About this site
This Site is About Neurology and NLP – it is also a little bit about Andrew T. Austin.
The “case” was presented. First the social worker spelled out the “patient’s” social history. The psychologist then read his diagnostic testing report. In those cases where a psychiatrist had seen the “case,” he contributed his impressions. Then, after a general discussion of the “case”, the chief psychiatrist would pronounce a diagnosis and an administrative decision would be made about the patient: type of treatment, transfer to another ward or institution, discharge. The level of jargon was bizarre-baroque Freudian.
My first reactions of disbelief were followed by acute boredom. I sublimated my outrage with satirical remarks that made everyone laugh. Since then, I have often used humor as a philosophic tool to provide relativistic perspective.
In time my boredom turned to phobic despair. It was clear that few had much interest in the patient’s point of view. The unfortunate human being called the “case” was treated as an abstraction around which whirled the most kinky sort of projections. Staff members routinely projected the contents of their own minds on the patient. In time, I saw the words of each clinician as strings of taffy emerging from their mouths covering the table, the floor and, at times, threatening to engulf the room. I impatiently longed for something tangible, measurable, real – to replace the speculation.
Dr. Timothy Leary. Changing my Mind Among Others.
One morning whilst working with a family of a “disturbed” 15-year-old boy, I was asked: ‘just what is NLP?’ I needed a brief answer that would satisfy the question and would avoid raising any objections. I simply stated that I had no idea what neuro-linguistic programming was as such, or even if there was such a ‘thing’. However, as a person with an understanding of neurology and language, I was using language to program-in resources into other people’s neurology. This explanation not only satisfied my client but satisfied my own need to understand the basis of my work with people.
I had long loathed the technique-orientation of most therapies where most interventions were reduced to mere ritualistic acts that were performed to appease the diagnostic gods of the DSM4, performed without intuition or understanding – at school, I had to chant incantations to a deity that never dared to turn up for the show. For the many hypnotists who read from scripts in the hope of some deity to show up in order to deliver their client from their abyss of misery, I suggest a career change. Reading the ancient litanies of faith might act as a panacea for some but most of us in that assembly hall were bored rigid. From interviewing countless hypnotic subjects who have received the non-induction of script recital, the over-riding theme appears to be the same: “I sat there because I didn’t want to upset the therapist.” A god whom we pity is no god at all.
“Before teaching, before learning, before knowing, begin with something more. Teaching and learning and knowing must mean more than recapitulation. To teach, install good learning strategies. To make that worth having, do more. You can install in people something much stronger. Call it hope. Build powerful hope in people. Build it not so much from understandings. Build hope from an experience. Create this experience repeatedly.”
Richard Bandler. “Time For A Change.”
The presentation of this site presumes that the reader is in possession of recognized NLP training or at the very least, some valid NLP experience. The last thing the world needs is yet another damned “Basic Techniques” book or a techniques orientated website. We are awash with enough of this nonsense already. For those who have no NLP experience, follow some of the links embedded in the pages and on the links pages. These will point you in the right directions to better understand the jargon and concepts contained therein.
My friends will vouch for my lack of tolerance towards a lot of people who claim to form the “NLP Community” – I have met many NLP practitioners from various training schools and I have met too many NLP “Trainers” – the behaviour of some of whom leaves so much to be desired – one only needs to look through the archives of the NLP newsgroup (alt.psychology.nlp) for a few posts from some self proclaimed `trainers` to find examples of such behaviours.
A recurring theme for many of NLPeople appears to be the emphasis on just who was the trainer, rather than a demonstration of competence. As Barrett suggested in The Fortean Times:
Most Rosicrucian orders today claim a lineage back to much earlier esotericists – though in most cases, in reality, it’s no earlier than the mid-19th century magus Eliphas Levi. In another field entirely, practitioners of the personal development system Neurolinguistic Programming always say who they were trained by, and who their trainer was trained by; as with eastern gurus, who do the same thing, their lineage grants them authenticity.
David Barrett. Fortean Times FT141 December 2000.
This ethic is a double-edged sword. On the NLP trainings, I attended I met some of the best and worst NLPeople I could imagine. I have met many people waving certificates who have trained with various organizations and yet totally lack the requisite skills whilst others seemingly possess minimal training and are quite the opposite. Certification is a start. Maybe this is my own personal prejudice but when I encounter people “name-dropping” in order to impress me, I am rarely impressed.
Some guy near where I live runs a karate training class. Apparently, his trainer was the brother of some guy who lived next door to the cleaner that once washed Bruce Lee’s pants. My friend John who goes to this class regularly informs people of this all-important ‘connection’ to Bruce Lee.
Whilst I might be overstating my point, I often despair at some NLPeople I meet who lack any real clinical experience, skills or possess even the most basic anatomical knowledge. Whilst it is not necessarily imperative that every NLPerson possesses this background (after all, many people with NLP training work in business, marketing or legal fields, etc) however, I do believe that it should be a personal requirement for NLPeople working in health fields – and especially within that anathema of psychiatry.
So, that being said, it may seem somewhat paradoxical that a lot of the material presented here is drawn from the researches and observations of bio-psychiatry. Those who know me or are familiar with my work will know just how much I find psychiatric practice abhorrent. This is not to say that I find all psychiatric theory invalid but rather from my experience in psychiatry we will find no wider disparity between the theory and the actual practices of the healthcare professionals working in any given field.
So in this site, you will find various references to psychiatric treatments, various stories from neurology and other bits and pieces. The emphasis on this site is on the organic side of the brain and mind. The wise NLPerson will recognize the patterns and I hope will be better able to design their interventions for their clients.
It would prove to be a grave error to take this material as so to better play the game of “diagnostics.” The DSMers will find themselves in trouble eventually.
So, I present this site so that you may better understand the neurological systems which both underpins your communications and with which your communications interact.