Videotapes are expensive. This is an unfortunate fact of life, especially when tapes are produced for a small market. My hope is to encourage a number of university libraries and departments of clinical and counseling psychology to make some of the NLP videotapes available to their students. It is also possible to rent videotapes by mail from NLP Comprehensive. There is a $10 initial registration fee and after that tapes can be rented for a month for $15.
In a way, though, I'm almost glad that videotapes are expensive. There's a temptation to watch a videotape once, think it's very interesting, and then never look at it again. NLP videotapes are intended to be studied thoroughly and I think that having to pay a lot of money for one encourages that.
The tapes that above all I would like therapists to have a chance to see are the two Cameron Bandler sets. These are a demonstration of what NLP can be at its best and contain a wealth of valuable perspectives on the art of therapy. Originally these sold $160 per set and thus were quite expensive. However, the price has since come down considerably. Because Leslie addresses a large number of different issues, each of these sets is in some ways much more valuable than the typical 70 minute tape that demonstrates a single technique.
For those who want to get an idea of what NLP techniques are like, the videotapes on the Swish Pattern, grief, and changing beliefs are all interesting. I think that all these tapes should also be of interest to cognitive psychologists, since they are fairly good demonstrations of the NLP approach to gathering information from subjects. (I especially recommend the Swish Pattern tape in this respect.)
There is a temptation to regard videotaped demonstrations as some sort of proof of how effective NLP is. Although the sessions shown on these tapes are certainly remarkable, one has to remember that they are far from a random sample either of NLP practitioners or of the work done by the particular practitioners shown. They are intended as vehicles for teaching rather than as substitutes for systematic clinical studies.
Because of the expense, there are a limited number of videotapes that I have been able to see. I think that the list below includes many of the best tapes available but undoubtedly many good tapes are omitted.
Prices listed are for US standard format, VHS or Beta. Prices for Pal or Secam versions are higher.
Leslie Cameron Bandler, Making Futures Real and Lasting Feelings. Each of these is a two-tape set and originally cost $160. The price has since come down, and in any case, they are Highly Recommended. Whatever one's opinion about NLP, these are a chance to watch a master therapist at work. The first tape in each set is a complete piece of work with a client lasting over an hour. The clients are students in an NLP training. Leslie knows them but not a lot about them. She is not told the problem that the client has come to work on until the beginning of the session. In each case, Leslie successfully completes the therapy in the single session. (Her work here should not be taken as typical of the skill of an average NLP therapist. Furthermore, it should be noted that the sessions shown were selected from a total of 23 sessions that were taped. The other 21 were judged unsuitable for publication for various reasons (unknown to me, but undoubtedly Leslie was not as spectacularly successful in all 23 sessions). I would recommend that a therapist or student of therapy watch each of these client session a dozen times, paying attention to different things each time.
The second tape in each set is about an hour and a half long and is a detailed analysis of the session shown in the first tape.
Making Futures Real deals with the issue of weight control. A review of it is contained in this archive. This tape is a good demonstration of how change can be brought about simply by asking the subject the right questions. It also shows one of the fundamental ideas in NLP --- finding resources that the client already has in some parts of their life and enabling the client to have those resources available in the problem context. Leslie uses only a few technical NLP interventions, and even these are mostly conversational in form.
Lasting Feelings deals with intense, unjustified jealousy. It uses an intervention due to Leslie called the Generative Chain. However she uses it in a more conversational form than is usually taught in NLP trainings. (After seeing this tape, I was very disappointed in the way this technique was taught in my Master Practitioner training.)
The Swish Pattern, Steve & Connirae Andreas, 70 minutes, $65. In the first half of this tape, Steve Andreas does a standard Swish with a client who wants to stop biting her nails. The second half shows a tour de force --- an auditory Swish done by Connirae. What makes Connirae's work especially instructive is the detailed process of information gathering she does with the client. This tape is reviewed in the file tape.connirae in this archive. It is also Highly Recommended.
The Fast Phobia/Trauma Cure, Steve & Connirae Andreas, $50. The Andreases themselves admit that this is not a very good tape. Somehow, the phobia cure seems to be so simple that it is hard to give a really interesting description or even demonstration of it. However I think that this tapes shows it sufficiently well that most experienced therapists should be able to learn it. The main thing that one can see is how really straightforward the technique is. There's always a temptation for the therapist to try and make it overly elaborate the first few times.
