Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

I've always had an interest in hynosis, suggestion, psychology and all that jazz - even though I haven't been able to get my hands on a lot of material, because it costs money that I don't have.

I was considering making a sideways slide into neuro-liguistic programming (NLP). Again, of course, same problem with material - in fact it's harder to find stuff on it - but it sounds much more useful and applicable to magic.

From what I've read, it seems to me like 50% proven psychology and hypnosis and 50% new age rubbish, but I'm not sure. Anyone here have experience with it, can vouch for its usefulness, safety and sanity, and can point me in the direction of some resources?

Failing that, can anyone vouch for the usefulness, safety and sanity of regular hypnosis and point me in that direction too?

Thanks in advance :)

EDIT: Sorry if this has been mentioned before, I did use the search function, but typo'ed "linguistics"...
 
Dec 4, 2007
1,074
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www.thrallmind.com
Hypnosis, unless you want to actually have that as part of your act, is not going to be useful to you. Granted, there are some principles from hypnosis in NLP, however the principles themselves are useful in any magic performance, whereas the actual hypnosis would not be unless you ar planning on being a tage hypnotist :p

NLP is great no matter what kind of magic you perform. It is a great way to connect with your spectators, it can help stop hecklers before they start, and it can also buff up your performance and make the spectator walk away feeling like your performance was great. If you are a mentalist, it can greatly help with your cold reading, too.

NLP, once you read about it, seems like a lot less rubbish when you learn it. Moreso, it isn't quite new-age; it was developed around 1979.

If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.

-ThrallMind
 
Sep 2, 2007
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The psychology and thinking at the root of NLP is pretty much sound, but the claims that are extrapolated from that are a bit over-the-top. Some of the writing on NLP seems to view it as some kind of superpower that can give you almost paranormal control over yourself and those around you. I think one of the issues is that to be given one of these titles, like "Master Practitioner", all you need to do is attend the relevant course, and you'll be given your certificate, without any scrutiny or testing of any kind. This means there are loads of people bandying their supposed qualifications about, without actually having any real skills to back it up, their only talent being a healthy enough bank account to pay for the course.

So, on that basis, if you do want to look into NLP, read the early works of Richard Bandler and John Grinder, written before their techniques became bastardised into a big bucks evangelical movement. I'd go for The Structure of Magic (Volumes 1 & 2), Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H Erickson (Volumes 1 & 2), and Trance-Formations. Also, for something more directly applicable to magic, have a look at Kenton Knepper's Wonder Words CDs and accompanying book. He's taken elements of NLP and suggestion technique and combined them into a system for creating magic scripts. Another book I've found really useful as an introduction and overview of these kind of skills is Sleight of Mind by Ian Harling and Martin Nyrup.

I hope that's helpful.
 
May 8, 2008
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Cumbria, UK
Hypnosis and NLP are both great. I do both often, but in performances the only thing I ever really use is psychological forces. They make the whole trick really seem completely magical because the spectator genuinely picked the card completely freely. They think.
The way I got started was by watching a load of Derren Brown's material on Youtube. I watched the '3 of diamonds' trick on his channel 4 site and the explenation that followed. From there on, I just experimented, watching tricks and trying to spot what was going on. Experimentation and patience are all that's needed without spending any money.
 
Dec 5, 2007
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It can be useful for somethings but i dont think you will have much use for it in most situations where you perform close up magic.

Nlp does work but not all the time and not as well as what we see derren brown do, as he is very talanted and does use alot of other things as well.

Iv meet allot of Nlp therapists and some of them seems to belive that nlp is some kind of power that can make you do alot of things.

I once did magic for a couple of nlp therapists and they all started to go on that they can do atleast such amazing stuff with nlp so me and my friends got intrested and asked them to show us some, not fighting against it or anything, but nothing happened which was very embarrassing for them.
 
Sep 1, 2007
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Cleveland, Ohio
Read Wonder Words by Kenton Knepper. Its not quite NLP or hypnosis but teaches some amazing forms of suggestion. It wont only do miracles for your performances but will also help in the way you deal with people on a daily basis. check it out....

PS. Kentonism is another good one as well.
 
