NLP    

NLP—Neurolinguistic Programming—provides the foundation for the Healing with Language component of Subtle Communication Systems. NLP is often defined as “the study of the structure of subjective experience.” When Richard Bandler and John Grinder originally developed NLP in the 1970s, they started with the question, “What makes some therapists better than others?” They selected three of the best—Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, and Milton Erickson—for extensive study.

The original language patterns and techniques of NLP were based on modeling the strategies that those therapists used to achieve their remarkable successes. Over the years, a number of strategies and techniques have been codified as the foundational concepts of NLP, but the core aspect of NLP—especially as it is taught by Richard Bandler and those who have trained with him —is flexibility, especially flexibility below the level of conscious awareness.

Our Background in NLP

Joel was a Master Practitioner and Licensed Trainer of NLP when Debra invited him to teach the health applications of NLP to a group of holistic therapists in St. Joseph, Michigan. Introductory workshops led to Joel’s learning energy-based healing from Debra and to an NLP intensive in which Debra earned her license as a Master Practitioner. The following year, we both attended Charisma Enhancement™ and Trainer Training so that Debra could earn her license as an NLP trainer. Joel’s license was renewed at that time.

Since then, we have continued to train with Richard Bandler, John La Valle, and other Master Trainers to ensure that our knowledge and skills remain current.

How You Can Benefit from Learning NLP

Neurolinguistic Programming is often considered a “step child” of the branch of clinical psychology referred to as brief therapies. The two most common complaints about NLP are that it doesn’t work and that it works too well. The NLP “tools” are based on careful observation and modeling of what works, but—as is true for any subtle tool—those who have not learned appropriate use, may not achieve the desired result.

NLP is often considered a form of brief therapy because it produces significant, lasting change so quickly. In addition to personal change, its other principal applications are in education—where it is used to facilitate learning—and business—where it is used to build rapport, improve understanding and group function, and to promote sales through meeting client needs.

Many of the techniques originally codified into NLP are taught to members of the CIA, the FBI, and various state bureaus of investigation. Trial lawyers often receive additional training in NLP skills. The techniques definitely work. See “Secret Sway” for an overview.

Do NLP techniques work too well? Because the techniques really do work, NLP has been called “manipulative.” People sometimes say that as though it’s a bad thing. Because all human interaction involves influence in one way or another, we are “manipulating” each other constantly. The main questions are whether we are doing so well or badly and for what purpose. Ethical communication requires both skill and good intentions. Even with the best of intentions, unskillful communication may have untoward consequences.

For example, English is full of what are called negative commands. Most people use them without understanding their influence. Consider the following:

Don’t think of elephants.

If you are like most people, you ignored the directions and thought of elephants. Most people also use that same construction when they really do expect others to do what they are saying:

  • Don’t worry about it.
  • Don’t look now.
  • Don’t forget to pay the bills.
  • Don’t give me a second thought.

One of the reasons that negative commands tend to produce the opposite of what was intended is that the conscious and unconscious (or other-than-conscious) minds process information differently. “Negatives” may be common in language, but they do not exist in nature. The conscious mind understands what is meant by, “Don’t touch me,” but what the unconscious mind hears is, “Touch me.”

Is it any wonder that people often get their signals crossed….

Negative commands do, however, have valid uses. The validity is determined by whether the command serves a useful purpose. Consider the following:

  • Don’t you feel good about that now….
  • Don’t you want more for yourself now….
  • Don’t you have something better to do for yourself now….
  • Don’t you feel better now….
  • Don’t laugh now….
  • Don’t take my word for it.

Because negative language is processed differently by the conscious and unconscious minds, an individual’s initial reaction might not match his or her subsequent behavior change. You can’t not disagree with me about that, can you… But don’t take my word for it; experiment with these language patterns to see how others respond. And that might surprise and delight you, and you might find yourself wanting to know even more.

How Much More Can You Learn?

One of the best known aspects of NLP is the recognition that subjective experience, what goes on inside a person’s brain, is comprised of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (touch, smell, and taste) representations of the person’s experience with the external environment. If you have ever ridden a bicycle, for example, you can probably picture what the bicycle looked like. You can probably picture yourself riding the bicycle.

You may also be able to recall what you were able to see while riding. You may be able to recall some of the things you heard while riding, and you undoubtedly remember what it felt like to ride. If you ever rode by a pig farm or a chocolate factory, you may have memories for smells as well.

