Monday, February 05, 2007

NLP: NLP is Epistemology (Theory of Knowledge)


Recently someone had read my article of NLP is about Modeling & Thinking Part 1 & Part 2. He emailed me and asked me what NLP really is.

This article is written to answer his question.

Firstly, NLP is NOT a branch of Psychology. Both the co-founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder is not a psychologist. Their works can't be psychology. (Although some psychologists use their ideas and concepts in therapy)

Secondly, NLP can be best described as a kind of Epistemology (知識論), the Theory of Knowledge. Epistemology is the study of the nature and production of knowledge. It can also be understand as how we know what we know.

At the very beginning of NLP, the co-founders acquired the knowlede of Virginia Satir's and Milton Erickson's knowledge of psychotherapy through the NLP Modeling Process. Then, those developers of NLP modelled many different excellent people in various fields to produce different kinds of knowledge. These are known as the Patterns and Models of NLP.

Pattern is the single chain of behaviours, while Model is a collection of minimal number of patterns that creates result.

In today's world, we are facing Information-Overflow, but not Knowledge-Overflow. There is so much information out there, but not all can be used by us. Knowledge is the useful information that can be used by us. Learning NLP is to acquire the Knowledge of generating Knowledge. That's why it is important nowadays.

When you learn NLP, you are going to study at least 4 things:

1. The Modeling Process. This is the core of NLP if NLP is a kind of Epistemology. This process was invented to produce knowldge through modeling those people having that knowledge.

2. The NLP Presuppositions. These are the fundamental assumptions backing up the NLP Modeling Process. These help one to model easier and faster.

3. NLP Models. These are the results of NLP Modeling. Learning these doesn't imply you are learning NLP. Learning these models serves 2 purposes. Firstly, when you understand the very best models created by the NLP Modeling Process, it makes your learning of NLP better. Secondly, some of these models support the NLP Modeling Process. These might include the T.O.T.E. Model, Representational System, Eye Accessing Cues Model, Submodalities Model, States Model, Perception Positions Model and the Filters Model.

4. NLP Patterns. These are again just the results of the NLP Modeling Process. Learning some of them can make your understanding of the Process itself better. You can't learn all of them. There are thousands of patterns, increasing every moment.

In my next article of What is Knowledge, I will discuss withh you more on how to acquire knowledge more effectively.

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