Talk:Neuro-linguistic programming/Archive 3

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This whole dispute is going nowhere

It seems that one of the main edits in question is this.[1] I first learned of NLP from my optomotrist Dr. Erwin Jay; I later researched the topic that night. I researched this topic again, only to confirm that NLP is highly variant and vague in all but a few key points, such as program one's self(in one or more aspects) to perform more effectiviely by adapting a mindset modeled after one that already seems to work. I have seen nothing that says that NLP cannot involve such "energy"; such opinions will vary from one NLP enthusiast to another...

Comaze, I would have to say that your reversions are quite tedious and unproductive. While disagreement is fine, reverting articles all day does nothing but increase stress. For such a vague idea as NLP, you should not be so selective in which views you keep on the article.

Faxx, and anyone else for that matter, if you don't have anything constructive to add, then leave.

As for the others, making a dramatic list of criticism of Comaze, especially during edit wars, is extremely futile(see Talk:Ted Kennedy/Archive_5). I have been through this type of thing before and learned from it. Also, he has done nothing to get banned(indef. block), so such suggestions are just ridiculous. If you do want an RfC against Comaze, then put it elsewhere. Article talk pages are not the place for this.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 03:33, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Voice of All, thank you for your comments. I will focus my attention on discussing to establish consensus (especially on controversial issues). --Comaze 03:53, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
This is an interesting topic, so I might stay, but I still have to bone up on some of the smaller details. I am considering archiving this talk so we have a clean slate; this helped out for the Ted Kennedy article (altough ultimately some disputes were never resolved due to trolls). I don't see Comaze as a troll, so this should work if executed, assuming everyone is willing to drop the hatchet...hopefullyVoice of All @|Esperanza|E M 04:11, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi VoiceofAll - welcome and thank you for joining. I think archiving this talk would be good - there's already an archive made till last month, expanding that with the current discussion would work? COuld you also provide some guidelines (what does "drop the hatchet" mean?) for us to work to in this period? (or do we just work as normal?)
The description you give (program one's self to perform more effectiviely by adapting a mindset modeled after one that already seems to work.) is an interesting one. Yes NLP is about modeling, taking on someone elses patterns of doing something, almost always to become more effective. The other thing that doesn't vary are some principles, and a set of patterns generally taught (some useful in modeling someone, some useful in taking on a new pattern, some simply modeled from therapists). From there what people did with the modeling and the patterns goes all over the place - though I've been surprised that when reading from prominent NLPers the message is more consistent (and comes back to the basic modeling + some core patterns + some of their own patterns).
I'd appreciate it if you could also read the parallel page (linked at the top of the article). The differences in the 2 versions will give you a good idea of where our differences are, I think (note that as of a week ago an edit-difference doesn't work). GregA 08:41, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Justin : Hello all, I have a number of books (22) on the subject of NLP and have studied as a Practitioner at Leadervision Victoria Australia. In all learnings gatherred for the prerequisites to be a NLPer never has it referred to Witchcraft or any other source of religion to be used in a religious context but in a world context. Also I would like to know what kind of tests and what resources the writer had available for it be subjected to render it inneffective for all it's intent. In my experinece of NLP if any "line or saying" from a pre existing religion is used, it is because the theory behind it would be useful in the communication of the individual in today whilst being respectful and supportive to his/her religion and promoting an ecology and respect to other individuals and the world. Whilst other lines or sayings might be inneffectual and not useful. For example Einstein believed "the world is a freindly place" ( this does not take on the entire Einstein way of thinking but just one aspect of what he believed). It does not mean that the speaker takes on these religions but takes those thoughts that would create a change (reframe of the thought and ultimate improvemant in the performance of the client). This worries me personally becuse the writer may not fully know the implications of his thoughts and seems to have a limited understanding of NLP ( probably from having limited experience with NLP) rather bringing out the more dramatic and misleading ventures of his writings. The 22 books I have available on NLP are a testament to NLP's growth in the Human learning movement rather than leading the reader into thoughts of mysticism and ignorance. Please for a more productive and truthful explanation of NLP let me be the subjects writer. I have studied screenwriting at RMIT in Melbourne NLP practitioner level in Melbourne and have over 20 books for resources that should be made available to the public, to accept or scrutinise, and know NLP's true intent. The writer at present seems like a woman scorned rather than someone who is fair in his/her analysis. I lack faith in this wikipedia because of it. Justin

Hi Justin, welcome to wikipedia. I agree largely with your assessment of NLP and of the article, though it is improving slowly. Please stick around and help, many hands make the job easier. (btw... use 4 tildes after your post and wiki converts it to your name and time of post... like my signoff now) GregA 06:47, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Keeping it productive; Voice_Of_All

Well, I found that listing Comaze's activities helped progress a lot (the Comaze reversions/deletions were reduced to one or two daily). I will move it to arbitration though just to see what they think of it. I think its about time. If it stops him from winding everyone up on their personal talk pages, then that would be great.

Totally grateful that someone else is writing about how vague and broad NLP is. Some proNLP editors here seem to think that only a few obscure epistemology books are warranted, with the theoretical or scientific ones being automatically deleted. I feel the page itself is coming along fine with NPOV (albeit quite slowly). Hopefully proNLPers will also stop demanding umpteen refs per criticism. Personally, I just want to keep it all in order. CheersHeadleyDown 04:06, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

"Totally grateful that someone else is writing about how vague and broad NLP is." I am not sure what you mean by that. (Nevermind, I thought I saw disgraceful, not grateful, I am too tired--need sleep:-))

NLP is basically like innovation in engineering--see what behavior patterns works and integrate it into your system. While spirituality can certainly be added, it is neither a contradiction to NLP nor an implicit feature.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 04:15, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Justin: Ultimately anyones future is up to themselves the choices you make will dictate the life you lead. Yes NLP is vague to an extent for the purpose that the NLPer will give vague details to the client so the client can fill them in with his own resources (emotional,mental,finacial and time) this is evident with the Milton model that leaves the meaning (all in the progress of learning and ecology) is left up to the client to fill in and is then capable of accessing new resources to fill his lifes needs. NLP therefore becomes both vague and specific. Vague by the NLPer and specified by the client. By listening to the clients current resources the NLPer is then able to add resources to the client to further fulfill his emotional values.Justin

organized crime uses of NLP speech elicitations

Because NLP can use specific linguistic cues to elicit speech from designated subjects, a call-demand network operates methodically to collect words and phrases, primarily through the telephone. Network operators can also be said to razz their subjects, in addition to other judgmental cues applied during call sessions such as scolding, condemnation, coaxing, cajoling, threatening, teasing, and wheedling. All words and phrases elicited during each 'session' are used to affect social change in some way, using vocal demand strategies as evidence of the application of NPL to seek rewards, enrichment, or social approval outside the range of the subject respondent. Beadtot 04:38, 19 October 2005 (UTC)10/18/2005 04:38, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Justin: Sorry but NLP does not support organised crime. all though the applications could be useful in attainment of outcomes in the field. So far there has been negative views of it's use in society however there is a differential between how some may use it to it's true intent . Psychologically: the way you portray NLP may become the way that some may endeavour to use the skills of NLP when in it's true form and intent are quite different. It is used as a tool for human learning and development. This is backed up with every book that I have ever read. Introducing NLP, The structure of magic Book I and II, Modelling (by Dilts), Frogs into princes, Reframing, Adventures with timelines (Hall and Bodenheimer), Turtles all the way down (Grinder and DeLozier) and Influencing with integrity (La'Borde)who all stress not to use NLP to manipulate but as a learning structure. Please VOA, I do not beleive that the true intent from NLP's inception has been noted in the articles and it would be greatly appreciated by all who wish to gain knowledge about the field. A small note should be written about how NLP has been misused (as a cautionary tale)and in what ways however it's growing intent should be paramount in it's description thanks guys for letting me say that Justin

Actually, this is an interesting line of study. I remember reading something about this in one criminology tome a few years ago. It was about jurisprudence, but there was something about con men and persuasion also. I will try to dig it up, but if you know of any other sources, that'd be great.CheersHeadleyDown 16:49, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Beadtot, Do you mean the other NLP (ie. Natural Language Processing)? --Comaze 05:04, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like he means NeuroLP, in addition to various other strategies (eg the logical fallacies can be USED to argue - ie attack the man instead of what he says, etc), even all the things the wikipedia say NOT to use can be used by people to argue reasonably effectively (just not accurately). If you have effective patterns of communication (and influence), people who want to communicate effectively (and influence) will use them (for good and for bad). GregA 07:36, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

The word 'Programming' indicates some degree of volition, which occurs as one result of 'Natural language processing' which human organisms necessarily engage. 18:17, 19 October 2005 (UTC) 10/19/2005 Beadtot

Justin: Programming is a computer term used to describe how a system may work and using the code in which to work with it. NLP uses this term to describe that Neurology is coded and can be influenced and programmed much like a computer. Once the code is known then we can program. NLP has uncoverred (by Bandler and Grinder) many of these codes and implemented them into the human growth industry. Ultimately someone who works excellently in a field could have been programmed and encoded to perform with excellent results without anyone really knowing it the real importance however has always been the results they produce.Justin

NLP info

Sensory acuity

I want to add something about sensory acuity. This may go in the NLP Modeling (or NLP training) section. Basically, sensory acuity emphasizes the development and calibration skills of five physical senses: visual perception, hearing (sense), taste, feeling, and olfaction. Comments please. --Comaze 22:47, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

It would seem useful - it's another thing that differentiates NLP from other change work. I don't know where it would go - it's something crucial to modeling excellence as well as calibrating a subjects state for change work. GregA 23:09, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
I guess we can find a place for sensory acuity now - if we're listing 5 elements of information gathering followed by "eye accessing cues" and "meta-model", it's worth having sensory acuity added (for detecting eye movements, subtle changes in physiology (breathing/posture/movement)(and voice tone). Headley also was saying earlier that perceptual positions doesn't belong in the presupposition area, it may belong here (as part of information gathering). It kinda brings the whole thing together in some way.. though again, I'm still working on the full form in my head (please comaze don't post anything yet - throw in some ideas!). ANyone?. GregA 22:49, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Justin: I wouldn't put Sensory acuity with modelling they are different. Modelling is the process which we go by to change and then perform a desired outcome (ie. belief, identity, behaviour,capability, values and spirituality- Dilts logical levels are a direct influence on modelling. These areas are the areas used primarily for modelling strategies in NLP). Acuity is noticing the environment and the clients reaction to external stimulus in his/her internal processes which leads to calibrating the clients state. Because acuity is sensory (ie. what we hear see feel taste or smell) I would put it with something like Perceptual filters which is how we take in information from our five senses. Each new process is a step toward modelling excellence. Perceptual filters explains how we can organise our senses to take in valuable information. Logical levels tells how we can organise thoughts and physiology to perform a specified outcome. However all NLP is told in parts so the learner can master each individually and then combine the next learning process with the last thus it becomes an epistemology with seven + or - two chunks. Going with the seven + or - 2 chunks you could break down the information about processes into smaller groups thus avoiding confusion with processes and their properties used in NLP literature. Justin Once again thanks.


I think we should look at merging the metamodel stuff from the parallel page.GregA 00:24, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Merged.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:50, 20 October 2005 (UTC)


I think we should look at merging the modeling stuff from the parallel page. Also, Dilts just announced [2] that his previous modeling has often not been NLP-modeling, so we should include that. GregA 00:24, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Merged.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:58, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Useful links?

Hi everyone and VoiceOfAll. When I put in a link, I read a passage and think "is there some more information that someone interested in this page would like to read, to further their knowledge of this subject". Often there is. There are also things we can link to that aren't really related - eg: Bandler taught a novice woman... - where it distracts. ... Where do you think a link belongs, and where doesn't it? I see VoiceOfAll putting links into years - like "Bandler 1988" - is this distracting as it doesn't further the readers knowledge of NLP or Bandler, or not? In the case of a year, I think the readers would notice that pretty quickly and know every year is just generic (as long as we never link to the actual "bandler-88" book). ... Thanks for your thoughts :) GregA 23:09, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Come to think of it, it is a bit annoying, so away I go to edit page...this will take a while to delete though...:)Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 23:35, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, I think that all the reference links are back to normal now.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 23:56, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

THanks ViewOA. Just some of my usability/design background coming out :)

Has Fritz Perls been mentioned, he was an important influence on Bandlers thoughts of therapy. Could you put a link for Fritzy in with Gestalt therapy it is part of the history of NLP origins. Justin


Once again, I'll put a smaller amount of these in and also see if I can be even more neutral. If someone could comment specifically on disagreements this would be excellent. I firmly believe that a NPOV will only come about through discussing, I can't do it alone (it'll be my POV), and neither can anyone else. GregA 23:27, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Greg, Just write from a neutral point of view (NPOV). A test for good NPOV is that when a third party reads it, she cannot cannot detect bias. I am going to work on my style as well. For every change we do, let's consider it from the perspective of all major viewpoints. That is something we need to reach consensus on, what groups represent the major viewpoints for this article? --Comaze 23:51, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Comaze, I know you and I largely agree on what we say, but with lack of feedback from others let me know if my stuff can be improved? (also, I think we disagree with HOW something is said...)
Your question is really interesting! I would guess the viewpoints are:

  1. people who have been burned by NLP
  2. people who have had a great experience with NLP
  3. people who simply don't understand what NLP is
  4. trainers wanting to explain NLP
  5. psychologists wanting to test NLP

And these overlap. What do you thinkGregA 00:13, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Fine summary, though you blipped it out as I was previewing it. Beadtot 10/19/2005 00:23, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Summary of reasoning for my changes(REPOSTED)

Reposted user's edit explanations.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:43, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I've shown the existing quote from the page as bullet point, and answered beneath:

  • Originally developed for use in psychotherapy

Well.. no it wasn't. NLP was developed to work out the difference that made the difference, to model. On the path to this, Bandler wanted to know what he was doing (with Gestallt) that his students weren't doing. Grinder had no interest in therapy at all as he considered it a method of getting people to conform to societies expectations. They were both interested in modeling and human communication.

agreed.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

The first book by Grinder and Bandler was "the Structure of magic". Now with my knowledge of human nature A person does not usually go out to prove a theory and then change it. The book is primarily a therapeutic book for counsellors to get an understanding of the meta model and to use it in therapy. VOP you may be right he might have started out as you say to find "the difference that made the difference" but what he found was much more than that and a greater contribution than you may give him credit for. I am sure that after their findings their views would have changed in regards to therapy. This too must be stipulated as therapy is a huge part of NLP and one does not follow it up with out believing in it's importance. Obviously therapy was not discounted as an option when the term "The difference that makes the difference" was coined. But then you've already proven me right as Gestalt is also a therapy founded by Fritz Perls who also used unusual methods to change a clients state toward phobias and psychological phenomenom in a therapy situation. It is wrong to say Bandler had no interest in therapy when Gestalt therapy and Fritz Perls were a major influence on his approach toward Therapy pre NLP.Justin

  • NLP has since been applied

It is useful to clarify that NLP modeling and NLP processes have both been applied.

OK.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Empirical studies have concluded that NLP is unsupported...

Headley keeps saying this is the same thing as "studies have not supported". I don't think so. And if he thinks it's the same why does he care which way it's worded?

Noted.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • NLP emphasizes the mind-body-spirit connection.

No it doesn't. Some NLP practitioners do, it's up to them. As do some trainers.

I definetely agree here.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I added: "NLP's primary focus is on modeling, theories are secondary (they affect implicit modeling)

Is this disputed?

OK.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The swish pattern... primarily focused on... engrams

Some people might think so. I liked Comaze's comment that the swish pattern is based on internal representations, which is undebatable.

OK.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The NLP practioners goal is primarily to change a person's state and reprogram their beliefs and self-beliefs

Really? Where did you get this? The goal is either to model someone or help them change in a way they want. THey may use state change, belief change, etc.

Agreed. That is not their primary goal, but it will likely happen, but it is not thier goal.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I see this has been reverted. Not sure off hand who did. Anyone want to say where they get the idea that a practitioners goal is to change someone's state? As view-of-all says, that may happen (it may be what is done or a step towards the goal... but the goal is to help someone get their goal. GregA 13:30, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I think the problem with the original statement (your goal is my goal) (your house is my house), is a little bit of a platitude. It is something that every care worker wants. I think something a little less "fortune cookie" would be more appropriate. In general, the goals are a bit too many to count. Especially when practitioner could equally mean an NLP remote seducer, salesman, or cult leader.HeadleyDown 16:55, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I think you might be confusing neutral wording with neutral POV. As you say - helping others is something EVERY care worker wants - and many NLP practitioners are care workers, I'd say it's a majority view and thus NPOV. Check out the wiki NPOV stuff - neutral doesn't mean giving all POV equal status, it means representing majority and minority viewpoints as such. Speed seduction is something where NLP processes can be applied and is a minority use (you are still using the word "NLP remote seducer" without reference or definition), and the minority use is already described elsewhere. If we want to get to what NLP practitioners want, checking out the advertising for NLP courses at least gives a clue to what trainers believe students want or will get out of it. I notice in the list I gave earlier a great focus on effective communication and development (both self and others - they often delete WHO it is applied to (eg: "reframe and reorganise perceptions" of who? self or someone else?). Most practitioners would never say the goal was to change someone's state - what would you want to do that for? It can often be a step towards the goal but saying it's the goal misses the point entirely. GregA 23:06, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Justin: Instead of "care worker" could we use the coined phrase "People Helper" as I learned from my master trainer Roger Deaner there seems to be more truth in that and it has a statement of intention of the user of NLP. Use the word outcomes or Outcome it is the proper term used by NLP schools and trainers, outcome is much broader than the use of the word goal. It's been a while since I fully read the NLP transcript. I was a bit disgusted at the non neutrality of the article and the lack of information provided in the negative areas described about NLP. The belief I would hold is that generally NLP practitioners would use NLP in the way it is intended which is to help people with an emphasis on ecology. Yet there are ppl who would exploit it. NLP is not to blame for peoples actions against people. Besides from that once in full control of your life and the choices laid before you are real. With what you could do to fulfill your emotional, mental, physiological, financial and time values why would you want to misuse NLP?Justin23/10/05

  • NLP practitioners claim to help clients replace false perceptions...

I wouldn't claim that's what I do (depends on the client), I would claim it's something I can do.

it might be safer to say that an NLP practitioner helps the client to reconnect with the world with an emphasis on more useful patterns for the client.Justin

This line doesn't seem to useful.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

  • some NLP patterns of persuasion within NLP seduction are designed to create negative beliefs

What's "NLP seduction"? NLP patterns aren't designed to create negative beliefs - at a pattern level they can influence beliefs, what beliefs are influenced is up to the person doing it. OK.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

  • NLP has been applied to many applications outside of therapy.

"applied to many applications"? should say "applied to many fields"

Agreed.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC) "NLP has been applied outside of therapy" implies it is a therapy. Therapy is one of the fields it's applied to. LGATs may be one place (is Hall your only reference?) but if you want to pick one specific 'unethical' application, you should add a counter example (I added Christian).

It is not really therapy, altough it could be integrated into it, so that wording is a bit fuzzy.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

  • "practitioners claim it's not uncommon... (phobia 10mins)

Some practitioners claim. Not all. Also JP implies that Griffin says all 3 of the claims (including "make someone fall in love with you in 5 minutes" - but this is not clear. Does he?

  • claimed that the presuppositions of Jesus have been identified using NLP modeling

You then link to a site unrelated to NLP modeling. I changed this to "some Christian ministers have identified principles used by Jesus"... a far different claim! (and this is the link you give) You also want to write about Dilts Jesus modeling, but this is repeated 10 lines down - do you need twice?

  • Jesus' modeling,

you remove that Grinder says this is not NLP modeling. Dilts also released today a paper defining NLP modeling under Grinder's terms and calling what he's done elsewhere as "Analytical Modeling".

Some of the far out clams seem to be strawmen, they probably should go. They don't represent NLP as a wholeVoice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Upward eye movements indicate visual....

I added that eye movements correlate with internal representations and people vary.. upward movements generally mean visual. Why don't you like this?

  • NLP advocates connect this with hemispheres....

I combined this with the same hemisphere stuff 2 paragraphs further down. Problem?

