You may have stumbled across the title of this book and wondered like me what is NL(P) Psychotherapy, let alone what is NLP? Possibly sceptical from what you have heard about NLP in the past? Then if so, let the fusion of NLP with psychotherapy, the professionalism of Lisa Wake, and a relatively short well researched and exquisitely written guide delve you into this blossoming world..!!!
Aligning her work with Erickson's students and contemporaries in the main (e.g. Gilligan and O'Hanlon) and also notably Gawler-Wright, Wake asserts that Erickson's success (and Satir's and Perl's to a lesser degree) was based on an unconscious reading within the "relationship" or therapeutic presence. Unconscious communicative aspects in the client-therapist system influence change, which is not a primary motive in behavioural modelling. Instead this takes a meta-perspective, and the relationship can remain at a secondary or a superficial level, possibly making it such an attractive approach in short-term coaching.
Out of a renewed acquaintance with the creative shaping of the healing space (the intuitive artist/dance partner, not performer), reference is made to the integrity of the Neurolinguistic Psychotherapist. After all, as it stands at present, NLP practioners have no formal regulations placed upon them for a regular quota of health check "hours". Healthy ego integration, self individuation and horizontal alignment that would lessen judgements and unhealthy projections in the client space are rarely seen as governed prerequisites, leaving superficial approaches of NLP open to some dangers. For example, behaviourist modelling could bring to consciousness unconscious material without the holding space of counter-transference.
Wake's commitment to incorporating rigorous modes of self-understanding as are normalised in the psychotherapeutic tradition, should alleviate doubters (like me) who are not so keen on the commercial and carnival side show trappings (e.g. pattern interrupts), sometimes touted by NLPers.
This book firmly places NL Psychotherapy right in the centre between constructivism, Ericksonian psychotherapy and behaviourism, but with a strong leaning towards the client's subjective reality as paramount, even to the point that their resistances and personal outcomes 'control' the session - which was a real insight. The therapist is encouraged to go with the flow and work around the blocks rather than knock them down.
The book structures the subject into key strands - a chapter in turn is devoted to linguistics, neurology, and programming patterns. Then re-framing internal belief structures as a topic is considered, followed by therapy in practice, which includes some of Wake's candid and absorbing case notes. Topping and tailing her research (heavily quoted as you'd expect) are a consideration of the major debates within the profession, as well as a cursory look at current research areas. Though you are expected to have some NLP fluency, I found this book to have any easy communicative style.