Saturday, February 26, 2011


Richard Bandler (1950- ) is an American author and trainer in the fields of alternative psychology and of self-help. He is best known as the co-inventor (with John Grinder) of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), a collection of concepts and techniques intended to understand and change human behavior-patterns[1]. He also developed other systems known as Design Human Engineering (DHE) and Neuro Hypnotic Repatterning (NHR).

John Grinder Ph.D. (1940 - ) is an American linguist, author, management consultant, trainer and speaker. A graduate of the University of San Francisco with a degree in psychology from the early 1960s he returned to college in the late 60’s, after a stint in the military, to study linguistics and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 1971. His dissertation, titled “On Deletion Phenomena in English”, was published by Mouton in 1976.

In the early 1970s, Grinder worked in George A. Miller's laboratory at Rockefeller University. After receiving his Ph.D., Grinder took a full-time position as an assistant professor in the linguistics faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). He engaged in undergraduate and graduate teaching, and research. His research focused on Noam Chomsky's theories of transformational grammar specializing in syntax and deletion phenomena. He published several research papers with Paul Postal on the syntactical structures relating to "missing antecedents" or missing parasitic gaps for the pronoun. They argued that the syntactic structure of a deleted verb phrase (VP) is complete. Postal and Grinde's doctoral adviser at UCSC, Edward Klima, [2] was involved in the early development of generative semantics.

Grinder co-authored, with Suzette Elgin, a linguistics text book titled “A Guide to Transformational Grammar: History, Theory, Practice”.

In 1972 (during Grinder's stint at UCSC) Bandler, an undergraduate student of psychology, approached him for assistance in modeling Gestalt therapy. Bandler had spent much time recording and editing recordings of Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt therapy) and had learned Gestalt therapy implicitly. John Grinder, then a professor at the University, told Bandler that he could explain almost all of the questions and comments Bandler made using transformational grammar, the topic in linguistics that Grinder specialized in.

Starting with Fritz Perls, followed by a leading figure in family therapy Virginia Satir, and later the leading figure in hypnosis in psychiatry Milton Erickson, Grinder and Bandler modeled the various cognitive behavioral patterns of these therapists. This work formed the basis of the methodology that became the foundation of neuro-linguistic programming[1]. They developed a model for therapy and called it the meta-model.[3]

They cited Noam Chomsky's transformational syntax, which was John Grinder's linguistics specialization, and ideas about human modeling from the work of Alfred Korzybski as being influential in their thinking. Of particular interest was Korzybski's critique of cause-effect rationale and his notion that "the map is not the territory" which also featured in Gregory Bateson[4]'s writing.
"Modeling" in NLP is the process of adopting the behaviors, language, strategies and beliefs of another in order to build a “model” of what they do. The “model” is then reduced to a pattern that can be taught to others.

[1] "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" denotes the belief in a connection between neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience ("programming") and can be organized to achieve specific goals in life.
Basically, it takes the way in which somebody learns something and gives it to somebody else

[2] Edward S. Klima (1931–2008) was an eminent linguist who specialized in the study of sign languages. Klima's work was heavily influenced by Noam Chomsky's then-revolutionary theory of the biological basis of linguistics, and applied that analysis to sign languages.
[3] The meta-model is a practical communications model used to specify information in a speaker's language. The meta model consists of categories of questions or heuristics which seek to challenge linguistic distortion, clarify generalization and recover deleted information which occurs in a speaker's language.
Typically, questions may be in the form of "What X, specifically?", "How specifically?", "According to whom?" and "How do you know that?".

[4] Gregory Bateson (1904 –1980) was a British anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist, semiotician and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields.

Leslie LeBeau (formerly Leslie Cameron-Bandler) is an author and the co-developer of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). She was a part of the Grinder/Bandler research group.

Judith DeLozier is a trainer and author in Neuro-linguistic programming. Her interests are in culture, anthropology and Gregory Bateson's epistemology. A member of John Grinder and Richard Bandler's original group of students, she continues to contribute extensively to the development of NLP models and processes.