  • Unsupported research stuff...

I moved this around but kept everything. I wanted to change stuff but for now thought I'd keep peace by simply neatening it up. Read it... it's all there. I did add that Heap and Druckman acknowledged flaws in the research - which is true!

  • Meta-model can be reduced to "what specifically"....

This is Grinder's current model, and should be written as such. I also separated milton model into a second paragraph.

  • The first subjects of study were claimed by Bandler and Grinder to be experts in the fields...

I changed this to "The first subjects of study were from the fields... surely that's no debate?

  • Eisner: "exaggerated claims by the more professionally unqualified NLP certificated practitioner
  • and: "qualified NLP practitioners can be hired for more complex work

I changed the second to say "professionally qualified NLP certificated practitioners" and JP said that was wrong (which I thought too, but someone quoted it). So instead I switched the first to "qualified NLP practitioners"... okay? I also removed "can be hired" - is payment relevant to whether it requires external assistance?

  • Neuro linguistic Psychotherapy

added another NLPsychotherapy link.

  • Coaching... in personal development fields similar to EST...

EST is not relevant to the application of Coaching. I moved it (to not make waves) to the last paragraph.

OK.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Please tell me what of any of the above you disagree with. Headley is saying it is "NLP rhetoric, ... spam excuse, .... and hype from NLP". I find none of that above. GregA 11:07, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

'Prompting' can be said to be an activity of NLP -- and whether the subjects are receptive when prompted or completely short-circuited. Beadtot 02:57, 23 October 2005 (UTC) 10/22/2005 02:57, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Umm, Beadtot, can you clarify what you're talking about? I've got no idea. GregA 03:04, 23 October 2005 (UTC)


Hello Voice_of_All. I believe your changes have been quite reasonable. I do have some suggestions though, regarding research. The Heap and Einspruch statements (methodology problems) are both very out of date, and really don't have the weight that they seem to represent presently. Firstly, Heap's statements are 18 years old, and are more of a case of scientific fussyness, and Eispruch's research was disproved in 1987, when researchers conducted further studies and found Einspruch had been hyping things (and the study is 20 years old). Of course, we have other reviews (Levelt 1995, Drenth 2003, Lilienfeld et al 2003 and Eisner 2000) who all say that NLP is unsupported, and that Einspruch was wrong. They (amongst others) also conclude that NLP is pseudoscientific. I will update the "scienctific testing" section to clarify this.HeadleyDown 02:21, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree that NLP is generally scientifically unsupported. The article should definitely show this clearly. Seems fine as it is now.JPLogan 05:05, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Could you explain what they were trying to prove and how? I came away none the wiser as to what the scientific community was trying to prove. Or even for what purpose they were trying to prove it. Then again I read it about a month ago if this matter is resolved please forgive my intrusion. I don't agree that this should be a big part of the piece although it should be mentioned. The option should be left to the reader if they wish to follow up on NLP and a bad rap could turn readers off. The piece should more directly stipulate what NLP is it's roots and it's intent from it's inception. Other matters regarding negative feedback should be addressed however that is not NLP these are points of view. Possibly of people who did not want to recognise NLP. It may be unsupported but then there are also many NLPers who do the course and believe in it's methodologies. Did you write that because this is also true. The truth also about this is they will respect if you think it works or not, they wont change they're beliefs about it, they wont change yours unless you want to, They may not even Program a client because they are resistent, Unless the client wants to. Maybe NLPers because they are very clever people thought that: hey if it becomes a science then there are going to be guidelines to follow and inhibit the very nature of NLP. Yes It might be best not to make it a science. This wouldn't hurt a NLPer, he's got NLP skills and he can still practice without documentation. They do and that's all they need to know it doesnt hurt their feelings or hurt their own personalised image of what they believe NLP to be. What matters is the results they get from themselves and their clients. And that comes from a compassion, love, and caring I don't think I'd want love to be called a science anywayJustin 23/10/05

But then Modern Psychology hasn't been proven either. With no real clear framework as to how the human brain works and differring points of view in psychology circles the whole industry is a mess. How ever with NLP since it's inception none of the frame work has really been changed it has been "improved" upon by pioneers in the industry and many applications added to the field however methodologies remain roughly the same. So please why is psychology a science? and what distinctions has it really made toward the human learning and self improvement movement? Last time I saw a psychotherapist she gave me pills I said "is that all?". She said "yeah!". I said "that's not gonna do it for me sweet heart."Justin23/10/05

I agree the research side needs to be redone, I was about to have a stab. BUT, I'm sure you and I will have vastly different takes on this. We need to look at the quality of research, biases (for and against!), and what they're actually saying. Would it be useful to post detail and discussion here? (ps. I won't do stuff on the main page for now, so we don't delete each other's changes etc) GregA 02:26, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

The research has already been done. It shows that NLP is scientifically unsupported. Heap concludes that NLP is scientifically unsupported, as do Druckheim and Swets. Einspruch et al are the only ones to say there was a problem but this was totally wiped out by Sharpley who provides a great chunk more actual research for proof and concludes "certainly research data do no support the rather extreme claims that proponents of NLP have made as to the validity of its principles or the novelty of its procedures". Platt agrees with this, and all the recent research says the same thing, including some very scathing remarks about NLP being junk, misleading, dangerous, daft etc (Headley just stated some of those refs). Scientifically unsupported is a neutral statement. There is no dispute about that. Scientific linguists, psycholinguists, psychologists, psychotherapists (and some journalists) all conclude that NLP is scientifically unsupported. I will make the minor adjustments (movement not deletion) to the opening in order to reflect the article.DaveRight 03:22, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

You know, Theres a story going around in NLP circles about the first introduction of NLP to psychologists. They had a room full of people Psychologists and they said "hey we developped this great thing called NLP. You know all those phobic patients you've been trying to cure we can do that in five minutes". "Reeeeeaaaaaally?" was the reply. "Yeah sure" then they demonstrated a phobia cure on a member of the audience. The psychologists dismissed it. But then all this industry needed was a kick in the pants where they were getting very little results other than bringing a loosely based term called psychology to the consciousness of the masses. thanks for that psych's but really we gotta move on new technology awaits. They canned it. Why? maybe the industry and all the programs and funding for psychology would go and then theres thousands of therapists out of jobs. An NLP practitioner does what a Psychologist tries to do with trance and in a directed way. So please instead of researching Newspapaer articles written by people with points of view with interviews with people not in the real know of NLP please do not print just because you think NLP is a bad thing. Many Psychologists have moved onto NLP as an alternative way of psychology, Including MIchael Hall. Now why would he do that? Oh I don't know, maybe because he got a taste for it.Justin23/10/05

I also have a review by the British Society of Psychologists that says NLP is theoretically erroneous, ineffective and pseudoscientific. Comaze just reverted this statement. I will place it back in the opening section because it is far more accurate and up to date than the one proposed on the alternative page.AliceDeGrey 04:01, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Scientific research on specific NLP processes generally concludes that NLP is scientifically unsupported eg (Heap 1988)(Sharpley 1987)(Lilienfeld et al 2003). This has led to NLP being classed as pseudoscientific (Eisner 2000)(Lilienfeld et al 2003).

My appologies. I accidently reverted your edit. It's back now and I've copyedited your post to follow proper citation standards. best regards, --Comaze 04:14, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Dave, Headley just said that Heap, Druckman weren't relevant any more, though I agree they are. THey seem to be some of the highest quality neutral reviews we can get our hands on. I agree that "scientifically unsupported" is a neutral statement. It also makes no judgement on the quality of studies etc, and doesn't preclude future scientific research. I have asked for more SHarpley information, none has returned (yet!?). We should also fairly represent the studies, and try to get some that go outside of PRS.GregA 05:05, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Greg. I don't think anyone is saying they are not relevant. Just that the research should be conclusive (as it is). I have the Sharpley papers. What would you like to know?JPLogan 05:12, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Critics say NLP is simply a half-baked conflation of pop psychology and pseudo-science that uses jargon to disguise the fact that it is based on a bunch of banal, if not incorrect, presuppositions (Sanghera 2005)
That's a classic line. Straight from a newspaper too. I mean, I thought pop psychology was considered pseudoscience already? So what happens when you bake them together? Or... worse... half-bake them :) More importantly, of course the presuppositions aren't claimed to be original (ie they could be banal), nor are they said to be correct (just useful). Classic :) GregA 05:05, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

This is a general view (criticism) I think it represents the criticisms very well, using a reference, and it even has an NLP term in it. Psychopablum is also used in similar articles. I will include that at a later date though. It seems that the thing to do now is not get in Voice_of_all's way.JPLogan 05:12, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I kind of didn't expect someone to support that article. "it even has an NLP term in it"... This makes it good? A term that is misused too? This article is incredibly low standard to include. GregA 05:30, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

OK. I'll remove it unless it receives further corroboration. Though as a newspaper article, its pedigree (Financial Times) is excellent. In fact, I suspect the quality of the article is far above many NLP promotional sourcesHeadleyDown 09:45, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Pray tell me what was the writers (Sanghera) source for such a judgement that he made in his article. You must remember that Bandler took terms and made them highly useful somewhat more useful than recently coined phrases such as chill out. Which involves getting cold and going out of some encasement. Then there's phat that I'm sure in a few years will be in a dictionary. Please this type of situation happens all the time. When are you going to stop the rhetoric. The concepts birthed from Bandler have been widely adopted by the NLP community you can either use them yourself or not it's your choice. Can I please ask who has had experience with NLP here? I mean someone who has been NLPed or is a NLPer? And please tell me if you have read an NLP book how is that like going into a trance and learning it first hand? Seems to me that we should be focussing on the written material in NLP books the history or it's roots and document that. I'm sure we could all find negative reviews if we wanted that's easy. But it's not telling people about NLP or it's properties when you can do that then you have achieved NPOVJustin23/10/05

Thanks Headley
Scientifically unsupported is a neutral statement.
I've been thinking about this. Yes it is, absolutely. "Conclude", however, means "to bring something to an end". The Heap and Druckman books both said it was scientifically unsupported but endorsed ongoing research. We should reword to keep neutral. GregA 11:02, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Take a look at a bunch of scientific papers. They will generally have a conclusion section. If there is no conclusion, they will generally not be published. There is generally also a further research section. Of course people would love to get paid to do more research to double check etc:) Getting funding is another matter, especially if the research stream has dried up (as NLP did due to lack of scientific basis in theory, total lack of positive results in testing, and for inability to meet the hype). Basically, NLP is rarely mentioned in psychotherapy books nowadays, because of general dissolusionment and the realisation that "the fad is over".HeadleyDown 11:46, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Of course:) I've written a few myself. But these are books you're quoting. And both Heap & Druckman review evidence that shows PRS is not supported, yet conclude the research is inadequate. Neither are NLP researchers either, so it's not their financial incentive there.
Perhaps we should both present a single-screen summary on the science, and present it as 2 POVs on NLP and Science. Not sure :) GregA 13:25, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Greg. There is a common view, that NLP is scientifically unsupported: Heap comes to the same conclusion as the other researchers (NLP is not supported). He does not agree with Einspruch et al's conclusion (that the research is faulty). There is due process in experiments and trials of any therapy, starting with pre-clinical experiments and moving on to clinical trials if the pre-clinical experiments show positive results. Heap merely says that NLP did not get to CLINICAL trials. Of course nobody is going to conduct clinical trials on a subject where the theory is pseudoscientific and the hype is over the top, and where the pre-clinical experiments show negative results, so it has been rejected. The pre-clinical experiments showed that it really does not work (empirically unsupported). Not only does it not work to the levels claimed by NLP developers, but it does not even work to normal experimental levels. Basically NLP just didn't make the grade for clinical research. RegardsHeadleyDown 02:25, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

That is interesting Headley. I only know of one full scale clinical outcome-based study.
You're right that Heap says "Einsprech and Forman are probably correct in insisting that the effectiveness of NLP therapy undertaken in authentic clinical contexts of trained practitioners has not yet been properly investigated."
Are you aware of the NLP study in Austria involving 55 clients (plus a control group) which found significant improvements both subjectively and in medical diagnoses after undergoing a full range of NLP techniques? (Genser-Medlitsch and Schütz, 1996)
However, they may not have been using the PRS at all. In fact, it says they used reframing, setting outcomes, parts work, metamodel, metaphor, trance, time line work, anchoring, belief changes, submodality shifts, strategies, and the trauma-phobia process. GregA 06:15, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Do you know of any similar studies so we can compare results?

Single studies are really useless unless you want to *10 the size of the article. All the reliable research I found was that NLP is scientifically unsupported. No reliable clinical stuff has ever been done.AliceDeGrey 08:51, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Of course I don't want single studies. That's why I asked for similar studies. I only know of one outcome-based study that generically used NLP processes in whichever way the practitioner saw fit - and that study was positive. One is not enough, more are needed. Are there more (for or against?) GregA 11:26, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I concur that NLP is scientifically unsupported. Reviews of books and psychology/psychotherapy/linguistics papers that talk of scientific testing have said so. Some of the papers and books who are real sticklers for clinical trials said that they never made it that far because the ideas are out of date or erroneous (scientifically) and the empirical studies have shown the basic methods to be wrong (unsupported overall). There is absolutely no way that one single study is going to change the conclusion of book and journal review studies. I think we must have been through this over 20 times (with irrefutable evidence provided).JPLogan 09:11, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Lets be clear that NLP contains many different processes. If there are multiple tests on a given process, and these are done well, and show no support... then the process is conclusively unsupported. If the tests are not done well, it's another matter. GregA 11:26, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

What are they trying to prove and how? It may prove that their methods of detection are inadequate therefore they do not see the result. Please How do you measure something within the human body such as a mental state or emotional state? How do you measure when someone is getting the results they desire other than being that person? How do you do that with science?A NLPer knows how but how does a Scientist know.Justin

Yes, the research since the 1980s has said that NLP is dodgy and wrong and unsupported in theory and it does not work according to the research. I understand that some will want to defend their cult/religion/belief. Wikipedia is not the place to do that though.JoLidon 09:51, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Wow... how do you define religion? GregA 11:26, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

NLP is not a cult or a religion.?Justin

Grouping common themes?

On reading through I noticed a few common themes spread througout the article. I'm wondering if it would be useful to group some of those themes under a heading. For example - "NLP and Theory"

There are also certain things which simply repeat what is in another section. I know sometimes this is necessary, but should we move others to the appropriate section? In particular, I'm thinking in "Goals" section, the last paragraph is entirely criticism (which I'd say wasn't a goal of NLP)... perhaps that should be in the LGAT criticism section, and "extraordinary claims"?.

The line at the end of NLP Presuppositions that Dilts modeled Jesus seems to be perfect for the modeling section. New Age stuff belongs under spirituality.

As I said, sometimes it is necessary as a reminder (eg: under eye accessing cues we should note that PRS studies do not support PRS, see section X). Thoughts? GregA 02:36, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I removed the criticism paragraph from the "goals" section as it is redundant.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 03:46, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Opening section

Suggested opening line

Hi Voice_of_all. I think its fine to exclude the (quasi-spiritual) line, but it was there because it was quite scientific, and had a good description of what NLP is. I suggest a more neutral line: "NLP is a method proposed for programming the mind". This is by far the widest perception of NLP, and it gives a very clear description of what it is. The study of subjective experience is pretty unclear on its own, although it is also used as a technical explanation. I will include it in the article. Feel free to remove it if you feel it is not helpful.JPLogan 05:16, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

The term "programming" is actually disliked in some NLP trainings, as it's a mechanistic metaphor for the work and implies the brain is like a computer (which was a more common metaphor 30 years ago). The existing "study of the structure of subjective experience" at least comes from multiple sources and is still current enough GregA 05:32, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I think its a great opening line. People need a clear picture of what NLP is. Most people hear about NLP through pop psychology or adverts in newspapers. The general image is of hypnosis and big seminars or small workshops or self help tweaks. I have seen the line written in many NLP sources, and the term NLP includes the word - programming. The word "spiritual" is not included in the line at all. If it were just - study of structure,- and modeling, people are going to have an image of somebody in a library reading a book or making models out of matchsticks:) Really the "programming the mind" line is clear, and as neutral as is appropriate.AliceDeGrey 06:21, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

AliceDeGrey, "programming the mind" is a logical type error. Since in NLP we're dealing with logic, it is really not a good idea to start with an error in logic. --Comaze 07:35, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

You are trying to antagonise again, Comaze. Keep your accusations of illogical error to your self. There is no logical error at all. NLP is programming the mind. Another very clarifying comparison would be to say it is similar to Dianetics. I suggest that will clarify the article a great deal.AliceDeGrey 08:43, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I cannot see any problems at all with answering everyone's question (is it about programming the mind?) by clarifying up front what it is about. The "study of structure of subjective..." is really quite aggrandizing, as is "epistemology". I think we can keep it reasonable and neutral. "Proposed method of programing the mind" is probably more accurate and neutral than the other fanciful definitions in the opening section.HeadleyDown 10:50, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree with "NLP is a method proposed for programming the mind". It is short and concise. It therefore makes a good opening sentence.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 11:05, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

in a way you are also leaving the audience in the dark it leads the public to believe that there is some kind of mind control a NLPers intention is to generate options for the client and to give a sense of control of behaviour to the client as taught in NLP schools.Justin

Further more research should be conducted by yourselves into NLP institutes to know lists of common outcomes that are taught to NLPers such as the "ecology frame" which in turn is briefly mentioned and then the students are sent off to do they're own change work to meet this outcome. This backs up what I said before about a NLPer being vague and the client filling in the specifics. These should be mentioned instead of marring what non NLPers may think NLP isJustin. Telling what other people say about NLP does not mean you are telling what NLP is. Justin

Who added "or a pseudoscientific self help development in the same mould as Dianetics" to the opening paragraph? Talk about bias. We need to revert the opening section back a couple of days. (including the interdisciplinary stuff) GregA 05:48, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Greg. Well, I didn't add it but I restored it when you deleted. It is accurate. Not only is it a direct quote from scientific sources (citations can be provided), but it enables a clear opening to the subject. A method of programming the mind is a great line, but it needs a little more connectivity so that people know what kind of method it is. Dianetics (and to some extent EST) have extremely similar goals and philosophies. They were developed in the same kind of ways and even have similar marketing and business models. Map is not the territory(Korzybski), Fritz Perls, pseudoscience, hypnotism, feedback loops, psychotherapy, treating traumas and many more. If you want to hype the subject using the aggrandizements "the study of the structure of...." and "an epistemology" when in fact scientists and scholars have poured doubt on both of those, then the association with associated developments will be a good balance (ie adding something factual and solidly reasoned and supported by scientists and scholars). 01:18, 25 October 2005 (UTC)HeadleyDown 01:20, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


I notice in the opening we are saying "processes include behaviour change... through techniques such as reframing". Behaviour change can be a goal someone has... reframing is a process (or technique... they're roughly synonymous) - what exactly are we trying to say?. I also notice that there's an emphasis on sense-based and the metamodel came before any of the representation system stuff... I've added "linguistic-based" though I'm sure that can be improved. GregA 07:02, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Damn... that whole 3rd paragraph repeats a bit of the 2nd paragraph... I'll revert and take another look. Comments/thoughts please! GregA 07:06, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

"NLP can be applied to multiple fields"

(Interdisciplinary does not mean applied to many disciplines (as the link shows).) JPLogan 07:38, 22 October 2005
(Excellent catch JP ('interdisciplinary'). The 2 points were combined but should have been separated. Have cleared it up.) GregA 23:06, 22 October 2005
JP made a good point and we separated these 2 issues out. The page then read:

NLP has been applied to a variety of contexts including business, sports performance, the development of psychic abilities, and covert seduction techniques.

