What is NLP?

For the third in our series of articles on NLP we focus on the skills of the practitioner, more specifically on how to become an NLP Practitioner.

Elswhere in the magazine we review a book which contains all the basic elements required to be a successful practitioner – “How to Succeed as an NLP Therapist and Coach” by Murielle Maupoint.

You can also read more about Murielle as she tells her own story as our featured inspirational woman this month.

So, how and where do we begin . . . . . ?

In my research for this article I visited several of the recommended NLP sites in an attempt to understand how I start the process of becoming an NLP coach. On each site there were many offers of training and development courses. These ranged from courses that lasted from 4-5 weeks to those of a couple of days; NLP Expert, NLP Acceleration and NLP with more specific applications such as NLP for Business, NLP and Communication and NLP with Meditation and Relaxation and even Advanced Anchoring and Time Line Reimprinting.

I am impressed by the range of services offered but have no real idea of what to do first. The ANLP site offers the following:

“As ANLP continues to raise both the public profile of NLP, and the reputation of ANLP for standards, professionalism and good practice, more and more people visit the website or call the office looking for an NLP Trainer. As we are independent of any Training School and do not offer any training courses ourselves, we can offer impartial advice and promote all NLP Trainers, regardless of who they originally trained with.”

They also offer their own Code of Ethics (http://www.anlp.org/index.asp?PageID=135) for members. This raises another concern, that of universal legislation, regulation and governance. Clearly there is a recognition that these requirements are essential but apparently there is no governing ‘code of practice‘ that provides the potential client with a single source of information. The Code of Practice and Code of Ethics is a document issued by this particular association only and presumabably each independent association has their own, similar document.

The Official website of the British Board of NLp has the following to say to support my comments;

“In the world of NLP training, there is no official government or legal affiliation or certification standard, no official course content, duration of training or levels of competency (this applies within the UK and outside). NLP is an un-regulated field and currently there are no official guidelines in terms of regulation, certification, standardisation or affiliation.

There are a number of groups, organisations, associations, boards and bodies who have set up their own standard by creating certification / affiliation schemes in order to reflect how they believe NLP should be taught and practiced. These organisations often differ in their opinion. Each organisation has a different judgment and none are mandatory to join or achieve training through. Many training providers choose not to affiliate themselves with any certification or affiliation bodies.”

This offers me both good and bad news which is this; I can become an NLP coach., in fact, ANYONE can become an NLP coach and there’s the rub. ANYONE can. It remonds of a joke I heard about becoming American President; to paraphrase;

“It is a fundamental right contained within the US constitution that anyone has the opportunity to become President of the USA, the problem is, ANYONE can become president of the United States – just look to the last few presidents!!! ”

With this in mind, I return, enthused but concerned, to the model outlined in Murielle’s book on the assumption that there are no barriers to entry to the market of NLP Coaching.

Since there doesn’t appear to be any barrier to entry and that anyone can claim to be an NLP coach after a two day training course (is there a theme emerging here? See my article on recruitment elsewhere in the magazine!) it is only reasonable that in our final piece on NLP next month we will consider how to find a reputable coach, what to look for, what to expect and what to ask before you commit to a potentially expensive and emotional course of treatment.

Suggested Resources:
The Association of NLP www.anlp.org
The British Board of NLP www.bbnlp.com
International NLP Association www.inlpa.org

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