The topic was comparisons between NLP and academic clinical psychology, in particular, the balance between theory and empirically derived approaches in each case (realizing that, in the case of NLP, ``empirical'' is not to be understood as synonymous with ``statistical'').
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com
(Bill Goodrich) writes:
>How interesting: Lee Lady and I disagree on a matter of substance! Maybe
>Armageddon IS coming ;->
I'm certainly glad you added the smiley. In fact, I think that a whole bunch of them would have been appropriate.
You certainly know a lot more about clinical psychology as an academic discipline than I do. In fact, I always risk making a fool of myself when I comment on the subject. But sometimes there are things I seem to see that I really feel a need to speak out on, and if I'm wrong, I'm willing to be corrected. In this case, I'll comment further in a separate article.
It's also likely that you understand a lot more about NLP than I do, and I'm glad you're giving me the opening to say something I've wanted to for a long time.
I started posting articles on NLP almost from the very beginning of sci.psychology. At that time there was nobody else in the newsgroup who knew much about the subject and it bothered me that there were so many academics or graduate students who would say, ``NLP? What is that? I've never heard of it.''
In those days, it was pretty obvious that the people who criticized NLP had no conception at all of what it was. It was referred to as a cult or a ``new age pseudo-science.'' It was clear that people were assuming that it was some sort of belief system, analogous to est or to Scientology. It also seemed that many academics assumed that it claimed to be a general scientific theory of psychology, an alternative to academic scientific psychology. The clinicians, on the other hand, assumed that it had the same objectives as they have, namely to cure psychological disorders.
Arguing on those terms wasn't accomplishing very much. As so often in arguments, people heard (or read) what they expected to hear, not what I actually wrote. And so it seemed that the first step in getting some kind of acceptance of NLP, or at least interest in it, would be to try and explain what sort of thing it actually is.
This also gave me the opportunity to write down my own thoughts on what NLP is really about. I did this with considerable trepidation, nervously awaiting the day when some true expert on NLP would say, ``You dumb shit, you don't know the first thing about NLP!'' Strangely enough, this never did happen. From time to time some people did join the newsgroup who seemed much more expert than myself, but we actually had very few disagreements and these were very polite. (Perhaps out of the feeling that since we NLPers are such a minority here in sci.psychology we'd damn well better stick together instead of attacking each other.) And I was somewhat relieved when I met Charles Faulkner during the Master Practitioner Training in Colorado in 1992 and he said he'd read many of my articles and thought my understanding of NLP was very good.
Nonetheless, I felt --- and still feel --- a little odd when I started to realize that over the course of time many people were accepting me as some kind of NLP guru. NLP students would write asking my advice on particular topics or asking me to recommend trainings for them to take.
This got a lot worse a couple of years ago when I decided to archive the best of my articles so that I wouldn't have to keep reposting them every year or so. Finally, I added a disclaimer to the README file in my archive, stating that when it comes to NLP I consider myself not an expert but a mere electronic journalist, reporting on what I know as best I can. Maybe I need to strengthen that disclaimer to emphasize that I do not consider my articles as a definitive treatment of NLP, but merely an enticement to get people to read some of the books, maybe look at some of the videotapes and possibly even go through a training. (I try my best to encourage therapists to go through NLP training. I don't really encourage others to do so, although I don't discourage it either. I can only say that as the result of my first NLP training I made dramatic positive changes in my own life. I can't promise that it will be the same for anyone else.)
To me, usenet is not a place to learn The Truth. It's a place to find out about new and exciting things that one might want to learn more about from other sources.
The best thing about being an artist, instead of a madman or someone who writes letters to the editor, is that you get to engage in satisfying work. &nbps; --- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird