NLP: for mind... and body?

How is it that NLP seems to have lost sight of the mind-body connection - other than to say that if you change your thoughts the body follows suit?

In other words why do the majority of NLP trainings seem to buy into the old shibboleth of mind over matter - instead of recognising that we are 'systems' in which mind and body continually affect one-another.

"But NLP can't forget!"

OK. Yes, I know that my opening question is seriously flawed! (Although it does grab attention) Of course, 'NLP' cannot forget or remember anything. It's not an it.

I've nominalised NLP to refer to the NLP community. However it does appear that lots within the NLP community have not given much attention to the part of us that carries the mind around - our body.

John Grinder

Could this apparent inattention that mainstream NLP trainings give to the body have something to do with John Grinder's withdrawal from mainstream NLP in the early 80's and for almost two decades - until recent years?

After all it was he who pioneered the body-route to learning NLP. And was most passionate in looking for ways of applying NLP to learning and modelling behaviours.

John Grinder reputedly did a skills' swap with the late David Gaster in which he modelled Gaster's Red Arrows' flying skills and, in return, he then helped David model the Grinder NLP training skills. I hear he used a similar approach in learning free rock-climbing, too. And modelled traditional tribal skills in Africa and the Far East. (I'd be grateful if anyone can provide details...)

Scout Gunn

Back in 1984 Scout Cloud Lee's books first alerted me to the potential of applying NLP to the body. (Her name appears as Scout Lee Gunn in the books). The original editions of both of her books were cheaply produced and quickly disintegrated into a loose-leaf form - but, for me, contained a treasure of knowledge and ideas. They also saved me from giving up on NLP.

Richard Bandler

Richard Bandler emphasises the mind-route to personal change - a route which can be quicker for many people. Used by Richard the approach works really well because, of course,  he is exceptionally skilful, can operate at many 'levels' simultaneously - thereby packing a huge amount of very subtle changework into a few minutes - and has  been working in the field for over 40 years!

Used by those who successfully model his style it works quite well, too. But these approaches rely largely on the 'client' being prepared to enter into the modeller's model of the world.

Because of this they do not necessarily empower - they provide people with fish without enabling them to learn how to fish. So their self-management skills are not necessarily enhanced as much as these might have been had they been guided through making the changes by themselves.

Robert Dilts

Robert Dilts pioneered and added a structure to the deeper applications of NLP with his work on the Neuro-Logical Levels. This is an immensely valuable tool, particularly in showing how beliefs and values and self concept affect behaviours.

It does appear that Robert limited his enquiry into the mind-body connection to having people use spatial location (standing in different spots to access/anchor different states and walking the Time Line. It would have been interesting to have seen Robert apply his terrific insights and skills to taking this model further.

Pegasus NLP Trainings

We have been integrating NLP with many different forms of indoor and outdoor activity since the late 90's and now provide NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner Certification Trainings in which these play a significant role. those who are quietly getting on with it

And then there are, no doubt, lots of training organisations and groups of individuals throughout the world who are integrating NLP with different activities and never get noticed or talked about:

bulletThe sports people who apply it in their physical and mental preparation
bulletThe horse riding (and horse whispering) people who use it in their training
bulletThe many martial artists who now use NLP both to enhance their skills and to model the Eastern Masters of their particular discipline
bulletThe many outdoor activity centres who now use NLP as part of how they communicate with their participants
bulletThe physical therapists who apply it in addition to their professional skills.

By Reg Connolly, Director of Training, Pegasus NLP