Advanced books (food for Master practitioners)

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Beliefs

This book is a reference work when it comes to know more about the nature of beliefs, belief systems and changing them. The best known technique introduced by this book is probably the re-imprint (used for dealing with core-beliefs). Some other NLP techniques are revisted for dealing with beliefs about capacities, conflicting beliefs & belief systems an relationships. The book also includes the discussion of logical levels and logical level alignment.
A pity the book is an adapted seminar-transcript (and has kept that structure), but I'm happy to add the the seminar that was the source for this book was organised by a Belgian.

Creativity

This book is more than a way to learn about creativity. It also explains a lot of the NLP models where Dilts was involved in the development. You'll find explanation concerning the TOTE, SCORE and SOAR models (3 models related to problem solving). The ROLE and BAGEL models are also integrated in this book, as well as the Disney Strategy and explanation about well-formedness. This book is applicable for personal creativity, as well as group-creativity.
I especially like the structure of the book and its use of charts

Encyclopedia

I got myself a copy of the first 3 "letters" of the encclopedia at the NLP Leadership Conference. At that moment Robert and Judith presented 215 pages to the public! Imagine how much pages the complete encyclopedia could contain! No wonder Robert started thinking about a CD-Rom. More about this publication when I lay my hands on a more complete version ...

Systems Thinking

Soner or later, when you advance in NLP, you will try to find out how the Batesonian heritage influenced the original NLP community, especially now that NLP is increasingly calling itself "Systemic". The books below are some rare gems you'll encounter on this search. Good luck!

A presupposition of NLP is "Mind and Body are a cybernetic system". What does this mean? A branch of NLP calls itself "systemic NLP". What does that mean? In fact, it will be hard to find an answer in typical NLP library. Systems thinking is a area separate from NLP. This book is brought to you by 2 persons who are well known for their NLP publications, and for once, they bring us something that belongs on the "Advanced Reading" webpage, which means that the material they bring you won't be found explicitely in other NLP stuff. Yet, systems thinking and NLP are connected by names as Korzybski and Bateson.

Systems thinking is a topic made popular by Peter Senge in his book "The Fifth Discipline". It is about seeing beyond separated things that can be analysed. In complex systems, like the human body, the whole is more than the sum of the parts, and it isn't easy to find out how things are connected and what is happening. The analytical skills and the logic taught in classic education won't help much to understand such systems.

The book is arranged in 5 parts, each containing several chapters and as we are used from these authors a summary at the end. The first part gives a general introduction (a definition and feedback loops). The second one is about mental models, logic and cause & effect. The third is about learning, looking from different perspectives and punctuation. The fourth part deals with system archetypes. Finally, the fifth part entitled 'clsong the circle' tries to connect the four previous parts, or rather, gives some guidelines based on the authors' learnings. Overall, the book gives you an accessible introduction to the field, complete with examples and practical applications.

I was able to order my copy ot this famous book from Amazon.com, even if it took almost 2 months to arrive at my place.The second edition of this work has been prepared for the 1995 Conference of the American Society of Cybernetics. The Original edition was prepared by students enrolled in the "Cybernetics of Cybernetics" course that von Foerster taught in 1973 and 1974 at the University of Illinois. von Foerster is one of the original thinkers in the area of systems thinking, together with people as Ashby, Bateson, McCulloch, Rosenbleuth, Simon, Von Neuman and Wiener. Names as Maturana and Varella are also linked to this movement that started in 1942. This book is a rather messy collection of course notes, consisting of writings of almost all people mentioned above, explaining concepts connected to Second Order Cybernetics, augmented with a table of contents, list of authors of sections, etc. At this point, I have no idea what to think of this book, except that is a gold vein, left to be mined.

Reframing & Sleight of Mouth

Where a typical practitioner program includes some Reframing material, and one of the original books has been published on the topic (see Original books - Reframing), a master practitioner program typically elaborates on the topic by teaching the Sleight of Mouth Patterns, a set of techniques to apply the principle of reframing.

