Death of An NLP Legend

A legend passed away yesterday. Frank Farrelly, the author of Provocative Therapy, passed away recently. Frank was the most obnoxious lovable guy you could ever meet. He stunned people in therapy by deliberately provoking people in therapy and getting them to open up. The first time I read his book, Provocative Therapy I couldn’t believe anyone would recommend the book. But soon I saw Frank’s effectiveness. I have some very old recordings of Bandler and Grinder modeling Frank at a live therapy session. Bandler’s voice was entirely different than it is today. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear that Bandler adopted Frank’s voice after an intensive modeling session. The best way to learn about Frank is to listen to a recent seminar he did in NYC with my friend Doug O’Brien. The man was brilliant. You can get the DVDs here from Doug. That’s NOT an affiliate link. Frank was one of the people NLP was based upon. Study his work. Rest in peace...

Obnoxious NLP

Is the goal of personal change work to be nice or to be effective? Some of the most effective NLP interventions haven’t been very nice? When Tony Robbins asked a woman crying her eyes out, “Who peed on your face?” It wasn’t particularly nice. But it was effective. It interrupted the patten and enabled the woman to deal with her problem. When Richard Bandler finds out a certain tonality disturbs a person and deliberately uses it again and again to move a client, he isn’t being particularly nice. But he is being effective. So how can you know when you’ve gone too far? The key is rapport. When you are working one on one, in person or on the phone, you can maintain your rapport. But when you are working via copy, how can you check rapport? For example, one fabulously successful site created negative rapport with the readers. It was called “RIch Jerk.” People actually looked forward to his insults. I wrote an email for him to mail and it was filled with insults. But his audience loved it. What made people stay with that copy despite it’s insults? Your thoughts...

The Deeper Deeper Game

If they turned out doctors the way they turned out hypnotists, people would die like flies. Most hypnotists don’t know that they don’t know. It goes back to a classic debate on the style of hypnosis. There is the direct authoritarian style hypnosis. “You will go deeply into a trance.” Or there is the Ericksonian permissive style, “I’m curious if you are comfortable enough to allow your eyes to close.” Well, which gets better results? At best, 20% of the population responds to direct suggestion. That means if you use direct hypnosis, 80% of the population is going to show no results – other than getting annoyed. The Ericksonian permissive style allows you – as Erickson said – to do something new with every patient you meet. My teacher Dave Dobson used to say when you are doing hypnosis, there is an amazing feedback device in front of you. It’s called a client. Yet most people who do direct hypnosis don’t pay any attention to the client. What do they pay attention to? Their script! When I opening my hypnosis office, I interviewed a lot of hypnotists. My interview was to put them in the room with a volunteer client and watch them on closed-circuit camera. One lady came into the room, found out the client wanted to lose weight, didn’t bother to ask any questions, went out of the room to her car to get her script, and read it to the patient. When I asked, why didn’t you look at the patient she answered, “I didn’t need to. I had the script in front of me.” Other...

Accidentally Meeting An NLP Master

I went to London to attend an NLP workshop.  While I was there, I mentioned to a friend that I was having a problem with my legs cramping during yoga. I had tried many different treatments including massage, acupressure, herbs, vitamins, and foot work but I was still painfully cramping in yoga.  He asked, “Harlan. Don’t you live in Boca?  Why don’t you see Joe X?” I never heard of Joe X and he was impossible to find online. Eventually I tracked him down and discovered this guy was the real deal. He’s an NLP trainer and bodyworker with an international following.  And it turns out, his office is directly across the street from mine. Within a session or two, my problem was GONE!  But I’ve continued to go to Joe and learn from him about what he does.   There’s a funny thing about working with Joe.  While he’s working on you, he starts to talk kind of funny and my eyes close and out I go. Joe is doing classical conversational hypnosis.  There is no formal trance.  Just ordinary conversation and out I go. Of course, I’m not the only one who notices this.  When Richard Bandler had a recent stroke, he told the hospital the only person he would let work on him was Joe.  Hmmm. I wonder why. Now Joe has no products explaining what he does or how he does it but I’m sure I’ll get one out of his sooner or later.  But I’d like you to take away one thing I learned from him. When I work with Joe, he works on only...

What’s Wrong With NLP Training

Warning: This post is not for the faint at heart. NLP was founded by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.  The two of them co-taught in seminars across the United States (and the world).  At one point, they even did a show on the Las Vegas strip. As personalities, the two could hardly be more dissimilar.  Bandler was the PT Barnum showman.  He regaled the audience with stories during the trainings.  Grinder was the professor.  He taught techniques and was in love with the structure of change. Bandler developed a pattern he still uses today.  He tells wild stories to induce certain emotional states.  He chains these states together.  And he uses nested loops to conceal these chains from prying eyes. Grinder is still the professor.  He lectures the audience on the structure of change.  Currently, he is teaching the “New Code” of NLP. The lesser lights in the NLP world included Leslie Cameron (Bandler), Judy DeLozier, David Gordon, Robert Dilts, Stephen Lankton, Stephen Gilligan, Steve and Connirea Andreas, and many more.  They were very talented teachers who created high quality trainings. Somewhere along the line, a new model of training arose in the “Bandler camp”. In this model, people were no long “Instructed” in NLP.  The presenter got on the stage and “did NLP” without offering any instruction.  He would tell wild stories, elicit and install states, tell nested loops and in the end, the audience “got the material” on a deep level. The problem was, the attendees couldn’t do any of the things they learned.  That’s because they learned it on an “unconscious” level. I’m here to tell...