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What is the NLP Meta Model?

The meta-model in NLP or neuro-linguistic programming (or meta-model of therapy) is a set of questions designed to specify information, challenge and expand the limits to a person’s model of the world.

It responds to the distortions, generalizations, and deletions in the speaker’s language. The meta model forms the basis of Neuro-linguistic programming as developed by then assistant professor of linguistics, John Grinder and Richard Bandler. Grinder and Bandler “explained how people create faulty mental maps of reality, failing to test their linguistic / cognitive models against the experience of their senses.”

The meta model draws on transformational grammar and general semantics, the idea that language is a translation of mental states into words, and that in this translation, there is an unconscious process of deletion (not everything thought is said), distortion (assumptions and structural inaccuracies) and generalization (a shift towards absolute statements). Likewise in hearing, not everything said is acknowledged as heard.

The function of the Meta Model is to help us identify problematic deletions, distortions and generalizations in our internal thinking patterns and our linguistic interactions with each other, and to propose ways of transforming them or revising their use in certain context

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