In a previous blog entry (here), I discussed the fact that I recognised that not everyone who wants to learn NLP would choose my training courses. However, I am a passionate advocate of NLP and want everyone who experiences NLP to have a positive experience and learn it effectively, therefore I wrote a guide about how to go about choosing an NLP training (here).

Since then I have noticed a worryingly large increase in companies offering NLP training who have NO recognised qualification and their course are not recognised by any of the major NLP qualifying bodies. NLP is perceived to be a bit of a “hot topic” right now, so there are a lot of people and organisations suddenly offering trainings in NLP to jump on the band wagon. A worryingly large number of these organisations have no trainer qualification and very little experience in NLP.

More and more people are coming to re-train with me as their initial training was not accredited by anyone and (not unsurprisingly) these trainings have often been substandard.

I have even seen an NLP training organisation claim that they do not accredit their courses as the syllabus guidelines are too restrictive! This is utter, utter nonsense!

The thing I don’t understand is if you are so passionate about NLP that you choose a career teaching it, why don’t you take the time and effort to become a qualified trainer? Those that don’t bother, I suggest, are just jumping on the bandwagon of the popularity of NLP and are do so purely for selfish, financial reasons.

NLP is a lightly regulated field and on the whole this is a good thing, however it does mean that as things stand, anyone can deliver a course and call it a Practitioner and anyone can set up an organisation accrediting NLP training.

If you are going to choose an NLP training, makes sure that the trainer is a qualified trainer (not just Practitioner or Master Practitioner) in one of the “big 4” NLP Qualifying bodies:

the society of nlp (snlp)

In the interest of transparency, I must state I am a licensed trainer with the SNLP. I chose them as they are the oldest and largest accreditation body (set up in 1976 by the 2 co-founders of NLP; John Grinder and Richard Bandler) and are still overseen by Dr Richard Bandler, the co-creator of the field.

the international trainers association (ita)

This is a newer accreditation body, that was set up and overseen by John Grinder, the other co-founder of the field.

the american board of nlp (abnlp)

The ABNLP seems to be getting bigger and bigger and more and more NLP trainings seem to offer this accreditation. They were set up in 1995 as “…an adjunct to the American Board of Hypnotherapy and has functioned as its sister organisation since then…”.

the international nlp trainers association (inlpta)

Set up in 1993, they offer one of the longest courses in NLP out there. Is longer better though?

All these organisation offer slightly different ways of delivering the training and have slightly different biases and styles, so it is important to find out which style seems best to you.

Please note: and this is an important distinction. The Association of NLP (ANLP) is a Members Organisation only and does not qualify Practitioners or trainings. However it does accept “trainer members” based on experience rather than qualification. Although I am a member of ANLP and on the whole agree with what they are doing, I do worry that this allows less scrupulous trainers trade on their membership and imply that they are somehow qualified to run NLP trainings. Be very careful of people claiming to qualify you through the ANLP ONLY.

Of course, membership of one these bodies does not necessarily indicate the training will be of a high quality as there are people in each field with a varying degree experience and ability, but being a trainer member of one of these organises at least demonstrates a minimum ability to teach NLP.

Make sure, when you are looking for NLP training, you choose a trainer qualified through one of these bodies, and avoid anyone who isn’t. Then, at least, these unqualified trainers will be forced out of business.

For more details get my guide here.


I may have a piece of paper that tells me I am an “NLP Trainer“, but I am still an NLP Practitioner. You may have a piece of paper that tells you that you are a “Master Practitioner” or a “Master Trainer” you may even have several pieces of paper saying you an “NLP Practitioner” and a “Timeline Therapist” or some such.

None of that matters, whilst you are interested in, using or learning NLP (and we are all still learning) you are an NLP Practitioner (don’t let that piece of paper or papers distract your ego…).

I consider an NLP Practitioner (in this context) as someone who practices NLP in the same way as a martial arts practitioner, or, to use a dictionary definition “a person actively engaged in an art, discipline or profession” (see my previous blog post here).

So, in this new (and most probably infrequent) series I am going to take some time to discuss what I am up to and how I am using, practicing or developing NLP in my day-to-day life.

Those of you that have trained with me know that I have one very strict rule about utilising NLP and that is “if you DO NOT use NLP on your self, you have NO RIGHT using it on anyone else”. Sort your self out first before you go NLPing on other people. Obviously I am not suggesting that you should be perfect before you use NLP on someone else (no one can be), but at least make the effort to get comfortable with the concepts and patterns and utilise these on yourself to create more flexible and useful behaviours.

There is no need to rush this, it is the journey, the exploration, that is the fun part here.

Incidentally, as a slight aside, when using NLP on your self, don’t trick yourself into thinking you are better than you are (it can, sadly, be quite common), wisdom comes with self-awareness. Especially be very careful if you decide to experiment with the “As If” pattern…

I have just come off the first Module of my most recent NLP Practitioner training (a great group of people – I hope they have enjoyed it as much as I have) and have noticed that I am very drained. I have allowed my energy to become too scattered, too “high up” (I could feel it my face). So I am doing some energy work and combining it with using some trance work and submodalities and synesthesia (crossing over of the senses) to gather focus and channel my energy, conserve it a little bit and not wipe myself out so much!

I have been practicing Martial Arts for 22 years and Tai Chi and Chi Kung for 15 of that. Still I only consider myself an “advanced beginner”, but using the principles and patterns of Chi Kung (especially those discussed by Master Lam Kam Chuen in his excellent book “Chi Kung: Way of Power“) and using my posture and movement as anchors; using my hands to subtly, yet powerfully guide my “energy” and focus back to my belly (the Tantien or “one point”), hopefully this will “solve the problem”, although, I only have a few days before the next module, so may not have it down pat by then…

Talking about Tai Chi and Chi Kung I am currently reading Stephen Russell’s (The Barefoot Doctor) recent book “The Man Who Drove With His Eyes Closed“, I am a big fan of the Doc and think this is his best book since “Return of the Urban Warrior” even though it is much less of a guide book and much more of a story.

At one point in the book the Doc say’s “I love changing my perspective. It’s my favourite pastime”.

I have recently noticed, in some of my communication, my perspective has become a little fixed and I am saying what “is” rather what ” it seems to be to me”, I am confusing (in NLP parlance) my “map” with my “territory” and developing some strategies to catch myself making such absurd statements of “fact” and challenge and change my perspective. I am also re-reading “Prometheus Rising” and “Quantum Psychology“.

Right, off to stand “mountain still” to practice my energy flow (whilst listening to the Church of Subgenius Hour of Slack – to remind me about humour and flexibility).