In article <email@example.com>, SeiserL <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I agree with you to a large extent. My first practitioner and master practitioner training was in 1983-84 from, among others, Leslie Cameron Bandler (as she was then known) and Michael LeBeau. I remember in particular Leslie warning us against the ``proliferation of arrogance'' in NLP.
Since you say you were trained by Bandler and Grinder, I would also add that the early trainings were not very good. Based on what I've been told by people who trained with B & G, the training I went through was considerably better. It de-emphasized techniques (which annoyed me at the time) and focused much more on the art of therapy and the question of how to organize your work and understand what is going on in a person that enables them to have the kind of experience which they label as a ``problem.''
If you have not seen the two videotapes showing Leslie work with clients (Lasting Feelings and Making Futures Real --- dreadful titles), I strongly recommend that you obtain them from NLP Comprehensive. They are not very expensive any more and are very instructive on the art of therapy, even for therapists who don't know much NLP and don't want to know it.
Later on, in 1991, I re-took the master practitioner training from NLP Comprehensive. (You can look at the article My NLP Training on my web page for specific details.) This was very different from the previous training. It was more technique oriented, but with also a lot of good material on the art of therapy and organizing your work. Then I took some shorter courses from Robert Dilts, which were quite interesting but I would not really make them my first-choice recommendation to a therapist. And finally, in 1995 I believe, I took the 8-day DHE course from Rex Sikes, which was very rewarding for me personally in a number of ways but which is not really oriented towards therapists.
I think that in general NLP has not mastered the problem of how to teach NLP approaches to therapists, except for simplistic (but often very useful and effective) techniques. Most people, in my opinion, will not ultimately learn much skill by simply going through a seminar, even though they may leave the seminar feeling it was really great and there was a lot of useful material. This is especially true, in my opinion, of the now popular format where a whole training is offered in a single month during the summer. It's like going to a one-month seminar on learning to play to piano. The seminar may be wonderful and you may feel like you really understand a lot, but that seminar in itself will not turn you into an accomplished pianist.
I've thought about this a lot, and I've finally decided that the reason I learned so much during my first practitioner and master practitioner training was that the trainings were spread out in segments over many months, and in between segments I spent a lot of time getting together with fellow students and other friends and practicing what I was learning. Also I was reading all the books and attending occasional weekend seminars from various people in Berkeley.
Then, when I came back to Honolulu from Berkeley the following year, I became a volunteer doing suicide prevention work as one way of practicing my skill (I'm not a therapist by profession) and talked about NLP to almost everyone I met and did work on any friend or acquaintance who would admit to having a problem and was willing to let me try helping them with it.
I believe that in a way I had an advantage over many therapists in NLP trainings, who seem to have the attitude, ``Well, I don't need to go to study groups or practice with friends because I'm already a skilled therapist and have lots of clients to work with.'' Clients are good, but one has an ethical responsibility to clients that prevents one from just playing and experimenting with them.
The people I know who have really learned NLP to an extent that it becomes an important part of the work they do are people who don't just go to one training, or a few trainings. They become assistants at trainings, they go to lots of different trainings, they find leading figures in the NLP community who are willing to take them on as more or less apprentices.
I think that when we sell NLP, we often make the mistake of trying to make it seem like something really easy that you can learn without much effort. This is true for certain parts of NLP, but I don't know of anybody who can really use it in an important way who has learned it quickly or without much effort.
Trying to understand learning by studying schooling is rather like trying to understand sexuality by studying bordellos. -- Mary Catherine Bateson, Peripheral Visions