At the end you write:
> Oh dear.. this message is sounding like an attack now. I don't mean it
>to be, I'm just interested in your ideas and would like to know
>more. Please write back if you have the time.
It doesn't sound like an attack to me at all. Disagreement is not the same as an attack. In any case, you haven't even disagreed with me, you've just said that certain things didn't seem clear to you.
I did take the time to answer you --- and it does take quite a bit of time --- because you have asked important questions. In return, though, I have to ask for your indulgence for my adding what I've written here to my archive --- without identifying you, however.
> I was just reading through a few things on your web site - and I like
>your web design and think you've got more content than an awful lot of
>places put together.
Thanks very much. My site is, in any case, very different from most other NLP sites. It is constructed more to express my own thoughts than to sell something. Many of the other sites are good, however.
> I was very interested in your comments on the NLP Master Practitioner
>training. What type of things do you learn and how is the study
>conducted? I ask this because I have asked several NLP-related people,
>including course directors and other students, what they learned on NLP
>courses and none of them have ever been able to give me a meaningful
>answer. Most of the students gave me responses with things like ``Oh, it's
>great, it changed my life'', but absolutely no real information about what
>was done. Several of the students went so far with this empty evangelism
>that I half-wondered if they'd been on a 3-day cult brainwashing rather
>than an NLP course. (The pictures in the promotional material of people
>like Bandler, Grinder and McKenna with haloes around them didn't help much
I think that, in a way, some of the seminars are almost like a kind of brainwashing, although in a positive sense. That is, they don't function so much to instill a particular set of beliefs (although certainly there are some beliefs they attempt to instill) but rather to enable students to let go of many of their previous beliefs and attitudes and be open to other possibilities. From what I've been told, this is true of Bandler's seminars (I've never attended one). It was largely true of the Rex Sikes DHE seminar I took. There was an attempt to give students the belief and attitude that they are capable of learning to do anything they want to. Of course DHE is not NLP and, to be honest, even after taking the course I still don't know what DHE is.
Some parts of the Rex Sikes training were, I believe, somewhat like exercises that beginning acting students do, and some parts were like inspirational seminars for salesmen.
The NLP Master Prac training I took from NLP Comprehensive was very different, though. The emphasis was much more on techniques, especially submodality techniques. You can find many of these techniques described in the Andreas book Heart of the Mind. And there was discussion of types of thinking and attitudes that are useful in working with clients. Look at the article art.2 in my archive. The article art-of-therapy also addresses your question.
The original Master Prac training I took from Leslie Cameron Bandler, Michael LeBeau, Lynne Conwell, and David Gordon was primarily designed to teach us about Meta Programs and to teach a new way of analyzing human behavior that Leslie, Michael, and David had recently been working on. (In part, they seem to have later abandoned those ideas, but, in a transformed way, David Gordon now uses them in his work on modeling. See the Experiential Dynamics (David Gordon and Graham Dawes) site listed in my links to get the general flavor of this.) Compared to most of the NLP trainings I've taken, it was a very theoretically oriented course, although there were certainly occasional attempts to be inspirational.
From my experience, the Robert Dilts and Judith DeLozier seminars tend to be very theoretical in orientation. Dilts and DeLozier are much more like a traditional university professor than inspirational leaders.
As to how seminars are conducted, the pattern is generally the same in most NLP seminars. (The DHE seminar from Rex Sikes did not completely follow this pattern.) About one-third of the seminar consists of the trainer lecturing on the important ideas of the seminar. Another one-third consists of demonstrations done in front of the class with one or more subjects chosen from the class in order to demonstrate a particular technique or idea. And the other third of the seminar consists of exercises for students to do with each other. There are also occasional trance inductions given to the entire class. (See the Grinder-Bandler book Trance-Formations to see what these are like.)
> Can you give me some information about what you learn on these
>trainings? I have seen a Bandler training videotape, and it was quite
>interesting, although at some points he referred back to material that was
>in the course but not on the tape which I consider rather rude.
Bandler is not typical. But then again, the whole NLP scene has changed so much over the past ten years that I'm not sure the trainings I took are typical either any more. But if you're able to get hold of videotapes, look at the various videotapes from NLP Comprehensive. The phobia cure, the grief pattern, the belief changing pattern, etc. These are quite typical of things in the Master Pract training I took from NLP Comprehensive. Many of them are described in articles in my archive.
> Actually one reason why I visited your site was that somebody mentioned
>I should look at your article on shyness (since I also have a difficulty
>with shyness - or rather unattractiveness, but apparantly cause difficulty
>by demanding that advice given to me about it should be logical and
>correct, which has caused a lot of rows on the Usenet support group). I
>fear I found that the advice on your page fell into that same trap since it
>contradicts itself (near the beginning, it states that ``Women are not going
>to want to talk to you", but then later claims that there are ``women who
>could use [ie, who at some level want] some attention from you''; do they or
>do they not want to talk!?).
Do not read this article with the attitude that I am a source of wisdom who has all the right answers. I am trying to fuck with your mind and get you to, at least momentarily, let go of your existing attitudes and be open to other possibilities. If you can understand this, then you will understand my comments about ``brainwashing'' above.
There's a certain level of irony at various parts of that article which perhaps does not always come through when it's read out of context. The statement ``women are not going to want to talk to you'' is obviously false. Why obviously? There's a simple NLP answer: the universal quantifier. Nothing is going to be true for all women.
However, it's true that as long as your attention is primarily on your own behavior and your own feelings of inadequacy and all the things you are telling yourself on the inside, many women will not see you as an attractive or comfortable person to talk to. Nonetheless, in any crowd where there are a fair number of women, there will be some who would very much like some attention from almost any man. All you have to do is to stop being wrapped up in your own feelings of inadequacy and start tuning in to other people's feelings and you will notice which women would appreciate a few words from you.
>I also have some problems with subjective
>terminology (like ``give a friendly smile".. sorry, but I don't actually
>know how to do that.)
Aha! You sound like an NLP trainer. Yes, a ``friendly smile'' is not described in basic sensory terms. But I will give you an answer which is not in basic NLP terms: Create a feeling of friendliness inside yourself and stop worrying about what your smile looks like. If you have the right feeling, your smile will take care of itself.
> One other thing was something I noticed while reading your Snapshots
>page. It was about the student ``who decided on the first day the course
>wasn't worthwhile, yet still came to the course for the whole semester";
>which you state reflects ``an attitude all too typical among students". I'm
>a bit confused as to what attitude you mean. Did he really have any choice
>other than to attend the course, given that he wanted to get a
>qualification in the subject?
Since it was an upper level elective course, my asssumption is that he could have switched to another course instead, and perhaps taken this particular course some other semester. Of course I don't know for sure. You might be right. But usually in a situation like that, a student's comments will say as much: ``I would have dropped this course on the first day except that I really needed it to graduate.''