NLP & Ethics, Chat Transcript

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NLP & Ethics

IRC Chat Log, March 2, 1998

NLP and Ethics
JonathanOK Folks welcome to this chat on NLP and Ethics... I wanted to get some of this topic out into the open and explore it from all sides of the NLP technology and how its used, and how it isn't, and what the implications are for people USING it and for people on whom or with whom it is used. And in addition to all that, what are the responsibilities of those using NLP! For starters. Richard Bandler is presently pending trademark approval on the term NLP. Which has a number of major implications across the country, not only with regard to ongoing legal issues (which are beyond the scope of my discussion here tonight), but also with regard to how states regulate NLP™ practitioners! Again, the legal issues are going to be settled in one way or another outside of anything we could say here on the matter. However, lets think about this from a different perspective: Right now, some states see NLP as a replacement for therapy (which it isn't) and are concerned about the regulation of NLP. Mind you, its often the case that those who would regulate its practice are those who have no idea how to evaluate practitioners, other than to blanket carousel NLP practitioners under a hypnosis umbrella, and would demand that these same practitioners be licensed mental health practitioners in order to legally do NLP with people.
RaggyIt is very difficult to say where therapy ends, and where personal development starts.
JonathanYes it is, and countries and states differ as to where that line is drawn. There are pros and cons to regulation. There are pros and cons to how NLP is viewed.
RaggySystems theory?
JonathanNow, some people would take the stand that it all boils down to state/country control of professions, etc... I tend to think it all boils down to caveat emptor of people's personal freedoms to choose who they see for what purpose. And how once they choose someone to see, for whatever purpose, or, given ANY application of NLP, what the responsibilities are for people using it... ...And how once they choose someone to see, for whatever purpose, its up to the people directly involved to know what's going on at some level. Make sense? So now that I've thrown a LOT of ideas into the mix, I want to do something VERY different... and invite OPEN chat about these issues. Client Ethics become important here too -- in terms of being up front with the person they choose to see, about the value of a prac's time and assistance. Then also you have the issue of measurement of the change... which is SO subjective sometimes it can be arguable! But then months later sometimes its much clearer. So... based on all of the above, lets get started. Opinions?
Virgin2One frequently repeated "ecology" notion is that you always try to give people more choices.
JonathanSure, that's true. Rather than taking anything away, its more about giving much more positive and empowering choices.
peloneIf NLP becomes a regulated profession, then how will that the non-licensed NLP™ trainers and practitioners. Will certain ones be given immunity because of their longevity in the field?
Virgin2Presumably, one can keep/continue doing things the old way?
bro_pIs there a way of taking a before and after?
Dan_26I agree with your points, the primary concern related to ethics appears to be related to the ethics of the practitioner.
JonathanGood question, Pelone.
peloneLongevity is the missing word.
JonathanNLP IS a regulated profession in the US in some states. Like the state I'm in. ;) Florida.
Dan_26Is it lumped under hypnosis there, Jonathan?
JonathanYes, Dan, NLP falls under the hypnosis rule here. So I don't do NLP private personal change work. I do NLP™ Training's, public and private. Explicitly, I do education. I don't do hypnosis.
bro_pIs it going to be like tenure with college professors?
Dan_26Wow, someone in state congress actually felt it was worthy of being invaded by law :)
Virgin2Given that the area of ethics can be so broad (no pun) can we focus on a particular issue?
Belaflekin a sense...they are regulating how you communicate
JonathanWell, I honestly hope not. Tenure with college profs can be a good thing and it can be abused. Often Tenure leads to inactivity and complacency -- but just as often it leads to more interesting careers.
Virgin2Many forms of regulation of communication exist.
JonathanThat's what I'm looking to see, Virgin2. I'm hoping this free-for-all in the beginning will provide us with an area of group interest to explore if you have a particular suggestion, lets throw it out for all to "vote on" as it were...
Dan_26Any regulation placed upon NLP practice would certain reflect regulations that exist in other similar areas (ie, hypnosis)
peloneIf the government is so concerned with defining regulatory measures with regards to NLP, then it only validates the existence of the profession and the visionary aspects of Richard Bandler and John Grindler.
JonathanPossibly Dan. If the trademark were to go through (not stating my opinion or preference here), that could potentially invalidate the state's present categorization of NLP™. Florida, anyway.
Dan_26I would anticipate that if that is the case, then they would just do what has already been done, and have those who "certify" or designate hypnotists to do the same for NLP
JonathanA trademarked technology cannot be grouped and regulated in the same way as an industry.
