlege about the bike or about ``how-to'' look at a newborn may be nice, but it is not neccessary in order to get the result.
True learning, whether it's NLP or DHE, requires total dedication, total skill and effort on the part of the trainer. Frankly, most NLPers are to busy intellectualizing this stuff so they don't put the time and effort into putting on good training. Most of them are therapists, not trainers. Many can do excellent change work, but many, I am very sorry to say, are poor teachers.
True learning is also hard to do. I think that most people lack the motivation and desire to do what it takes to get technically good at NLP - therefore, compared to the amount of so-called, ``experts'' in this field, the ``master'' is very rare.
True learning requires bravery - it requires people to step out of their own map for a moment, to chart the unfamiliar territory. It requires people to fall flat on their face, over and over again. Intellectual learning doesn't require this as much - because intellectual learning isn't about developing skill, it's about having more knowledge.
Learning also requires repetition, which requires time - and most people in this field haven't put in the time needed to become masters of NLP or masters of themselves. They suddenly become self-appointed experts because they took a couple certification trainings or read a couple of books on the subject.
Anyway, I could probably write forever. I hope that my points are well taken... or not... I am open to discussing DHE and answering questions about it. I won't write a book here on the net, but I will be able to answer to the best of my ability, the how, why, etc.
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com (Ross Jeffries) wrote:
> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> email@example.com (Carolyn K. Sikes) wrote:
> > I believe what Dave calls ``intellectual learning'' or what I call
> > ``informational learning'' is valuable - but does not belong in seminars.
> > You can get informational learning from books and tapes. Information does
> > not lead to transformation. doing or being leads to transformation.
> Hang on a sec, here, Carolyn. I think what Dave would probably tell
> you is that,for him, having the proper information at the conceptual level
> great helps his doing and/or being.
> In my seminars, I always insist on students understanding (that's
> understanding, damnit!) the purpose of each and every tool I give them. I
> find (as do they), that knowing the purpose and direction greatly assists
> them in implementing the patterns in the real world, as well as coming up
> with their own durn patterns, buckaroo!
Hey Buckaroo :-), I totally agree with you. Providing motivation, direction, and purpose can help with doing and being. They also assist students in implementing the patterns in the real world, especially with adult learners.
In our seminars, we do provide information, and intellectual understanding when appropriate! It's useful, but it doesn't provide skill. Transfer of skill is what Rex and I are personally interested in and is our highest priority. My comments are in response to the amount of informational or intellectual stuff that is disseminated in most training programs and the lack of behavioral skill.
I recently spent $850 on a well-recommended ``time management'' seminar where they basically put up an overhead projector filled with bullets, read from it, and somehow we were supposed to ``transform'' our style of managing time. This kind of thing is far too prevalent in the ``seminar world".
Information about something doesn't provide skill. It provides understanding and motivation. Information increases the desire to have skill, but doesn't provide the skill. Now, understanding CAN assist the skill process but isn't totally necessary in order to achieve the result.
Let me put this in a form that I think you can understand Ross. Skill in lovemaking or sex comes from doing it, not from reading about it. Reading a sex manual can give you some motivation to do it, but until you do it, you'll never know the joy and you'll never have the skill. Discussing it won't provide you with the skill. And if you can forgive the analogy, the more you do it, the better you get at it and the more you enjoy it. On the other hand, the more times you discuss it, the more you know about it, doesn't do a thing to improve skill or get you any closer to achieving good results!
I think this is why some people have trouble with the current teaching style that Richard Bandler has adopted. People think he's just up there ``telling stories". What happens is that they miss it because they are searching for the conscious mind, intellectual understanding of the material and he just hasn't been giving it out anymore. He's figured out ways to get to point A and point B faster than before (ie: from Unconscious incompetence straight to Unconscious competence). He realizes that conscious appreciation doesn't absolutely have to be there in order for people to make changes and create new skills - it's called hypnosis.
For example, you are not going to learn how to ride a bike by reading about it on the net. You are also not going to learn how to do neurosurgery by reading about it either. Reading and doing use different parts of your brain. I do however, hope that my neurosurgeon has enough conscious appreciation of his field to be able to describe the mechanics of it - and I also hope his skill level is such that he could do the operation blindfolded!! I don't want to go to a doctor who can talk about it but sucks at doing it!!!! I happen to value skill more than conceptual knowledge, probably because I am in the seminar business, because I'd rather just see people happy and productive rather than have an understanding of how that process occurs!
This does not mean that one is inherintly better than the other - that depends on what you want it for.
