Peter McNab - An Integral Approach to NLP. Part 1: Modeling Integrity
June 10, 2009 15:16
An Integral Approach to NLP. Part 1: Modeling Integrity
Peter McNab and Ken Wilber
Written by Corey W. deVos
The world is changing. We see it every day—climate change, economic collapse, humanitarian crises, geo-political meltdown, war, genocide, disease—it is hard not to be overwhelmed by the pressures and anxieties of modern living. The world has never been so heavy—and yet, as John F. Kennedy reminded us nearly fifty years ago, we should not pray for easier lives; we should instead pray to be stronger men and women.
And we already are. Even as the world is becoming more complex, it is also becoming more whole. We have opportunities for change—on both a personal and a global scale—that have never before been possible. We are being called to greatness, compelled by the very same invisible forces that pull mind out of life, life out of matter, and light out of darkness.
Habitual creatures that we are, we struggle to escape our somnolent routines. We lie awake at night, staring into the black, mulling over the opportunities for change that tomorrow will bring, promising to ourselves that, no matter what happens, tomorrow will be different. But how often do we awaken to the very same patterns of comfort and avoidance we vowed to break the night before? How often do we spend the following night the exact same way: lamenting our failures, cursing our addictions, and wondering why it is so hard to live up to our own potentials?
You see, change is a murky affair. It is dark, mysterious, sticky—and more often than not, quite painful. Especially when we feel like we are left to our own devises, thrashing helplessly in the dark waters of human potential.
But we are not alone—and we are anything but helpless.
We can rebuild humanity. We have the knowledge, the wisdom, and the technology to build the world's first truly integral society—which begins, of course, with ourselves. Not only do we have a map by which to navigate the dense complexity of 21st-century living, we also have the methodological vehicles to support and deepen our growth. And one without the other simply will not do—if we have a vehicle without a map, we might very well drive off a cliff. If we have a map without a vehicle, we will never even leave our front door. But when taken together, we begin to discern a road that brings us beyond ourselves, winding through the modern wilderness of our hearts, leading directly to a better, stronger, and infinitely more-fulfilled you.
Neurolinguistic Programming (or NLP for short) is one such vehicle of transformation, and when paired with the Integral map, becomes a highly effective means of personal growth, self-discovery, and behavior modification. Peter McNab stands at the intersection of NLP and Integral thought, and his work represents a powerful synthesis of map, territory, and vehicle that can help us all find our way to a greater tomorrow.
- Content-Free: Ken discusses the "content-free" nature of the Integral model, meaning that in order to have a comprehensive view of the world, certain dimensions of reality must be accounted for (e.g. perspectives, stages of human development, multiple intelligences, states of consciousness, typologies, etc.)—but the AQAL model does not insist upon specific measurements and methodologies to make sense of these dimensions, and is open to pretty much any legitimate means of uncovering data about the world. In its purest form, the Integral model shows us what kinds of data to keep track of, without telling us the specific nature of that data.
- Four Legs: The NLP program outlines four legs of skills that are essential for any meaningful transformation to take place: finding out what we really want out of the process, developing enough sensory awareness to know what is happening at any given moment, cultivating the flexibility to recognize when change is possible, and deciding what steps are required to bring new actions into effect.
- The TEA Model: Peter discusses another component of NLP, known as the "TEA Model." TEA (an acronym for thoughts, emotions, and actions) has been a part of the NLP methodology for some time, though Peter has begun to reinterpret it along integral lines, which he and Ken explore here.
- The Integral Conversation: Defined as "a conversation based upon having a full integral understanding of both parties in a dialogue," Peter and Ken talk about how understanding the fundamental elements that constitute a human being can dramatically transform our relationships and our interactions with the world.
- The Target Model: Peter talks about the six stages of interaction within the NLP process: a) get a sense of our emotional states, b) develop repoire, c) gather information, d) set outcomes, e) take action, and f) properly contextualize ourselves into our own ecologies of consequence.
- 4-Mat: Finally, Peter and Ken discuss the 4-Mat Model in NLP, which attempts to address the needs and concerns of four simple transformative questions: Why? (engaging emotions); What? (engaging thoughts); How? (engaging actions); and So What? (engaging an integration of all three).
by Ken Wilber
In a world gone post-modern, bereft of meaning and value, cut loose on a sea of irony and indifference, we need practical tools and techniques to speed up change. We need to communicate the urgency with which we must adapt and change. In light of this, at one of the inaugural meetings of Integral Institute in 2000 that my friend Peter McNab attended, I said that the world needs more books that introduce the Integral Model to a wider audience. Peter's first book is a response to that challenge.
The book's aim is to introduce a whole new audience to the Integral World. He invites us to join in his process by sharing his own thirty-year journey towards the Integral. Peter was one of the first people to point out that Clare Graves' work was an instance within my own AQAL or Integral Model, and has ben teaching this material along with NLP for the past eight years, and this gives his book not only great depth but also a wealth of experience to draw from. This makes the book a powerful and compelling approach to individual transformation and community enrichment.
Energetic, engaged, and practical, this is a very personal book that also includes many exercises to help readers to apply the Integral Model in their own lives. He shows us how to use my own Integral Model and Clare Graves' work as tools of diagnosis and understanding and then how NLP techniques and methods can be used to work toward the necessary transformations that are revealed.
This is probably the first integrally-informed NLP book to be published and, as such, it deserves a very wide readership indeed.
Purchase Towards an Integral Vision here.
What is NLP?
(excerpted from Wikipedia)
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them" and "a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour" The co-founders, Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder, claimed it would be instrumental in "finding ways to help people have better, fuller and richer lives". They coined the title to denote a supposed theoretical connection between neurological processes ('neuro'), language ('linguistic') and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience ('programming') and that can be organised to achieve specific goals in life.
NLP was originally promoted by its founders, Bandler and Grinder, in the 1970s as an extraordinarily effective and rapid form of psychological therapy, capable of addressing the full range of problems which psychologists are likely to encounter, such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, learning disorders. It also espoused the potential for self-determination through overcoming learned limitations and emphasized well-being and healthy functioning. Later, it was promoted as a 'science of excellence', derived from the study or 'modeling' of how successful or outstanding people in different fields obtain their results. It was claimed that these skills can be learned by anyone to improve their effectiveness both personally and professionally.