Kake L Pugh kake at
Mon Sep 10 23:48:05 BST 2007

On Mon 10 Sep 2007, IvorW <combobulus at> wrote:
> In terms of what is NLP, I refer you to the presuppositions (put NLP
> presuppositions into any search engine), and to the NLP
> communication model, see:

I see in that essay a number of quite strong statements about how we build
up our models of the world, but nothing that would persuade the average
scientifically-literate person to believe that you know what you're
talking about.  A few citations would go a long way towards improving the
writeup - not for the benefit of people who just want to tear NLP to shreds,
but for people who are open minded towards it yet don't take things like
that on trust.

> What's wrong with the placebo effect anyway? If you believe that you are
> cured, and your illness gets better, surely this is a good thing.

Perhaps a less emotive analogy will help.

Suppose I believe that giving meat an initial searing at a high
temperature will "seal" it and make it juicier.  The evidence is against
my belief; yet, if I persist in my belief and continue to "seal" my meat,
my food will be tastier because the high heat will enable the browning
reactions that make meat taste good.

So if I believe that "sealing" is a real phenomenon, and my food ends up
being tasty, surely this is a good thing?

No, it isn't - because if I learned what was actually going on then I'd be
able to take advantage of the _real_ processes in many more contexts.  I'd
know that I could add a sprinkle of sugar to speed up the reactions, and
I'd know that it's possible to caramelise onions without needing to use
oil or butter.

David Cantrell wrote:
>> But assuming that NLP is in fact considerably more than "be excellent
>> to each other" I'm sure you could come up with some mumbo-jumbo and
>> teach a random sample of people using that, a random sample with NLP,
>> tell both groups that you're using NLP, and do before and after quality
>> of life surveys.

Ivor wrote:
> I think it would be impossible to come up with equivalent "mumbo-jumbo"
> to make this experiment work.

This is effectively a "yes it is", "no it isn't" argument.

> As an NLP practitioner, I offer such a guarantee to paying clients.

Ivor, I do believe that you think NLP has been good for you, and when we
spoke about this last I was genuinely pleased to hear that you felt your
life had been hugely improved.  But in the context of Chris Jack's
previous comments on this thread, I'm a little concerned that you're
already talking about having taken on clients.  You've been into this
stuff for such a short period of time - are you _sure_ that NLP and
hypnotherapy are so much easier to become expert in than (say)
programming, that it's possible to get so quickly to the stage where you
can be sure that you will Do No Harm?


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