This page presents the English translation of the latest issue of the newsletter
written in Japanese by Taiten Kitaoka,
a Japanese NLP trainer/facilitator.

Note: This "provocative" title of the newsletter is meant to suggest that Taiten
Kitaoka's NLP work is the first attempt for the integrated NLP in the Japanese market.
It is not meant to claim that his NLP work is genuine in a more general sense.


Issue #12: 2004.3.23
(translated in
July 2004).
'This is the Genuine NLP!'

The author, who has been formally trained by the four most important co-developers of NLP (Grinder, Bandler, Dilts, and DeLozier) will send newsletters containing a variety of information concerning the advanced communication psychology/ pragmatic psychology known as NLP.

"NLP Practitioner Certification Course"

Hello everybody! I am Taiten Kitaoka, Head of the UK NLP Academy, based in the UK.

I have been delivering an NLP practitioner certification course (a 6 month long course) through JMA since November 2003. Because some interesting things happened in the fourth module of the course held at the end of February, I wanted to report these things in the current issue of the newsletter:

1. Critical Mass

I used the following metaphor in the 6th issue of the newsletter (similar metaphoric expressions of the tube stations and their network have been repeated several times in the past issues of the newsletter).

"Metaphorically speaking, each of the NLP models is like a tube station in a metropolitan city and its adjoining local area; the more you walk around in the peripheral areas on ground level, connecting one station with another, and study these areas with your own eyes as field works, the more you will existentially know how organically the respective tube stations are related with each other on ground level, and finally come to see the overall picture of the network of the stations on ground level. The same can be said about NLP's models."

Also, in the same 6th issue of the newsletter I continued "at least in the case of the Western NLP communities, in the NLP Practitioner certification courses the participants study and master the details of individual tube stations, i.e., individual NLP models, and their corresponding exercises, and in the NLP Master Practitioner certification courses they study the organic relations between the individual stations (individual NLP models) already studied in the Practitioner courses, in order to become versed in the structure of the overall network (the overall picture). In Trainers' Training certification courses they obtain high degrees of knowledge and know-how on the levels of both the overall network and individual stations (models)". Of course, when I was making this statement, I was not denying the possibility that such "an overall picture of NLP" can be obtained by the students even during the NLP Practitioner courses, however vague these pictures may be. It appears to me that such a stage of the NLP learning has started to happen to the participants of the current Practitioner course during the Module 4 held at the end of February.

The above is related to the phenomenon which is commonly called "critical mass" or "critical point". One of the most common examples of this phenomenon is found when you are intensively studying a foreign language and training your hearing abilities by listening to the news shown on the satellite TV stations of foreign countries. You then may continue to experience this stage for several months where you can hardly understand what the newscasters are saying, but, at some point, you may begin suddenly "out of the blue" to understand every word you hear on these news programs. In this way, even when one continues to absorb and assimilate a great quantity of information in a continuous way, nothing seems to be happening externally (namely, to one's conscious awareness), while all kinds of trials and errors have been taking place on the unconscious level. And once the overall network connection of the brain cells is established on the unconscious level, all the contents of learning one has acquired suddenly without any warning begin to make sense; this moment is called the "critical mass" point. It seemed to me that the participants of the current Practitioner course I have been holding had achieved, or were approaching, this critical mass point.

The reason why such a thing has happened is, in my opinion, that all the participants of my current Practitioner course have been strongly committing themselves to my style of work and its content from the beginning, and have been holding the attitude of a thorough skeptic as instructed by me (meaning that the people who are self-confident are those who can intensively experiment for a certain period with new things to learn, in order to ascertain whether these things are of any use to themselves). Thus, the participants of my current Practitioner course were initially able to understand the content of the course only in a fragmentary way (that is, only consciously), but their unconscious minds must have been gradually acquiring the "intuitive" abilities to mutually connect what had been learnt fragmentarily in an overall way.

2. "Catharsis" in NLP

In my experience of over 20 years with psychotherapy and NLP, catharsis (a kind of "purification process" accompanied with emotional explosion) found in clients undergoing Gestalt, Primal, Encounter and hypnotherapy, is something which hardly happens in NLP, but it cannot be said that it can never happen. As a matter of fact, it seems that cathartic reactions on a small or medium scale have happened to a very few of the participants during the last one or two modules, when they were doing the given exercises or outside of the course.

