Richard Bandler

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Dr. Richard Bandler (born February 24, 1950) is the co-inventor (with John Grinder) of Neuro-linguistic programming. In the early 1970s Bandler was student at U.C. Santa Cruz, and discovered that he could achieve the same results as gestalt therapists by mimicking what they did. He began working with John Grinder who was a linguistics professor at the school, to analyse the linguistic reasons for his ability. Together, they became aware of patterns in language used by therapists. They observed and then produced models of language based on Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, and later Milton Erickson. Their findings were put into the book, The Structure of Magic Volume 1. Less widely known, but equally influential in Bandler's approach, are his modelling of Frank Farrelly, author of 'Provocative Therapy', and bodyworker Moshe Feldenkrais.

Bandler and Grinder began giving lectures together. They believed that by producing models based on effective therapists and breaking them down into parts they would be able to teach these techniques to other psychologists. They produced several more academic style books and several books for the masses based on transcripts of their lectures. Those books sold very well, but due to legal problems between Bandler and Grinder many later went out of print.

In the 1980s Bandler, Grinder and their group of associates encountered difficulties and stopped working together. Many members of their group went out on their own and took NLP in their own directions. The NLP community grew spectacularly during this period; but not necessarily in terms of quality. Many new questionable NLP schools and companies opened up and greatly altered the field.

Bandler has continued to lecture and write books on NLP. His lectures are often filled with humorous stories and provocative language. Many practitioners of NLP claim he does this because he is using NLP techniques known as anchoring, nested loops and other techniques to use the reactions of the audience as an aid to teaching. Certainly, he is acknowledged as being remarkably effective at working with a wide range of problems, which has been well demonstrated over the course of his career. Filmed examples of his work with clients demonstrate a highly effective multi-layered approach: the DVD set 'The Bandler Effect' shows him working with a variety of issues with follow-ups to determine the effectiveness of his intervention.

Bandler has been extremely prolific over recent years, and has created many new techniques. In his recent books, videos, and trainings he doesn't teach many of the original NLP techniques. Bandler believes that many of the newer techniques are more direct and more effective. He has come up with trademarked names for several of his newer approaches such as Design Human Engineering or DHE and Neuro Hypnotic Repatterning. He currently teaches classes with co-trainer John Lavalle and with hypnotist Paul McKenna and Michael Breen. Critics acknowledge that many of his DHE techniques are new, but argue that they are not theoretically different from the original ideas of NLP.

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