Robert Dilts has been a developer, author, trainer and consultant in the field of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

7 Plus or Minus 2

George Armitage Miller (1920- ) is the author of one of the most highly cited papers in psychology, "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two" published in 1956 in Psychological Review. This paper suggests that seven (plus or minus two) is the magic number that characterizes people's memory performance on random lists of letters, words, numbers, or almost any kind of meaningful familiar item.

Miller is generally considered one of the fathers of modern cognitive psychology.

He received his PhD in 1946 from Harvard University, based on military research he did during the war on the topic of speech perception.

In 1960, Miller founded the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard with Jerome Bruner[1], a cognitive developmentalist.

He is known in the linguistics community, for overseeing the development of WordNet, a semantic network for the English language. He is also known for coining Miller's Law: In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of. Miller examined how knowledge is accumulated and organized into a practical "image" or plan.

In 1951 he published “Language and Communication” a text that helped to establish psycholinguistics as an independent field of research in psychology. He subsequently tried to extend Shannon’s measure of information to explain short-term memory, work that resulted in a widely quoted (and often misquoted) paper, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two.

Miller’s attempts to estimate the amount of information per word in conversational speech led him to Noam Chomsky[2], who showed him how the sequential predictability of speech follows from adherence to grammatical, not probabilistic, rules.




Suzette Haden Elgin (1936- ) is an American science fiction author. She founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and is considered an important figure in the field of science fiction constructed languages[1]. Elgin is also a linguist; she publishes non-fiction, of which the best-known is the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense series.

Elgin attended the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the 1960s, and began writing science fiction in order to pay tuition. She has a Ph.D. in linguistics[2], and was the first UCSD student to ever write two dissertations (on English and Navajo). She created the engineered language[3] Láadan for her Native Tongue science fiction series [The official home for the Láadan language.]

She supports feminist science fiction, saying "women need to realize that SF is the only genre of literature in which it's possible for a writer to explore the question of what this world would be like if you could get rid of [X], where [X] is filled in with any of the multitude of real world facts that constrain and oppress women. Women need to treasure and support science fiction."

[1]A planned or constructed language—known colloquially as a conlang—is a language whose phonology, grammar, and/or vocabulary have been consciously devised by an individual or group, instead of having evolved naturally. There are many possible reasons to create a constructed language: to ease human communication (see international auxiliary language and code); to give fiction or an associated constructed world an added layer of realism; for linguistic experimentation; for artistic creation; and for language games.

[2]Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields: (1)the study of language form, (2)of language meaning, and (3)of language in context.

[3]Engineered languages (sometimes abbreviated to engilangs or engelangs) are constructed languages devised to test or prove some hypotheses about how languages work or might work. There are at least three subcategories, philosophical languages (or ideal languages), logical languages (sometimes abbreviated as loglangs), and experimental languages. Engineered languages are "languages that are designed to specified objective criteria, and modeled to meet those criteria".

Noam Chomsky

Avram Noam Chomsky (1928- ), known as Noam Chomsky, is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and political activist. Chomsky is well known in the academic and scientific community as one of the fathers of modern linguistics, and a major figure of analytic philosophy.

Chomsky's work in linguistics has had profound implications for modern psychology. For Chomsky, linguistics[1] is a branch of cognitive psychology; genuine insights in linguistics imply concomitant understandings of aspects of mental processing and human nature. His theory of a universal grammar was seen by many as a direct challenge to the established behaviorist theories of the time and had major consequences for understanding how children learn language and what, exactly, the ability to use language is.

In linguistics[1], a transformational grammar or transformational-generative grammar (TGG) is a generative grammar, especially of a natural language, that has been developed in a Chomskyan tradition. Additionally, transformational grammar is the Chomskyan tradition that gives rise to specific transformational grammars. Much current research in transformational grammar is inspired by Chomsky's Minimalist Program.

In linguistics, the Minimalist Program (MP) is a mode of inquiry, characterized by the flexibility of the multiple directions that its minimalism enables. Ultimately, the MP provides a conceptual framework used to guide the development of grammatical theory. Minimalist questions,that yield answers which can be framed in any theory. Of all these questions, the one that plays the most crucial role is this: why language has the properties it has.

