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
It is not meant to claim that his NLP work is genuine in a more general
(translated in July 2004).
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.
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
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
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
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
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 email@example.com.
Go to the
site in English: Taiten Kitaoka's Newsletter: "This is the Genuine
Go to the
site in Japanese: Taiten Kitaoka's Newsletter:"".
(c) Copyright 2004, UK
NLP Academy Ltd/Taiten Kitaoka. All rights reserved.