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The Key Discipline In NLP: Modeling

Milton EricksonI’ve pointed out before how NLP goes beyond therapy. Many new students falsely believe NLP to be a therapeutic modality because many publications about NLP revolved around therapeutic models and patterns.

Today’s lesson aims at giving you solid grounding in NLP’s most important discipline: modeling. So important, in fact, that it gave birth to the field. Once you understand the distinction presented below (and you will), the field will make even more sense to you.

A modeling technology

The central purpose of Neurolinguistic Programming can be described through a sequence of three activities:

  1. Choose someone who stands out in a particular field or activity (sports, communication, management, leadership, therapy, learning, education, etc.) Make sure they demonstrate stellar performance.
  2. Absorb their patterns and code them into an explicit model of how they produce outstanding results. (I’ll share in another post how this is carried out specifically in NLP.)
  3. Install the model in others. You have to be able to transfer it. You can deem the project successful if the person who receives the model can produce results comparable to those of the outstanding performer. A critical criterion is that ANY person committed to mastering the model can do so — provided there aren’t any biological limitations that make it impossible.

A meta-field

Over time, I’ve come to realize that Neurolinguistic Programming lends its fruits to other fields.

Let’s take the Milton Model, for instance.

The Milton Model consists of a series of language patterns used by Milton Erickson, the most prominent practitioner of hypnotherapy of his time (and among the greatest in history).

The majority of NLPers will tell you that the Milton Model is an NLP model. I find it more useful to identify it as a hypnosis model created by NLP practitioners.

As such, I find it also more useful to say that practitioners of NLP have created financial mastery, hockey shooting, or seduction models. Each field remains its own. NLP is the field of modeling. And its epistemology and methodology makes modeling possible.

Remember: this is only a point of view. Many NLPers would more than likely disagree with me. Nevertheless, I find it more useful to organize the field in that way – perhaps you also will.