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John Grinder

Updated: Apr 7



John Grinder is an American linguist, author, trainer and speaker. John served as a US Army Officer and subsequently became the member of the Special Forces. John Grinder had an association of 5 years in the forces before returning to the US to pursue his post graduate degree in linguistics. As a result of his gift for acquiring languages, he also spent time as an operative for a well known US intelligence agency. He took a liking to the subject pursued Linguistics for which he received a Ph.D.

As a linguist, John Grinder distinguished himself in the area of syntax, working within Noam Chomsky’s theories of transformational grammar. He went on to become a Professor at the University of California, this was when he met Richard Bandler.

In the 1972 Richard Bandler a student approached John Grinder for assistance with aspects of modelling Gestalt Therapy. Bandler communicated on receiving amazing change results with his students, but added that he could not get his students to derive the same results with their patients, thus asking Grinder’s assistance.

John Grinder assisted Bandler with continuing the study of Gestalt Therapy founded by Fritz Perls and  Virginia Satir, the family therapist. John Grinder began noticing patterns in the language that therapist used in getting results with their patients, this eventually let to the formation of NLP Meta Models. Both Bandler and John Grinder to model Milton Erickson, out of this project came the Milton Model language patters of NLP.

The body of knowledge that we know of as NLP was given the title in the late 1970’s by Grinder and Bandler.

Now well into his 70s, Grinder continues to influence the NLP community and promote his New Code of NLP.

Grinder met with Gregory Bateson an anthropologist and systems theorist during their affiliation with Kresge College at the University of California. Between 1982 and 1987, Grinder was greatly influenced by Bateson, who had a strong focus on ecology as a psychological construct, Grinder and Judith DeLozier collaborated to develop the “New Code of NLP”. Grinder and Delozier presented an aesthetic framework for the “classic code” of NLP that explicates the involvement of ecology and the unconscious mind in change-work. “Ecology” in NLP involves respecting the integrity of a system as a whole when assessing a change to that system; the “system” in this case comprises a person’s model of the world and the consequences of that model in the person’s environment. Practically speaking, this consideration entails asking questions like “What are the intended effects of this change? What other effects might this change have, and are those effects desirable? Is this change still a good idea?”

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Anil Thomas NLP & Gestalt
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