It is claimed that NLP is highly interdisciplinary (Grinder & Bandler, 1975a; ch.1, Grinder & Bostic, 2001). In addition, NLP can be applied to multiple fields:

  • Modeling someone effective can be done in any field (including therapy, sports, business, sales, physics).
  • Communication and change processes can be used personally and in business, sales, coaching, therapy, and so on (Bandler & Grinder, 1979, pg 133)
Then JP removed the whole 2nd paragraph... GregA
(remove redundant line. previous line says it all) JPLogan 02:14, 24 October 2005
(Agreed with JPs comment that both lines were equivalent. For clarity, I swapped which lines were kept.)
(Mmm, this version is definitely more concise and accurate (variety of contexts is more neutral (less hype) than multidisciplinary)) Bookmain 3:49, 24 October 2005
Earlier, JP made clear that "interdisciplinary" and "applied to multiple fields" were different. Now he says both points are included in the single sentence above, which is clearly not true.
In response to Bookmain - the point is that NLP processes can be applied to multiple fields, and making this apparent is useful. (multidisciplinary is a separate issue). Having 2 points also clearly separates NLP modeling vs NLP process. Listing psychic is not representative of common applications. I'm posting here, instead of reverting, to discuss. If you think the choice is important (either way), please give reasons GregA 04:56, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

POV intro

The tail end of teh intro has a POV problem:

Scientific research on specific NLP processes generally concludes that NLP is scientifically unsupported (Heap 1988; Sharpley 1987; Lilienfeld et al, 2003). This has led to NLP being classed as pseudoscientific (Eisner, 2000; Lilienfeld et al, 2003).

This should be rewritten to attribute "scientifically unsupported" to a source, either a group or an individual or someone. i.e. "so-and-so states that NLP is scientifically unsupported. So-and-so classifies NLP as a pseudoscience." FuelWagon 01:25, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi FuelWagon. I disagree. Wikipedia requires most that a name is attributed. That is enough. There were so many really irritating disputes by people implying that "only this person thinks this in the whole world of 6billion other people who think it is rubbish etc" Ok, well you know what I mean! We are trying to represent views here. You will probably find that a lot of people who have picked up a NLP book will have come to the same conclusion as those bodies of scientists who test the method and found it lacking. Except that they use the words, US BS, nonsense, trite etc. And some people really want to promote it and say that it will allow them to find the mate of their dreams and walk on water. The easiest way to solve this is to simply quote the source.JPLogan 02:20, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

JP, you're saying you disagree and then agreeing .... he doesn't ask to restrict it to one person, just (as per Wikipedia NPOV) that if 2 or more groups have different attitudes/thoughts on a field, you fairly represent multiple sides. Perhaps you mean "All Psychologists view NLP as a pseudoscience"? (which I'd dispute... but I'm also wondering which groups classify it that way). GregA 04:44, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
JPLogan, yes, quote the source (or paraphrase the source), but you must also attribute the quote to the source, and provide a URL if possible to verify. The format basically boils down to:
Source said "quote" (URL).
Where "source" is a notable source (individual or group), "quote" is what they said or a paraphrase of what they said, and a URL to verify their quote/paraphrase. FuelWagon 22:08, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


The opening should tell what NLP is without multiple POV. Multiple POV have a place in the article, just not in the Opening. I have Introducing NLP, by Joseph O'Connor and John Seymour and am proposing an opening based on the opening of that book.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a way of studying how people excel in any field and teaching discovered patterns to others. NLP considers personal excellence in terms of both art and science. Art because everybody brings their unique personality and style to what they do, and science because there is a method and process used to discover patterns used to achieve excellence. Hackwrench 15:35, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

opening line

Hi Greg. That modeling the mind stuff in the first line really is a bit silly. I'd have it as it was. A method proposed for programming the mind is totally clear and disambiguates the NLP subject much more clearly from nat-lang-programming computers and NationalLawParty etc.AliceDeGrey 06:53, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

My thought is that since modeling is distinct from NLP-processes it should be treated as such. I agree that there is a better way than what I wrote. I don't much agree with the opening at all ... GregA 07:00, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone have ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL that NLP is "often promoted for the use of ... remote ESP influence"? I reverted it and it came straight back up... come on guys, justify it. GregA 22:51, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I removed ESP again, and it was reverted back by Headley. Do you have anything to back up your claim Headley?. I propose ESP is removed from the opening.

I'm playing with an opening like this (trying to make one that everyone can agree to... not easy!)

  • Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) literally means "brain-language programming". People have ways of doing what they do - and NLP claims to teach how to discover these processes (these programs) - and how to change them. Their stated goal is to model how high performers excel in any field (and teach this to others), and also to simply help people improve what they are doing (to learn a new process which may be effective for them). NLP has been described as "The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience". NLP teaches verbal and non-verbal communication patterns - which they claim are useful to gain insight into how people do what they do, and for working with people. The first processes of NLP were modeled from psychotherapists working with clients, and NLP is often associated with the fields it is applied to most often - self development, therapy, and spirituality - to the extent that some believe NLP actually IS part of those fields. GregA 13:21, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

terminology: tenet or pattern?

Should we use the term tenet or pattern? I have done a search of my NLP books and have not found any major references to tenet, pattern seems to be more general and more widely used... google

  • "neuro-linguistic programming"+tenet: 633
  • "neuro-linguistic programming"+pattern:58,800[3]

--Comaze 07:51, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Comaze, the ref on the article uses the word Tenet. The articles that test NLP refer to tenets, NLP books refer to tenets. Google will refer to "the difference that makes the difference" "the best thing since sliced bread" and "the future of psychotechnology, and human potential". I suggest we stick to being reasonable and stop looking for excuses to make arbitrary changes according to your NLP-promotional agendaAliceDeGrey 08:47, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Yup! Tenet is the right word according to the research.HeadleyDown 10:52, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Headley.. You just added a Dilts reference to the tenets section. Is that for the whole thing, or just verbal predicates? Thanks GregA 11:25, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Greg. From my notes, it is the whole thing, including the body lang, eye accessing, verbals etc.HeadleyDown 11:36, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks Headley. Does dilts call them Tenets too? GregA

Sure, Greg. He uses the word tenet.HeadleyDown 02:12, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Someone said (Headley?) that calling it "early patterns" implied they weren't in use any more, etc... almost "historical patterns". I tend to agree with this. I also don't like the word tenet, given that the patterns aren't beliefs or principles. I also haven't heard NLP call them tenets, certainly not in core books. Has anyone got a "3rd option"!? :) GregA 11:06, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm thinking that, as presented, they look awfully like a summary of the observables used for information gathering and modeling. Not sure how that all fits together... but just a thought. GregA 13:13, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
hehe... I'm going to remove the wiki internal link to "tenet". Follow the link if you have any qualms about it :) GregA 22:56, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Can someone give me a definition of tenet as we are using it here? --Comaze 08:40, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Please check my version

Can someone please check this version and reword (if necessary) for NPOV. I think it is much simpler than what was there while keeping the existing content. [4], best regards, --Comaze 08:44, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Forget it Comaze. You removed facts (5 elements, some body language facts, etc) and the present section on the article is quite clear enough already. Its no good trying to make changes like that just after you have annoyed people up with excessive reversions. I added the Dilts ref and as it stands, the text corresponds well with both refs.HeadleyDown 11:04, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

HeadleyDown and other editors, I didn't remove any facts in this submission, only made what was there more concise while keeping the important information. Please read it again with fresh eyes: [5] . I'll see if I can edit it to make it more concise. best regards, --Comaze 13:04, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I have to agree with the revert by Alice. That version is definetely clearer and more complete.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 13:34, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Hi Comaze, Headley, ViewOfAll :)
As you know I'm still looking at the whole Tenet idea and how it fits with modeling (since these are the 'observable' cues that can be used during modeling and information gathering).
Comaze, I like the simplicity of the rep system opening paragraph as it puts it into context. However it's not all there yet... not sure why I think that. Headley, you say it deletes stuff - it may not SAY "5 elements" but it lists the 5 elements. I like that Comaze's version flows and connects eye access cues to the verbal predicates easily, and removes a big paragraph in favour of some simple text. Still.... something missing. Can anyone find a way of putting
  1. these 5 observable elements into context for modeling/information gathering
  2. flowing the 5 elements into the rest of the text...
If we can do it, I think it'll improve it.... GregA 22:28, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Criticism section

Extraordinary claims

Hello all. I'm looking at the criticisms section. I know there are some extraordinary claims and I'd like to refer to some directly, rather than via another source. The Griffin source is a book on Anthony Robbins, the Leikind book is on firewalking, and refers to Anthony Robbins. Anyone got some non Robbins sources, preferably 1st hand? GregA

Those 2 books are from 85 & 91 respectively too. I did a quick search of NLP Training to find some extraordinary claims. These are the claims currently made (I only went to these sites, and quoted what they said:) GregA 23:50, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

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How do we represent neutrally the extremes of the currently quoted Robbins with what's on the sites? GregA 23:50, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Greg. Well, research (such as Platt) talks of extraordinary claims. Most other critical articles also do. So all that is requrired is to supply some examples of those extraordinary claims. There seems to be extraordinary claims in each book, including those of Bandler and Grinder. I think they have been quite well represented so far.HeadleyDown 02:11, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

General change to criticism section

Hi Greg. A lot of your statements were argumentative or simply arguable. DaveRight 04:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I actually thought that what was there before was argumentative or arguable. That's what I was trying to fix. Please note that I'm not trying to say "the other was wrong, mine is right" - I'm trying to make a change (which will also be POV) and let others make more changes...narrow it down some. GregA 04:50, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

How about we take this a step at a time. Vast changes take a lot of time to work on and unless we are all unemployed or something, we are not going to have time or energy to cope with it all. I don't think we should include discussion on the article (this belongs in other sections etc) because it is just irritating. DaveRight 04:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Yeah it does take a lot of time when there are big changes. That's why I actually explicitly wrote what I'd changed - so you could quickly and easily cut-n-paste ANYTHING you thought still belonged. I agree including discussion in the article is irritating, but I was trying to make it easy to comment and improve for everyone, yourself included. GregA 04:50, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I have now re-entered deletions, including the repetitions, and the one I didn't agree with...
  • "Ethical standards bodies and other professional associations state that unless a technique, process, drug, or surgical procedure can meet requirements of clinical tests, it is ethically questionable to offer it to the public, especially if money is to change hands" (Beyerstein 1997).".
I find this more likely to apply to medicine than therapy. Certainly this ethical principle is not contained in counselling and psychotherapy, or coaching ethical guidelines I have ever read.GregA 05:49, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Ah.. in the new age section the modeling of Tesla etc is removed though the modeling of Jesus is kept. Is that okay? GregA 05:49, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

As far as I have read, this article uses extremely well researched statements, so I don't think you should move stuff or delete it just because you didn't find it yourself. Some statements do actually belong in two sections because they are relevant there. Some redundancy is ok as long as it is useful or clarifying. DaveRight 04:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't care who found a statement. IIRC I only removed one refered statement (and again, made it obvious so it could be re-added). Redundancy can be useful if it's clarifying, though multiple repetition is not. GregA 04:50, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Okay so it's re-added.
Now, to another point - the article has some well researched statements but we have in no way agreed on the scientific section yet. Perhaps this part of the conversation can wait until that much thornier issue is discussed in depth.

And what about - "Other criticisms" section? Some statements about NLP are neutral, such as the scientific findings. Just because they sound like criticisms to you does not mean that they are. Pseudoscientific is also not a criticism, so much as a neutral statement of fact. I think we are going to have to be a lot more reasonable and a lot less "NLP reframe/spin" about things, if steady progress is to be continued.DaveRight 04:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I didn't think we were repeating criticisms that were discussed elsewhere. Pseudoscientific is not a statement of fact - PRS research is unproven is a statement of fact.
I really had hoped to clean up the criticisms and make them clear. Sometimes I have time to throw at it, sometimes I don't, and I made an effort to list everything I did so that people who don't have time to follow it all could read those comments and act easily and quickly where they didn't agree. It's a pity you didn't. GregA 04:50, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Have renamed it "criticism" again.
You know that a reframe is used when there are 2 or more interpretations of the facts. The trick with reframing is to help someone work out what the facts are and either leave it at that (for them to think about) or present an alternative interpretation. In either case, the facts remain.
BTW: Pseudoscience is an interpretation of facts. Lets leave that in the science section. GregA 05:49, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I notice that the developments of NLP are now listed under "issues with buzzwords and trademarks". That frames the facts (there ARE multiple names) with an interpretation (a pseudoscientific reasoning). We can leave it in that section, but we'll need to remove the interpretation and let people decide for themselves. GregA 23:12, 21 October 2005 (UTC)


The lists of who does what are very arguable. Bandler now teaches dhe, right, but he promotes NLP and writes books about it. Same with Tony Robbins. I think people understand that NLP is broad and mixed according to the present article, there is no need to make people crosseyed with acronyms. You seem to want to turn criticisms into excuses. DaveRight 04:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure how to approach the inconsistencies. The previous page listed "inconsistency" as one of the criticisms, but had no information at all. I AGREE that inconsistency is a criticism. I am happy to discuss it in a different way (eg remove all the DHE/NAC stuff). I think it's worth criticising, perhaps describing somewhere else, the wide range of trainer quality or practitioner standards etc. I'm surprised you don't want to discuss it.GregA 04:50, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I rewrote the inconsistencies, made it heaps shorter, but 211.x.x.x had edited just before me. Shorter version below: GregA 05:49, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Inconsistency (shorter version)

In the 1980s Bandler attempted to control the term NLP - perhaps to guide the development of the field, or perhaps to make money through royalties. Grinder and other early developers fought him and the term NLP (and Neuro-linguistic Programming) was deemed to be generic.

The term NLP is used inconsistently, and some practitioners tie the term NLP to their other fields of interest. There is no central quality control, so anyone can potentially say they are an NLP practitioner or trainer - most trainers list their background and training as part of their credentials (the quality of training varies). Some NLP practitioners register themselves under psychotherapy or coaching which has greater quality control. The length of so called NLP Practitioner training varies from 7 days to 24 days.

These inconsistencies make it difficult to discern the quality of an NLP training or NLP practitioner. In addition, ""many of the NLP materials are proprietary (and) they are not available in the scientific literature or on the open market (Druckman & Swets, 1988, pg 144 [6]). Without access to this information, it is hard for customers to assess what a course teaches (and hard for scientific review).

I don't think we need an inconsistencies section at all. Any neutral fact that is there could be placed in the buzzwords sectionAliceDeGrey 08:49, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

It would really depend on whether it was a buzzword GregA 11:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, puting perhapses in really makes things unclear. JPLogan 09:03, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I meant to replace that first paragraph with 211.x (comaze?) version ...

  • In the 1980s Bandler attempted to trademark the term NLP--to guide the development of the field, or perhaps for commercial purposes. Grinder and other early developers defended the claim-- the issues were eventually settled (February, 2000) deeming "NLP" and "Neuro-linguistic Programming" to be generic.

It still says perhaps though. Actually... to be factual we should just remove the whole "reason"

  • In the 1980s Bandler attempted to trademark the term NLP. Grinder and other early developers defended the claim-- the issues were eventually settled (February, 2000) deeming "NLP" and "Neuro-linguistic Programming" to be generic.
Quality control is not the issue, or centralization. The problem is more about lack of regulation. This is not really an inconsistency issue. Inconsistency does not make it difficult to assess, rather spurious claims and misleading pseudoscience makes it difficult for non-scientific consumers to determine whether it is science or not. It certainly doesn't make scientific review difficult. There have been quite enough reviews, and they say NLP is unsupportable. So on reflection, the section is not needed at all.JPLogan 09:03, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

The spurious claims can come from anyone though, as can misleading promotion. As long as a scientific review tests the common claims and not the spurious ones, a review is easy (better still, test all claims? if only there was that much time :)) Would you prefer a section called "Lack of Regulation" - that would be an equally valid criticism and most of what I wronge would remain valid.

There is not much fact in the section. Could be just a small part of another section, or just a mention in another line.HeadleyDown 11:20, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Provocative therapy...

  • "Richard Bandler and Frank Farrelly promote within NLP "attack" therapy methods that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s (Thaler Singer 1995)."

Should this statement read provocative (rather than attack?) therapy? --Comaze 06:11, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

As usual, the statement is correct. Thaler Singer uses the term "attack". Farrelly began with the developments of attack therapy and softened it to "provocative" therapy. Both therapies have led to consumer complaintsHeadleyDown 11:17, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

A statement can be correctly quoted, but not be a fact. If we're going to pick an article that attacks provocative therapy, we will have to describe the whole thing in more detail... and I really don't think this is the place. Farrelly's methods are debated but he is still respected and licensed GregA 11:34, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
A quick search on google will help clear this one quickly. I'm making the change now.
  • Results 1 - 5 of about 11 for "Frank Farrelly"+"attack therapy". (0.92 seconds)
  • "Frank Farrelly"+"attack therapy"-wikipedia - did not match any documents.
  • Results 1 - 100 of about 743 for "Frank Farrelly"+"provocative therapy". (0.78 seconds)
--Comaze 00:22, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm, To me, my changes were neutral. Please check it from a neutral point of view here... [7] best regards, --Comaze 01:38, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Comaze. I think calling it attack therapy is very strong POV personally. Even people who don't like the therapy call it "Provocative Therapy". Singer is writing to a specific audience. GregA 03:56, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

OK, To pacify the NLP promoters yet again, I'll remove the fact until someone else verifies it or backs it up with another.HeadleyDown 04:11, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

To do

I brevified the list of to dos at the top of this page because we have easily handled those tasks already. NLP is scientifically unsupported full stop. NLP has been defined for the article and we are writing about that. We really don't need to be re-organizing the sections all the time. The merging finished ages ago, and stuff was integrated from the alternative page even before the NLPpromoters started adding extra. I certainly saw no need to merge any more info or hype over two weeks ago. All you really need to do is accept the facts and get on with NPOV.JPLogan 09:27, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Do you think that it would be useful to agree if something is agreed, rather than saying it is.?

Besides, someone just removed an important distinction from the opening section! GregA 11:32, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

In response to specific issues. Yes PRS was used, and taught, and still is. It is actually the basis of other techniques. It is used more with the concept of constant callibration, but again that was already tested as such in the research. The great majority of recent NLP books still teach PRS. I believe that issue is completely dealt with already.HeadleyDown 11:10, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm happy to keep the PRS research if we include Heap & Druckman's say as I've quoted before. GregA 11:32, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I am not entirely sure what this kind of negotiation is about. Could you be more specific. Certainly if you want me to state conclusions that don't exist, you are barking up the wrong tree.HeadleyDown 12:18, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely not. When it comes to Heap or Druckman quotes, I want to say enough that both you and I would say "yep, that's what they said". GregA 13:27, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I see you've expanded the science section, I'll take a look now. I think, and hope you'll agree, that if we start changing each others science section we'll get nowhere. I'd like to suggest I write an alternative to your POV... and that slowly we work out the differences till we reach what we and others consider NPOV. That's my best bet on a way of working together to get there, what do you think? GregA 23:09, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I notice that some other non-pro-NLP editors have access to lots of science fact about NLP. I suggest that it be added. Right now it is just neutral statements of fact with no commentary at all. I also suggest that it be kept brief. It was actually reduced and made concise during a big NPOV period, but of course now I had to spell out the research again to show exactly what scientists actually conclude. 01:42, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi 203.x. I think it very worthwhile to bring out as many sources as we can in order to make the article reflect what NLP is etc. It would not work to quote all the sources - but is there some way we can note what we base something on if we're making a statement about majority or minority views? IMO, there are lots of statements with negative inferences at the moment IMO. GregA 03:52, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

In response to research on the meta model, the linguistics expert Levelt, says that it is linguistically relativistic and out of date. (also there are silly errors involved in "nominalizations" in Bandler and Grinder 1975)HeadleyDown 11:14, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

That's interesting. I'd like to learn more about what they say regarding nominalisations - could you tell me anything? THanks (you can use my talk page or email if you like to keep it clean here) GregA 11:32, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, admittedly I don't have Levelt's understanding of linguistics or psycholinguistics, and certainly with my NLP grounding in linguistics, I am not going to do very well. I will try to dig up the actual quote.HeadleyDown 12:18, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks GregA

Still disputed...

