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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Neuro-Linguistic Programming

The User's Manual for the Brain: The Complete Manual For Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner Certification by Bob G. Bodenhamer, L. Michael Hall

Available for the very first time in bound-book format, this is the most comprehensive manual to date covering the NLP Practitioner course. A fully revised and updated edition, it contains the very latest developments in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, particularly with regard to the Meta-states model and the Meta-model of language. For all those embarking on Practitioner training or wishing to study to Practitioner level at home, this book is your essential companion. Written and designed by two of the most important theorists in NLP today, The User's Manual for the Brain covers every aspect of the Practitioner programme, including the very latest insights. TThe User's Manual for the Brain: fully explains the NLP model and techniques; systematically examines the NLP Language Model and the NLP Neurology Model; and provides an introduction to Advanced NLP. Thoroughly structured and expertly organised, The User's Manual for the Brain is written in an inviting manner, punctuated by key points, and packed with useful illustrations and diagrams that make NLP as accessible as possible. Providing a wealth of exercises and techniques, this guide simply presents the reader with an excellent opportunity to get the most out of NLP.

Bob G. Bodenhamer DMin is a highly regarded trainer and innovative theorist in the field of NLP. As a teacher at Gaston College, North Carolina, he provides certified NLP training for Practitioners and Master Practitioners, and is also a therapy consultant. Bob now serves as the pastor of a mission church, and also runs his own private therapy practice. He has co-authored six books with L. Michael Hall PhD. L. Michael Hall PhD has authored many groundbreaking works on neuro-linguistics, communication, emotions and motivation. One of the foremost authors on the NLP scene, he is dedicated to taking its techniques into new and exciting realms of therapy and personal development. Michael currently works as a psychotherapist and trainer in Grand Junction, Colorado.


Experiment #1 from the Introduction:
Recall some pleasant experience from your past. Various things will pop into your mind, whatever pops up in your mind, allow yourself to go with that memory for now. If you don't seem to find such a memory, then allow yourself to simply imagine a pleasant experience. For some people, closing the eyes helps in this process. Once you have this pleasant experience, permit it to remain in your awareness.

Now that you have this pleasant thought in mind just notice its visual aspects. As you recall the experience, what specifically do you see? Notice the picture of the memory. If you do not visualize well, then imagine what the pleasant experience feels like. Or, allow yourself to just listen to some pleasant sounds words or music enjoy that kind of an internal pleasant experience.

Now that you have the picture of the memory, make the picture larger. Let it double in size... and then let that picture double... Notice what happens. When you make the picture bigger, what happens? Do the feelings intensify?

Now shrink the picture. Make it smaller and smaller. Allow it to become so small you can hardly see it... Stay with that a moment... Does the intensity of the feelings decrease? Experiment now with making the picture bigger and then smaller. When you make it smaller, do your feelings decrease? And when you make it larger, do your feelings increase? If so, then running the pictures (sounds, feelings) in your awareness in this way functions as it does for most people. However, you may have a different experience. Did you? No big deal. We all code our experiences in our minds uniquely and individually. Now, put your picture of that pleasant experience back in a format where you find it most comfortable and acceptable. Maintaining the same picture now, move the picture closer to you. Just imagine that the picture begins to move closer and closer to you, and notice that it will. What happens to your feelings as it does? ... Move the picture farther away. What happens when you move the picture farther away? Do your feelings intensify when you move the picture closer? Do your feelings decrease when you move the picture farther away? Most people find this true for the way their consciousness/neurology works. When you moved the picture farther away, the feeling probably decreased. Notice that as you change the mental representation in your mind of the experience, your feelings change. This, by the way, describes how we can "distance" ourselves from experiences, does it not?

Suppose you experiment with the color of the picture? As you look at your pictures, do you see them in color or black-and-white? If your pictures have color, make them black-and-white, and vice versa if you have them coded as black-and-white When you change the color, do your feelings change?

Consider the focus of your images: in focus or out of focus? Do you see an image of yourself in the picture or do you experience the scene as if looking out of your own eyes? What about the quality of your image: in three dimensional (3D) form or flat (2D)? Does it have a frame around it or do you experience it as panoramic? Experiment by changing how you represent the experience. Change the location of the picture. If you have it coded as on your right, then move it to your left.
Debriefing The Experience
Did it ever occur to you that you could change your feelings by changing how you internally represent an experience? The strength of NLP lies in these very kinds of processes of the mind. NLP works primarily with mental processes rather than with content. Here you have changed how you feel about an experience by changing the quality and structure of your images, not their content. Thus, you made the changes at the mental process level while leaving the content the same.

The Life Coaching Handbook by Curly Martin (Crown House Publishing) If you are considering life coaching as a career, then meet your winning coach. This is a complete guide to creating and sustaining your practice, a comprehensive resource for coaching yourself towards a more fulfilled life, and a reference and companion that will continue to serve you through your professional life. Promoting a thorough understanding of what life coaching entails, this book leads you through a powerful course of applied Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques and exercises that will revolutionize your coaching abilities. These include State Control, Rapport-building, Metaphor, Meta-programs, and Meta-languages. The Life Coaching Handbook also introduces the Spiral Coaching model, an exciting new coaching tool that identifies and utilizes people’s thinking patterns. An invaluable guide for professional life coaches, NLP practitioners, human resources and training professionals and counselors, this book is the essential read for the prospective life coach. As you read this handbook you will begin to think, feel and act like a coach. From there, it is one small step to being a brilliant, professional life coach.

