The most important development in the history of NLP

Some early developments in NLP

In the early 1980s, the co-creator of NLP, Richard Bandler, and NLP developers Connirae and Steve Andreas did significant work on developing the submodality model of NLP. Submodalities are the sensory elements that make up our representations. A visual image will have components such as shape, size, spatial location, colour, and brightness. An auditory representation has component elements such as spatial location, volume, tempo, rhythm, and tone. A kinaesthetic representation includes such elements as location, area, intensity, temperature, rhythm, and pressure. Our representations of our experiences have particular patterns of organisation in how they are coded. Changing the submodality coding changes our experience. For example, a belief can be recoded as a doubt (e.g., how we know that we do not know which way a coin will fall). The submodality model can be used to produce profound change if used by a skilled exponent of NLP in conjunction with other NLP models.

Recent developments: the recoding of NLP – the new code

The most significant development in NLP in recent years has been the recoding of NLP. The reorganisation and articulation of the underlying principles of the field were undertaken by the co-creator of NLP, John Grinder, and partners Judith DeLozier in the 1980s and Carmen Bostic St Clair in the 1990s to the present time. This reorganisation is called the new code of NLP and is best represented in Bostic St. Clair and Grinder’s book Whispering in the Wind. The new code has as its basis an explicit epistemology, the separation of NLP modelling from NLP applications, and recommendations for research methodology. There are a number of shifts in emphasis with the new code.

“The most significant development in NLP in recent years has been the recoding of NLP. “

The shift in emphasis with the new code

Grinder’s reorganisation of NLP into the new code represents a shift from an over-emphasis on conscious attention to a balanced relationship between the conscious and unconscious minds. Different roles are recognised and assigned to the conscious and the unconscious. The role of conscious attention is to gather and arrange information about situations for potential change. The role of the unconscious is to provide the resources for implementing change. Often, the unconscious defines what the change will be. Researchers are now discovering the benefits of harnessing the capabilities of the unconscious. In a recent study published in Science journal, cognitive psychologists found that major decisions are best made by the unconscious mind.

There is also a shift of focus from working with a behaviour to working with an influencer of behaviour: a person’s state of mind. When a person is assisted to achieve a state of high performance or resourcefulness, their unconscious mind is more able and more likely to develop a greater range and flexibility in their behaviour, especially for the context under consideration. The situation where they want change or healing to occur becomes part of the process.

“In the New Code NLP there is a shift of focus from working with behaviour to working with state.”

Many new code NLP processes for assisting the unconscious to create change involve guiding the individual in accessing highly resourceful states. This is one of the key patterns that occurs when hypnosis or other change modalities are used successfully by a clinician.

(Note: If you would like to learn more about the New Code of NLP, you can get a copy of our latest Kindle book, ‘AEGIS: Patterns for extending your reach in life, work & leisure’ by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer. For only $4.99 here).

Chris Collingwood, NLP Trainer

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