I thought it worth starting a list of what is still disputed

  1. That engrams are part of NLP (no primary NLP sources, 1 NLP book)
  2. Tenets as a term, and concept.
  3. Background of NLP including heavy New age influence
  4. claim to science etc
  5. fair representation of criticisms
  6. Is NLP an organisation or an approach? 00:03, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Would anyone like to add to the list? GregA 23:19, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Grinder, Malloy, Bostic

I've added Steps to Ecology of Emergence to the reference list. This is also cited in Paper: Mapping Knowledge to Boolean Dynamic Systems in Bateson's Epistemology. Both papers are published in reputable journals, and give a description of NLP epistemology. This needs to be included in this article. What would be most appropriate? --Comaze 02:11, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

None of these papers have been published. They are purely theoretical papers. Once they are actually published, they could be included in the metamodel section.HeadleyDown 03:42, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Second thoughts! None of the papers ever mentions NLP as far as I can see. They really don't apply at all.HeadleyDown 03:46, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Check this out. Both papers I mentioned above [8] [9] have been published (2005) in reputable journals, see PubMed [10] or ingentaconnect (database of journals) [11]. Both papers also cite Whispering in the Wind (Grinder & Bostic, 2001). --Comaze 04:25, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

These papers are clearly not about NLP. They are about Bateson's epistemology.HeadleyDown 05:52, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

What evidence do you need in order to be convinced that these two papers directly relate to NLP epistemology? Can someone look at this from a neutral perspective and tell me what you think. regards, --Comaze 06:23, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Comaze. A convincing line is required from the abstract, or the text that states NLP, or neurolinguistic programming. There needs to be something written such as "NLP is" or "NLP uses" etc.JPLogan 07:02, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

JPLogan, Are there any exceptions to this rule? --Comaze 08:01, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, I've found some reference to link all these in... I want to add the following line:

NLP is portrayed some researchers and developers as being primarily based on the cybernetic epistemology of Gregory Bateson (1972, 1979)[12]. References:

  • ^ Dilts, Robert B Dilts R, Grinder,J. Bandler,R Cameron-Bandler,L, DeLozier J, (1980). NLP: The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience. Cupertino, California: Meta Publications,. 
  • ^ Bateson, Gregory (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226039056. 
  • ^ Paul Tosey A1 and Jane Mathison A1 (2003). "Neuro-linguistic programming and learning theory: a response". Curriculum Journal. Volume 14, Number 3 / September 2003: 371–388. 
  • ^ Malloy, T. E., Bostic St Clair, C. & Grinder, J. (2005a). "Discrete Dynamic Systems: Tools for relating Evolution and Knowledge". Cybernetics & Human Knowing 2005: 102–119. 
  • ^ Malloy, T. E., Jensen, G. C., & Song, T. (2005b). "Mapping knowledge to Boolean dynamic systems in Bateson’s epistemology". Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences 9: 37–60. 
--Comaze 05:01, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Cult section

Here are a couple of quotes that I want to merge into the Cult section...

  • David V Barrett (The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions, 2003) says, "NLP is an approach rather than a organisation; it is used by several human potential movements.(p.431)" --Comaze 10:03, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Barrett (2003) also says, "NLP is included in the book, but not as a religion; it is described as a technique, or a series of techniques, or a process. It is used by some religions and NLP as a philosophy exhibits some characteristics which are sometimes found in some religions, but overall the balance comes down against it being labelled as a religion. (p.26)" --Comaze 10:03, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Very nice comaze. These are really worthwhile. Perhaps also in the 'spiritual' application section. I don't think much has to be quoted - the important thing is to make sure the section reflect what's REALLY being said, not an interpretation like "it's mentioned in connection with cults" when we can be clear. Well researched. GregA 23:13, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I guess this needs to be adjusted throughout the entire document. In some places in the document it is implied that NLP is an organisation, rather than an approach. Let's sort this out -- a necessary distinction. --Comaze 23:48, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Comaze. Thats only one ref. There is no section claiming that NLP is a religion. It looks like a good ref for supporting the assertion that NLP is a cult or sect. There are many refs that call NLP a cult, including some by Heap. There are also other refs that categorize NLP as spiritual/quasi spiritual/or quasi-religious. If you want to change the whole article based on a single line in one book, you are going to end up with whole paragraphs of balancing qualifiers inserted after the statement. Basically nobody is saying NLP is a religion per se, and I am sure readers will not think so either, so it is not really in issue. NLP is classed as a cult or sect (Barret 2003).HeadleyDown 01:51, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

For some scientists cult means New Religious Movement (NRM). This quote from Barrett helps clear up the distinction that NLP is not an organisation, but a series of techniques, or processes. --Comaze 02:30, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Headley, you seem to be working from the assumption that we're disagreeing that there have been associations between NLP and some cult stuff. I can't speak for comaze, but my goal is to find more information, for or against, for any claim. This quote fits well with what's being said, and clarifies a position.

Now, comaze says that Barret 2003 says "NLP is included in the book... as a technique, or a series of techniques". Headley is saying Barret 2003 says "NLP is classed as a cult or sect". It's not obvious how these 2 things fit together so... how do they? (I'm assuming they are both correct quotes). Can a series of techniques be classed as a cult? GregA 02:38, 23 October 2005 (UTC).

To really get an understanding of which author means what, you would have to contact them and ask them specifically. But that is unnecessary for wikipedia. It is quite acceptable to simply quote what they believe in terms of the categories or words they use, or whichever category NLP is placed into in terms of books or sections of books. EG, NLP being described explained in a book about cults, "NLP is classed as a cult by....", Smith/jones/brown etc describe NLP as a cult etc.HeadleyDown 04:36, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm surprised that you can still shock me Headley!
You're saying that if NLP is explained in a book about cults, it's fair enough to say "NLP is classed as a cult by X....". Whereas Comaze has a direct quote from the book ...which says something different, and you're saying comaze's quote supports what you say? Wow. GregA 05:09, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Greg and HeadleyDown,

  • Contacting the author to verify the facts is unnecessary for wikipedia (agreed -- see Wikipedia:Verifiability).
  • HeadlyDown) writes, 'NLP is classed as a cult' when the source says NLP is not an organisation. The same author says that NLP as a philosophy has some characteristics of a religion (or cult). An author must be represented fairly and it must be close to what the author actually says. See also, policies mandated by Wikipedia:cite sources, Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Verifiability. --Comaze 06:15, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
NLP often has cultish properties. But the practice is not a cult, I have never heard that before, although I do know how secretive and insider they can be. The reasons for this is money, the current authors and speakers want people to come and pay. The article should have quotes which both describe NLP as a cult and ones that don't, since NLP practitioners only exhibit partial cult-like properties. This boils down to showing both POVs as "cult" is a stugma word. I have to agree with Comaze here.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 06:07, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Voice_of_all. I am not sure what you are agreeing with here. Surely the article already quotes that some believe NLP to be classifiable as a cult, and having cult attributes. If anyone wants to place quotes that say "NLP is not a cult" according to some views, then that is fine by me. The quote in question here says that the author does not classify NLP as a religion. But it is in a book about religions, cults and sects. I think the section is really clear already, and I don't see quite how talking about religions is relevant.HeadleyDown 06:29, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I think that this[13] explains some of the confusion.
Looking over the article, I think that enough has been said about cults in a NPOV way, so I we don't really need any quotes that say that it is not a cult(which is what I said earlier). I think that just mentioning its cult-like properties is enough, we don't need a "NPL is classified as a cult" if there are disrepencincies over its accuracy.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 20:26, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm a bit unsure of what a "partial" cult is. I mean, NLP processes have been applied in some awful ways at times, including cults etc. I've also heard "cultish" evangelicists talking using language patterns I've learned in NLP... though they also misused some patterns (I think if they had studied NLP these guys would have used the patterns better). I'm sure some influential speakers study NLP, some just have effective language patterns. GregA 06:42, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
The cult stuff, besides inaccurate, also has some horrendous misquotes of presuppositions. I had thought we atleast agreed on what the presuppositions were. Anyway, I cleaned it up and it was reverted without comment by Alice (well.. she said it was because of "As if" silliness and something to do with Grinder.... not sure how it relates.
These are the diffs.
Any comments? I personally think all the presupposition misunderstandings and explanation should be removed from the middle. GregA 10:43, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Ok, here a quote from a very reputable academic (Figley) on Hassan: Charles Figley PhD writes in, Brief Treatments for the Traumatized (2002): "Hassan (1988) suggests using a technique similar to Neuo-linguistic Programming Visual-Kinesthetic Dissociation (VKD) and Change History, wher tehe cult involvement can be redone and the individual's mind, with the resource that are currently available to that person. This process brings about increased feels of empowerment for the individual that were not in the original situation where victimization by the cult occurred. (p.96)" Any objections / comments on summarising and including this in the cult section? --Comaze 23:53, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Redraw of Eye Accessing Cues chart

I redrew the Eye Accessing Cues chart and stuck it in [14]. This replaces the chart with the multiple frowning faces. This is based on the chart most commonly found in NLP training. --Comaze 11:10, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I reverted due to the Comaze chart being unclear and lacking visual content. Most of the charts that appear in the books are multifaceted, and refer to eye movements, and show them, plus, the faces are not frowning, they are demonstrating the introspective emotion, and the l/r brain hemispheric differences that are shown in other diagrams. The red diagrams are richer in information. Adding sexy images and grand terms to the article really does not help. NLP is self-aggrandizing enough, even within its own text, without you blatantly hyping the subject with eyelid-fluttering adverts.HeadleyDown 16:15, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Eye accessing cues of NLP (for a normally organised right-hander. First published in Frogs into Princes, 1979
The image I drew is similar to use in NLP. A quick google test[15] proves beyond doubt. Maybe the image did not refresh for you yet. --Comaze 23:17, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Proposed standard for citation

I've have consulted the Wikipedia:WikiProject_Fact_and_Reference_Check policies. I think the best way to move the article forward is to use Harvard standard citations with Wikipedia:Footnotes. Are there any objection or comments on this? regards, --Comaze 05:51, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Would you care to elaborate... (I'll look it up when i have some time... a bit busy) GregA 06:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I've added an example with the first referemce. This will help us with external fact checks. It is going to take some time to add notes for every reference. Then we can probably remove the references that are not actually used. --Comaze 23:10, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

What the heck?

So I return to the NLP article to find it's attracted engrams and parapsychology, and other unrelated oddments. A huge references list but less actual "meat".

Would someone like to explain exactly what relevance they have and what's gone on? FT2 09:32, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi FT2. I'm not sure if we've met... I started here about a month ago probably.
At the time there was a reversion war. comaze was writing what he knew of NLP, Headley and friends were pushing the Wiki "scientific" policy of taking a peer-reviewed journal as primary sources... with lots of negative journal references (which turned out not to be journals). The article went downhill quickly with constructive edits from anyone lost between reversions etc... and eventually it was suggested (by comaze?) that we develop the 2 pages in parallel, with a view to merging or mediation/arbitration at a later stage. Both pages developed into something far better than what had been jointly created... one was highly critical (consisting of Headley, JP, Alice, and now Dave), the other telling more from NLP's intention plus some of the problems (Greg, Comaze, Lee). When it came time to bring things back together, things were not so easy. Engrams is a classic point - there is ONE NLP book that mentions Engram, self published, but a few psychologists have said NLP works with Engrams - so Headley and friends simply won't allow that kind of correction through. Partly it's a straw man argument. Now we make small changes and improvements and see what happens.... Voice-of-All has helped get some changes through. I don't think Headley etc are happy with the article (they say it's too pro NLP and revert stuff), and neither am I at present... arbitration might be the only way. Welcome back. GregA 11:16, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

The limits of scientific testing of NLP (a response to the above)

There is some dispute to the validity of the interpretations above.

Who is disputing it? Citations! 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Come now 203... you think people have written essays about Headley/JP/Dave's interpretation of Heap, and Druckman?
I, comaze, and some other editors dispute your POV. Rather than just change it I've written a clarifying piece, so we can gradually help each other to work out what's POV and what's not. GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Readers are invited to consider this response until such time as the differences are resolved.

Keep the discussion to the discussion section203.186.238.158 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
That'd be great... I'm not sure who you are, but Headley said the same thing and then didn't respond in discussion which made the idea pointless. I appreciate that you have though, so lets discuss.
Note I'm not discussing it there, just presenting an alternative POV to what you've got GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

In the 1970s and 1980s, NLP's proposed "Primary Representational System" (PRS) (as described in the original NLP book "Structure of Magic I" - Bandler & Grinder, 1975a) was tested in many different experiments. In 1985, Einspruch and Forman reviewed 39 PRS studies and found all to have significant flaws in one or more areas - including testing hypotheses which did not match the actual NLP theories on PRS, and methodological problems. Between 1984 & 1988, the US National Committee reviewed techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance and included NLP via 20 studies of PRS (Druckman & Swets, 1988), and in 1989 Heap presented a review of 70 PRS studies. Neither found evidence to support the existence of a Primary Representational System.

NLP has hypotheses (claims made by authors) and these are tested. 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
NLP has processes that are applicable in certain contexts. Psychologists devise an experiment to test these processes by constructing a hypothesis that more readily controls the variables (empirical research). Some of these processes were incorrectly tested. [16] GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Similar to Einspruch's criticisms of PRS studies, Druckman & Swets (1988) also suggested several flaws in the PRS research (pg 143[17]).

Clarify! State the flaws203.186.238.158 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I linked straight to the page with the flaws. Okay, will make sure they're in the page as well. GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

During the research, Richard Bandler met with the US committee in 1986 and informed them that NLP had been revised and "that PRS was no longer considered an important component"

One might say changed his mind and didn't want people to test the claims he made. I can cite sources for this203.186.238.158 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Absolutely one might say that. Lilienfeld says:
  • Scientific research programs are not necessarily distinguished from pseudoscientific research programs in the verisimilitude of their claims, because proponents of both programs frequently advance incorrect assertions. Nevertheless, in the long run most scientific research programs tend to eliminate these errors, whereas most pseudoscientific research programs do not. Consequently, intellectual stagnation is a hallmark of most pseudoscientific research programs
Of course Bandler and Grinder frequently say "if what you're doing isn't working do something different", which relates to the above but mostly on a smaller chunk size IMO. Any experiment that prevents you from doing something different will be difficult to test. Bandler and Grinder may have recognised changes necessary in NLP. We don't know. If you have GOOD sources please let us know. GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

[18]. Representation systems are still part of NLP and the concept of "PRS" now involves multiple representation systems.

Nice get out clause. Going for imunity to test=pseudoscience203.186.238.158 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
See above quote from Lilienfeld. If a field does NOT change over time after feedback it's a pseudoscience.
Oh, the direct quote on that is "The emphasis on Preferred Representational System (as distinguished from the representational system currently in use) has been reduced in importance in recent NLP literature and explicitly disavowed in informal communication" (Druckman & Swets, 1988, pg 142)

GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

These reviews raise several questions including 1: Has the PRS been studied more effectively since Einspruch (85) and Druckman (88) noted the research flaws?

Exactly what did Druckman say about flaws? As far as I am concerned Eispruch et al is the only paper who talks about flaws. Sharpley provided evidence against Einspruch's assertions in 1987 including further studies. The 1987 paper is considered the last word in other books and papers203.186.238.158 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
This sharpley 87 stuff has come up a few times. Can someone give any further info - perhaps the name of the research and the abstract?
I'll write out the Druckman link. However, he does quote Sharpley 1984...
"The existing research on NLP theory suffers from several additional weaknesses (Sharpley, 1984).
  • Most important, research has not examined whether PRS matching is necessary or sufficient for successful therapy outcomes
  • Most studies to date have examined only a single session, involving experimenters and subjects rather than counselors and clients.
  • Most studies have measured only the experimenter's judgments of the effectiveness of the matching, rather than assesing long-term changes in clients' behavior.
  • Research has not addressed whether the PRS is actually a manifestation of an underlying neurolinguistic schema, or merely a learned language pattern.
  • Finally, research to date has almost exclusively used female undergraduates in American psychology laboratories, raising questions about external validity and generalizability of the findings.
GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

2: Have studies into other NLP processes been done (including modeling, parts negotiation, the meta model, swish, etc) 3: Is the combination of NLP processes effective where it's applied?

Wholism is also a pseudoscientific aspect according to Lilienfeld and others. 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
And yet psychotherapies currently criticise empirical studies for the reverse reason. There are big changes in this area in an effort to bridge it, and outcome based research is part of this. GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Platt (2001) reviewed the abstracts of 68 PRS studies and found only 25% supported the PRS claims. He does not say to what extent these overlap with the earlier flawed studies. There is also no indication on whether later studies built on previous studies nor if they answered the criticisms of Einspruch & Forman, and of Druckman & Swets. Druckman and Swets also noted in their review that any positive effects of matching representational systems may have been due to something other than the PRS theory proposed [19].
You seem to be presenting your own research, rather than other's203.186.238.158 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Just putting it in context. Psych studies generally are peer reviews, over time refuting each others findings and improving the studies etc. You don't review a CBT process by summarising every study, you put it in context over time, noting changes and flaws. Some past experiments are found to be invalid, and counter experiments are offered. Platt's stuff is very weak, he didn't even read the studies. GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
  • There are multiple studies of other NLP processes, but no comprehensive review of those studies. Research supports patterns including the spelling strategy (using visual representations), the effects of rapport on neurology, meta-model effects, & time line work [20].
  • Early psychological research was largely empirical research, which has been criticised as controlling the interaction so much that any effects are removed. Outcome-based studies are increasingly used to test therapy effectiveness. One such NLP study in Austria involved 55 clients (plus a control group) and found significant improvements over 6 months, both subjectively and in medical diagnoses, after undergoing a full range of NLP techniques (reframing, setting outcomes, parts work, metamodel, metaphor, trance, time line work, anchoring, belief changes, submodality shifts, strategies, and trauma-phobia process) (Genser-Medlitsch and Schütz, 1996) [21]. Heap (1989) ended his review saying "Einspruch and Forman are probably correct in insisting that the effectiveness of NLP therapy undertaken in authentic clinical contexts of trained practitioners has not yet been properly investigated.", at least one study now answers this question.
He says probably. He does not come to the same conclusion as Eispruch and forman. He is talking about clinical contexts (extremely sophisticated and thorough testing after convincing prior pre-clinical research) 17:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes he says probably. I didn't say he came to the same conclusion (did I?) This study is the most thorough answer to that. Can you cite some others, that would be useful. GregA 22:24, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your discussion 203, I'll make some changes, and wait for your reply (and others!)