BelaflekI dunno, I sense the first amendment getting a little torn..not a lot but just a touch
JonathanI'm in agreement Bela.
BelaflekFreedom of speech and all
Dan_26Once politics comes into the formula, that is all but inevitable
JonathanBut I will stay within the law as it reads in Florida, and in the US. That's not my focus. My focus is on Ethics in any area of NLP and I'm interested in an open discussion of these issues! Yes, I'd agree, Dan. So what about ethics of the client/student?
Dan_26This is a broader aspect than i anticipated, but it is worthy of consideration
JonathanTo take responsibility for finding clarity of measurement?
peloneSeems to me that the regulation of NLP is unethical as it (in my mind) violates freedom of speech.
JonathanDepends on the mindset pelone.
BelaflekThe ethics of....hmmmmmm
bro_pAs far as clarity of measurement... often times the client is unaware that a change has occurred
BelaflekIsn't the client/student under the NLPer's care?
JonathanIf you believe its a process like hypnosis, rather than a technology and a concrete set of skills/tools* to be taught and learned, then, regulation may seem appropriate to a government perspective.
Dan_26But at this level, it's not just speech; it's profound influence on other people.
JonathanI choose the latter view when I do my training's. But I'll go with the state's view with respect to private change-work because I live here. Sure, Dan, that's true. Now. Lets say I know nothing of NLP, but I walk in somewhere quiet and walk up to the nearest demure person and yell at the top of my lungs awful things. (how awful of me!). Am I having a profound impact on that person's mood? Sure, probably. But its probably not illegal (disturbing the peace perhaps!). But it's probably not a breach of licensed activity.
Virgin2Depends on precise language.
JonathanThat's right, it does depend on the language. And guess who's supposed to be clearer about language than others. ;) Its a circle alright.
BelaflekIf you yell fire in a crowded theatre however.....
JonathanYes yes, Oliver Wendell Holmes... All too true and that is one flip side to the discussion.
Dan_26But if you had sufficient training, one could argue that you had full awareness before hand of the response and were therefore liable for the person's response (playing devil's advocate here)
JonathanYes Dan.
Virgin2NLP really offers a new paradigm for communication.
JonathanI agree bro_p. Supposed to. But doesn't have to. How do we protect ourselves?
Dan_26Similar methods are used by advertisers and movie makers all the time, how are they regulated in this aspect?
JonathanIs there a way to measure competence and goodness?
Dan_26Competence, perhaps; goodness, hmmmmm...
BelaflekWhether you believe in social relativism, or not, too.
JonathanSome states feel that competence is measured by the # of acronyms after someone's name! Theoretically, though, quality could be maintained by upping the standards through the roof, which would have interesting implications for people wanting to acquire training in NLP. The certifications would be increasingly difficult to attain & take longer to get.
Dan_26And much more work to maintain and continue to be active/updated
JonathanI would have no problem with people having to "do more" to acquire their NLP certifications, assuming that Bandler & others wanted that as well (he's the one who presently licenses everyone through the Society, including me).
BelaflekI thought people learn best when they learn quickly
JonathanYes, Bela... I'm not saying people would learn SLOWLY -- lol -- but I'm glad you raised the point. What I'm talking about is having to learn MORE ;)
Dan_26More than...
Jonathan...more than is presently required -- i.e., perhaps learning the responsible uses of the technology, behaviorally, and then showing proof of that knowledge behaviorally. It's not a half-bad idea, but I should state my obligations here (legally & agreeably) -- I support the 1st Institute.
Dan_26Narrowing the range of options an individual has to what another individual labels as "responsible" and then acting accordingly?
JonathanThere was a discussion on alt.hypnosis recently on ABREACTIONS which was quite interesting. People talking about dealing with abreactions all the time, and how the catharsis that follows is quite elegant. Please. Go for what's PLEASURABLE and what works NOW, either if you do hypnosis or if you teach others particular NLP skills.
Dan_26Hmmm. . . not really comfortable with a lot of this discussion currently, we're throwing nominalizations all over the place and then implying never's
JonathanOK Dan, how would you like to see this happen differently?
Dan_26Perhaps we are simply chunking too big, or over-generalizing
JonathanWithout naming names -- we can chunk lower.
Dan_26People get in my head everyday, but I only use what I perceive as useful.
