From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 15:31:41 BST

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    From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
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    Subject: NLP
    Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 10:31:41 -0400
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    I had deleted the initial messages on NLP as I'm not interested in
    discussing its merits, but then worried that those on this list who do not
    know about NLP might take what has been offered here as accurate and so lose
    potential interest in something that actually is significantly more

    The quote from the Skeptical _something_ (?) was quite inadequate: it
    addresses at best one sub-sub-element of NLP, 'hypnosis'.

    NLP is a codification of 'best-practices' from the worlds of semantics and
    psycho-therapy. Despite the shabby overall record of therapists, some of
    them have done some remarkable and useful work. The early pioneers of NLP
    sought out this work, analyzed its patterns, and packaged it into
    intervention tools so that others could be trained to carry on with the new

    Subsequently, at least one of these founders and quite a few
    second-generation NLPers became irresponsible promoters of NLP training
    programs, together with unsubstantiated claims and shabby training
    practices. This professional irresponsibility was mirrored in their chaotic
    and at times irresponsible personal lives.

    But if one peels off this irresponsibility (a non-trivial effort!) one is
    left with a significant body of understanding about human behavioral and
    decision-making patterns, an understanding that underlies a growing body of
    practical intervention tools that can generate remarkable and positive
    changes for individuals, families and organizations. Some of the more recent
    developments, while owing a significant debt to NLP and other fields, are
    being done without the name of NLP, if part to distance themselves from the
    irresponsibility mentioned above.

    'Hypnosis' itself is intrinsically controversial, and was so long before the
    advent of NLP. I look into it some years ago and came away unimpressed,
    realizing that the 'truth' of hypnosis resided essentially in how one
    defined hypnosis. The more plausible the definition, e.g. 'a change in a
    person's state' the less interesting the idea of hypnosis became
    technically. The important thing here is to realize that the significance of
    NLP does not lie in 'hypnosis' as classically defined ('putting someone into
    a state of unconsciousness such that the hypnotist can 'make' them do things
    they would otherwise refuse to do'), and NLP should not be judged by that
    standard, as NLP neither embraces that standard nor, technically, requires
    that form of hypnosis.

    Given the attention getting irresponsibility referred to earlier, it is
    difficult to criticize those who might be generally critical of NLP. But it
    would be a pity to lose sight of the genuinely important useful patterns of
    understanding and intervention tools that NLP codified, and those that were
    later achieved with the use of those codifications.

    I can provide more information on this if anyone is interested.

    - Lawrence

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On Behalf
    Of Trupeljak Ozren
    Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 3:44 AM
    Subject: RE: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics

    Really? I have not known that it was so controversial...why? Is it only
    because of the outregous claims they make in their advertisements? Are
    there *any* people who had positive experience with it all? What about
    the clinical establishment?


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