The first half of the tape shows Steve Andreas curing a woman of a phobia of bees. As usual in these tapes, a follow-up interview several months later is also shown. The second half of the tape shows Connirae doing a follow-up interview with a Vietnam veteran treated for Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome. Unfortunately, the actual session done with this second client is not shown, which considerably diminishes the tape's value.
Changing Beliefs, Steve & Connirae Andreas, 100 minutes, $85. This shows a single session, plus a follow-up interview. It's probably more interesting for the information-gathering process than for the actual intervention, although the Belief Change technique is certainly important. The file beliefs in this archive describes a different approach to changing beliefs.
Resolving Grief, Connirae Andreas, 60 minutes, $50. Connirae uses the Grief Technique with a man who had recently lost an infant son. As in the other Andreas tapes listed here, this is a submodalities technique. Mostly I would like therapists to see this to realize that clients can be taught to deal with grief very easily, without going through the well known Kuebler-Ross steps. The technique is also described in the book Heart of the Mind by the Andreases.
Making Core Change, Connirae Andreas. Unlike the other Andreas tapes, this does not demonstrate a specific technique, but instead is a somewhat free from piece of therapy done as a demonstration with a student during an NLP training. I definitely recommend this tape as an opportunity to study some of the general skills that go into making an effective NLP practitioner, although few practitioners attain Connirae's artistry.
Virginia Satir tapes. I have actually seen only one of these, and that one only once (during my Master Practitioner training in Colorado). However I want to mention that there are seven tapes available, all showing Virgina Satir doing sessions (usually with groups) over an hour long. $85 apiece.
Creating Therapeutic Change, Richard Bandler. 7 tapes, approximately 90 minutes each, $532 for the set. (Tapes also available individually, $95 apiece.) These tapes show a seminar Bandler gave for advanced practitioners. In the audience one can note Charles Faulkner and Robert McDonald, now fairly well known NLP trainers. This is definitely one continuous seminar and I don't think it makes sense to buy less than the full set of tapes.
There are now lots of extremely good NLP trainers around. But the process that people go through today in learning NLP is no real substitute for the intense, wild, and sometimes irresponsible experiences that led to the original creation of NLP. Consequently, there are certain things that, in my opinion, can be learned from those who were in the original core NLP group that can't be learned as effectively from anyone else. And most of all, this is true of Richard Bandler himself.
It's important to realize, though, that you will probably have very strong feelings about Bandler. Few people are neutral about him. I had a friend who paid a lot of money for a weekend seminar with him and then never went back after Friday evening because she couldn't stand being in the same room with him. Other people take every possible seminar from him that they can.
Bandler is an arrogant egotist who often seems to be condescending towards everyone else in the whole world. His approach to clients is often confrontational and I think that many will consider it contemptuous. Purely in terms of physical appearance, on this tape he looks like a real low-life.
On the other hand, he is very skilled at creating very rapid changes in clients. And part of what makes him seem so confrontational and contepmtuous is that he has very little patience with clients who want to hang on to their problems. At one point in this tape, he explains why he does not think that empathy is a desirable quality for a therapist. What most therapists do is to be a paid friend who will comfort the client and help the client feel better about having their problem. One of Richard's favorite expressions is ``You *will* make this change NOW.'' In this seminar, he talks about telling clients things like ``You have either two choices: You can either stop behaving in such a stupid way NOW and move on to having a more exciting and ecstatic life or ... I can see to it that your problem becomes ten times as bad for you as it is now and that you will be miserable every day for of the rest of your life. Now which will it be?''
One of the dangers here is that the attitude Richard shows here is easy to imitate, but the skills are not. And for a therapist to adopt the attitude without having the skills is, in my opinion, a recipe for disaster.
On the plus side, though, is the primary message that pervades the whole seminar. Traditional therapy is in one way pernicious, in that it focuses attention on the bad parts of a client's life instead of the good parts. And in fact a lot of the problem that many people have is that all of their attention is focused on what's wrong in their life instead of on what works well and on their potential. So it's not really enough for a therapist to simply fix problems (altho even this would be big improvement over what often happens in therapy). A therapist's goal should be to enrich his client's life, to make many more positive resources available to the client, and often the client's presenting problem serves merely as a hook for that purpose.
This seminar is mostly about attitudes rather than techniques. The technique Bandler demonstrates most often is simply a very fast and forceful use of quite direct hypnotic suggestion. I myself found these tapes very worthwhile but I can't say that everyone else will.
All the tapes listed are sold by NLP Comprehensive, 12567 W. Cedar Dr #102, Lakewood, CO 80228 (800) 233-1657 as well as many other NLP sources.