As far as I understand, NLP as the school which has "integrated and transcended all the psychotherapeutic schools", is a "very sophisticated psychology" that can be best enjoyed by the people who have already "graduated" from the literally endless explosive self-expressions with strong emotional releases (I explained in the 4th issue of the newsletter that these expressions are of no use, using the metaphor with the "lid of the kettle whose pressure is being accumulated"). However, light cathartic reactions still can be seen in NLP, depending on the states of mind of the practitioners.

Still, even if such catharsis happens in NLP, it is almost impossible for it to become a dramatic one with the total indulgence in it on the part of the person experiencing it, and it tends to last for a comparatively short time. I also personally think that "one minute long" catharsis in NLP should be equivalent to "several months long" catharsis in traditional psychotherapy or hypnotherapy. This is because NLP is a "psychology of awareness" enabling the practitioners of its techniques to watch themselves or to establish the position to observe themselves in the very catharses lasting say one minute. They thus are able to objectively observe their own inner mental activities from the "meta" position (the observer's position), without identifying themselves with the emotional explosions in the catharses in an unconscious way.

That is to say, the fact that "one can be aware of something" means that "one has transcended it", and, when one becomes able to observe one's own inner emotional activities through NLP techniques, one will practically never unconsciously identify oneself again with one's own emotional activities, once they are observed by one standing in the meta position. In my opinion, such a strong experience of "detachment" is something that was simply impossible to obtain in the pre-NLP psychological methodologies.

3. Be Faithful to the Basic

In the 4th issue of this newsletter I wrote that "I myself have been successful in becoming an expert in the areas of NLP, languages, and computer UI operation, by combining NLP with my own methodology for accelerated learning" (more specifically speaking, the areas in which I consider myself to be a "connoisseur" are the three areas enumerated in the quotation, plus "meditation").

In the process of making my abilities in those four learning areas reach the "genius" level, so to speak, by using the NLP methodology for accelerated learning, I have discovered that there are a limited set of universal learning rules applicable to all the four areas. Because these four areas are so different from each other on a superficial level that I am deeply convinced that the learning rules I have discovered should be also applicable to "any other" learning areas. I have been making these universal rules explicit in my NLP workshops and/or courses whenever such opportunities arise, and I will be able to give more detailed clarifications about these rules to those who are interested in knowing them.

What is underlying these universal learning rules is "Master the basic thoroughly, and be faithful to it", but there seem to exist a surprisingly big number of people who cannot understand this fundamentally important principle for learning.

One such example was found with a number of friends of mine in UK, who had graduated from art or fashion related schools. They seemed to have been encountering difficulties in operating computers (not Mac's but PC's). I was flabbergasted when I taught one of them the basic techniques to use a computer, because he didn't know that one can select or deselect plural uncontiguous icons by clicking them while pressing the Ctrl key, or that data icons found in the right pane of Explorer are files found on that level of directory like a floor, while folder icons are like the opening doors found on that floor, enabling one to go down to the still lower level directories, by successively double-clicking these folders found on each successive floor and opening them. (I was all the more flabbergasted because this friend of mine had said to me a few years before I started to use computers after Windows 95 was released in 1995, that he had been a student of a computer programming school. He subsequently told me that he himself had been conversely heartily flabbergasted to know that I without any previous knowledge about computer operation had come to master all the basic computer UI operations in two or three months after having started to use a computer from scratch.)