Do you want to be able to understand DHE intellectually.... - so that you can talk about it? - so that you can make a decision whether or not to attend a training program? - so that you can get a Kinesthetic hit off of the info? - so that you can put it into a box called, ``all the stuff I know about"? - so that you can use it? - so that you can prove it doesn't work or does work?
If you let me know then I can better answer your questions. If you want to understand it intellectually so that you can use it, don't come to me. I won't give it to you. There are too many people out there in NLP who are intellectually knowledgable about this stuff, but when it comes to being a shining example of productivity, competence, passion and zest for life, they can't cut it.
Now, I tend to agree and disagree with Richard's current teaching style in the sense that with adults I believe it is beneficial for them if they can have some intellectual appreciation for what they are learning - therefor Rex provides both in our seminars. On the same hand, though, the ``drive'' for conceptual information is what usually gets in the way of people actually being able to learn new skills.
Infants and small children learn at an incredible pace. They don't need to know why they are doing it, where it is going and how specifically they will apply it, they just play, and experiment. This is why they learn at such an incredible pace. At a certian point, however, they learn to question things, they ask why and how - the intellectual persuit, and hopefully this doesn't impede their learning process, rather add to it. As adults, a little intellectual pursuit is great and healthy, yet the need-to-know-everything-before-I-do-anything attitude prevents some from learning quickly and easily. I believe balance is the key.
Providing students with a conceptual understanding occasionally as they go through the learning process helps them keep on track. It's a tricky area although, because this is where problems can arise - this is where things like ``you must always have rapport'' come from. They forgot that Rapport exercises are about getting people to get out of their head and paying attention to other people - they were too busy intellectualizing why matching and mirroring works and how specifically they should apply it. They were too busy conceptualizing it to actually learn what they were supposed to learn from it.
Same thing happens with DHE - people try to conceptualize why it works and try to break down the patterns. They begin to think DHE is about the ``cool'' machines and halucinating grids and cross hairs instead of actually having the experience of opening up possibilities, of making life more fun, of spreading joy and love to others around them, of deliberately designing themselves for no reason at all other than to feel good!
> What Dave is looking for, I think, is a written elucidation of the
> principles of DHE. They're there...you just have to know how to look for
I do understand that this is what he's looking for - and I will do my best to come up with something that will satisfy him - although my guess is that there isn't much that will satisfy him because the conceptual understanding of DHE is not the point!
> I know in your seminar brochure, you compare and contrast DHE with NLP.
> Why not republish that on the net...it might really help. (Not the whole
> brochure...you'll get flamed for ``advertising". I mean the compare and
> contrast part).
I think many people like this chart because it can begin to shed some light on the differences in the models. It's one of the things I've come up with that seems to help people to conceptualize it (now). Here goes:
NLP ---------------> DHE
Elicit past resources ---------------> Build and Design new resources
begin with visual system --------------->begin with kinesthetic system
concentrate on visual system ---------------> massively enhance auditory system
separates out the ``tools'' ---------------> use toolbox simultaneously
run different techniques ---------------> design what's needed/missing
turn voice into Mickey Mouse ---------------> build in chorus of voices
develop outcomes ---------------> design and intstall direction for future
make pictures big or bright ---------------> shift submodalities using sound
do belief change technique ---------------> organize all of the elements for spontaneous belief change
elicit and install strategies ---------------> design and install new blueprints
elicit motivation strategies ---------------> design big propulsion systems
do phobia cure ---------------> do new faster phobia cure
use contrastive analysis ---------------> simultaneously elicit all models
elicit submodalities one by one ---------------> simultaneiously elict all models
ask person to shift submodalities ---------------> Physically move submodalities
do change work/ techniques ---------------> use icons to design new experience
future pace change work ---------------> install generative patterns and automated ``machines''
Do change work/ techniques ---------------> Organize all the element that
focus the person on the postitive
Much, much more....
The above constitutes a lot of the techniques in DHE, but not much in the way of principles. If you chunk up when you read through them, you will be able to pick up on some of the underlying ideas.
In the trainings, DHE and NLP, Rex continually stresses a few concepts or principles that he has developed thoughout his years of teaching. He calls them ``Mind Design (tm)".
Go first - if you want to influence someone to do something or make a change or be in a particular state, you have to be there first, they will follow. Don't expect people to make changes or be flexible if you aren't there first. Don't expect people to be in a buying state (or seduction state) if you aren't there first. Don't expect people to feel totally and incredibly good if you aren't there first.