Since NLP has never claimed, nor been intended as, a scientifically formulated structure, it seems highly inappropriate to critique it purely on the basis of something it never intended to be. It is appropriate to note that it has its sceptics, and the basis of their scepticism. It is also appropriate to describe it in its appropriate context, as a structured methodology which is widley used and based upon a core which has won wide integration into a great many fields because of its own methodology and process of evolution.
On a philosophical viewpoint, there are a great many methodologies and tests of truth or utility. The scientific method is only one. So far, most testing done on NLP has been inappropriately designed it would appear. Internally, NLP seems to develop as science does, by trial and error, the processes however being human oriented are highly flexible and intended to be used variably, and this is apparently considered a a strength in the field, despite the difficulties it adds to scientists attempting to evaluate it. Others who have attempted to validate its core have by and large come to a consensus it is well formulated if eclectic. That is probably by design, since humans too are eclectic and its intent is to work, not to be complete. One should also note that these are not issues concerning NLP singled out alone. Many well reputed modern psychological approaches have not proven easy to scientifically test in the laboratory. This applies to a wide range of recent and older technologies. One hopes that in time more appropriate testing will be utilised in order to allow better analysis of efficacy.
In the meantime one should remember the many scientific tests that "proved" hypnosis did not work. The test was the kind that scientists perform who are unfamiliar with the field. Person A read out statements from a card and performed actions on a standard basis. The subject was then tested for trance type phenomena. Not much surprise it proved there was no such thing. Meantime hypnotherapists were having radically different results. The experimental flaw was simple in retrospect - trance is a feedback loop, so the experiment design was inappropriate, and a good design that allowed an experimenter to do hypnosis was therefore for some time too difficult to devise. So they tested card reading instead which unsurprisingly proved a dismal failure. It's a good lesson to remember when evaluating human-oriented fields as opposed to physics chemistry mathematics and biology. FT2 22:33, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Hello FT2. Glad to respond to someone who does not deliberately try to cause flame wars. I read the original books on NLP by Dilts et al 80 and Bandler Grinder etc. They state that they prefer the word model to theory. From a scientific perspective there is not much difference as regards testing, except that a model is easier to test than a theory. They are synonymous to a degree. Even if it were not the case, NLP makes claims that - if you do this, then that will happen. That is a hypothesis, and that can be tested. Grinder calls NLP a science, others call it a science or a technology, others say it is probably the best synthesis of psychology available etc. Of course it should be tested. Not just by individuals, but by collections of individuals in proper scientific experiments (and yes they are good solid experiments according to me, and according to all the other researchers who write that NLP is scientifically unsupported ever since 1987-1988. Science does hold a lot of weight in encyclopedias, NLP mimics science, and some say it is science. So many (all as far as I can see) reviewers of NLP use the science structure to assess it. Do you think Comaze should revert something over 30 times in a fortnight? Even after mediation says it should stay? I doubt it, but if so, I would seriously wonder about the validity of wikipedia. RegardsAliceDeGrey 08:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

(Alice - a model is not the same as a theory. A model seeks to approximate a system, a theory seeks to explain one. A model doesn't care if it does what "really" happens, so long as it appears to match in some sense. A theory most definitely is intended to unpack and analyse what does happen in reality. A model treats the process as a black box, and says simply, here's a way to look at what's going on that might provide insight". It is tested by the value that users feel the insights have been, ie the quality of insight and applicability. A theory is tested by one thing: Is this an accurate representation of what happens in the black box and of how it actually works. They are fundamentally different. NLP does not mimic, or seek to mimic science, it seeks to find shortcuts that provide "useful enough" insight and direction. It is a heuriistic approximatory approach and in that context its principle that it does not claim to be "right" as much as "found useful", is critical. Hope that helps. FT2 23:32, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
Hi FT2. Could you read the "alternative page" ((temp) page) linked at the top of the article to see if we cover your points? You may say it better, so you could integrate your comment above too? I'm asking that simply so that, if we don't mediate sufficiently, we have a working page presenting NLP in what we believe to be a fair and neutral way before arbitration. If you'd rather not, I may copy some of your stuff across, hope that's okay. GregA 23:00, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Comaze, if you revert something (which I do appreciate, since I think it's entirely relevant and will encourage discussion!).. I think we should also add any changes requested or brought about through discussion (where reasonable). I don't have time right now... we could add those points of what Druckman said the studies were lacking, and clarify who we're disputing (the interpretation of the reviews, not the reviews themselves). If you get a chance can you add those? Otherwise I was already planning to later (more discussion in the meantime too!)
A balanced well written article shouldn't need too much mediation. But a lot's gone on, I'd like to read both and try to understand both first.... it sounds complicated. What do others think? FT2 00:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Concerning the excuse section that I just removed again. "The limits of science" are not an issue here. Druckman said just a handfull of well over 100 studies were flawed. He also said that NLP is unsupported. Now we could talk about how science is crap all day long. But a concise version simply says NLP is scientifically unsupported but still gets treated like rocket science in the NLP books. The article would be a lot more concise if people didn't keep insisting that science did not say it is unsupported. We already have so many facts to show that is the scientific view. The claims of NLPers shows the other view and they are actually very representitive (eg 10 min or 1 session phobia cure etc). This is how scientific and encyclopedic books handle the NLP subject. (hype (andt techniques), but no support, still promoted and hyped, so NLP is pseudoscientific). Perhaps instead of just criticising the article by guesswork, some people may like to actually read some of the actual research some time.HeadleyDown 01:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
This is the kind of unresearched answer we need to avoid. Druckman said there were 20 studies, not 100. [22] (and yet you tell us to go and read the research!?). It is FAR to easy for you to make a claim, and then tell us to go find it. It's also, as you say, pseudoscientific if you claim to be following the NPOV scientific side of things - since you aren't proving your own claims, instead making others do it (and denying what they find when they do!). Everything I wrote in the above is straight from the same sources as you (except Einspruch).GregA 05:56, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I've paraphrased what AliceDeGrey just wrote: (my comments are in brackets)
  1. Bandler & Grinder (1980) have a preference for model over theory (mostly agreed. except it depends at what stage of the modeling process they are in, during the initial stages Grinder has minimal interest in theory, see Whispering [2000]).
  2. Scientists POV is that a model is easier to test than a theory (easier, how specifically?)
  3. Model and theory are to a degree synonymous (disagree - in NLP a theory is to underpins a model ::--Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
  4. In NLP there is a hypothesis, and that can be tested (what exactly are you referring to?).
  5. Grinder calls NLP a science, others call it a science or a technology (disagree - Grinder says ::that NLP is an epistemology -- and epistemology combines both philosophy and science --Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
  6. Others say it is probably the best synthesis of psychology available etc. (who says? --Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
  7. NLP should be tested in proper scientific experiments (what proper experiment are you referring to? --Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC)).
  8. experiments since 1987-1988 have found NLP to be scientifically unsupported (disagree - What exactly are you referring to when you use the term NLP [the field, a specific school, Bandler, Grinder, other trainer, the approach, the modeling methodology, a specific technique, an approach to therapy?] --Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
  9. Science POV holds more weight in wikipedia (agreed. in wikipedia we use NPOV, logic and a scholarly approach --Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC)).
  10. NLP mimics science (disagree - Mimics, how specifically? IMO, NLP challenges typical western ::science, eg. Bateson's [Steps to Ecology of Mind] influence on NLP, see for example, Turtles all ::the way down [1986] --Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC)).
  11. some say it is science so many reviewers of NLP use the science structure to assess it. (OK - ::except I'm not sure about 'many' --Comaze 08:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC)).

Comment, what do people think?

I've just read both versions, having come back to this article after a long time away. This is my take, neutrally on both.

  • Intro - book definition of NLP, fairly neutral.
  • Overview - Foundation of NLP and two out of place fragments (engrams, irrelevant, and swish, a technique not an overview)
  • Goals - does not actually say in a real sense, what NLP's actual "goals" are.
  • Suppositions - half a dozen of the classic NLP suppositions that have been adopted fairly universally
  • Modelling - discussed before NLP is well explained

etc etc

Coming fresh to the present version, it would at the least need some major restructuring so that what it included was structured appropriate to the subject and was explanatory. I am also struck by the number of "NLP claims" ... several of which appear to not be claims, but substantiated by non-NLP practitioners as well, and hence the "claims" and "alleges" carry a POV feel to me.

It reads like a version of NLP by someone who has read a book, or a range of books, rather than someone who knows the field. This is a problem in an experiential field where book knowledge is inadequate as a pure learning tool.


Intro - too long and misses too many important factors and valid criticisms. Could be improved and made more succinct. Otherwise, similar comments apply.


My first thought is, perhaps a better structured article would be good. NLP is a complex field and often poorly described, especially by those who have encountered it as a list of techniques or are unaware of the degree of versatility it heavily relies upon. I would like to see an NLP article that combines the best of what's known about it, and being fair to both sides, a description I come up with that does justice to both views is something like this:

"NLP is an eclectic working methodology. It is an umbrella field, that is, it covers a wide range of significant models and structures rather than one or two core ideas. It is based upon a methodology that is in principle verifiable, but (in common with many modern therapeutic methods) has proven difficult to verify under clasic subject-object lab conditions, because it relies for effectiveness upon feedback loops (which imply every trial will differ), requires testing humans and their needs, for which there is no replication or obvious "control", and each situation and person may vary so indeed there may be multiple answers or valid foci.
As a result of both this, and exaggerated claims made about it in some dubious fields, it has acquired the reputation of pseudoscience to some, and manipulation to others. Because it is open (eclectic) in its sources and approaches, there is limited control over what becomes used or incorporated within it by any individual practitioner or teaching school, which has led to everything from engrams to shamanism being introduced into it on occasion. In response it is fair to say that by design NLP is defined as exceptionally open as to what sources are used, and leaves this up to practitioners, provided only they are useful when used; its core philosophy is defined by approach, not content, and it sees as less important the sources of material, and more important their ability to be utilized effectively if drawn upon.
What is beyond doubt is that formal scientific tests have often produced dismal results compared to those reported anecdotally by practitioners, giving the subject a reputation of pseudoscience to many critics and sceptics, and in extreme cases has been connected with brainwashing and manipulation at one extreme and providing "unpacked" techniques and approaches that have revolutionized therapy at the other. Until scientific tests are done that both practitioners and scientists agree are well designed, NLP will remain a controversial subject whose primary byproduct is perhaps not so much new therapies, but the development of models and approaches which become widely accepted and established in other fields and applications.
When studied in detail, it becomes clear that it is as well tested by science as many of its peer psychological methodologies (which is to say, not very), that its methodology is logical and usually can be (and has been) verified either by direct observation, client feedback or commonsense, that it is internally a sceptical approach (that is, it is predicated upon and demands constant end-user feedback to confirm it is on an appropriate course), and that a high adoption rate of its models into mainstream psychology and business suggest that mainstream users find it effective. However there are many ways to test for truth and utility, and designing tests which are generally agreed to be appropriate (by both observers and practitioners) for methodologies intended to work with the human mind has often proven difficult in the past and in other fields.
Setting aside questions of efficacy for the moment, and looking at NLP itself, NLP is broadly based upon the following structure:
  • Core principles - flexible beliefs about how certain types of experience may be structured, and a strong philosophy about how to approach these and the role of the NLP practitioner, and especially, that good psychological intervention is based upon careful and neutral information gathering of the clients existing world view, before attempting to intervene.
  • Modelling - the concept that one can break down experience into small chunks, and that combined with other client feedback and appropriate inpute by the practitioner, these will reveal usefully some ways the human brain works.
  • A library of models and approaches - some of which are so central as to be in constant use, others of which are used as needed only, and others of which are second level learning, that is, models about how and when to develop or utilise new models of understanding.
  • An understanding that these are intended to be used holistically, that is, as an eclectic toolkit by someone who has developed sufficient practical experience to choose moment to moment the most useful methods to kep the client developing new approaches to their present difficulties.
In some ways, this is akin to "fly-by-wire" in high speed aircraft. The human mind (like the aiurcraft who's wings are in fact of unstable design), is not likely to remain focussed on generating new ways to step beyond its difficulties. A good NLP counsellor, like a good flight computer, must learn to instinctively compensate for these by determining rapidly by test-response methods, what is significant information (though perhaps understated) and what is not as significant (though perhaps the presenting symptom), in order to be sure what in on course to help, what is not, and thus determine the fastest way to achieve beneficial long term therapeutic impact in the client's subjective experience consistent with ensuring due evaluation and protection of the client's other wider interests and those of people in his/her social sphere.
NLP is distinct from many other models of psychotherapy and communication in that it is silent as to the nature of "what people should want" or "how everyone is". There is no universal model of personality to compare with Freud's Ego-id-superid, for example. There are only generalizations (recognized as such) about the range of ways people may perform and represent specific processes in their minds, and given that these can be tested and verified as a building block of subjective experience, how they may be worked with in order to further a person's life-goals."

Before stepping any further in, or risking treading on any toes, I am aware no one wording will suit everybody. But wikipedia is a collaborative and co-operative effort - beyond criticisms of choice of phrasing or spelling, does anyone have any major criticisms of matters left out, or unfairly sidelined, in the above description, as a broad overview?

FT2 01:12, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi FT2. The current article takes into account the theory and overview of NLP. Engrams are mentioned in by NLP theorists and it is a psychological term that explains very well what is going on with the neural side of NLP.HeadleyDown 01:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

As a large umbrella subject, science should be used to organize it all within a recognizable framework, using as little hype or grand jargon (in order to clarify) and keep concise.HeadleyDown 01:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
It does not have a high adoption rate in psychology. It is out of fashion. NLP claims are there because even the core tenets are exagerated and wrong. All the books on NLP are full of hype, and words used to sell the technique, rather than actual scientific evidence for efficacy. Compared to all other "pschological" subjects it stands alone in trying to sound scientific, but never providing evidence for theory or efficacy. Most editors here are or have been practitioners (been on courses). Similar to Heap, they have a good set of sources.

As far as wording goes, NLP is also full of the words "the difference that makes the difference" and strategies of excellence, and going beyond what you think possible etc. Pro-NLPers will want as much of that in there as possible, and it is not encyclopedic or NPOV.HeadleyDown 01:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

HeadleyDown - I am reading your comments, and believe there is some misunderstanding. I would like see people here sort out a mutual combined way to approach this, but there are some factors in your comment above that make me feel this will not be easy. May I list some of them?

  • You are very free with words like "all". "All" books on NLP are full of hype. I am sure Ive read classic texts that were not.
  • You are also free with assumptions. You assume for example, I have not read the papers, or that I (newly returned to this page) am in conflict with you. In fact I think I've said the exact opposite above.

Now, as to specific points you raise, these are good. That's what I'm after, trying to find where in this brief overview people differ. Do you feel perhaps it does not summarize the sceptic's view enough? The difficulty is, wikipedia neutrality does not mean "scientific view only". It means that all views should be appropriately represented. This means that the "pro" side get to represent how they see NLP as well. Please check wikipedia policy (WP:NPOV) for more.

  • Engrams are a minority view in NLP. They are not a formal psychological term, and your personal view that they "explain very well" is worthless without a credible citation. Wikipedia policy states that minorioty views may be minimized or excluded. That is why engrams have been removed, and in my view rightly so.
  • "As a large umbrella subject, science should be used to organize it all" -- again this is your personal view I am afraid, how it should be organized. An encyclopedia is not an academic paper or textbook, it is a broad introduction that outlines various views and aspects of a field for those interested. It is clear that psychology or pseudoscience, its practitioners have a voice in the article to represent it as they see it too.
  • You also need to read me carefully. I do not use words lightly. I did not say NLP has a high adoption rate into psychology. I said, its models are widely adopted. Considering that its models and contributors' works include sales models, management models, the entirety of the analysis of most modern "brief therapy" models (originated by others, made accessible by NLP founders), the entirety of Ericksonian hypnotherapy and a wide range of other widely adopted models, and NLP nmodels turn up in nursing, negotiation, management, parenting and education, you may want to consider that the statement is in fact more accurate than you had thought.
  • If the editors are well qualified practitioners, then I am surprised at the ignorance shown by some. For example - a simple example - most NLP models can be tested by an average person, with no equipment, and a few random human beings. NLP texts and courses are crammed full of such testing. What else is good NLP training about, if not testing and testing the basics?
    (Other models (eg logical levels) are constructs and "proof" does not apply, any more than one would "prove" a color wheel in art)
  • As far as I am aware, NLP has never sought a basic theory, or evidence, beyond "clients subjectively report it works". This sidelining of formal proof in favor of client feedback is as true of NLP as of many other schools of therapy BTW. I believe it's appropriately covered in the draft outline above, isn't it?
  • "This is how scientific and encyclopedic books handle the NLP subject". Which may simply be a classic example of people who read the books but don't practice the skills fully as designed.

HeadleyDown - I am not having a go at you. It isn't a "you v them". I am looking for a neutral approach. The concern I have is that you are imagining that "the scientific approach" will automatically make an article NPOV. It wont. Science is one point of view but not the only one, and it is essential that a balanced NLP article is written that puts both the practitioners view on what it is they do, and the scientific critics criticisms of what they do, on a balanced basis. Meantime let's watch what others say before getting into detail.

Do I take it that barring the few points you made, that the draft overview fully includes sceptics and scientists viewpoints without minimizing them? Or is there something you would want made clearer in an overview? FT2 02:16, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi FT2, I agree with what you are writing above... and once again when I read your comments I realise that the compromises I have attempted here and on the (temp) page neither effectively represented NLP, nor resulted in agreement - the temp page has several flaws, and is open to anyone to improve ... though in the end though it's the final version here that matters.
Back to your suggestion. Your line on modeling I would disagree with, since NLP modeling (as originally described by Bandler & Grinder) doesn't involve conscious analysis with the client, Dilts had more conscious involvement, but he has recently agreed that his form of modeling is not NLP modeling (rather Analytic Modeling).
I'd also like to be clear on principles vs presuppositions - in that a presupposition doesn't actually have to be true or believed by the practitioner, it's just useful to use the presuppositions when working with a client.
Your newest comment saying other ideas are easily integrated within NLP, I think I'd separate that out some more since there's a difference between seeing something that works and using it (essentially modeling any other field and finding the pattern that's useful), and integrating it into NLP. Perhaps some separation like "taught in conjunction with NLP", and "other fields are modeled", and "NLP processes have been applied to other fields", etc.
These are my general thoughts, but I think they're minor things, I like what you have said. GregA 02:29, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Intro - book definition of NLP, fairly neutral.

It is correct and bookish already, except that the NLP book definitions are not exactly clarifying. The opening line is good as it gives a clear picture and follows the actual term NLP.

  • Overview - Foundation of NLP and two out of place fragments (engrams, irrelevant, and swish, a technique not an overview)

Engrams are useful here, being quite short, plus giving an idea of nlp theorists view.JPLogan 02:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Goals - does not actually say in a real sense, what NLP's actual "goals" are.

Perhaps the title "goals" could be changed to something else. But basically, NLP is used for lots of things according to the books, seminars, etc.

  • Suppositions - half a dozen of the classic NLP suppositions that have been adopted fairly universally

Looks like we are there alreadyJPLogan 02:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Modelling - discussed before NLP is well explained

Again, it is a technical subject, and right now it is enough to say that there is a technique. How tos are out of the question.JPLogan 02:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Presuppositions are also arguable and many writers treat them as beliefs.JPLogan 02:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't see why this article would need any mediation. The only people calling for mediation are the one's who refuse to believe the science (the NLPpro ones) and the ones who spend most of their time nagging about what is actually written in source material without reading it for themselves. I am not a practitioner myself (although from a psych research background), but NLP is supposed to be so accessible, and the books say it is so possible to do such and such, it is completely reasonable for any editor to edit (as per wikipedia policy). It also seems to me that proNLP people are being a little silly about what scientists write. ALL the recent research (post 1990) takes into account Einspruch and Druckman, and balances it with Sharpley's exemplary paper 87 and comes to the conclusion that NLP is scientifically unsupported. The article is fine, and in the process of NPOV. If people stop adding redundant sections, the filesize will continue to become more reasonable alsoJPLogan 02:31, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

" I am not a practitioner myself (although from a psych research background), but NLP is supposed to be so accessible, and the books say it is so possible to do such and such". I am sorry. The upshot is that you can't readily learn NLP from books on its concepts. The reason is, a lot of NLP is in learning to spot and utilise multiple patterns intuitively, and working in a stystemic manner. Thats just not something you'll get from a book. You will get some eye cues, some logical levels, some odd and end patterns that the book makes strong claims for... and little of it will work as a whole for you. Thats in part the root of why this article has divided. Learning or discussing NLP from a book is like trying to understand "cold" by reading a book rather than walking in snow, to coin a Russian proverb. Most NLP books are lousily written as primary sources (kind of ironic for communications stuff eh?) because they are designed mostly to summarize stuff, or supplement coaching-based learning. Maybe a case of "too close to the forest". I'm sorry, because it sounds like you've genuinely tried. FT2 03:01, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
JP, I'd rather avoid mediation too. Can you respond to FT2s suggested approach?
Most NLP books and trainings say that you learn far more from doing a training, that NLP should be learned experientially. What do you mean "NLP is supposed to be so accessible"? GregA 02:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)


How many times has Comaze removed perfectly well cited facts? Someone tell me, is this not blatant disregard for NPOV? (Bootable behavior). As has been explained by so many people here, engrams are NLP theorist territory. Bandler says he doesn't do theory, and basically most of them say that at some point. This is a typical pseudoscientific ploy to immunize against testing. Plenty of NLPwriters have written explicitly about engrams. They are a useful psychology term.JPLogan 02:38, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Headley/JP supply one source of Engrams from NLP literature. That is from Sinclair's "an ABC of NLP", a self published book. None of the primary sources use the word Engram.
In addition, they quote external research saying that NLP is talking about Engrams. NLP 'theory' should be judged on what it says not on what someone else says it says. GregA 02:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Actually, I count at least 10 perfectly good sources to engrams in NLP (explicitly stated) including the Training Trances authors, and Dilts. I also studied psychology and some neurology. This has already been discussed too many times, but as far as I can see all of the NLP books talk about the perceptual parts of the engram concept. They don't like to talk theory, thats all. Engrams are a central concept (altering internal images through visualization, VAK, word patterns etc). Engrams are here to stayBookmain 03:53, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Once again, could you please give book names and relevant page number. If you have 10 perfectly good sources then list them please, so we can actually discuss your claim instead of reverting based on no evidence.
On another note, have you considered that if NLP sources don't like to talk theory, then theory should be a minor aspect of this page? (why should we explain the neurology of the swish if NLP books don't?) GregA 04:34, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Quite frankly, Greg. You seem to be deliberately trying to irritate. The sources have been cited and explained ad nausium already. I will not even try to list them because they are on the article already - provided due to persistent requests from you and Comaze. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with science as a strong organizing concept. Any psychneurology major reading any book on NLP is going to conclude that it is talking mainly about engrams. If the theory says engrams, then it is a fact.Bookmain 05:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

