Recently we have had several people get in touch about learning NLP. Many of these people have expressed some confusion about the variety of certifying bodies, the format in which courses are delivered, and the content of NLP trainings available within in the market. We have even had some people contact us who are doing online only courses who are finding it difficult to grasp the concepts of NLP and build any rapport with the trainer, resulting in a poor experience. All of this has prompted me to write todays article about how to choose an NLP training course that is right for you. I must, of course, declare an interest. We do run NLP trainings. In fact, I have been training NLP for over 17 years. In that time, I have delivered close to 200 NLP Practitioner trainings, about 50 Master Practitioner trainings, and this year I will run my 5th annual NLP Trainers Training. Obviously, the way I run courses is the way I believe people should learn and develop their NLP skills. Nevertheless, here are some of the things that you may want to consider when choosing a well established NLP provider.
NLP is a self-regulated discipline. Though it emerged out of psychology and linguistics the creators of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, moved out of academia to teach it together for a while and then went there own separate ways. Richard Bandler established his own certifying body (SNLP). The first two people that Bandler authorised to train other trainers were Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall. Tad and Wyatt worked together for a while too and then also decided on different paths. Wyatt was instrumental in setting up INLPTA and Tad established the ABNLP. These three bodies are the most well established and the most internationally recognised NLP certifying bodies in the world. I personally trained with the late Tad James and am a Master Trainer with the ABNLP. If I have a customer who wants to complete the NLP Master Practitioner training with me, who has previously trained with an alternative provider, I can usually trust that the standard they have been trained to is an acceptable. If you are considering booking an NLP course, and the trainer you are looking at isn’t certifying you through one of these three bodies, then you need to ask them why not? Is the body they use operated by people independent of them or is it the same person? So many customers don’t check trainers credentials beforehand and end up disappointed, disillusioned and out of pocket.
Face to Face or Online
When NLP started in the 1970s the only way to learn it was face to face. To be recognised as an NLP Practitioner through any of the bodies I mentioned above, you need to complete 120 hours of study. This doesn’t all have to be face to face with a trainer, reading, listening to audio, and watching videos are all permissible. As the market developed Tad James introduced the Accelerated NLP Practitioner training. What he did was to record pre-course study content on tapes (yes it was that long ago) and there by reduced the length of face-to-face contact from 15 to 7 days. This was how I learned NLP and it is how I teach it today. Before the Covid pandemic hit, some there were a few copycat traders selling fully online NLP courses. But these weren’t any of the reputable providers, and fully online training wasn’t permissible through the ABNLP. By necessity, through the pandemic many trainers switched to doing online courses to survive. I resisted doing this, because I believe that to learn NLP well you need a face-to-face component. It is important to see live demonstrations. Much of the content of NLP involves seeing subtle changes in others and this means you need to see it close up, which is not possible on a laptop! And when you practice exercises it is important to get feedback from the trainer so that you fell confident with your new skills. Finally, there is a degree of fluid interaction, both with the trainer and other delegates during the programme which is lost online. Full-time online courses has meant that people who couldn’t take 7 days away to do a training have been able to access NLP, but to what degree? You will need to make sure that you do an NLP training that works for you. Personally, my years of experience tells me that you need some live interaction with a trainer to learn NLP effectively.
There is generally accepted content which is taught by the three principle certifying NLP bodies. I have listed this below. There are some subtle differences between the bodies about what is taught, but these differences are minor. There are three other disciplines closely associated with NLP which get taught by NLP training providers. These are Time Line Therapy™, Hypnosis, and Coaching. Time Line Therapy™ emerged out of NLP, in fact Robert Dilts, an early developer of NLP, has called Time Line Therapy™ the second phase of development of NLP. Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall wrote a book called Time Line Therapy and the Basis of Personality, and later Tad copyrighted the processes. Time Line Therapy™ is the best way to let go of negative emotions from the past and to change limiting beliefs about yourself. Hypnosis is associated with NLP because one of the people that was modelled to create NLP was medical doctor Milton Erickson, who was a hypnotherapist. Hypnosis is a good personal development tool. Finally, coaching is associated with NLP for several historic reasons, not least of which NLP was used in the creation of the GROW model, which is used extensively in coaching. But the connection is deeper still. In my opinion NLP is essential in coaching. All the training providers that you come across may well package all these disciplines together in different ways. We certify people in Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnosis during our NLP trainings. And we offer a separate 2-day NLP Coach Practitioner Training. There is no right or wrong way to package these together, just make sure that you understand what you are getting when you book a course.
As a minimum the NLP Practitioner content that you should be taught regardless of the certifying body or the training company is –
- Presuppositions of NLP
- Pacing and Leading (verbal and non-verbal)
- Calibration (sensory based experience)
- Representational systems (predicates, and accessing cues)
- Elicitation of well-formed, ecological outcomes
- Metaphor creation.
- Frames; contrast, relevancy, As If, Backtrack
- Anchoring (stimulus response)
- Anchoring Techniques
- Chunking – Hierarchy of Ideas
- Sub Modalities
- Strategies; detection, elicitation, utilization, & installation
If you have any questions or if you need any help choosing the course that is right for you then simply give us a call or drop us an email.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” GandhiChoosing An NLP Courses