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Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Research Data Base [ Grimley B, 2015. | Id:407 ]

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Grimley B: What is Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)? University of Central Nicaragua, December 17th, 2015 (Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology), 2015.

Abstract: This thesis explores the question “what is NLP?” using a grounded theory approach. The intention in developing a theory of NLP for the author was to improve his practice as a psychologist who makes use of NLP patterns in his work. NLP has many definitions of what it is and it is this multiplicity which makes research into its efficacy difficult. Building on the recommendations of Einspruch and Forman (1985) this research seeks to understand what NLP is from the NLP practitioner’s perspective, and 15 experienced NLP practitioners from around the world were interviewed using Skype and the transcripts were used to generate this theory of NLP. In order to develop a theory based upon multiple perspectives, not only were 15 experienced NLP practitioners interviewed, but a 44,000 word LinkedIn discussion on the authenticity of NLP between 19 experienced professionals with a back ground in psychology was also used as data, with permission, to assist generate this theory. In order to get to the heart of the matter in the semi structured interviews, principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis were made use of, so meanings were unlayered and deeper understandings were explicated with new themes emerging.

The limitations of this study are discussed and the responses of some of the participants to the unfolding theory are explored and discussed also. As a result of this recycling of information it is shown how the theory was both developed and consolidated.

The resulting theory emerged as a model with 8 interacting dimensions and is believed to explain the practice of NLP over 40 years. As this model is perceived as both dynamic and stable it is also believed it can act in such a way that it will predict the future orientation of NLP. This theory is housed within a set of pre-suppositions which are characterised by the acronym P.E.A.S. A precis of the 8 interacting dimensions acting as a verbal definition of

NLP is: “NLP is a human development activity which is primarily commercial, controversial, and unproven. It borrows from psychology and other disciplines in an eclectic way to provide perceived gains in a short period.”

As a piece of Action Research the author discusses how this research has improved his practice and developed him as a psychologist who makes use of NLP patterns in his professional work and personal life.


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