You are wrong, I'm just trying to get a straight answer, not irritate. I believed similar to what you've said (that it'd been cited/explained ad nausium), and told off comaze for reverting - until I decided to grab every single comment about Engram and put them in a list to finish the debate once and for all []. At that time (item #33), in all the discussion, there was only one NLP book with a reference to engram. Later Headley also said Frogs refered to engram (and Lashley), and Dilts Modeling mentioned Engram. Both comaze and I independently checked Frogs thoroughly and it's not there. We requested a page number. I don't have Dilts Modeling, but can call someone who does if you give me a page number. I can't make it any clearer that we want some sources. You can choose if you want to provide sources (you just said you had 10 explicitly stated within NLP!!!!), or if you'd like to just respond personally. If you don't have any sources, your choice is limited of course. GregA 05:20, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I summarise JPLogan and Bookmain posts about engrams:

  1. engrams are NLP theorist territory - disagreed. --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  2. Bandler & others NLP trainer/developers don't use theory - disagreed. --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  3. typical pseudoscientific ploy to immunize against testing - disagreed. --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  4. Plenty of NLPwriters use engrams - disagreed. --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  5. engram is a psychology term - disagreed. --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  6. 10 perfectly good sources to engrams in NLP (explicitly stated) - disagreed. --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  7. including the Training Trances authors, and Dilts - I need to check the facts here. --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  8. Books talk about the perceptual parts of the engram concept - disagreed (so what? I fail to see any connection here). --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  9. Engrams are a central concept in NLP (altering internal images through visualization, VAK, word patterns etc) - disagreed (this is a minority view or personal research). --Comaze 04:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

If one person says disagreed 20 times, it is not the same as 8 people saying agreed once.Bookmain 05:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I agree (assuming the 8 people are actually different people!) :) Of course, it would be unscientific to make it about who said it rather than what was actually said. And neither 20 nor 8 denials/agreements actually gives us your 10 explicit NLP sources with page numbers :) GregA 05:20, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia NPOV sources of engrams in NLP

There are abundant sources of engrams within NLP literature (Certainly more than the ONE reference that Greg is trying to make everyone believe). The sources that explicitly mention engrams are (excluding abundant weblinks):

  • Sinclair. J. (1992) An ABC of NLP. Publisher ASPEN. ISBN: 0951366017
  • Dilts, R. (1998) Modeling With Nlp M E T a Publications ISBN: 0916990419
  • Derks and Hollander (1998) Systemic Voodoo. Isbn 1907388896 (published paper on NLP) [23]
  • Derks, L. & Goldblatt, R.,(1985) The Feedforward Conception of Consciousness: A Bridge between Therapeutic Practice and Experimental Psychology. The William James Foundation, Amsterdam. (published paper on NLP)
  • Levelt W. (1995) Hoedt u voor Neuro-Linguistisch Programmeren! Intermediair 17 Nov pp113 (Published Paper)
  • Overdurf, J, Silverthorn, J (1995) Training Trances: Multi-Level Communication in Therapy and Training Metamorphous Press; 3rd edition ISBN: 1555520693
  • Drenth, J.D. (2003) Growing anti-intellectualism in Europe; a menace to science. Studia Psychologica, 2003, 45, 5-13 (Published paper with section on NLP)

Then there is the mass of German, French (PNL), Dutch and Spanish refs and links that also state engrams (engrammen).

Yes, we knew the Sinclair one, that one minor author mentions Engrams.
Dilts - please supply a page number. You could have one major source atleast who supports what you say.
Derks and Hollander - I went to the link and it doesn't say Engram. Who's Derks anyway?
Derks - minor source.
Levelt - minor source.
Overdurf - is this an NLP source?
Drenth - is this an NLP source?
For these it would seem that Engram doesn't even deserve a mention as a minority view. Still, it wasn't you who said you had 10 good sources. GregA 02:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Some links just for now. [24] [25] [26].

Those 3 links don't support your argument. The first one says that NLP doesn't talk about these things, but describes neurological theory. The second is a definition of the word Engram (nothing to do with NLP), and the 3rd is an extension to NLP they call "Humanistic NL Psychology". GregA 02:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Sources that describe the engram in reference to experiential aspects of the engram (subconscious, senses (VAK circuits etc) and Hebbian concepts of the engram (Basically all the books as most neurology/psychology savvy editors have stated).

  • Bandler, Richard & John Grinder (1975a) The Structure of Magic I: A Book About Language and Therapy, Palo Alto, CA: Science & Behavior Books. ISBN 08314-0044-7
  • Bandler, Richard & John Grinder (1975b) Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume 1, Cupertino, CA :Meta Publications. ISBN 091699001X

Bandler, Richard & John Grinder (1979) Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming, Moab, UT: Real People Press. ISBN 0911226192

  • Dilts, Robert B & Judith A DeLozier (2000) Encyclopaedia of Systemic Neuro-Linguistic Programming and NLP New Coding, NLP University Press. ISBN 0-9701540-0-3 Two volumes, 1600 pages of "history, biography & related knowledge [and] the steps to techniques and procedures".
  • Dilts, Robert B, McDonald, Robert (1997) Tools of the spirit, NLP University Press. {{{ID}}}

Also in many related books (explicitly stated) such as psychocybernetics (Maxwel Maltz).

.......And there are many others for whoever would like to add a source.HeadleyDown 00:58, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Greg. I am a psychology researcher with quite a deep knowledge of neuroscience. I concur that ALL of the books on NLP talk about engrams whether it be specifically in terms of engram circuits, and specifically in terms of the experiential parts of engrams (VAK etc) and indirectly also. Plus NLP theorists most clearly talk specifically and explicitly about engrams. Some NLP folk are really not into theory and they don't mention engrams (partly to avoid being ridiculed by scientists, partly to avoid the testing of NLP, and partly because they prefer to promote NLP by telling stories). NLP theorists all do mention engrams as far as I have read. I also believe that it is churlish and unproductive to demand so many references and then to demand that they be deleted. All of the references presented here are valid. Engrams are here to stay, and even more refs are on the way.JPLogan 03:24, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

JPLogan, In this edit, you remove Transformational Syntax [27]? Does this conflict with your engram research? I have found over 70 books that cite Structure of Magic Volume which is based on Transformational Grammar. In the "Curriculum Journal" there is a published reponse that describes NLP as based on Batesonian Cyberbetic epistemology, and Chomsky's transformational grammar [28] , this is consistant with what is published by Malloy (2005). I have found over 70 books that cite to Structure of Magic Volume I (Grinder & Bandler, 1975a); firmly on transformational grammar. --Comaze 04:16, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
JPLogan - give some references with page numbers... if NLP books talk about engrams in terms of engram circuits - give me a page number!? Could you also please tell me what an "NLP Theorist" is and does, who falls into that class, etc. You may say I'm being churlish, demanding so many references (hey... I didn't figure ONE primary NLP source was so many)... but what am I demanding to be deleted? You have said many times that more refs are on the way - please, I totally accept non NLP sources talking about NLP and engrams, that point is proven (IMO). I just haven't seen any primary NLP source (though apparently Dilts mentions it in his book, if you can give a page I can call someone to confirm... that would be ONE source :). GregA 05:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Compromising with fanatics should be discouraged

Its time to get tough on NLP fanatics again! Unfortunately, nlp fanatics like to use mediator's comments as excuses to delete facts. This is why they keep calling upon them. Firstly you add a fact to the article that they don't like the look of because it is not pro-NLP. They delete it. You restore the fact. They delete it and post a nasty sticker on your personal page claiming you are a sockpuppet of another non fanatical editor. Then they nag you to find another piece of support for the fact or else they delete. It gets supplied and they still delete the fact. The nagging continues until there is an array of facts supporting the original fact. Then they get frustrated and remove the whole lot. The next step is to run crying to a mediator. and so on. Comaze's reversions (Tedious and unproductive according to Voice_of_all) continue. Greg (the newsgroup vandal recruiter) also joins in. I will remove any NLP hype from the article, and will NPOV strictly, any removal of facts (even removal done to appease NLPfanatics) will be replaced by me. The article needs NPOVing and making more brief. Neutral editors here seem to be doing a great job of providing great research. The only thing NLP fanatics do is remove or distort facts...and complain. Compromising to proNLPers just gives them reasons to make fanatical censorship their daily game.DaveRight 03:29, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

This is a good example of milton model language. No specifics in what you're saying.
I don't appreciate the personal attack - I take it you refer to Headley, who tracked down my name and seemed very proud. You seem equally proud. I've responded in full to those accusations and requested a response and got none. At least cite something SPECIFIC - attacking the person is a common tactic when you are unable to respond to what's being said or asked. And although it might not be you, someone has certainly spent lots of time getting information from the yahoo skeptics group - is that supposed to be policed because I don't see a way nor think it should, people will always get their information from somewhere.... Of course it doesn't matter who they are or who has multiple identities... the point is the quality of what we're doing. How about answering some questions instead of attacking? GregA 03:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Really I found the insistance on extra factual citations quite irritating also (and the constant fact deletes). I fully understand why people get upset. If you asked for extra facts and someone supplied them, then you should not keep trying to censor them. I can't claim fanaticism, but really it is very unproductive and shows a strong urge to work against NPOV policy.Bookmain 03:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Bookmain, I'm not sure who you're responding to here. I've asked for quotes, but no-one has supplied them. Hopefully you can start a change there (see Engrams) GregA 04:34, 24 October 2005 (UTC) (see archive here [])

Hi Greg. I was responding primarily to you, but Comaze should also take note. You demand a great many things, but at the same time try to hype NLP all the time. Your rather deliberately obtuse responses are beginning to look a lot like Comaze's. RegardsBookmain 05:06, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

OK. Lets try to keep this civil, I have been away doing admin RfA/RfD work, so I have not been able to follow this for a while, but it seems that edit wars are starting up again. I do NOT want to have to protect this page. What is going on?Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 05:14, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps we could start with a mediated discussion on Engrams, and finish that concept for the time being. It would be a nice start and simpler than the greater disagreements.
What does locking a page do? Does that mean we discuss stuff and then put it up rather than the other alternatives? GregA 05:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Greg. As far as I am concerned, engrams have already been mediated by Vioce_of_all and really engrams are a part of NLP theory and described all over the literature. Actually, I feel the best way that neutral editors can get on with NPOV is simply by ignoring requests for mediation that have already been demanded multiple times and satisfied multiple times. I have no desire to treat the discussion page like a broken record.AliceDeGrey 05:59, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree this is a broken record. You guys say there are multiple NLP sources for Engram ("all-over the literature"), I ask for some (from prominent NLP sources if you want to argue it's a majority view, with a ref/page). You say there are multiple .... And the record keeps spinning.
The requested mediation hasn't really gone into engrams at all yet. Your point probably answers Voice-of-All's question of what's happening to some degree - we decided that your lack of answers meant you didn't have any, and comaze removed Engram references, which you reverted, which he replaced... (so the broken record changed tracks....) GregA 06:16, 24 October 2005 (UTC)


Presups are background beliefs. Books about NLP treat them variably. Some say they are beliefs, and some "as if". As far as I am concerned "as if" is just a technique to instill beliefs.AliceDeGrey 06:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
AliceDeGrey, To be precise, in NLP, a presupposition is a class of language pattern from transformational grammar. A belief is a type of quantifier. Both are members of a set of language patterns from transformational grammar. Do you need page numbers to check this? "As if" comes from Vaihinger, H. The Philosophy of 'As if.' (1924) which is referenced in Structure of Magic Vol.1 (Grinder & Bandler, 1975) --Comaze 06:50, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
(rv Presups are background beliefs. Deleting this clarifying fact is ignorant arrogant and narrow.) AliceDeGrey 06:37, 24 October 2005

Alice your sentence at the top of this section is pretty right. But calling them "background beliefs" on the page defines them incorrectly, especially for that context. Anyway I reverted, you reverted back. "Presuppositions" refer to a linguistic pattern, they refer to something that must be true for the sentence to make sense. That doesn't mean it is true, and some presuppositions are really obvious (like the classic "are you still beating your wife?" - which whether the answer is "yes" or "no", still assumes (presupposes!) that you have a wife and that you used to beat her.

People use presuppositions all the time, and they tell you something about the beliefs of the person using them. These are usually at a different level than the more commonly spoken beliefs like "Do you believe in God?" etc. When anyone uses a presupposition, the person listening may take on the speaker's belief. "Which dress do you like best?" presupposes the dresses are different and you like one better than the other. "What can I get you to drink?" - presupposes they want a drink etc.

NLP practitioners use presuppositions in 2 ways (as you say above)

  1. Listening to presuppositions of someone to detect their beliefs, and
  2. Use a presupposition, to perform belief change work.

When an NLP practitioner uses a presupposition, they may or may not believe it. "How would you like to explore this?" (presupposes it can be explored and there are multiple ways), "Are you aware of your positive intention?" (presupposes positive intent), "What did you learn from that mistake?" (presupposes they did learn).

The practitioner might not believe the client had actually learnt, but they ask anyway so that the client explores something from a different angle (and so they will learn). There are many presuppositions built into NLP processes that are part of making the process more effective.

All the presuppositions that are built into NLP processes can be listed out.... and that's pretty well the list of NLP Presuppositions. We act as if these things are true, and change work is more effective. Some people also believe them. And some of the presuppositions are true.

Alice refers to background beliefs. I'm not sure what a background belief is, in contrast to a normal belief. Presuppositions either indicate a belief, or are a linguistic pattern for working with beliefs - by specifying one half, in the context of the OTHER half, he makes the article less clear.

Alice uses presuppositions of course. For instance "Deleting this clarifying fact" (above) presupposes that what was deleted was a fact. It also presupposes it was a "clarifying" fact - (which also means that there are other types of facts). He also says that me deleting it is ignorant, arrogant and narrow. So much for no insults. So much for staying neutral. And so much for his understanding presuppositions - Alice removes the whole importance of the Presuppositions of NLP when he uses the meta-model definition. Comments? GregA 09:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Greg. You are narrowing the viewpoint of presupposition to the "excuse" version of NLP. Some books about NLP treat presups as beliefs. You are saying that there is only one way and yours is it. Wikipedia looks at multiple views. Plus the definition of presupposition includes the phrase "is a background belief". I know NLP does not want to be seen as a cult that converts people using belief change strategies, but it is criticised as such. According to a lot of psychotherapists, if a therapist asks you to adopt odd presups or beliefs about the map and reality and having all resources etc, then you should just avoid them and go to a better therapist. I will make this extremely clear in the article.AliceDeGrey 09:27, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Ok AliceDeGrey, I'll attempt to paraphrase and reply to you (my comments in brackets):

  1. Greg is narrowing the viewpoint of presupposition (are you, Greg? --Comaze 09:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
  2. Some books about NLP define presuppositions as a type of belief (agreed --Comaze 09:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC)).
  3. Greg is saying that there is only one definition of presupposition in NLP. (agree - this definition strictly comes from transformational syntax and is a category in the NLP meta-model, although there are some less strict definitions floating around. --Comaze 09:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
  4. On Wikipedia article on presupposition, the phrase "is a background belief" is used. (agreed partly, I think Greg's definition is more precise, we can quote Chomsky directly on this one if you want --Comaze 09:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC)).
  5. According to some psychotherapists (who exactly?), if you are asked by a therapist to accept the map/territory distinction and or a belief that "you have all the resources you need internally" then this therapist is to be avoided. (Stongly disagree. Who's opinion is this? This is so vague, and I had to stretch to paraphrase it into something coherent, so please correct me if I'm wrong. --Comaze 09:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
  6. I will make this extremely clear in the article. (what exactly are you making clear in this article? --Comaze 09:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC))
I'm "narrowing" the viewpoint? I was expanding it. You are quoting presuppositions out of context Alice. But you're also agreeing with me... which I'm confused about :). I said Presuppositions can be used for belief change... which you are also saying. NLP has no personal desires, but sure I guess NLP practitioners don't want to be seen as a cult any more than Psychologists want to be seen as a cult. I'm interested in your responses to comaze. Oh, and you ARE right that presuppositions generally are beliefs (still not sure what a background belief is, but fair enough:).... it's just that presuppositions can also be used to influence beliefs without believing it yourself, and in NLP we do at times do just that GregA 10:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Greg & Alice, Further I ask you to compare, what is the difference between a belief, a presupposition and a operational procedure? --Comaze 10:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Greg. No I did not agree with you. I was saying your argument is generally to narrow the viewpoint to that of a particularly narrow view. I still believe you are trying to do that nomatter what you just wrote.AliceDeGrey 12:20, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Alice - I don't know how to respond, when you say I'm narrowing to a narrow view, can you give some more detail? Presuppositions have 2 meanings, the original words encapsulated both, your change restricts it to 1 meaning... that to me seems to be narrower. Thanks GregA 13:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

The fact is that the NLP presuppositions to which Alice refers are "as if" statements and may be beliefs, but not necessarily so.

No one - note: no one claimed that the presuppositions were true when they were originally drawn up. They are attitudes that might be useful. In other words, if treated "as if" they are true they could possibly make certain situations easier to deal with. Whether a person wanted to also believe that that any particular presupposition was actually "true" was purely a matter for each individual to decide. I frequently see people contributing absolute rubbish to this discussion and I find it near impossible to believe that they are acting from any kind of positive intention, BUT I aim to act "as if" it were true anyway.

Here is a quote about the use of this particular attitude in a business context which lists some distinctions between "judgemental" (critical, negative, ineffective) managers and "judicial" (positive, supportive, effective) managers:

Judgemental Manager
When subordinates express themselves or act in ways unacceptable to me, I point out the flaws.

Judicious Manager
When subordinates express themselves or act in unacceptable ways, I assume that they had reasons that made sense to them and explore the action from that point of view.

BTW, this wasn't written by anyone involved with NLP. On the contrary, it comes from an article entitled Creative Meetings Through Power Sharing by George M. Price. It appeared in the July-August, 1972 issue of the Harvard Business Review - when Bandler and Grinder were only just meeting up, and the first ever book on NLP was still three years in the future.
Andy 12:56, October 26, 2005

Eye Accessing Cues Image

Comaze. Replace the original rich image showing multiple faces for eye accessing cues. OR did you find a way to destroy it forever?AliceDeGrey 07:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC) Don't bother, I did it myself. <snip personal attack> AliceDeGrey 07:23, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

AliceDeGrey, Please read no personal attacks. best regards, --Comaze 08:16, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

No Comaze. I know what a personal attack is and I have read the article before. Your continued efforts to irritate and antagonize are noted. The strictness of my NPOV editing and my willingness to compromise will be adjusted accordingly.AliceDeGrey 09:06, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I personally think it's a bad habit to alter your POV based on other users. Write an article that is good. GregA 10:32, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree, Greg. I will no longer compromise. 01:07, 25 October 2005 (UTC)HeadleyDown 01:08, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


Ok, I've just completed some minor copyedits. In the middle of this AliceDeGrey reverted offering this comment, "12:17, 24 October 2005 AliceDeGrey (Reverting blatantly biased headlining)". IMO I was within wikipedia copyedit guidelines making sure that I keep the meaning (unless it is false). I've removed all shortened words such as "you've" except if in quotes. Changes to headlines follow the wikipedia standards, "Headings should generally be nouns (History) and not prepositional phrases (About the history of...), and have only a single capital letter (apart from proper nouns, etc)."Wikipedia:How_to_copy-edit best regards --Comaze 12:53, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Please see Talk:Neuro-linguistic programming/FT2 for an attempt to sort out some kind of overview and approach to the article, avoiding by common decision the long arguments and loggerheads we see above. I hope it might work, I also hope nobody will take the effort the wrong way. I prefer not to see people who want a good article frustrated this way. I've been involved in similar "lets sort this out" before. FT2 23:55, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Status of Progress

OK, I finally read up to speed on this talk page:

It seems that one or two sources were provided for Engrams being an integral part of NLP. More sources were requested. One more book(without a page) and the number "10" was given. More informations was requested, and the reverts continue. 'Bookmain, please give the source information(since you say you have 10 sources or so) so we can move on. I don't think anyone is here just to "irritate", not yet at least; you have the sources, so obviously you can think of some, but please share those with others so that they know that these books exists.

