NLP Research & Recognition Project
By Rich Liotta, PhD
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) originally grew out of diverse fields including Ericksonian hypnosis, Gestalt psychotherapy, systems theory, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the human potential movement. It has influenced the focus on brief therapy methods since the 1980's. Many of the findings in neuroscience indirectly support what NLP would predict regarding the neurology of emotional states, representation of experience, and behavioral change. NLP is widely used, in one form or another, in fields including psychotherapy, hypnosis, education, business, and medicine. Despite these connections, the scientific evidence of NLPs effectiveness is limited. Perhaps this is because it did not originate in academia or perhaps because those who use NLP are more focused on helping people with NLP, rather than documenting its effectiveness for facilitating change, enrichment, and symptom relief. Because the research validating the efficacy of NLP as an effective treatment and change technology has not been done, many don't have access to the effective methods and skills that practitioners of NLP use. Much of what NLP accomplishes needs to be researched and better understood. The NLP Research & Recognition Project was initiated to achieve the wider recognition among therapy, education and health care professionals that is warranted.
The NLP Research and Recognition Project is dedicated to advancing the science of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The overall mission of the NLP Research and Recognition Project is to support, coordinate, and fund rigorous scientific research in the field of NLP. Only by advancing the science of NLP through research and scholarly work will NLP's potential to help more people live more fulfilling and productive lives be realized.
The research and recognition project started formally with the presentation Dr. Frank Bourke (the projects Executive Director) made at the Institute for the Advanced Studies of Health (IASH) conference in San Francisco in September of 2006. Tim Hallbom, as president of IASH helped us get started. Robert Dilts and Judy Delozier, authors of the NLP Encyclopedia and innovators in NLP, helped develop the original idea at one of their workshops. Steve and Connirae Andreas, the founders of NLP Comprehensive and originators of many NLP processes, signed on and are on the Board of Trustees. In 2007 the NLP Research and Recognition Project was incorporated as a Not-For-Profit corporation. Since initiated the project has garnered broad support among the international NLP community. It has the formal support of over 30 NLP Institutes and over 600 people have volunteered their time and skills to the project. Among the hundreds of NLP experts supporting the goals of the project are Shelle Rose Charvet has been referring supporters from around the world; Pal Tosey helped start the library and organize the first International NLP Research Conference at the University of Surrey; and Peter Schutz, founder of NLPt Austria, who also helped us design our organizational goals. The response and support from the international NLP community clearly show that it is time to bring NLP into the mainstream! Indeed the projects main resource is the trained and knowledgeable NLP supporters worldwide who have the skills and motivation to help further the goals of the project.
The NLP Research and Recognition Project and its supporters have focused their efforts in several areas. PTSD was identified as a critical area to pursue research of NLP treatment strategies from early in the evolution of the project. Clinical experience has shown that NLP interventions are very effective in alleviating symptoms of PTSD. But many veterans with PTSD do not have access to the effective methods used by NLP practitioners. Further, there is a great national need for effective treatments for PTSD. An extensive review of existing PTSD treatments was completed by the Institute of Medicine's committee on treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. They concluded that only one treatment of the many examined had enough evidence to determine efficacy in the treatment of PTSD and emphasized the need for high quality research on PTSD options. Thus, a major thrust of the NLP Research and Recognition Project has been on developing research grants and seeking funding for implementation. Helping in this effort are a team of concerned businessmen, veterans, organizations, politicians, university professors, and NLP experts. Indeed, preparing grant proposals has been a very time consuming project for the project director and many others.
Administratively, funding development has, of necessity, been a major focus. The economic scope of the project is vast, Dr. Bourke estimates that the project will have to gain a forty million dollar endowment to sustain a three hundred thousand dollar a year budget. These funds will be needed for the PTSD research, to support other studies, to network the NLP community and its' growing "related" associates (trauma neurologists, crisis interveners like Red Cross, educational reformers, etc.), and to pay a core staff to manage the volunteers and the extensive operations of the project. So far it is the dedication many volunteers that have kept the project moving forward, indeed at a rather fast pace! As interest in and support of the project grows, the more there is to be done. Another project that has been a focus has been developing an online methodology to examine some basic NLP processes, particularly the impact of sub-modality changes on emotional experience. This project is in the spirit of scientifically examining some of the fundamental NLP processes. Sub-modalities are the finer details of our experience. The goal here is to objectively measure NLP elements by taking people through a process presented online and measure how submodality changes impact emotional experiences. Wayne Perry of NLP Online has been working with members of the NLP Research and Recognition Project research team in developing this. This project has progressed and we are hoping to have some data to analyze and report in the near future.
The NLP Research and Recognition Project is an international effort. We have been in contact with others in various countries including Canada, Israel, and Europe in coordinating NLP research. Another project involves NLP disaster response teams as NLP has interventions that are very helpful in dealing with crisis both in the more immediate as well as longstanding after effects of association with trauma. The website has an NLP research library with over 1200 citations. We are working on expanding this and having more abstracts and articles available to anybody who wants to see them in order to further the dissemination of scientific information regarding work that has been done in NLP and work that has been done in related areas. Lisa Wake is developing our Wiki capacities to facilitate collaborative communication on research projects. Several research team members, including Richard Gray, Ph.D. and Richard Liotta, Ph.D. are also working on papers examining the neuroscience of NLP and the ways in which research that has been done in various areas supports the hypotheses that would be made from an NLP perspective.
Where the project is at this point has been described as "on the verge" of further breakthrough in moving forward with the goals of the project. We ask anyone interested in expressing support for the project to do so! This may be done by registering on the website or, if this is close to your heart, registering as a volunteer.
If you have questions or wish further information please feel free to contact us from the contact link on the NLP Research and Recognition Project website: www.nlprandr.org.
There are no comments for this entry.[Add Comment]