The way I mastered the computer UI operations was not to read through big and thick computer manuals (there are a surprisingly many people who seem to believe that this is a prerequisite for mastering computer operations, and who thus become dissuaded from learning the basic techniques), but to go to Japanese bookstores in London, and buy a number of weekly or monthly computer magazines. I then used the small appendix parts of these magazines entitled like "100 Tips for Mastering Windows 95", and mastered the minimum number of basic techniques by practicing them in reality in front of a computer. That finite, and not infinite, number of basic techniques to minimally learn are like the swinging of a racket in tennis, and, in my opinion, it is never possible to master higher levels of techniques without thoroughly mastering these basic techniques and making them unconscious and automatic processes. (And it is also interesting to note that the "higher levels of techniques" themselves very often turn out to be techniques comparatively easy to learn, consisting of combinations of lower levels of techniques already mastered.) I think that the "elusive obvious" fact that "to be faithful to the basic is the very prerequisite for someone to be able to produce such a creativity as nobody else can emulate in the area(s) he or she is involved in" never dawns on those artistic friends of mine, who are persuaded that they must always try to find their own rules in an unauthorised way, and that that very attitude is their own very raison d'etre. Indeed, it is a very paradoxical but very sad educating lesson to know that someone who truly wants to be creative chooses a "completely wrong door" to enter his or her learning processes, and is forced to remain uncreative for his or her whole life in those areas of learning in question.

The reason why I wrote the above is that a course participant asked me the question "With regard to the exercise we have just learnt, can I slightly change the order of the steps of the exercise?", which prompted my answer "I am not positively against your changing the order of the steps, but think that you should rather first master the basic thoroughly, and, after reaching the level of 'proficiency', should experiment with doing so with your own responsibility".

4. Teachers Who Know What They are Doing and Teachers Who Don't

In relation to the last paragraph of the above item 3, I once participated in a workshop "Gurdjieff and NLP" (Gurdjieff is probably the most important spiritual guru of the 20 century, of whom Charles Tart, a transpersonal psychologist, is a student), and I was stunned by the irresponsibility of the trainers of this workshop, and left the room in the middle of the workshop.

The trainers of this 2 day workshop, who were an British gentleman and an Icelandic lady, introduced on the second day of the workshop an original exercise where "one observes oneself observing oneself", using spatial sorting (moving around on the floor along the markers placed on it) frequently used in NLP. But when they asked the participants to imagine the three positions of "themselves who had a problem", "the witness or observer" who is watching themselves having the problem, and "the master" who is watching that witness, I became speechless, because according to any literature related to NLP or to meditation including Gurdjieff's writings, the highest level of human consciousness possible is the witness (frequently referred to as "the meta position" in NLP), and thus there can be another witness who is observing the witness, while other positions like the master can in no way observe the witness. I then felt that it was extremely dangerous for such an exercise which goes against the universal patterns of the human psychological states to go ahead. I by that time had read all the writings by Gurdjieff, and said to the trainers "Because this workshop is Gurdjieff related, could you kindly let me know on which page of his books the mechanism of this exercise is referred to?". To this, neither of the trainers directly responded (or rather they simply couldn't), and said to me "Even those co-founders of NLP, Grinder and Bandler, first ask their students to do the exercises they give them, without saying anything. Likewise, here in this workshop, first do the exercise we as teachers have created in the way we instruct you, without thinking anything (that is, 'shutting your mouth'), and then see what would happen to you". I became literally speechless, and decided to drop out from the workshop.

I think that this problem can be reduced to the dichotomy "Teachers who know what they are doing vs teachers who don't", but the more laymen the participants to certain training workshops are, the more difficult it is for them to distinguish these two types of teachers; this topic thus can become a very tricky problem. I think that the problem the teachers may encounter is the danger that they may copy the outer behavioural results of other great teachers, while completely ignoring the process of how they had reached these seeable results after trials and errors with considerable toils and efforts.

The personal advice I could give to the laymen who cannot distinguish great teachers from harmful teachers is that the only true self defense measure for them is to first gather "as much indirect circumstantial evidence as possible" about the teachers in question, and second make their judgment as to whether they are worth their trust. Of course, it can be added that people who have been equipping themselves with acute self-observation abilities, on whichever levels, should also have the corresponding abilities to intuitively discern hocus-pocus people.

5. NLP as a Methodology of "Platonic Idea"

Although I am convinced that the participants of the current NLP course have been acquiring more and more of the abilities as "effective communicators", through continuing the course up to this stage, some of them gave me the feedback that "the content of this exercise may not produce any effect in real situations".

