29:  What is the FoNLP?


In their book Whispering in the Wind, Grinder and Bostik St. Clair point out that the labels "NLP" and "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" actually apply to a single modelling process - originally identified and refined by Richard Bandler and Frank Pucelik - and nothing else.
Virtually all of the authentic NLP-related concepts and techniques have been arrived at using the NLP modelling technique.

Nevertheless, plain "NLP", or "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" (with hyphen, correct), or "Neurolinguistic Programming" (no hyphen, incorrect) are frequently used to refer to NLP (the modelling technique), and/or the various related techniques and applications, and/or training in NLP and/or NLP-related techniques, though few if any of these other techniques are ever identified by the people who use "NLP" as a catch-all term.

This may not seem of much consequence, but if the kind of search criteria that get people to my website, or the kind of nonsense written about "NLP" (referring to whatever a particular author thinks is "NLP") by critics, then the lack of distinction is pretty fundamental.

For example, Dr Christopher Sharpley (as he was then) and the many researchers whose work he "reviewed" in his articles of 1984 and 1987, sdeemed to share a belief that "NLP" was made up of the predicate matching technique, the eye accessing cues and preferred representational systems (PRSs).  Full stop.  Sadly, numerous academic authors, apparently more inclined to "borrow" from previous articles rather than read the core material for themselves.  This process has inevitably perpetuated the errors in the early articles, along with a few new ones that have popped up along the way.  A "text book" example of this behaviour occurred earlier this year in Tomasz Witkowski's article, which consists almost entirely of recycled misinformation - along with a couple of added misinterpretations of Mr Witkowski's own making - see The Philosophy that Never Was.
If the NLP community in the 1970s had had any idea that they were creating what would become a world-wide phenomenon, and had created a collective term for what they were doing, that misunderstanding might not have become so widespread, but they didn't and it did.

Grinder and Bostik St. Clair, in Whispering, suggested the use of terms like NLPapplication and NLPtraining to emphasise the fact that what people often refer to as simply "NLP" is actually made up of several different elements.  And this does indeed make the point.
However it is very difficult to talk in "superscript", so to make a similar point, albeit with less precision, I'm suggesting the use of the term FoNLP, or field of NLP, especially since the term has already been used, from time to time, on various NLP-related chat groups over the last few years.

FoNLP (Field of NLP)
A coverall term for:
  1. The NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) non-analytical modelling technique, plus
  2. The various authentic NLP-related concepts and techniques*, plus
  3. Training in any element(s) of the FoNLP, including trainer training.

*   For the meaning of "authentic" in in this context please see