Models of Reality: the Underlying Themes of Modern Applied Psychology
Six principal schools of Modern Applied Psychology share a common ground.
These schools and their creators, or key figures are:
- Hypnotherapy – Milton H. Erickson (1902 – 1980).
- Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) – Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
- Psychobiology – Ernest Lawrence Rossi.
- Time Line Therapy – Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall.
- Logical levels - Robert Dilts
- Family Therapy – Virginia Satir (1916 – 1988).
NLP itself is comprised of Milton Erickson's hypnotic language patterns, Vaginia Satire's family therapy and a little of the gestalt therapy of Fritz Perls; the work of Dilts, Wayatt and Woodsmall were later absorbed into the canon of NLP.
In general, NLP practitioners, while heavily utilising the work of Milton Erickson hold the view that Hypnosis is somehow different from NLP, and Hypnotherapists sometimes speak of 'doing' a bit of NLP in their training; again, talking as if these two disciplines are distinctly different and only tacitly related. The brilliant, in my opinion, Psychobiology work of Rossi is largely ignored by the NLP community and the role of Dilts goes largely unacknowledged by the ordinary NLP practitioner.
In essence, all of the above are different ways of approaching one single objective; to be able to apply language in a relationship with a human being in order to initiate and bring into being a desired change; whether it is a matter of resolving an issue, learning something new, creating new behaviours or elevating a great skill into excellence.
Even an Olympian has a coach and these skills may be used to powerfully coach the mind.
NLP was created in the early 1970's when Richard Bandler and John Grinder noted homogenous patterns in the therapeutic styles; the underlying approach, language and manners of verbal and non-verbal expression between Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson.
Essentially, Satir and Erickson both used their individual expression of language in such a way that when a client was present with them in a room, the client's problems and issues would become enduringly resolved. Both Erickson and Satir's methodology was to engage the client on a deep level of consciousness that would enable the client's representation of the world to change. Neuroplasticity allows new pathways of thought to bring into being a change in the client's model of the world, which induces a change in their relationship with the world itself. Consequently, new behaviours are bought into being; past issues resolved and old paradigms may now placed to one side in favour of new pathways.
Bandler and Grinder enthusiastically set about analysing and modelling both the specific internal processes, and the external, observable language of Satir and Erickson and others, such as Fritz Perls. The amalgamation of these disciplines formed a new two-fold linguistic model, along with a working methodology, which came to be known as NLP.
Rossi worked alongside Milton Erickson in his later years, researching and writing with him. During the 1980's, Rossi further refined his theories on Psychobiology and presented his findings in 1986.
In the book, Time Line Therapy, James and Woodsmall draw on the work from the Bandler, Grinder and Erikson to create a sophisticated therapeutic model comprised of exploring both the relationship with time and deep structure constructs of the client's model.
Robert Dilts has made a great contribution to the body of NLP, with pioneering work on identifying different levels of logic in which dynamics of thought may be processed. These logical levels reveal themselves through expressions in communication, which enable the practitioner distinguish and identify the most appropriate methods and techniques with which to enable the client to achieve their goal.
Modern Applied Psychology is a synthesis of each of these models and schools of thought. When their names are placed to one side and their techniques, orientation and methodology are considered, the practitioner is presented with a framework of how to apply language in order to bring a desired change into being. This integrated approach, comprising the models and works outlined above, is unique to the new Pathways training of David Charles Rowan. Developed from the work of Michael Harrison in 1994, MAP continues to adapt and evolve as new insights are discovered, including those from the emerging field of affective neuroscience.
To use language to explore the landscape of another's world; to both inform and influence is nothing new. However, applying language to the task in a particular and focussed way opens a whole new world of possibilities for both practitioner and client alike. Expereincing modern applied psycology as either a client , a student, or for some who wish to explore these deeper waters; both, will provide you with the essential skills with which you may open doors in your life and enjoy new pathways.
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