Mind-Lines covers the Sleight of Mouth Patterns, something that I couldn't guess from the title, and it requires some careful study from the cover and the back cover to find this out. After writing the books on Meta-States (see below), Michael turned to a well known area for NLP Master Practitioners, but an area that remained almost "undocumented" and thus unknown for those without this formal training. The authors use the term "Mind-Lines" to point to the sentences, or lines people pronounce, and how these lines (sentences) reflect our "reality", as the mind makes it up.
On the first 160 pages the authors packed 20 different Sleight of Mouth Patterns, or several more than most advanced master practitioners have ever heard of, as well as 6 basic mind-shifting directions (Mind shifting is the effect of applying a Sleight of Mouth or a "Mind-Line Pattern"). In between, you'll also find a careful study of why you need reframing (basically to change beliefs). On the 30 last pages you get a chapter on how the meta-model can be used for reframing, as well as some appendices on modalities & submotalities, the meta-model patterns and hierarchy in language.
In summary, this books packs a lot of information on a limited number of pages and the only comments I would make is to use more pages for this content, adding even more examples, as well as putting in some more simple graphs. I certainly recommend this book as a must have for a master practitioner wanting to complete his library of background material, or for anyone willing to get NLP knowledge at this level.

Meta-Programs

This book is subtitled: "Deepening Understanding of People for Better Rapport, Relationships, and Influence." Well, somehow putting people in categories seems to be a way to achieve this. You basically say: "this person is of that type, so I'll give a response of type …" . Example: "this person has a direct communication style (VS a "thinking or indirect style"), so let me communicate directly". The more ways you have to put people into types, the more flexible you become. "And this person is also people oriented, so let's give a people oriented response." The Social Styles model, as Wilson Learning and Tracom teach it, only has these 2 dimensions and they give a two day course just based on that! Now, if you need 2 days to give people a good grasp of 2 dimensions, how much time would you need to learn them 51 dimensions? Don't even try to figure that out: just know that this number, by large, violates the rule of 7 +/- 2: you conscious mind can only work with 7 things at a time, so don't bother looking for 51 ways to categorize people! Not even if the authors organize them in 5 groups: Processing, Feeling Choosing Responding and Conceptualizing/Semanticizing.

This being said, it becomes obvious that few people will use this book as a model on how to categorize people. Chances are bigger that you choose out some categories that are useful to you in a given context. The Design part in this book could then be in realizing that you can "invent" other such categories. Or like I heard in France: "the are two types of woman: "baisable" and "non-baisable"

As often with books by Bodenhammer and Hall, I wouldn't recommend this book as something for beginners. Beginners do have enough with the 10 to 12 "classic" meta-programs explained in "classic" NLP material and it seems you can never use enough pages for explaining them well. This book is too packed for being material to learn easily from as a beginner. But buy it as reference material once you have started using the most common meta-programs and you are looking for "inspiration" on what other meta-programs you could use for figuring out people.

Meta-States

Get into an important area of development for NLP in the '90s! This new model revisits the sources NLP came from: Meta States combines the NLP Strategies and States models with Korzybski's General Semantics and Bateson's insights on logical levels and self reflective consciousness. Like the term indicates, you define Meta States as "states about states" or as "A state of consciousness about another state of consciousness", i.e. fear of fear, joy of anger, sadness about fear, etc. A meta-state only exists because of the human ability to reason, to think about something else (cf. linguistic ability). Michael Hall, an NLP trainer certified by Richard Bandler, discovered that something was missing from the strategies model while trying to model resilience. Based on that observation, he has spent his recent years to develop this model (with some help from Cheryl Ann Buffa). Michael made his research accessible trough a set of articles and books. Below, you'll find the reviews of 2 books he sent me:

This book brings, as a first, the theory and the action of the meta-states model. Both theory and practice take 8 chapters to explain, and both parts have a similar length: 130 vs. 140 pages, 270 in total. The second part looks at the structure of some very powerful subjective experiences, such as self-esteeming, resilience, forgiveness, proactivity, serenity and inner peace, ...

The book aims at helping you to understand the process of managing your states and getting you to develop the skills of state-management. You get a model to understand how states work and how to take control over them (e.g. getting from an unresourceful state to a resourceful state). The book comes from transcribing the "Dragon Slaying Workshops" given the author: These workshops explain the meta-states model, but boils the model down to its essence and make it more accessible. Or in other words: "Dragon Slaying popularizes the NLP Meta States Model."

Notes:
Inspired by Michael Hall, I've followed his example by rewriting the reviews of his books in <e-prime>, a form of English where you delete the verb "to be" from your vocabulary.
You'll find other information on the books by Michael Hall on :
http://members.aol.com/bodenhamer/books.html


Page last edited on: 16/03/01