Give 3 or more books with the page number, that should suffice. Otherwise, this conflict will continue.

I will do some Engram research myself when I get more time. But for now, lets be sure to avoid edit wars and such.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 23:32, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks VoiceOfAll. May I also reiterate we're not debating that some people (external sources) make an Engram link - we're saying that common NLP books and trainings just don't refer to Engrams. We know of the one NLP book (ABC of NLP), and no big NLP-name authors (bandler/grinder/dilts/andreas etc). JP also mentioned having 2 sources. Thanks GregA 23:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Now all we need to get are those secrative, yet common (???), NLP training books and guides...:).Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 23:50, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I dont think that the Dianetics and EST is at all helpful or informative beyond what the article already mentions, so I reverted those changes out.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 01:37, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi VoiceOfAll. I disagree. The line is extremely good at opening the article. Not only does it frame "programming" in an example self help context, but it also places NLP within a common framework that people understand, both historically and psychologically. The two developments (dianetics and EST) have an uncanny resemblance to NLP in all aspects. Considering the amount of obscurantisms that the pro-NLP couple keep burdening the page with, I feel it is completely reasonable and helpful to have the dianetics/est clarification up there.JPLogan 02:44, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree with all of your other recent edits, and infact, I think that this intro is better than the alternatives(which were not as good as I though they were), especially since the EST and Dianetics stuff is gone from the intro. My first book with an NLP section was written by Dr.(optomotrist) and Phd. Erwin Jay, certified NLP practictioner. It was actually a self-help book. I guess having the word "psuedoscientific" in the intro just bugged me a bit. Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 03:43, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Hello VoiceOfAll. I agree with you that the intro looks better than ever now especially as it seems to put the neutralising effect of science first above hype. I do feel that the Dianetics example is a great clarifying option though, and needs to be kept in mind as a point of reference. The other edits also clarify things well with a bit of straight talk. I will keep an eye open for more introduction of hype. I have also been reading some of the self help tomes and they kind of make you blind to hype because hype and scientific sounding jargon is on every page. I think this is partly why the subject tends to make people evangelise without their even realising it. CheersHeadleyDown 05:04, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Voice of All... which intro are you agreeing with. The one you posted at 01:37 seemed fine.... Now, it's "NLP is a pseudoscientific self help development proposed for programming the mind. NLP promotes the use of body language and NLP language guesswork". This is incredibly biased.
In answer to those who wrote this intro and think it reflects NLP:
  • NLP wasn't designed for self help (though it's often applied to it)
  • Pseudoscientific is derogatory in this context.
  • NLP was not designed to program the mind, it's an unfortunate metaphor but it does deserve to be explicated.
  • "NLP language guesswork", another derogatory??? Do you say the same for CBT Cognitive Distortions?
GregA 05:41, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Have a close look at the last few posts by JPLogan eg [29]. This post removes of Bateson's cybernetic epistemology and Chomsky's transformational syntax. Bateson (1972, 1979) and Chomsky's Transformational Grammar (1957, 1965) are fundamental concepts in NLP theory of language and thinking that also link to wikipedia articles on Linguistics and Philosophy. The Dianetics/Engrams pushes a strong Scientology POV, and IMO does not belong in the first paragraph (and could be excluded from the page, under NPOV -- tiny minority views can be excluded). --Comaze 05:52, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi again. NLP is most widely used for self help in one form or another. It is most popularly viewed as a kind of new age pseudoscientific self help system and its literature is most commonly promoted in self help/inspiriational/new age/mystical sections of bookshops and advertisements. The income of NLP is mostly due to seminars and workshops that teach self help methods of motivation/change/persuasion for simple self help (like EST sessions and long(3day) inspiration workshops). The world views NLP this way on the whole, plus the addition of special NLP therapists/practitioners who do only NLP, plus some other practitioners who may be business people/trainers/therapists/end of the world cult gurus:) who do the course and claim they are using NLP. As such NLP is promoted using anecdoted and wild claims (even since its inception) that it is a kind of theraputic magic (Bandler and Grinder 1975) and closely associate with new age concepts of the human potential movement. It is also promoted using scientific sounding jargon (lots of words with "ology" on the end) like technology, epistemology, methodology etc and a large portion of those words are erroneous or arguable and confusingly designed to get people into buying pseudoscience. The problem with putting the jargon on wikipedia is that it will make everything harder to understand and will basically muddy the whole lot. Epistemology, for example, is really very misleading because it is hard enough to explain even on the epistemology wikipedia article. The same with study of structure of blah blah. Its almost as bad as "the difference that makes the difference". The easiest way forward is to refer to NLP using scientific terms that actually mean something, and to remove any hype or label it as hype. Engram is a scientific word (OK Hubbard hijacked it also) and is helpful as it actually appears in the literature and neurology literature. Dianetics is a useful reference point. Pseudoscience is a neutral scientific fact, as is "scientifically unsupported". Lets just face facts and do some NPOV.HeadleyDown 09:12, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I changed the into to "Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a pseudoscientific development proposed for programming the mind, often promoted for the use of self-help" since NLP is not always there for self-help. "Pseudoscientific" does not seem to be derogatory; it is a fact. "Guesswork", however, could be modified. This version is better than before, but it is not perfect, hence why I am changed it.Voice of All&lt;/font> @|Esperanza|E M 11:15, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Please check the definitions of pseudoscience and protoscience. I've changed programming to "modeling patterns of thinking and language". --Comaze 12:19, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I believe that NLP, at least in every instance that I have seen, is more concerned with the program aspect than modeling. The models are used to program people's minds, and if they are ineffective, the model is discarded. Not only does it teach result orientation, but it is results-orientated.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 12:36, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
You keep referring people to WP:NPOV and pseudoscience, do you realize how large the NPOV article is? Please be more specific. NLP has all of the characteristics of a pseudoscience, that does mean that "NLP does not work", although several studies suggest that parts of it do not. If science sees no logic in Method A, then Method A may or may not always hold true. The word pseudoscience, was not put in by any bad faith or mistaken POV editors, it is merely a category by science. If science cant categorize such things(obviously not music or the other Arts..ect) then what can? The into seems fairly NPOV right now.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 12:51, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
My main concerns with the POV in this article is that it takes a sample of scientific studies (reviews in 1988) which only reviewed one element of NLP (the PRS), and where the US National Committee review said that these PRS studies had several flaws and they were interested in NLP modeling - and this article generalises that to all NLP processes, and NLP itself. If you read the Platt (2001) and Morgan articles you'll see they are very simple - Platt came here and posted a few lines and listing all 180 studies he reviewed (reviewed meaning he read the abstracts only). If you read his actual page, he actually comments on 68 PRS studies and 9 phobia-reduction studies... what happened to the other 103? [30] How did he decide to remove them from his review? Other questions are does he have any comment about the flaws identified by the US National Committee? (Or Einspruch 85). I posted this response earlier, please have a read: [31].
Note also the quality of the sources themselves. We got headley to remove the newspaper article, but we have the online skeptics dictionary, multiple cult books - they claim they are of greater relevance than NLP books, what makes that so? Cult books may have useful information, but they can't be taken as NEUTRAL POV. Especially when Headley has said that if NLP is mentioned in a cult book, that's enough to classify it as a cult - when comaze actually finds the book and learns what it says is quite different. It's a misrepresentation of the reference.
Linked to this concern is the whole question of whether NLP is a science or not. NLP does not teach the research methods common to Psychology (it is definitely NOT a form of psychology), and is deliberately concerned with patterns modeled from individuals, and high quality feedback between subject and practitioner. Some of these therapeutic patterns can be tested by psychology - though there has been a gap between what an NLP practitioner does, and what a Psychologist does, and this gap has lead to psychologists studying NLP processes in a way that NLP practitioners would not do - for instance the concept of "if something doesn't work, do something different" is fundamental to an NLP session, but empirical research in psych requires tests on single independent variables... This is a problem as an NLP practitioner would predict that the controls of the research would remove the effects it was intended to measure. It certainly _IS_ possible to research these - and multiple psychotherapies are working with similar issues. Outcome based research is what CBT has used to start making some good inroads into experimental validation.
Headley and a few others have been defending a strong opinion against NLP. Headley accused us (in FT2's discussion pages) of making this discussion harder to read. My answer to that is Voice-of-all - give us rules to follow for discussion and we will follow them. After following headley's guidelines (for discussing before posting) and his ignoring of my queries, along with asking specific questions multiple times and having responses without answers to the questions, I feel that there is some deliberate attempt to undermine discussion.
Headley et al add many references. When we've tracked down what they actually said, the references are often reduced in 'severity'. They do not represent the references fairly. They then do a further search from the internet and find someone else to support their negative viewpoint - and Headley has often said that as long as you can say who said it, it is fact - which severely misunderstands the concept of 'fact'.
Lastly, NLP processes almost always involve (or improve by) working with someone else, though self help is one application. Why single it out in the opening paragraph? Surely it deserves mention as one of the NLP Applications if it's going to be the key one singled out.
I also see that Headley is toning down the obviously wrong stuff - this will lead to a more encyclopedic-looking wrong article.
Ahh.. the science in this article is a disgrace to science and NPOV. GregA 14:19, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I added a new list of requests on the subpage.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 15:00, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi all. Headley et al have been working towards neutrality against a strong tide of hype and woolly writing. NLP is full of hype from the word go (Bandler Grinder 1975). It is a hard subject to pin down, but it can be done well, especially with the help of sensible wikipedia policy. The scientific side is doing a great job of sense making, including adding reality to claims of NLP promoters and NLP therapy "magicians". Remember, there is never only a sample of studies from 1988. There are a whole bunch of conclusions that lead to reviews and overviews that have conclusions. Those high level concusions are the final word in science - that NLP is scientifically unsupported even though it pretends to be a science in its terminology and hijacking of terms. Programming is indeed it's beginning and main purpose. It was developed by a programmer and linguist (not psychologist or therapist or modeler). The early and recent literature states that - if you do this, then that will result. This is generalizable to the population of readers, not the select few special theraputic magicians (according to the books). The scientists test this with a view to making it generalizable to the population that the books speak to. The books make the claims, the seminars make money by teaching managers that - if you do this, then such and such magic will occur. It does not occur, and even normal performance does not occur. The promotion goes on. What more can I say? Its a pseudoscientific subject, and is ineffective according to scientists and is classed as chalatanry according to large bodies of psychologists. These are not my extreme pov, these are facts that will be heard amongst all the other views that say you can give people orgasms with NLP just by mimicking them etc or you can develop photographic memory if you learn NLP (Bandler (sometime or other)). I, et al, have been removing harsh words. The NLP promoters have been adding promotional hype and jargon. I believe I know who the neutral editors are here. If you look through all the vast amount of research on NLP there will be statements about limitations of research as there are in any research stream, but we need to be decisive and concise. NLP is scientifically unsupported, and results do not match at all what the promoters propose. They continue to promise the stuff, so it is pseudoscientific. If you think that is severe, tough! It is the conclusion of scientific reviews. I have decided not to tone down anything recently since people have been promoting NPOV more correctly. I will keep all clarifying statements that are well cited and will certainly not compromise on NPOV policy again. Science is the neutral clarifier here against nonsense, flim flam, hype, woolly thinking, and pseudoscientific excuses, and I am sure it will be used to the full in order to keep the article as neutral as possible.HeadleyDown 16:56, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

List of requests:

Here is the list of things I would like to see completed/attempted, Re-Posted from the quite subpage.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 17:43, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

1. For anyone who believes that Engrams are an integral part of NLP, please provide two or three more sources. They can be either mainstream NLP books or reviews of NLP, with "Cult" books or "blogish" internet criticism texts being the exception.

Its a done deal (encyclopedically also), lets move on!DaveRight 03:22, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

2. We must agree on the intro. NLP and its uses, including Self-Help should be mentioned all at once, Self-Help being the first one, as that is the most common aplication.

3. Pseudoscientific should remain in the intro, however, the degree to which NLP even claims to follow empirical scientific research theories/model can also be mentioned.

NLP seems like a tool to me, a set of correlations held true until disproven; Newtonian Physics ignored thousands of variables and is technically dynamically incorrect altough it gives accurate kinematic macro-calculations. While I do not cliam NLP to have the same credibility of Newton, the idea of them being tools should be noted.

4. If you have a NPOV dispute, do not simply put "read WP:NPOV" as that get very annoying. Just say what implies bais in the statement.

5. The credibility of the NLP studies should be beifly mentioned, but by quoting or paraphrasing a reference.

This list will be updated as we move on. But that is it for now.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 14:57, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Voice-of-All, can we also determine the reprentativeness and interpretation of the research, and how much the pseudoscience books are objective reviews, before we conclude whether NLP is pseudoscientific. For example, at the moment the 1988 reviews are PRS only, yet these are claimed to represent NLP in total. I'd be interested if Headley could say which authors actually say "pseudoscience" and quote what they actually say is pseudoscientific of NLP. In the meantime, the line "Many books on pseudoscience list NLP as a pseudoscience" might fairly represent what's been said. GregA 21:29, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I just noticed some other new changes to the opening. Is it fair to say that we should have the main body make a claim (which may or may not be disputed), before adding it to the opening? GregA 21:51, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi VoiceOfAll. Well personally I think you are just requesting for trouble:) Usually when people demand extra refs, that is exactly what they get. And then comes more deletion.
Self help/inspiration/pop psychology is definitely the clearest starting point as that is where the main body of literature is found.
NLP follows science in that they claim to empirically test models. Models are testable, and scientists tested them. Grinder talks about science as does Dilts and a great many others. All of the books use scientific sounding terms and real scientific terms but taken completely out of context in many cases.
I do feel you have left some issues out though. The background theory (and yes, even Bandler talks theory though he says he doesn't) is highly dubious, and decades if not millenia out of date according to linguists, psychotherapists, and other scientists. Left-right brain, problems with the sapir-whorf hypothesis (linguistic relativism being scientifically unsupported and out of date), PRS, learning styles are wrong, and an array of errors and mislabeling of neurology concepts and applications. Pseudoscientific background or theory to NLP is a major reason why people are unwilling to test it any further, beyond the fact that it really does not work according to many tests already.
The scientific results of "unsupported" are really very credible. Only one paper (einspruch I think) is about picking holes in the research. This was disproved by Sharply when he did further research with absolutely no way of any problems occurring with the tests. This was not taken into account by Heap or Druckman in 88, though Heap did mention it in his final word on the subject in 89 and also said "ineffective pseudo and unsupported". Sharpley 87 is also quoted by recent research who completely agree with him that NLP is scientifically unsupported.
In a way though, this is all academic. Wikipedia puts science first and convention has a complete dislike for spam and hype. Greg and folks are behaving completely pseudoscientifically by demanding that the science is wrong and is could also be said that your stance on Newton etc is pseudoscientific. The burden of proof should not be on science to prove that NLP is correct. NLP does include tools, but it also claims "neurology" psychology, turing machines, and tons of other stuff to look like a scientific advert.
The recent reviews on NLP are all conducted by scientists (Singer, Williamson, Lilienfeld, Eisner, Beyerstein, Carroll, and others). Professional practitioners such as Platt, have also made some extremely rigorous studies and they deserve a good deal of weight. They do also critique other subjects but NLP comes out the worst of all, due to the commercial push and the daft methods (cures through mirroring only sometimes). They are all objective and they do go beyond what the article states about "scientifically unsupported". They use terms such as "erroneous, wrong, trite, banal, superficial, charlatan, etc".
After so many demands from people who do not trust or like science, I feel that some demands should be placed upon the NLP promoters also. So far they have provided nothing but whinging and frustrated tantrums with a few vandals thrown in as far as I can see. I suggest a long list of demands be compiled for them to adhere to for a change.JPLogan 02:51, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
You do seem to present a good argument in support of the old tests of NLP. Also, about Newtonian physics, I would not say my stance is pseudoscientific, in fact quite the opposite. Quantum Physics is where the "thousands of variables" come from; Newtonion physics ignores all of these with simplified equations. The good side is that they work on a macroscale, the downside is that they don't hold true on a microscale due to all of the scientific factors that is ignores. Therefore, it is Macro-Kinematically accuarate yet Dynamically(the "why?") incorrect---yet is works, hence it is a tool. But lets not debate Newton to much :), this is afterall, an article about NLP...Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 03:42, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Nice to know you understand hard science, VoA. I'm sure your ability with hard science is not pseudo. NLP is neuroscience or psych though and there are conventions that are stricktly adhered to due to so much perceptual stuff being really arguable. So they take representative samples and make sure that things are statistically significant to come to conclusions. Actually I guess you know all that, but I must reiterate it for the crowd. Hi. Yes engrams are all over the place. Actually I have stockpiled a whole lot more refs on engrams because I know the NLPbrains are going to go running to another mediator one day who will request more refs on engrams. I did most of my studies in Europe and engrams are all over the place (just go to a German library) there in NLP books. The same goes for NLP books in Slavonic languages (including Russian). If you think a core NLP book is only written by B or G, then you have another thing comming, because it is a generic term by law and is being developed (concocted) all over the place. Anyway, here are some exclusively NLP sources on engrams.

Dr Drake.D. (2002) "NLP therapy". Quantum Publishers (page 35 for example "the engram circuits can become permanently scored in after as little as a single pattern")

This is a manual about NLP only, and talks about engrams throughout.

One of the most popular NLP training companies in Europe is called "Engram" (EU Business directory 2005). They also have a manual about engrams. ON the blurb promotional sample engrams are mentioned ((page 5. "Neuroscience has contributed much understanding to how NLP works in theory including how the perceptual engram works through the visual cortex and is permanently engraved via the hypocampus).

Plenty more to come, perhaps for the next "nag the psychologist" session:)DaveRight 04:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Thats really funny Dave:) I can imagine what Engram co trains apart from the NLP flavour of the month pseudoterminology. That leads to the next cue:

This is a sample ref that is easy to see and access that puts the VAK, VK etc stuff in relation to engrams. So engrams are totally all over the other books also including Bandler and co's. So lets just stop being silly about extra extra refs on a simple psych term and move on to frame this self help new age thing properly.AliceDeGrey 05:20, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

btw, the author of the article is a renowned French speaking NLPer from a top European NLP training company and I have noticed his writing in various books in Europe.AliceDeGrey 07:00, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi all. Here is a seriously good clarifier that should be added to the article asap. It is useful because it says what the non-promoters have been saying all along. The engram is central to NLP whether explicitly stated or not. This was in my library.

Grand Dictionnaire de la psychologie Français Éditeur : Larousse (19 septembre 2002) de Collectif

A new age method of change and rapid change. (see dubious therapies)

Basic assumptions:

1) Programming: Assumes that from birth, our unconscious creates and develops behavioral programs. Sometimes named "automatism", these programs are called thus in reference to the operation of the computers.

2) Neuro: Any behavioral program rests on a neuronal basis, the product of an engram resulting from our sensory perceptions.

3) Linguistics: The language is a manifestation of the internal states of the person, internal states resulting from the neuronal or engram programs. The PNL thus allows the study in the way in which the human beings structure their perceptions.

