October 08, 2006

Frogs Into Princes by Richard Bandler and John Grinder

fancifully-dressed prince gesturing at really big frogA friend of a friend suggested this as a good introduction to the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The book is the transcript of a three-day seminar taught by the authors. The seminar was attended by mental health practitioners, so even apart from the content of the lectures, it's fascinating being a fly on the wall for such a gathering.

Bandler and Grinder call themselves modellers. They observe people who are successful in a domain and try to determine what it is that they're doing that makes them succeed. Once they figure that out they teach others how to use those methods. Seems like a good idea.

They're full of examples of ways in which the field of psychology/psychiatry fails badly in its supposed goal of making people happier and more effective members of society. As an alternative they lay out a system based on using the patient's sub-conscious mind to change their behavior. The methods are very close to hypnotism, but without most of the stereotypical baggage of that practice. There are no trances, they just talk to the patient, pay careful attention to the patient's conscious and unconscious reactions, and just tweak their psyche.

I haven't tried it, but I have friends who have had positive results from working with NLP practitioners. Seems pretty interesting. I might give it a try one of these days.

The book is out of print. I found a copy at the Seattle Public Library.

Posted by jeffy at October 8, 2006 10:27 PM
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