The Life Coaching Handbook is divided into two sections. The first takes us through the process of becoming a Professional Life Coach and defines what coaching is, the role and skills of a Life Coach and how to set up a practice. The second section explores more advanced coaching skills.
From the outset, Curly's enthusiasm, commitment and personal success are obvious. "Life Coaching is simple", she says and this positive statement inspires us to read on to discover how we too can be successful. Curly is a person who "walks the talk".
The early chapters of the book describe how Life Coaching is a holistic process, bringing harmony and balance to a person's life. The Life Coach is someone who helps take a person from where they are to where they want to be by focusing on goals and results. It is enabling and empowering and helping a client to achieve results allows coaches to become aware of the need for balance in their own lives.
Curly explains that coaching is not counseling or therapy. Life Coaching concentrates on the present and the future, not the past. It is about goal setting and achievement, not about interventions. Negative self-talk and self-image can be changed into positive self-talk and action with the help of a coach. Beliefs can be changed and obstacles removed, leading to a more satisfying and positive way of life.
She gives a fascinating insight into human behavior, which enables us to understand our interactions, relationships and communication styles. A coach who understands their own behavior is more likely to be able to understand that of others. In understanding a client's beliefs and mindset, a coach can communicate effectively and build rapport.
Good communication is essential to successful coaching. Curly's communication style is excellent. She writes in clear, simple language; no jargon or "psycho-babble". Where technical terms are used, she gives an immediate explanation and examples. She speaks of the need to study and use language effectively. Techniques such as good open questioning and listening are paramount to success. We learn how individuals interpret information according to their preferred representational system i.e. auditory, kinaesthetic or visual and how it is necessary to listen for this in conversation and match our language to that of the client. Curly is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and gives us an opportunity to dip our toes in the water and discover the background and concepts of this technique.
Section two of the book deals in some depth with the complexities of language. Reframing, Metaphors, the Milton Model and Meta-language patterns are all offered as more advanced coaching skills. They all involve an understanding of how language works in the way in which we receive and respond to information. Whilst these concepts are quite intricate, Curly explains them in simple terms, using examples and dialogues.
The chapters on Spiral Coaching are particularly absorbing. The concept of the evolution of an individual's mind, their beliefs and values being likened to a spiral staircase is startling. Each "landing" on the staircase is color-coded relating to an individual's particular thinking patterns. I think I must be evolving between "landings" at the moment - somewhere between green and yellow.
The Life Coaching Handbook is full of analogies, anecdotes, real-life cases, metaphors and practical advice, all of which serve to encourage and involve the reader. Each chapter starts with a Synopsis and ends with a Summary. It is easy to dip into the book and find a particular topic or reference.
Particularly valuable are the chapters on how to set up and manage a Life Coaching practice. Curly gives a lot of advice on how to advertise and market the enterprise. It is important to use the term "practice" to indicate a profession rather than a trade. We can benefit from her knowledge and experience of networking and growing the practice by adopting strategies such as issuing press releases and getting ourselves invited to speak to business clubs. Offering a Code of Conduct underscores the professionalism of a Life Coaching practice and Curly generously invites us to use hers in contracting with a client.
The Life Coaching Handbook offers a comprehensive and indispensable guide to anyone considering becoming a Life Coach or wanting to enhance their existing skills in this role. Its easy-to-read style makes the techniques available to readers from all walks of life and occupations. As a training consultant, I am heartened by the fact that I seem to be using many of the concepts in my work already, but I am also aware that there are areas that can improve upon. The Life Coaching Handbook will be my constant companion and Curly will be my inspiration and my guide

Adventures in Human Understanding  by John G. Watkins (Crown House Publishing) In therapeutic in Human Understanding the story is revealed as a Il therapeutic tool‑the medium by which lessons may be learned and persist in the memory; and the medium that provides metaphors for life, gleaning meaning from our experiences. Leading clinical psychologist John G. Watkins, Ph.D. has embodied his extensive knowledge of the mind in the "adventures in human understanding" gathered in this book. Arranged into four sections that address the four stages of life, each story is followed by a psychological analysis, ensuring that Adventures in Human Understanding  will be an effective instrument for facilitating therapy, as well as an enjoyable source of stories for everyone.

A small telescope once brought visions of celestial worlds to a young boy ... and the desire for "wisdom" impelled this boy's later move to academic halls. However, he soon discovered that universities teach only knowledge, not wisdom. As a young man of serious mind, like a true Dao‑Tsai, he searched for "The Way"‑what man's striving is all about. He traversed "The Way" for many years and discovered that all life is a promise, a challenge, an exciting exploration, and that one must become a complete individual on one's own in order to experience true oneness with a universal ocean of life energy. This man is John G. Watkins.

 John Watkins had become a mentor, guru, father, artist, teacher, friend, trainer and colleague for many, and particularly for me. Many have been inspired by John Watkins's therapeutic self, his resonance and humanity in helping people to recognize the multiplicity of their inner resources and to actualize their potential. One realizes while reading this book that the author had a much greater purpose in mind than adding just another book to his impressive list of academic and scientific contributions.

Adventures in Human Understanding is a book written in the spirit of humanism. It is a book about life, about being human, and it cultivates not only a reawakening of what we are‑our self, but also an understanding of fundamental human values such as faith, trust, hope and above all, the interdependence of humans on each other. It is written in a time when love seems to be fading and hatred and despair rising, when human values are forgotten and only differences remain. The stories told in this book rekindle a sense of values and a respect for the dignity of humankind. In a way this book is a contribution to Wirklichkeitsanalyse as it explores and analyses the psychosocial factors involved in human existence. The author describes life as a golden journey, a discovery of self‑energy, resources and potentialities implicit to each being human.

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