Aug 31, 2007
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Hartford, CT
I do stage hypnosis and mental magic (al a Derren Brown or Max Maven) and sometimes I use basic NLP when I do.

I can tell you from experience that TeeDee pretty much hit it on the head, and that your ratios are a little off: It's more like NLP and hypnosis is 20% proven psychology and 80% new age rubbish. :)

I've found that the very best read on both is by Derren Brown himself. Get yourself "Tricks of the Mind". He explains the basic psychology behind both hypnosis and NLP without any of the new-age garbage.

If you wish, I can explain more. Feel free to PM me too. :)
 
Sep 1, 2007
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NLP is garbage. The creators really just took basic linguistic science and psychology and then threw in a bunch of stuff they made up. It's hilarious to me that everyone thinks Derren Brown has NLP superpowers, and he's said himself that he believes it's mostly crap.

That said, the works of Kenton Knepper, Docc Hilford, Luke Jermay, and Rick Maue offer much more value in learning linguistic deception than that hokey, New Age dead end. The basis of the verbal suggestion these guys use is largely based on a handful of psychological principles, such as a willingness to believe authority and the ready acceptance of pre-concieved notions.

Docc Hilford said in (I believe) his booklet The Ball and Tube that one of the keys to suggestion is authority, confidence, and security. You must be so convincing and unwavering in your performance, that you become the master of the spectator's reality.

NLP always struck me as a scam. The claims it makes are simply outrageous. My dad once met a salesman who was a devout student of NLP. He made the claim that by putting his hand over his heart when talking, he made himself seem more trustworthy. My dad attended a speaking engagement of this guy's at a tradeshow. Sure enough, his speech was loaded with all the typical tricks of the trade of an NLP enthusiast. The purpose of the talk was to sell tickets to an upcoming lecture of his. There were about 4 dozen people watching, and only 3 actually bought the tickets.

Ross Jeffries, a prominent figure in the PUA community, is another proponent of NLP and he makes the most ludicrous claims like that this "science" has taught him to reach out with psychic tendrils to touch a woman across the room. Is it any surprise that many people who have met him said they left wanting to fight him?

For the sake of having an open mind, you should probably pick up one of the earlier books, read it, and draw your own conclusions. But be aware of just what sort of claims are being made here, and the alternative (Kenton Knepper et al) has greater support, resources, and results among the magic community.
 
Aug 31, 2007
369
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Hartford, CT
NLP is garbage. The creators really just took basic linguistic science and psychology and then threw in a bunch of stuff they made up. It's hilarious to me that everyone thinks Derren Brown has NLP superpowers, and he's said himself that he believes it's mostly crap.

Just make what I am saying more clear, here, I agree with you, Steerpike. :)

I've never said that Derren Brown has NLP superpowers, in fact, one of the major reason why I am a fan of his is because he definately and emphatically doesn't believe in "woo", and his book explains both hypnosis and NLP very clearly.

....basically he agrees with both you and me, Steerpike.
 
Sep 1, 2007
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Just make what I am saying more clear, here, I agree with you, Steerpike. :)

I've never said that Derren Brown has NLP superpowers, in fact, one of the major reason why I am a fan of his is because he definately and emphatically doesn't believe in "woo", and his book explains both hypnosis and NLP very clearly.

....basically he agrees with both you and me, Steerpike.

I wasn't referencing you actually. Take a look at all of Derren's videos on YouTube. It won't be long before you see a group of self-proclaimed experts filling everybody in on how NLP made these "miracles" possible. The line of crap these armchair psychologists feed us is downright hilarious at times.
 
Aug 31, 2007
369
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Hartford, CT
I wasn't referencing you actually. Take a look at all of Derren's videos on YouTube. It won't be long before you see a group of self-proclaimed experts filling everybody in on how NLP made these "miracles" possible. The line of crap these armchair psychologists feed us is downright hilarious at times.


Oh, okay. :) Sorry, I was worried that I was sounding like a "Derren Brown - SuperNLPman" person. :)
 
I have read through many NLP texts, including works by the origininators, and after extensive research, I've found most of what NLP has to offer is useless to me.