JonathanI believe the unconscious mind doesn't take suggestions that are in total disagreement with its basic value system, but that its EASY for someone to morph your values into a confused disarray and that's a disturbing thought.
Dan_26So, back to ethics...
mIRCHmmm, I don't know where I'm at here, but as for the chunking sizes, Isn't there something called "common sense"?
JonathanSure mIRC.
Dan_26Yes mIRC, but it's often overlooked when it comes to regulation.
BelaflekHow are you to know their personal ethics as to the usage of NLP
JonathanEvery certification training should be just that! A training, with opportunity for certification.
peloneIs it ethical to certify a felon who can pose a threat to someone who is under their care and their influence?
mIRChmmm... Is it ethical to let someone perform a surgical operation without them being knowledgable enough about the surgery?
JonathanGranted. The quality of the trainer makes an enormous amount of difference in terms of how people really get the skills... but sometimes even with best efforts, not everyone shows that level of competence... how is that handled best?
Virgin2I'm still wondering about that one....
Dan_26Does it reflect on the individual or the trainer? Or both?
Jonathan(I have my own answers to these questions, but my answers are not the group answers, so I'm inviting discussion ;)
BelaflekWhat about freewill...could people use NLP to hurt or damage freewill?
Virgin2Generally, the more important the training is, the more society regulates it.
galamudAwwwww, okay. I just wanted to know if any of you watched Ally McBeal, and if you noticed the NLP-ish techniques they use.
BelaflekThat's pretty heavy
JonathanAbsolutely that's possible. One well known pattern for accomplishing that -- is called the double-bind.
mIRCGalamud.. didn't watch it... :)
JonathanTrue Virgin2. And yes, galamud, Ally McBeal is *filled* with NLP style techniques! (from my perpective)
BelaflekMy friend was just telling me bout that 20min ago
Dan_26Are you going to tell us that now or later?
JonathanYes Dan, Now, or later! Or not!
Dan_26Pattern interrupt for a double bind. . . answer YES or NO.
JonathanThat's a simple double bind -- but its not really a double bind if you're just creating the illusion of only two choices when really there are more available.
galamudThey think of a time when they felt very confident, and when their confidence is really high, they imagine bells. Any time they want that confidence again, they look in the mirror until they can hear the bells.
JonathanThe double bind is a situation or pattern which places the subject with a behavioral choice, with falsely limited choices, and no matter which choice they make they end up with the intended result. Setting up an elegant double-bind can be a singularly difficult thing to do... but is often at the crux of many powerful personal changes produced by NLP.
Virgin2Do you want to buy the red one or the green one?
JonathanYou can tie a personal change to something very simple, where, no matter which choice they choose... they end up with the change they're after. (OK enough on the double bind)
Dan_26It stands to reason that if NLP practitioners want state recognition, they will be held to state regulation. But that's not how the state of NC works, anyway.
Virgin2This would probably apply to those doing therapy, but given the tremendous range of areas that NLP can be used for e.g. sales, flirting, etc... I don't think the state can or will try to regulate all that.
mIRCWhy do we regulate ourselves?
JonathanNow I'm not sure if you're going to sit back and learn the patterns in what we talk about here as we're talking about ethics, or if you're going to take active participation in this chat as you learn what what we're doing... but whichever it is I'm sure you're going to be a useful addition to the group and be good to yourself.
Dan_26Once politics has entered the formula, well, politics has entered the formula.
galamudThat's odd, it was the first thing that came into my mind!
Dan_26And that's why I mentioned it galamud :)
JonathanThat's generally the case. The problem comes when people start complaining about all the people who HAVEN'T been ethical and haven't done useful work, and haven't charged appropriately and provided value and all that. OK. I think I'll cap off that with one comment. Take CARE of other people when you use all these skills, whether you're using NLP, or applications of NLP such as certain sales techniques, or just pure influence, or if you're a licensed therapist using NLP Techniques. Just take care of people. If you don't then you're propagating the BS mindset of the win-lose proposition, which really holds no place in reality. Win-Win, all the way. Sure gala -- that's exactly why I liked studying from him -- because he demonstrates while he teaches. Well, I'd like to thank everyone for coming tonight... and sharing their thoughts on being more ethical with NLP.
Dan_26Interesting chat, thanks again Jonathan for sharing with us
JonathanI doubt we reached any closure on the topic of NLP ethics tonight but perhaps we've gotten closer to understanding how the issue of being more ethical with NLP can move forward on the real front... in front of people... using the skills, responsibly.


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