How NLP helped inform the creation of PCW

I first came across NLP in the 1990s and was immediately struck by how useful the core skills were in developing and refining communication skills. I was especially interested in the use of language in changing states and beliefs. In 2013 Richard Bandler highlighted Frank Farrelly as a big influence on the creation of NLP during one of his London NLP training and I am forever grateful for the heads up. By 2004 I was studying with Frank and within a few years we had become firm friends and when he passed I inherited his archive of material dating back to 1960s.
These days I teach PCW which was inspired by Frank’s work all around the world, to 13 different countries with more new countries coming online in 2019. Many NLP practitioners and trainers appreciate that PCW is in many ways a supercharged evolution of what many strive for in NLP and here’s what some key NLP players say about PCW, having attended some of my training.

I’ve watched the work of Fritz Perls, Anna Freud, Carl Rogers, Moshe Feldenkrais, Alexander Lowen, and a few more of the “names” in the psychotherapy field. Your clinical work surpasses some of them now, at a comparatively young age. Given your passion for clinical learning, love of people and creative spirit, I suspect I’ll be dropping your name onto that list of recognized “names” in the psychotherapy field one day.”
Frank Bourke Ph.D
Executive Director of the NLP Research and Recognition Project, former lecturer Cornell University and researcher London University

“Nick Kemp makes Provocative Therapy accessible to NLP trained coaches and therapists. My recommendation is to get his DVD set from the workshop in Boulder Colorado, watch DVD number 6 – an excellent example of what can be done – and then go back to the beginning and learn how he does it. You may be surprised how much of NLP already depends on provocation! “
Richard Bolstad
International NLP Trainer, Psychotherapist

“I have been in a stupor of laughter in Boulder, seeing you at work. What I found was that I unconsciously copied your amazed silent look at the client. I found your combination of provocation and trance fresh and I very much appreciated the way you have structured the didactics of provocative work(s). To practice and demonstrate provocative work is totally different from teaching it. A demo is not yet a course: and you provided me with the tools that bring something that is very much a matter of creative flow into structure with the help of your icons. You were excellent in motivating the students to overcome their inhibitions and free their flow on behalf of the client.”
Lucas Derks
Social psychologist, trainer and researcher

“Do you know Nick Kemp? – (he is) exceptionally bright, and I have immensely enjoyed communicating…The kind of exchanges that I have been having… are the kind of activities that I think can really advance the field. He has modeled two different simple processes which are part of his Provocative Change Works™ set of tools for working with anxiety and other strong emotions that I have found enormously useful in working with clients. He has also modeled the different patterns in Frank Farrelly’s Provocative Therapy so that they are easy to learn. In addition, he is everything you might wish for in a colleague – available, creative, and eager to discuss ideas and learn as well as teach.”
Steve Andreas
NLP Developer and Author

The key tools in NLP allowed me to decode Frank Farrelly’s work and to create the 27 PCW stances that are used in using this approach. NLP also gave me an insight into how to elicit a client’s strategy in creating and maintaining problem states. PCW is in my view a lot more focused than a lot of what I find in NLP and crucially its jargon-free and is totally conversational. This means the practitioner doesn’t need “to build rapport” as they are simply talking in the client’s language free from obvious techniques that often appear in NLP interactions. Many NLPers will recognize some of the PCW stances and how they can be used to terrific effect in client sessions. The key difference in PCW is that the practitioner works in an aikido manner to change the problem behaviour, which is very different to straight ahead NLP. The smart NLP folks tend to love the flexibility of PCW and I am grateful to have terrific support from such folks. Next year I will be in Japan for the 18th time, to present at a major medical conference.

I have been accused of “bashing NLP” and I always point out that “NLP is not an object” so you can’t “bash it” My criticism is often about how in some circles NLP has been reduced t a cut and paste series of techniques and is presented in a manner that is little more than status seeking.. I have always promoted the core NLP skills as being extremely useful an, of course, contributed to the “Innovations in NLP” book.
When I interviewed Steve Andreas before his passing I asked him about the most effective approaches he had come across in his decades of NLP exploration and development and I have both flattered and amazed by his answer

Nick What is your most commonly used (or favourite) technique or
pattern, and why?

Steve Andreas

Right now, my favourites are the 2 methods you developed
for resolving anxiety: slowing the tempo of the internal voice
that triggers the feeling, and your version of using Bandler’s
discovery of how the resulting feelings spin. They are my
favourites for several reasons.
Firstly, they have wide application; I’ve found that anxiety
is a key part in something like half of the problems that
people want to change. Secondly, they both exemplify
the lasting impact of very small adjustments in nonverbal
submodalities. Thirdly, they are particularly elegant simple
recipes that don’t require exquisite hypnotic or verbal skills.
Fourthly, the processes are so robust that someone can
mess them up in many ways and they will still work. Finally,
they are both very rapid; my YouTube video demonstrating
spinning feelings is only 8 minutes long. At 3-year follow-up
the client is still free of her ‘life-long anxiety’.

I can’t think of a greater endorsement and I teach these techniques in all my PCW training.

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