[1]Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields: (1)the study of language form, (2)of language meaning, and (3)of language in context.

Jerome Seymour Bruner

Jerome Seymour Bruner (1915- ) is one of the best known and influential psychologists of the twentieth century. He was one of the key figures in the so called 'cognitive revolution' - but it is the field of education that his influence has been especially felt.
1. Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn (readiness).
2. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student (spiral organization).
3. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).

A major theme in the theoretical framework of Bruner is that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on a cognitive structure to do so. Cognitive structure (i.e., schema, mental models) provides meaning and organization to experiences and allows the individual to "go beyond the information given".

"To perceive is to categorize, to conceptualize is to categorize, to learn is to form categories, to make decisions is to categorize."

He has also suggested that there are two primary modes of thought:
1. the narrative mode a. mind engages in sequential, action-oriented, detail-driven thought i. thinking takes the form of stories and "gripping drama”
2. the paradigmatic mode. a. the mind transcends particularities to achieve systematic, categorical cognition. i. thinking is structured as propositions linked by logical operators.

Bruner's ideas are based on categorization: Bruner maintains people interpret the world in terms of its similarities and differences.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Transactional Analysis

Eric Berne (1910 –1970) was a Canadian-born psychiatrist best known as the creator of transactional analysis and the author of “Games People Play”. He was born in Montreal Canada as Eric Lennard Bernstein, changing his name in 1943.
At Yale, where he studied psychoanalysis under Dr. Paul Federn[1].
After the war, Berne resumed his studies under Erik Erikson[2] at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and practiced at Mt. Zion Hospital.


Berne wrote a series of papers and articles on intuition, describing in one popular exposition his apparently uncanny ability to guess the civilian occupation of soldiers from just a few moments conversation with them. His musings on the faculty of intuition led to his groundbreaking work on transactional analysis(TA).
Berne mapped interpersonal relationships to three ego-states of the individuals involved: the Parent, Adult, and Child state.

Philosophy of TA
• People are OK; thus each person has validity, importance, equality of respect.
• Everyone (with only few exceptions) has the capacity to think.
• People decide their story and destiny, and these decisions can be changed.

While still largely ignored by the psychoanalytic community, many therapists have put his ideas in practice.

In the first half of the book, Berne introduces Transactional Analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions. He describes three roles or ego states known as the Child, the Parent, and the Adult and postulates that many negative behaviors can be traced to switching or confusion of these roles. He discusses procedures, rituals, and pastimes in social behavior, in light of this method of analysis. For example, a boss who talks to his staff as a controlling parent will often engender self-abased obedience, tantrums, or other childlike responses from his employees.

The second half of the book catalogues a series of "games" in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of "transactions" which are superficially plausible (that is, they may appear normal to bystanders or even to the people involved), but which actually conceal motivations, include private significance to the parties involved, and lead to a well-defined predictable outcome, usually counterproductive.

The book uses casual, often humorous phrases such as
"See What You Made Me Do,"
"Why Don't You - Yes But," and
"Ain't It Awful" as a way of briefly describing each game.
Often, the "winner" of a mind game is the person that returns to the Adult ego-state first.

Not all interactions or transactions are part of a game. Specifically, if both parties in a one-on-one conversation remain in an Adult ego-state, it is unlikely that a game is being played.

identity crisis

Erik Erikson (1902 –1994) was a Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis.
Erikson's greatest innovation was to postulate not five stages of development, as Sigmund Freud had done with his psychosexual stages, but eight, and then later added a ninth stage in his book "The Life Cycle Completed." Erik Erikson believed that every human being goes through a certain number of stages to reach his or her full development, theorizing eight stages, that a human being goes through from birth to death.

