Things You Disagree with

Hi all,

I was reading an NLP book today that said one or two things I disagreed with. They weren’t so much matters of fact as matters of opinion.

The first was that NLP is a form of applied Psychology.

Personally, I disagree with calling NLP a form of Psychology. I think it misleads people into thinking NLP was spawned from Psychology or has become part of it.

Also, for me, the aims and methods of these fields are very different. Psychology seeks to understand how we work. It explains psychological phenomena, classifies human behaviours and produces statistics about behaviour in populations. It seems to me it’s a study of people generally, not any one exemplar or client.

By contrast NLP is about modelling, not explaining, and calibrates to individuals. It’s about finding patterns in individuals that are productive for learning and changing.

Now, I concede the outputs of NLP include conclusions, models and analogies that are Psychological in nature. However, for me, that merely implies an overlap relationship, not an equivalent, homomorphic or ‘belongs to’ relationship.

In short, NLP is about trying to do one thing and Psychology is about trying to do something else and they exist independently.

Another thing I disagreed with was a statement that "NLP has beliefs".

Let’s put aside that NLP isn’t a sentient being and therefore cannot have beliefs. The beliefs in question are the so-called presuppositions.

The puzzling thing is that elsewhere, the book had already stated that the presuppositions are not necessarily true. So why would we be asked to "believe" something that’s not true, I wondered.

(Elsewhere the book calls them "principles for living", which I also disagree with. That sounded somewhat pseudo-religious to me.)

I know we’ve done the so-called presuppositions to death on this forum, but for me they describe an attitude to take to your work, not things to necessarily believe. It seems to me you can easily take the attitude that "there’s no failure, only feedback", and reap all the rewards of that attitude, whilst still having the awareness to know it’s not a truth. In fact, that seems somewhat more desirable to me than asking people to become without-criticism, true-believers in these statements.

So, that was mine.

(By the way, I should add that I actually quite liked the book overall, I thought it one of the better books that fills the space of recapitulating NLP prac stuff.)

What things get written about and said, which you disagree with?


Things You Disagree with

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