I am not against this statement, but have been teaching NLP with the position that human beings are functioning according to the "universal communication rules", and that these rules can be made explicit. These rules are, in a sense, about the rules in the world of "ideas" a la Plato. When I was trained by Grinder and DeLozier in 1988 (in their workshop "Prerequisites for Personal Genius" and their Practitioner course), they were advising their students to distinguish between "the core" and "fluffy things" (that is, secondary details surrounding the core). From this point of view, it can be said that, however pertinent an NLP model/technique is, basing itself on the universal rules in a platonic sense, it may turn out not to superficially seem to be functioning in the phenomenal world which is created out of the universal rules but necessarily must go through a number of successive filters.

What becomes important in applying NLP models in front of such a reality is, in my opinion, (1) to analyse how these models seemingly don't work, and (2) to follow one of the NLP presuppositions "If what you are doing is not working, do something else".

6. Chunk-up & Chunk-down Technique Exercise

In Module 4 of the current Practitioner course, the participants did the apparently very simple "Chunk-up & Chunk-down" technique exercise (please refer to the fifth issue of this newsletter, for the details of the concept of "Chunks"). This exercise is "so basic" content-wise that it has never been officially introduced in an explicit way in any of the certifications courses I have taken part in.

Although I was slightly concerned about the reaction of the participants, I was eventually pleased, and surprised for that matter, to hear the general feedback at the post-exercise question/answer time "This exercise was very interesting to us. It was very useful for us to know other people's models of the world".

I thought that this example showed that there may still be possibilities for new and basic NLP techniques/models to be born, which have not yet been covered by any existing literature of NLP. This thought made me feel humble.

7. The "Most Animal-like" Representational System

I had a question in the course about the olfactory representational system, and would like to answer the question here:

We can find the following statement in the very excellent NLP introduction book "Magic of NLP Demystified" by Byron Lewis and Frank Pucelik (1980):

"In animals like dogs and cats, the olfactory system is crucial for their survival. In humans, however, it is less important. Though we probably make fewer distinctions in this system than in the others, it is very likely our most efficient lead system... Because olfactory input does not go through the same neurological processing on the way to the brain, it tends to operate more efficiently as a lead system".

This happens because, unlike information entering our brain from the other sensory systems, smell does not pass through the "thalamus" and is, therefore, not subjected to the thalamic filtering the other systems undergo. The olfactory system seems to be the system most concerned with the survival of a living body (because it is through this system that it can sense harmful and/or lethal gas, and judge whether the food it is about to eat is rotten). It certainly fully makes sense that the neurological system is so structured that the sensory data coming from the outer world through this system should be conveyed to the brain as quickly as possible.

8. Aesthetics and Solemnity

I got feedback from the participants of the course "When I look at the other participants doing the given exercises in groups, the extremely elaborate way they do so gives me the impression of aesthetics".

I thought that this feedback itself was very excellent, but, bearing in mind any possible misunderstanding, I could say that "the aesthetic impression these people doing the rituals give" may not be dissimilar from that of the Tibetan monks collectively meditating, while chanting mantras in the solemn atmosphere of the temple, with the common purpose of reaching ultimate enlightenment. (This metaphor may not be near the image the person who gave the feedback to me had.)

Whatever is the case, to be silently and elaborately engaged in the "rules/customs" which are NLP technique exercises, is "the rigorous and solemn ritual" essential to the process of acquiring new behavioral and thinking patterns which have not been existing before this. In this sense, "being minutely faddish about details and formality", which can usually be described as "being addicted" in the form of unfinished businesses, traumas, or phobias, can be, through NLP technique exercises, effectively redirected or irrigated in a certain specified direction, and can enable one to fully utilise the potential abilities which have been dormant, to permanently access one's peak performance, or to lead a more and more creative life.

How did you find this current issue of the newsletter? If you have questions and feedback, please contact me at

Go to the site in English: Taiten Kitaoka's Newsletter: "This is the Genuine NLP!".

Go to the site in Japanese: Taiten Kitaoka's Newsletter:"".

(c) Copyright 2004, UK NLP Academy Ltd/Taiten Kitaoka. All rights reserved.