Can Meta Programs Be Changed?
Initially it was thought that Meta Programs could not be changed, that they were "hard-wired" features which varied from one person's brain to another. This conceptual limitation was probably as close as NLP would ever come to something akin to personality typing. As recently as the mid-1990s, many NLP training institutions were still teaching that Meta Programs were unchangeable. But further research by Robert Dilts led to the discovery that Meta Programs could, indeed, be modified, nuanced, and even replaced by relatively simple NLP procedures.
Dilts discovered that Meta Programs could be "mapped across" from one context of experience to another, and that once mapped across, they could operate stabily in the new context. Subsequent development by L. Michael Hall revealed that, through a process of specific description, contrastive analysis and careful attention to personal ecology, a person could "meta state," or cognitively reframe, a change in Meta Programs even to the point where the person could "try it on" before deciding to keep the change.
These two processes will be combined and explained below. But before we get to that, let's take a look at some specific Meta Programs and their potentials for positive and negative functioning.