Engrams are explicitly stated here, and this corresponds perfectly with all the other refs we have so far, plus it shows a broader view (not just English) of NLP and engrams (neuronal and perceptive). Most of the French books that I have seen on NLP mention engrams. A simple and usefully clear psych term.AliceDeGrey 09:25, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Well if its good enough for the Grande Dictionaire, then I'm sure its good enough for wikipedia. There are other encyclopedic resources that use the engram term in the neuro context explanation. This really shows how to use a good clear scientific term in an encyclopedia for the sake of clarity and conciseness. I'll post it in.HeadleyDown 10:32, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

No need to make a judgement that NLP is a "self help new age thing" :) Keep it neutral. GregA 05:51, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Greg. Considering your blatantly promotional phrasing of NLP well formed outcomes etc I would say it is a little rich you suggesting to me to keep things neutral.AliceDeGrey 07:00, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Dave, who is Dr Drake? We don't want B & G references, that's fine - but we do want references that represent the NLP community fairly in that they are either respected authors/trainers (in the NLP community) or popular books within the NLP community. The continual lack of that in any response (except to say you have them) makes me think that there are none. I'm positive you can find references (you can always find someone who says something!), I just want some quality. There are certainly many NLP practitioners who have NEVER heard the term Engram. Whether or not it's the majority who've never heard it, or 50/50, or minority, is the question.. OR, perhaps we can agree that "European NLP practitioners commonly use the term Engram, though it's rarely used in English speaking countries." Come on - NPOV means representing who really thinks or says something! GregA 04:41, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Oh, Dave... your quote "Neuroscience has contributed much understanding to how NLP works in theory" is interesting. This is a clear separation of NLP from theories and also the interdisciplinary nature. This is the kind of thing we should be making more clear in the article. GregA 04:50, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
JP, you do seem to present a good argument. It really does seem that way. It says all the same arguments that have been made before, without answering any of the questions that have been asked (nor Voice-of-All's request for 3 references). GregA 04:41, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Greg. The list of request asks for 2-3 refs. 3 refs have been provided in a very prompt period of time, making for a very large list of stuff on engrams. Now you are probably going to complain that it is not american enough or bandler enough, but lets face it, the refs presented are just as good as the tosh that bandler and grinder sells. Now lets stop claiming that people never deliver and just get on with accepting the refs (including the lovely diagram provided on the webpage)AliceDeGrey 07:00, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Still in progress on the refs. That French guy looks credible. I have NO IDEA why you would mind read that I want american views or Bandler views, you really should stick to reading what I say not your guesses (which is a principle of NLP too, BTW). It is good if we've moved from ZERO common NLP sources to ONE prominent French NLP source, it gives us a basis to start from. This does not diminish the fact that Bookmain claimed to have 10 and JP said he had 2. I don't care if the reference is "as good as Bandler or Grinder" - so long as we can determine how the term Engram is perceived within the NLP community then we can present that effectively. That is my goal GregA 09:01, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Usually when people demand extra refs, that is exactly what they get. (JP)
Well, we haven't got the extra refs yet. We usually get a reply saying what you said though.
NLP follows science in that they claim to empirically test models. (JP)
Do they? Who claims that and where?
The background theory is highly dubious(JP)
We should really have a section on NLP Theory, we speak around it alot.
There is theory behind NLP, but the observables came first (the modeling of patterns), and theory second. The first test is whether the patterns work, the second question (which is asked by some but not all NLPers) is what theory might lie behind the pattern.
You or headley mentioned "NLP Theorists" earlier, I asked who they were... any response to that?
The scientific results of "unsupported" are really very credible.
The Heap and Druckman & Swets stuff is EXCELLENT. It only reviews PRS, but it is as excellent summary of the research. Druckman found it unsupported, and noted holes in the research - they were very NPOV in their review and made some great points and recommendations.
(einspruch) was disproved by Sharply when he did further research with absolutely no way of any problems occurring with the tests.(JP)
This sharpley stuff keeps coming up - I've asked for someone to describe the article (an abstract would be great), but at least the article title etc would be great. Otherwise I suggest you forget Sharpley. Either reference it or drop it.
Sharpley 87 is also quoted by recent research(JP)
Would you share which research?
Wikipedia puts science first and convention has a complete dislike for spam and hype.
Absolutely. It also says to represent fairly what both sides say. That is different from quoting science, and then quoting what science says NLP says. There are some sections which should say "Psychologists claim that NLP claims...." to fairly represent where it comes from.
Greg and folks are behaving completely pseudoscientifically by demanding that the science is wrong (JP)
Sorry, I never demanded that the science was wrong. Your misquoting it maye. And you making a claim and saying it's supported without referencing it, is pseudoscientific.
Professional practitioners such as Platt, have also made some extremely rigorous studies and they deserve a good deal of weight.
I certainly dispute Platt. (Heap, Druckman are great, Platt is not). A short criticism is that a scientist looks into the methodology of what they're reviewing - Platt didn't look into the methods just read the abstracts (as he does say). And his paper was only "published" online.
The burden of proof should not be on science to prove that NLP is correct. (JP)
Sorry... how else would you prove something is correct except by using Science? Or do you mean "psychology" (I think we should be clear which group of scientists says something). Anyway, this problem (psychology vs nlp) should be clearly spelt out with both sides POVs.
The recent reviews on NLP are all conducted by scientists (Singer, Williamson, Lilienfeld, Eisner, Beyerstein, Carroll, and others)
Who wrote, respectively: "Cults in our midst", "Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience", "Science or Pseudoscience in Clinical Psych", "The death of psychotherapy: From Freud to alien abductions", "Why Bogus Therapies Seem to Work. Skeptical Inquirer magazine", "The Skeptics Dictionary". I'm not aware of their fields of expertise, but it can be argued that they do not approach NLP with a neutral perspective and enquiring mind.
After so many demands from people who do not trust or like science,
I like science fine personally, though I think that's partially aimed at me. I don't like the abuse of science by people with an agenda, but that's a separate issue to science.
I feel that some demands should be placed upon the NLP promoters also. So far they have provided nothing but whinging and frustrated tantrums with a few vandals thrown in as far as I can see. I suggest a long list of demands be compiled for them to adhere to for a change.
Well, it's nice that you would like us to be given a list of demands... I'm not sure how you got frustrated and started thinking VoiceOfAll's list was for you - read the list, it's pretty well addressed to all sides wouldn't you say? But more to the point, what would you like us to do that would help establish a better article with full representation of view points... you don't have to demand, just ask :) GregA 04:41, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Sure thing, see aboveDaveRight 04:43, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Sorry Dave, maybe I posted just as you were. What were you responding to? GregA 04:52, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Hello VoiceOfAll. On reflection, I appreciate your list of requests more than before, even though it seems like a lot of extra work. I believe the thinking process is as important as the conclusion. It is time to move on though. I believe the article can be made far more encyclopedic and concise as long as there are some people who agree, which seems to be the case here. I find it interesting that there seem to be 3 camps within the NLP promoter group though. They seem to be still conflicting over what NLP is. And they seem to be working from their own POV, rather than the world POV. Judging by the way other encyclopedias and dictionaries treat NLP, I guess we will also do fine, especially with wikipedia's scientific perspective. Whatever, its appreciated and the recent refs have been helpful and clarifying reminders of how NLP is seen. Cheers. 13:02, 26 October 2005 (UTC)HeadleyDown 13:03, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Here's another engram ref in German (computer translated) "Like science has proved, there exist in our brain so-called neural channels, which can be made also imaginally visible. Thoughts that are consistently perceived, store themselves as so-called engrams (stamping as protein molecules in the brain)." RegardsDaveRight 06:22, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Irritation continues even throughout mediation

I noticed Comaze has been playing silly games with images throughout. I do find it irritating, tedious and unproductive. Actually what he has done with the original image is simple vandalism. I believe it is completely reasonable to ignore any further requests to provide any more references for any scientific findings or reviews, and I personally will not do any more searches for the usesfully clarifying neuroscience term "engrams" because anyone with any understanding of science can see engrams all over the literature even without the engram word being explicitly stated (which it is anyway). Plus, Greg seems to have started spamming the article. I really don't have time for that kind of nonsense.JPLogan 02:59, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

I see headley called it spam too. I said "NLP courses are often promoted as applicable to improvement of self and others, with a list of how they promote their courses (SUPPORTING your claim that NLP is often about self development), and it gets removed. Anyway... if we combine Inspirational seminars with self development it makes it much easier to tear holes in NLP. It's a great straw man. GregA 03:55, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Oh.. very science-like to refuse to provide proof of what you have claimed multiple times. If you're going to reduce your claim to "NLP talks about neurology in ways which seem very like engrams" then we should word it that way. GregA 03:57, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
From now on, if anyone has conduct greviences, please use my talk page instead of the article talk page.
JPLogan et al, please show some specific sources of studies that discredit NLP so we can move on. It is a pseudoscience with its uncoventional and kinematic-like models without explanations(the dynamic aspects), but we need the sources to say that, and I am sure that they are out there. I might end up having to find them myself if sources are not provided, but that would put you in bad form.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 04:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes VoA. I see your point. From what I have read; Lilienfeld 2003, Carroll 2003, Drenth, Barret, Beyerstein (actually I think this list has been written already on this page), Druckman, Sharpley, Eisner, Heap (definitely read the real article with graphics), Novopashin, some I just can't be bothered to list because we have enough already, and many more to come according to my searches and notes. Yes they are all great, and by scientists and psychotherapists for the most part, and please lets move on.DaveRight 04:35, 26 October 2005 (UTC) :If you have the books, then use the 3+ references with quotes. That way, we can settle this with credable NLP sources, and so the "Engram" debate can finally be put to rest.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 04:34, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

In regards to "unconventional" methods for testing, here is a counter-example -- Malloy (2005) (University of Utah) has been using Dynamic systems from Computationalism to test NLP epistemology (Cybernetic Epistemology of Bateson). I have already provided the references from credible sources. When NLP was first created the technologies were not available to test the theory in this way. The pre-publication papers are available online so they are easily verifiable. There has also been successful empirical research on Visual/Kinesthetic Dissociation for treatment of phobias (Figley). According to Bateson (1979) science never proves or disproves anything, it just help us improve a theory, through testing and refinement. It is also important to note that NLP rejects behaviorism in line with Chomskyan revolution. I should say that this directly relates to engrams, because the cognitvists (inspired by Chomsky) who propose dynamical systems, also oppose engrams. --Comaze 04:54, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
If there are noteworthy disagrements within NLP over Engrams, then boths views should be listed, with the majority being listed first, a per NPOV. Counterexamples to critics claiming Pseudoscience can be breifly mentioned as well in the criticism section.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 05:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I've removed the Figley stuff until I've found some references to back it up.
Malloy,Grinder,Bostic (2005) are using Dynamical System Theory (DST) to test and refine Grinder-Bateson epistemology. Based on my initial investigations, currently there are technological challenges in DST to overcome (Bechtel, Minds and Machines 11: 483–502, 2001.) [32] before we can link distinguishable functions with brain processes for encoding, storage (engram), and retrieval. --Comaze 08:48, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

I've noted the above references by Alice. However "neuro-linguistic programming" gives "1,310,000" Googles, but "neuro-linguistic programming" and "engram" or "engrams" gives "310". What is the deal? 99.976% of sites about NLP don't mention engrams. Of the 310, mainly just blogg sites and forums are listed. It looks like this debate is not over, I must have jumped the gun. Perhaps Engrams are just no longer used?

Egram: a hypothetical change in neural tissue postulated in order to account for persistence of memory (c)2000 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. All rights reserved

"Memory" and "Engram" get about "51,000" hits, many of which are forums/bloggs/Scientology sites, while some are Psycology sites the claim that "neuroscientists use engrams"; a search of "engram" and "neuroscientists" yeild only 400 hits, strangle low for such an important feild. "Engrams" seem to mainly be a pseudoscience term. If NLP does not currently perscribe to Engrams, then we need not have that in the intro. NLP may not be scientific, but the inclusion of "engrams" in the intro, when NLP appears not to persribe to them, looks as a strawman.Voice of All Talk|@|Esperanza 17:21, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

(I was accidently logged out for a while so my edits appeared as an IP for two edits)Voice of All Talk|@|Esperanza 17:21, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

NPOV, via Consensus or multiple POVs

I'm just thinking about all the discussions we're having, almost trying to prove that something is part of NLP or not - and it seems to me that we'd be far better off in SOME cases just spelling out the different POVs. I did a section once called "inconsistencies in NLP" which was a partial attempt (and really only spoke of multiple NLP POVs - but perhaps we can break down some of those multiple views. Anyone like to suggest what various POVs exist at present (here for discussion first)? GregA 23:01, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Since 99.9% of NLP sites don't mention engrams, it seems that the views is in the minority, likely outdated, with would explain the references. Therefore, that view should be listed first and will take precedence in the article with respect to order and length. NLP supporters of Engrams will be briefly mentioned afterwords. The differences can go into a "Differences within NLP" section(that does not have to be the exact name). How is this for a comprimise?
I also noticed that PRS gets very gew hits on Google, and I didn't even type in NLP+PRS. PRS seems to be yet another minority view.Voice of All Talk|@|Esperanza 23:18, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi VoiceOfAll. If you would like to settle it by Google, then I suggest we do so all the way. Why not use the most common terms about NLP via Google?

eg.  Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is an exciting, and totally new technology. The diference that makes the difference, the technology and science of excellence etc. OR NLP is the Bees Knees and is the future of psychology and neuroscience as we know it.

Forget about all the other references. Forget the fact that NLP promoters will constantly evangelise using scientific sounding BS, and simply use wikipedia as a spam collection for NLP. Forget that wikipedia puts science somewhere above BS.

ON the other hand, we could simply resolve the differences by doing proper research and reading some books for a change. You asked for 2-3 refs and they were provided, one of them from an encyclopedic source. The extra nonsense about google knowing more than research is not on after yesterday's extra requrests.HeadleyDown 01:48, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Hello VoA. Please stop using the google spambot to ruin this article. And please do not go back on your word. PRS, or the shifty eye diagram is core to NLP even now if you would like to look through a few books including those by Bandler and Grinder.DaveRight 03:14, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi again VoA. This is funny. I think it was JP who said you were asking for trouble, refs get provided and then denied or deleted. Seems to have been an accurate prediction!DaveRight 03:14, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Concerning encyclopedic placement of engrams- The encyclopedia kindly provided by Alice shows engrams to be core to NLP (neuro). The Sinclair ref (also encyclopedic) also shows engrams to be core. Engrams are actually something that have been around since the beginning of nlp, the background of nlp (Fritz Perls and his dianetics clinic) and they have had a revival by nice NLP theorists (Durks, Hollander, yesterday's French/Belgian chap et al) who are bold enough to talk about them explicitly. This advances NLP because it is theory. It makes the article more concise and clear because it is core (also according to other encyclopedic sources also that I will save for the next VoiceOfAntagonism:). Engrams are also mentioned by critics of NLP (Drenth 2003 and Levelt 1995). Luckilly, because we have engrams clearly stated as core, according to encyclopedias and dictionaries and published articles on NLP, we can now do less explaining of engrams on the article. Engrams can be mentioned in the opening (because it is core) and linked to the engram page where engrams can be properly and psychologically explained. Anyway, since the introduction of even more useful clarifiers on engrams we can make the article more brief using the concise word (engram). ATBDaveRight 03:14, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

That kind of representation of multiple POVs sounds like a reasonable way of representing the differences. While I agree with Headley that Google isn't a great source (it's not a representative sample), it gives some way (we need to also use alternatives where we can) of finding and saying how major a view is to represent things fairly. The primary NLP sources represent a majority POV and they simply don't mention engram. I haven't read what else is going on as I have no time... will catch up as soon as I am able. GregA

NLP and science again

Hi VoA. You wanted to know about who gives negative reviews of the research on NLP (I think you asked JP, but here is my offering)

Here is a good recent review.

Von Bergen, C W, Barlow Soper, Gary T Rosenthal, Lamar V Wilkinson (1997). Selected alternative training techniques in HRD. Human Resource Development Quarterly 8(4): 281-294.

Von Bergen etal give a good overview and quite recent, showing in relation to other dubious techniques how NLP is pseudo. Makes wild claims, but then it goes through an overview of the research. It quotes both Druckheim and swets 1988 Sharpley 1997 plus others. The three questions it asks are; Is nlp based on real knowledge of how the brain works neurologically? Do the proposed relationships in NLP really exist? and does NLP produce the claimed results? It gives a negative on each (1no it is in error, 2no, and 3no).

Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, and Jeffrey M. Lohr (Eds.) (2003) Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology. Guilford Press, New York. ISBN: 1-57230-282-1,

NLP is classed as a pseudoscientific subject based on it being scientifically unsupported despite the constant claims that it will work miracles and is probably the best synthesis of psych available etc. It goes into depth about the silly claims made even by Bandler who talks about photographic memory, curing people forever of alcoholism even after a single chat etc. It also explains further how NLP is pseudo because they try to immunise against testing by claiming it is not science but art or magic etc and that they refuse to accept the actual results and simply go on with promotion and making money.

Drenth, J.D. (2003) Growing anti-intellectualism in Europe; a menace to science. Studia Psychologica, 2003, 45, 5-13

Drenth 2003 is also a good source. He made a broad review of the research and came to the conclusion that it is pseudoscience. Odd pseudo theories, outdated metaphors of the brain, no sense of neurology, nominalizations and other such vagueries. No scientific support!

Anyway, there seems to be many more that can be added to this. ATBDaveRight 03:19, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

If you want to alter the criticism section then put the new draft here. Thank you.Voice of All Talk|@|Esperanza 03:37, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Engram Usage

OK. The Google issue is very troubling. I never said "google" everything, but those results are just amazing. PRS and Engrams are just not promoted anymore, there is no other explaination for this 99.997% gap.

As I said, perhaps they were once used and promoted. NLP framers might have used these, they were discredited and then they were no longer used, or perhaps they were not effective enough. The Google test does not always work, but with only a negligable amount of credible Engram mentioning(with NLP) sites, it is hard not to call a spade a spade. I will perhaps go to the campus library soon to see if the framers of NLP had used Engrams and PRS, as that should go in the article. If I make an article request, it can off course be depated, as the point here is to make something that we all agree on. I can also change my opinion, just like everyone else. If Engrams were key to NLP, then the Google test would not have been so definitive.Voice of All Talk|@|Esperanza 03:32, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Voiceofall. Actually I am getting sick of people demanding stuff and not really appreciating it. We have a whole laundry list of stuff on engrams and people still deny it. I remember doing searches of key psychology words in my degree and never having any hits on them at all. Some of it is obscure. Most of the NLP books are obscure and do not even have an appendix for search purposes, although people here have been busy looking through them and others simply deny it all.

Sinclair states that engrams are a core part of unconscious competence (that is core to NLP). Drenth and levelt talk about engrams as being core to NLP (because it is). They understand what all the NLP books are talking about, and they read the explicit word- engrams. Once you know what an engram is supposed to be, you see engrams all over the NLP books because that is primarily what they are talking about. The Derks and Hollander refs put engrams to be very recent also. Yesterday's references talk explicitly about engrams. They also place engrams as core to NLP (the neurology part of Neurolp). The only thing to be done is to accept the fact that the only people doing any work here are the non-promoters who seem also to be the only people wanting to make a concise, scientifically correct, hype free article. Playing with websearches does not qualify as good research.AliceDeGrey 03:48, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Ah yes, "unconscious competence". That was one of four categories in a book of mine by Dr. Erwin Jay, I wish I still had it with me, I wonder what it says about engrams. I wonder if my optomotrist, who is an NLP practictioner would say about any rate I am convinced that origional NLP theories involved engrams, so there is little dispute there. Mentioning Engrams is OK(I previously sloppily said "article" instead of "intro" in my earlier comment, so it looked like I was against Engram inclusion completely...sorry about that, but I had a class to go to in 5 min and was typing quickly :-). Also, I think NLP is interesting, but I would not recommend or prommote it...Voice of All Talk|@|Esperanza 03:58, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes Voiceofall. I also find it interesting in a grim sort of way (like Dianetics:), I know what uni is like. I still have to write my dissertation! Whew, too much to do! Still, best keep the interest up.AliceDeGrey 05:09, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Alice, you said:
  • Once you know what an engram is supposed to be, you see engrams all over the NLP books because that is primarily what they are talking about.
Maybe the key to representing engrams is to say "Several NLP books talk about ABCDE, which engram proponents say refers to engrams" (replace ABCDE with what they say, replace "engram proponents" with "Psychologists" or whatever. It also gives a neat place to link comazes quotes of what NLP books are saying about the theories. GregA 12:37, 30 October 2005 (UTC)