The Erikson life-stage virtues, in the order of the stages in which they may be acquired, are:

1. hope - Basic Trust vs. Mistrust - Infant stage. Does the child believe its caregivers to be reliable?
2. will - Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt - Toddler stage. Child needs to learn to explore the world. Bad if the parent is too smothering or completely neglectful.
3. purpose - Initiative vs. Guilt - Kindergarten - Can the child plan or do things on his own, such as dress him or herself. If "guilty" about making his or her own choices, the child will not function well. Erikson has a positive outlook on this stage, saying that most guilt is quickly compensated by a sense of accomplishment.
4. competence - Industry vs. Inferiority - Around age 6 to puberty. Child comparing self worth to others (such as in a classroom environment). Child can recognize major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior.
5. fidelity - Identity vs. Role Confusion - Teenager. Questioning of self. Who am I, how do I fit in? Where am I going in life? Erikson believes that if the parents allow the child to explore, they will conclude their own identity. However, if the parents continually push him/her to conform to their views, the teen will face identity confusion.
6. love (in intimate relationships, work and family) - Intimacy vs. Isolation - Young adult. Who do I want to be with or date, what am I going to do with my life? Will I settle down? This stage has begun to last longer as young adults choose to stay in school and not settle.
7. caring - Generativity vs. Stagnation - the Mid-life crisis. Measure accomplishments/failures. Am I satisfied or not? The need to assist the younger generation. Stagnation is the feeling of not having done anything to help the next generation.
8. wisdom - Ego Integrity vs. Despair - old age. Some handle death well. Some can be bitter, unhappy, and/or dissatisfied with what they have accomplished or failed to accomplish within their lifetime. They reflect on the past, and either conclude at satisfaction or despair.

Ego psychology

Paul Federn (1871 - 1950) was an Austrian-American psychologist who was a native of Vienna. Federn is largely remembered for his theories involving ego psychology and therapeutic treatment of psychosis.
In his works he elucidated upon the concepts of "ego states", "ego limits", "ego cathexis
[1]" and the median nature of narcissism[2].
[1] Cathexis is defined as the process of investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea
[2] Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness.

Hypnotists Soothe Today’s Stress of Flying: Key Strategies For Enjoying Air Travel Revealed

By John Miller CH

Remember when air travel was actually fun and exciting and you looked forward to the adventure? Remember when blankets and pillows were free, and having to pay extra for excessive luggage weight was unconscionable? Rising fuel costs and profit margin pressures have changed everything. The glamour is gone, replaced by stress!

Let’s face it. Airline travel isn’t what it used to be and it will never return to those days when people got dressed up in their Sunday best for travel. Those days are long gone! Airline travel is certainly no longer a new phenomenon and while many travelers still face their fears of flying, today’s airline traveler must cope with the more prevalent challenges of the increased stresses associated with air travel. Consulting hypnotists find themselves in helping the public in applying stress reduction strategies to make their adventure more palatable. The US economy, the on-going threats of terrorism, the shear number of travelers today and new security rules all contribute to greater stress for the passenger preparing to fly. This article presents some of the key strategies that enable the stressed traveler to manage and minimize their stress levels and make the flying experience pleasant for themselves and their traveling neighbors.

While hypnotists around the world have been helping travelers cope with their fear of flying, today’s jet setters face an increasingly stressful experience in the air and on the ground. One only needs to look at celebrity incidents in the air, such as the recent air skirmish between Victoria Olsteen, wife of the famous evangelist Joel Osteen and a first class flight attendant. The travelers in coach as well as the first class passenger are all on edge due top the stresses of air travel. At the 2008 National Guild of Hypnotists convention, a group of consulting hypnotists reported a rising demand for air travelers seeking assistance in managing stress associates with flying. According to Dr. Dwight Damon, President of the National Guild of Hypnotists, “we are seeing a sharp increase in demand for hypnotists who can assist today’s airline passenger manage their stress of flying. The anticipated stress of flying is causing many people to avoid flying altogether or to delay their travel plans until absolutely necessary but for the business flyer especially, travel is unavoidable.” Dr Damon cited several potential stress creators that can put a traveler over the edge. “The check-in process, going through the TSA security checkpoints, dealing with extra fees for luggage, and simply being among other stressed out travelers whose behavior impacts everyone – all contribute to a potential disaster if the traveler isn’t ready to manage his or her stress.”