One of the main contributions of NLP is understanding how the structure of subjective experience influence behavior. Our internal representations influence our behavior and our ability to enjoy life. The structure is the programming of Neurolinguistic Programming. Most of the programming is below the level of conscious awareness. We may not know, for example, that the size, brightness, and closeness of an image influences how we feel about the content of the image.

Unconscious programming is self-validating. Perceptual frames are set early in life and then operate below the level of conscious awareness.

NLP will enable you to change your unconscious programming by replacing limiting beliefs with those that will better serve your purpose. Because it works so well, it allows you to eliminate unwanted behaviors and replace them with new behaviors that will allow you to create what we call Holistic Wealth: abundance for body, mind, and spirit. NLP is your key to better health, more happiness, greater self-awareness, and more awareness of others as well.

This is one of the reasons NLP is so effective in facilitating positive, generative change. It is also the principal reason that we incorporate neurolinguistics in all SCS training and encourage those who train with us to complete Practitioner and Master Practitioner Certification as part of your personal and professional journey.

NLP Training—Practitioner and Master Practitioner Certifications


When you study NLP with SCS, your certification is through NLP Seminars Group International, and your certificate will be signed by Richard Bandler and John La Valle, signatures recognized and respected all over the world.

Comprehensive, Innovative Training

SCS trainings are designed to ensure success. The most common comment following training is that “SCS changed my life.” One of the principal benefits of NLP is that your training with SCS will allow you to choose your behavior with greater conscious awareness. You can imagine how your life will change when you have a better understanding of your own motivations and those of others.

NLP training with SCS is serious fun. We believe that you will learn best while you are having a really good time. Because behavioral and mental flexibility are the principal cornerstones of success, we have adapted a number of exercises from the improv show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” to S T R E T C H your flexibility and increase your behavioral options.

You will learn everything considered foundational for NLP, such as eye-accessing cues, calibration, timelines, metaprograms, anchoring, submodality shifts, and the advanced language patterns (Metamodel and Milton Model). You will also learn all the foundational interventions, including the SWISH, Visual Squash, the Fast Phobia Cure, and the New Behavior Generator.

The NLP Attitude—and Holistic Wealth

You will also learn the differences between remedial and generative change and how to ensure that your own learning continues long after the workshop has ended. And, perhaps most of all, you will learn what Richard Bandler has called The NLP Attitude. If you have attended other workshops in the past, you probably know the tendency for the information and the applications you learned to fade after you leave the workshop setting.

We will do whatever we can to ensure that the NLP Attitude goes with you when you leave, that you will have the knowledge you need, the attitude necessary, and the desire to apply what you know. We call that combination Holistic Wealth, because it encourages abundance on all levels—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It also enables you to share that abundance with family, friends, and clients or patients.

Convenient and Comprehensive Online Instruction

If you’re among those who has always wanted to learn NLP but have had a problem arranging for the time to take an “intensive” program lasting 10 or more days, the Healing with Language online solution may be just right for you. Or if you are interested in an introduction to NLP but aren’t ready to jump into the “deep end of the pool,” when it comes to training, the online program may be just right for you. All you need to get started is a copy of the manual (Healing with Language: Your Key to Effective Mind-Body Communication) and $25 for a month’s subscription.

How much can you learn in a month? That’s up to you, and we will be glad to help. To get started, within the continental U.S., call (269) 921-2217, or send email to both of us.

Or you can think about it while you discover what you already know….

What Do You Know about Hypnosis?

If you already know a lot about hypnosis, you’ll find the following True/False quiz a snap. If you don’t yet know, some of the questions and answers might surprise you. The questions are on the first page, and the answers are on the second page. The file is in PDF format: What Do You Know About Hypnosis?

What Do You Know about Phobias?

Needles, snakes, spiders, dogs, and even worms…. The number of different things that can produce a phobic response is almost unlimited. Some people are afraid of being closed in (claustrophobia), while others are afraid of being in open areas (agoraphobia). In many cases, even those who know a lot about phobias find that they don’t know much about getting over them. The quiz will provide answers to your questions. The questions are on the first page, and the answers are on the second page. The file is in PDF format: What Do You Know About Getting Over a Phobia?

For the most convenient time and location for training, from within the Continental U.S., SCS uses Debra’s business line, (269) 921-2217, for telephone messages, or send email for more information.