Suspend your control issues - you can always get them back when you need them, but if you want to really, and I mean really learn, then you need to suspend what you already know and play like a child. Dig in, have fun, and let go and you will learn far more than you even suspect or realize now that you are capable of achieving.
Forget about the techniques - learning techniques is learning how to be limited. You can get them from the books or tapes or manuals later. Spend your money and your time learning the methodology and attitude. If you learn these as a skill - you can whip up techniques anytime you want to or need to and you won't be limited to only having one way of doing something or walk around saying, ``what do I do when?". You could spend a lifetime and hundreds of thousands of dollars learning techniques and application-specific methods or you could learn skills that you can apply to all areas of your life with immediate and far reaching effects. Do you want bliss or do you want to learn the Parts Integration technique?
People have a built in feedback mechanism - learn to calibrate and learn to calibrate really, really well. People will always let you know what to do next. Remember if what you are doing isn't working, do anything else. You'll know what to do next if you are paying attention to the other person.
Chunk up - If you were in a forest, and got lost, in what direction would you travel? You would go up - you'd climb a tree so that you can see which direction to travel so that you can get out of the forest. Same thing with NLP, with life, with change work, with learning, with persuasion.... You'll know where to lead a person if you know how the system is currently operating. Chunking down into step 1, step 2, step 3 will blind you to what will work!!!!!!
Your language, your body, your voice, your attitude are everything! The difference between you and a chair is that you respond (well, actually, if you want to get into details, the chair does actually respond at some level). Human beings relate and respond to eachother. Everything you do as a practitioner effects other people. If you use crappy language patterns, you can re-install a phobia right after you cure it using a technique. If you have a whimpy attitude, you'll get whimpy results. If your body isn't conveying what you are talking about (ie: if you're not in state), then your client/subject/partner won't get it! If your voice tone is like fingernails on a chalkboard, not only will you not have much luck with hypnosis, you won't have much luck with people associating good feelings with you.
There's more, but for now, I'm signing out.
Carolyn K. Sikes
Co-Founder, Executive Director
IDEA Seminars, a full service NLP training organization
Call us, fax us, or e-mail us for your copy of our brand-new, full color product catalog and training guide! Phone: 1-800-REX-SIKES or 414-355-9700 Fax: 414-355-4777 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm posting, with Carolyn's permission, an answer via emial to a question I asked. Excellent answer, so I thought I would share it (and not just for the compliment at the end.... :-)} ). Thanks Carolyn!
>One thing I was interested to read - you advocate having one teacher
>in a training program, beginning to end. Others advocate having
>several teachers. My training was the latter and I felt that its
>strength was having several excellent teachers to model instead
>of just one. In observing graduates of the ``one teacher''
>hypnotherapy programs I see them as being, for the most part,
>"imprinted'' by a particular style, almost a ``baby duck'' syndrome.
>This is in contrast to my own experience where I did have the
>opportunity to model many styles. Comments?
Good point. I do think it is important to model different styles, that's what guest trainers are for. In fact, we bring in trainers occasionally who have totally different values and beliefs than we do because we feel that it is important for the students to have models for these different styles. We also feel it's important for students to realize that different approaches are OK, that there isn't one right way to do this stuff - that the only thing that matters are results.
For example, one of our trainers, Will MacDonald, comes from a very thereputic approach - one of the most brilliant and skilled change artists I know of. He does a lot of therapy demos and such. In contrast, Rex does not subscribe to the ``traditional therapy'' approach and believes people can change without using that model. We bring in Will because we feel that the students can benefit by seeing the drastically different styles.
What I also feel is critical is having one trainer who is present and active throughout the entire training so that he/she can adjust to the class needs. Otherwise, what happens is that the different trainers come in for their section and do their prepared piece and then leave. What happens is students usually do not get the skills needed to put all of this stuff together - they get the VAK and Rapport section, the meta model section, the milton model section, the submodality section, the integration section etc. When students have one trainer who oversees the entire thing - the trainer can use the language models while eliciting submodalities, use meta model questions while teaching a technique, and can integrate throughout the training rather than the ``integration section'' at the end. He/she can also watch the students and come back to VAK on the 10th day or spend more time on the meta model or whatever - so that in case people need work on a particular area, then they can have more time in that area.
Hope this helps answer your questions. Please feel free to contact me again and ask more.
BTW, if you'd like to post your last question and my answer to the newsgroup - please go ahead. I think people could benefit from such an intelligent question. It's an excellent point.