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Richard Bandler,
co-founder of NLP

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Along with John Grinder, Richard Bandler is the co-founder of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. Thanks to a fortunate encounter with Grinder at the University of California Santa Cruz, Bandler was able to dive into the mysteries of the human mind and how it knows what it knows.

Richard Bandler was a psychology student at UC Santa Cruz where he was working on the theories of Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy. There he met John Grinder and asked him to join in some of his therapy groups. Grinder began to wonder about the linguistic methods employed by effective therapists. This likewise intrigued Bandler and the two began studying Perls, the family therapist Virginia Satir, and hypnotherapist Milton H. Erickson in 1974. The results of this study were five volumes: The Structure of Magic Volumes I & II, Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, Volumes I & II and Changing With Families. These seminal works set the foundation for NLP.

NLP is a form of epistemology, or the study of knowledge. Essentially, NLP is concerned with how one knows what one knows. However, it is not really a theory. Bandler and Grinder were concerned not with theories, but with practical application. Thus, they designed NLP as a method for determining how experts became experts and how these experts can transfer their knowledge to non-experts.

Grinder and Bandler continued together on NLP and eventually authored several more books together. The founders of NLP continue their work today.

Today, Richard Bandler is studying the difference between sensory input and the way in which that input is stored in the mind. As well, thanks to his background as a musician, Bandler founded Neuro-Sonics, the study of the neurological impacts of sound, and DHE, or Design Human Engineering.


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