I've found the principles to be sound in principle and "sometimes" in practice. Do eye accessing cues work? Sometimes. Do breathing rate, tempo and pitch of speech, and representational system cues tell you about what's going on in someone's head? Sometimes. Does it all fall apart and leave you trying to regroup when you thought everything was going perfectly? Sometimes.

What are we really asking as magicians who are looking into NLP? For me, I was looking for clever, tricky ways to pepper my scripts to make my magic a little...more magical, I suppose. I have a BA in Communication Arts, with a minor in English and Literature. I had resources on my shelves that I thought weren't as useful as NLP would be if only I could make it make sense.

I've gone back and looked into these books, like texts on dramatic writing, editing, speech, voice and articulation, acting, etc. and I've found them to be much more useful to me as a performer.

NLP seems to work wonders in seminar rooms, and perhaps in the one on one setting of a therapeutic endeavor, but I haven't found it doing much in my own life as a professional magician.

If you are still interested, I don't mind helping with what I can. Just know that disappointment might be what you find after your own searches.

Pj
 
Sep 2, 2007
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London
PjPinsonnault, while you're right in many ways, even if you discount a lot of NLP's claims, I think that a knowledge of them can be useful. If, for example, you want to present your audience with a false, but plausible explanation, in the same way that Derren Brown does. In the same way that someone performing an Ambitious Card may riffle the cards to make the audience think that they saw the moment when a superbly dextrous sleight was performed, acting out a silent script of reading eye-accessing cues, when really having peeked a billet, can play well to an intelligent audience, as opposed to some rigmarole of tapping into an aura or any other mumbo-jumbo.

Plus, as I mentioned before, despite the huge level of bull propagated by NLP True Believers, there are some definite, applicable truths at the base of it, and the early NLP texts are a very good resource to discover these. Of course, they aren't a 100%-guaranteed-results-or-your-money-back kind of thing, but if you approach the texts with a healthy level of scepticism, the average amount of common sense, and a decent-sized pinch of salt, then I think some useful information can be learned.
 
Sep 2, 2007
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I've never said that Derren Brown has NLP superpowers,

....basically he agrees with both you and me, Steerpike.


I highly doubt that Derren Brown agrees with you both, it's unlikely that he knows who you are. What you really mean to say is that you both agree with some of his own ideas.

Simply try suggestion for yourself, keep experimenting and see what works and what doesn't. Nothing better than pure experimentation.
 
Sep 1, 2007
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Cleveland, Ohio
Ok so just one more time because this thread is starting to go all over the place, to the fellow who started this post looking for some direction, once again I cant tell you enough check out some Kenton Knepper stuff (Wonder Words and Kentonism are what Im familiar with). This will get you in the direction you need to go. How do I know what direction you need to go in you ask? Because Im a mentalist:D
 
Thanks for your help and advice, guys. I'll be sure to check out Kenton Knepper's and Derren Brown's stuff, as well as maybe some of the early works of Bandler and Grinder, if I can get my hands on it.
There's obviously a lot of different opinions on the authenticity of NLP though!
 
I'm not saying there's nothing to glean from it, but I think magicians have the wrong idea of what NLP is and who it is designed for.

NLP was originally a tool for therapists and others in the helping professions who wanted a way to understand their clients in more sophisticated ways. Reading through the early works of Bandler and Grinder make that quite clear. Indeed, even their work on hypnosis was being looked at through the clinical lens.

Later, these ideas were developed in other directions, most notably self-help and business management.

I'm not saying you won't find some things useful, but NLP is not designed to be a magician's tool. And because magicians have read Pure Effect and/or have heard famous mentalists mention NLP in thier pseudo-explanations for how their effects work, they think it is.

Go forward knowing that you have a lot of sifting to do before you find something you'll be able to use readily. Most of what you'll find was never meant for you or I, as magicians.

Good luck!

Pj
 
...actual hypnosis would not be unless you ar planning on being a tage hypnotist...

-ThrallMind



I have to respectfully disagree with this.

Yes, it's true that most people's view of hypnosis is that of the traditional stage hypnotist. A hypnotist performing an induction, subjects "going out", subjects doing silly things, etc, etc, etc...

Hypnosis, however, is actually vastly different. It can very easily be integrated into what you already do, and the results are outstanding.

Got questions? Feel free to ask.

 
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