The Meta Model – Unlocking Hidden Meaning: How The Language We Use Can Delete, Distort and Generalize Our Thinking and Communication
Two day workshop essential for all NLP Practitioners, Coaches and those that work with individuals and teams. The Meta Model gives us the structure to ask questions that help clients gain a deeper understanding of their current state and opens new ways of thinking and opportunities for personal and professional progress.
If you want to improve your general communication skills and the art of asking the right question at the right time, then this workshop is for you.
The Meta Model, NLP’s first formal model, was published in 1975 by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in their groundbreaking book, The Structure of Magic, Vol. 1. It extended features of general semantics (Korzybski) and transformational grammar (Chomsky), and developed via modelling the successful therapeutic language interventions of psychiatrists Fritz Perls and Milton Erickson, and family therapist Virginia Satir.
The Meta Model formalized these developments into a richly defined set of linguistic patterns that can either facilitate change or create obstacles in a person’s mental maps of himself and the world.
Expanding & Revising Mental Maps
“The metamodel represents, as far as we (Bostic and Grinder) have been able to determine, the first complete syntactically based language model for an express purpose ever created. The thirteen (or so — it depends on how you count them) verbal patterns that constitute the metamodel are a highly effective verbal model for use in the specific context of therapeutic change.
“They are designed for the express purpose of challenging the limitations in the mental maps carried by clients who seek professional assistance in changing themselves through the processes of therapy. Under the impact of the systematic use of the metamodel patterns, clients… expand and/or revise the mental maps that contain the traps, flaws and limitations that prevent them from shifting to more effective and congruent behaviour.” — Bostic and Grinder, Whispering In the Wind, 2001, p.148.
The NLP Meta Model remains an immensely powerful tool, 30 years later, both for individuals outside the therapeutic context and for clients seeking help from NLP professionals. In my own practice, I have seen clients make significant progress in relatively short periods of time by acknowledging specific Meta Model violations (limiting patterns) and suggesting better alternatives for my clients to consider.
Some Meta Model violations, it should be noted, can be the result, rather than the cause, of other limiting patterns. “Mind reading,” for example, is not necessarily linguistically originated but is, instead, often the linguistic representation of self/other identity confusion, boundary ambiguity and other core state meta patterns.
Meta Model violations are simply obstacles on the path to success and happiness. Removing an obstacle is not the same thing as traveling a path — it simply makes travel possible and reveals something about the territory in which the path is located.
Different individuals have different numbers and kinds of Meta Model violations in their thinking and speech. The absence of Meta Model violations does not indicate that a person does not have any problems in life. But the presence of Meta Model violations clearly indicates at least one limiting factor in thinking — language which, by no other factor than its structure, deletes, distorts and generalizes thinking.