Consulting hypnotists are going beyond the process of helping people prepare to address their fear of flying. By focusing on several key strategies to help the air traveler manage the stress they experience throughout all aspect of flying, from planning their trip and packing properly, to airport procedures, and during their flying experience, they are helping to make air travel the pleasant experience it once was for the traveler.

First of all, travelers should make a conscious decision to do everything they can to make the flight a positive experience. “In spite of the added measures today, he air traveler still has many aspects of their experience still within their control,” said Dr Damon. “It starts with picturing a positive experience, and with having personal strategies for dealing with the myriad issues that are bound to arise during the travel experience. How you decide to react to a situation that arises will heighten or lessen your personal stress, and the stress of those around you.”

Secondly, proper planning for the flight is crucial, with consideration of all aspects of the flight. Nobody looks forward to the new challenges of today’s airline regulations. Is sufficient time being allotted to pack, get to the airport on-time and get through security comfortably? The proper planning makes it much easier for the traveler to apply known hypnotic strategies to their journey. With a focus on the destination, and a pleasant as possible flight experience, the traveler can focus on breathing techniques, positive affirmations throughout the stress points, and in working toward the positive outcome of the flight.

Finally, it helps if travelers can identify in their minds – or on paper – specific trigger points that will help them manage their stress. Personal awareness of anxiety levels, fatigue, and impatience – with preplanned strategies for coping with these factors go a long way to reduce stress. For example, focusing on the ‘clicking of the seatbelt’ can trigger deep relaxation for the traveler so the goal becomes arriving at your seat with a smile, a sigh of relief and the anticipated relaxation. With this in mind the traveler works toward this positive picture and manages stress in order to reward him or herself with the positive outcome.

By creating the scene of a positive travel experience in your mind, you become more steadfast, in control, and the stress points along the way – from packing to boarding to being seated and through to arriving at your destination – will minimally impact your journey.

John Miller is a Consulting Hypnotist/Hypnotherpaist in K-W

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The map is not the territory.

Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski (1879 –1950) was a Polish-American philosopher and scientist. He is remembered most for developing the theory of general semantics.
General semantics is an educational discipline created by Korzybski.
Its basic assumption is that “language ‘enslaves’ us by conditioning our brains to perceive a false reality”.

Korzybski’s central goal was to attain an awareness of the map/territory distinction and of how information gets deleted/distorted in the linguistic and other representations used.

The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and a representation of that object, as in the relation between a geographical territory and a map of it. Korzybski remarked that "the map is not the territory" encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. For example, the pain from a stone falling on one's foot is not the actual stone, it's one's perception of the stone; one's opinion of a politician, favorable or unfavorable, is not that person; and so on. The pain in one's foot does not convey the internal structure of the stone, you don't know everything that is going on in the life of a politician, etc. — and thus may limit an individual's understanding and cognitive abilities unless the two are distinguished. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories—that is, confuse models of reality with reality itself—in this sense.

He thought that certain uses of the verb "to be", called the "is of identity" and the "is of predication", were faulty in structure, e.g., a statement such as, "Elizabeth is a fool" (said of a person named "Elizabeth" who has done something that we regard as foolish).

E-Prime (short for English-Prime, developed by one of his students D. David Bourland, Jr. 15 years after his death, forms a subset of the English language in which the verb to be does not appear in any of its forms. Prime therefore does not use the words "be", "is", "am", "are", "was", "were", "been" and "being" (nor archaic such as "art", "wast", or "wert"). Neither does it use their contractions: "'s", "'m", and "'re". For example, the sentence "the movie was good" would correspond to the E-Prime sentence "I liked the movie", thereby distinguishing opinion from fact).

Korzybski's work maintained that human beings are limited in what they know by (1) the structure of their nervous systems, and (2) the structure of their languages. His system included modifying the way we consider the world, e.g., with an attitude of "I don't know; let's see," to better discover or reflect its realities as revealed by modern science. One of these techniques involved becoming inwardly and outwardly quiet.

Korzybski's work influenced Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, and Neuro-linguistic programming (especially the Meta model, Korzybski's critique of cause-effect thinking, and ideas behind human modeling for performance).

"There are two ways to slide easily through life:
to believe everything or to doubt everything;
both ways save us from thinking."