In the foreword of NLP Volume I, authors Richard Bandler and John Grinder state that NLP is the discipline focused on the structure of an individual’s experience. Neuro Linguistic Programming is not committed to any theory but uses a model instead. This model is a set of procedures wherein the measurement of it’s worth is based on its usefulness and not exactly it’s truthfulness. (1980, p. 1).
This implies that NLP is and creates a series of models, rather than just being based on some theoretical constructs. The models serve as the viewpoints for a prediction to be made, but unlike theories the viewpoints they provide are only momentary and can be discarded easily. There are provisional, observation-based frames used to generate and test the techniques, and practices that flow from those models.
NLP models are oftentimes perceived of as a set of successive estimates that culminate in specific strategies for duplicating behaviour. But what NLP does have is a set of clear observational principles and guiding concepts that allow for the creation of models.
According to Bandler, NLP observes patterns and constructs methods that work (Bandler & Grinder, 1979). The patterns being closely observed involve the views of the observer and other participants. It is impossible to achieve a pattern that has a static, single formulation because the patterns are derived from dynamic structures of actions and perceptions identified by a course of sensory information gathered through the procedure. In Mathematics and symbolic logic, statements start with a set of common elements. The individual elements may differ in order and value, but the general pattern of their connections remains.
Grinder and Bandler also make the following explanation:
Since patterns are represented in sensory grounded terms, available through a user’s practice of it, then patterns are usually demonstrated in multiple ways. They are designed according to the different sensory capabilities of individuals involved. It is proper to point out that this requirement immediately dismisses statistical statements about modelling being well-formed in NLP because statistical statements are not user-oriented (1980, n.p.).
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