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The Heritage and History of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

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The history of nlp goes back to 1960s and 1970s with the writings of Korzybski and Chomsky which greatly affected the study of linguistics. In 1971 John Grinder, at 31 year old received PhD in linguistics from the University of California. His research focused on Chomsky’s theories of transformational grammar.

Richard Bandler was a brilliant 21 yr old in 1971, majoring in psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).  Bandler was especially interested in the Gestalt therapy of Fritz Perls (1893-1970). Perl’s Gestalt therapy focuses on experience, specifically the present moment, and the precision of language.

Bandler had excellent behavioral modeling skills. But he was not very successful in teaching others to do what he did. He asked Grinder to help him figure out what he was doing so he could teach the skills to others. Grinder had acquired brilliant modeling skills from his study of linguistics. Thus the collaboration between the two was a new field of NLP.

They started by identifying language patterns, communication patterns, attitudes and specific ways of thinking characteristic of all three psychotherapists. (Virginia Satir, Milton H. Erickson and Fritz Perls).

As a result of this work, Richard and John extracted a set of beliefs, skills and techniques which they named Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

In 1974 Bandler and Grinder developed the concept of the 4-Tuple, which refers to the ongoing flow (outside of conscious awareness) of multiple sensory representational systems:

V: Visual,

A: Auditory,

K: Kinesthetic,

O/G- Olfactory/Gustatory

Apart from this, they also discovered the patterns of eye-accessing cues.

In 1975, Bandler and Richard wrote patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton Erickson Volume I. Erickson uses the vague and general language to enable the client to work at an unconscious level. Thus the concept of Meta Model came into existence.

In 1976, Grinder and Blander published The Structure of Magic, Volume II.

By the end of 1976, Grinder and Bandler had combined Satir’s and Perl’s language patterns and Erickson’s hypnotic language and use of metaphor with anchoring to create new processes that they called collapsing anchors.

In 1977, Grinder and Bandler commissioned Robert Dilts to write Neuro Linguistic Programming: The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience. NLP, Vol. I which was first published in 1978.

In 1978 two more members of the NLP core group in Santa Cruz, Byron Lewis and Frank Pucelik, also took on the project of writing a clear exposition of nlp. Magic Demystified was first published in 1980. Lewis and Pucelik clarify the meta model that Bandler and Grinder had outlined in Structure of Magic I. They explained that the meta model is the overview of how humans use language to make sense of their world that is presented through the senses.

Steve Andreas, edited some transcripts of a live seminar presented by Bandler and Grinder. This collection of transcripts became the book called- Frogs into Princes.

In 1978, NLP was a compilation of the meta model, representational systems, eye-accessing cues, anchoring, reframing, strategies, hypnotic language, and techniques to create and adjust rapport.

In late 1978, John Grinder and Richard Bandler, the two founders of nlp decided to go their separate ways. Bandler promoted The Society of NLP, asserting that it alone was the valid authority in the new fields. Grinder partnered with Judith DeLozier to form Grinder, DeLozier and Associates.

Grinder worked with The International Trainers Academy of Neuro Linguistic Programming. While Blander continued with developing and teaching change patterns.

Tad James and L. Michael Hall formed two of the better known schools of NLP.

Tad James system is a combination of basic NLP tools, hypnotherapy, and an innovation that James calls Time Line Therapy.

Michael Hall is the founder of neuro-semantics, which he first introduced in 1997 in his book Mind-lines that Change Minds.

Edited from the book Transformational NLP by Carl Buchheit.

Mugdha is a NLP master practitioner and students' mind coach. She is excellent in teaching memory techniques to students and enable them to enjoy learning.
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