The User’s Manual for the Brain – Book Review [1]

The Complete Manual for Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Reviewed By
Peter Mabbut, Director of Studies
London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH)

Once in a while a book comes along that just encapsulates its subject perfectly, and that demands the attention of LCCH reviewers. The User’s Manual for the Brain is such a book. Being closely related to – indeed derived from – hypnotic techniques, NLP is of interest to a growing number of people in the field of hypnotherapy. This book offers the perfect introduction to NLP and is also useful because it is comprehensive in its coverage. Here Peter Mabbuft, Director of Studies for LCCH, tells us exactly why The User’s Manual for the Brain is an essential read for the curious, and the converted.

Title: The User’s Manual for the Brain: The  Complete  Manual  for  Neuro-Linguistic  Programming  Practitioner Certification

Authors: Bob G. Bodenhamer and L. Michael Hall

Publishers: Crown House Publishing Limited

ISBN: 1899836322

Hardback: £29.50 422 Pages ($45.00 US)

According to its sleeve notes “The User’s Manual for the Brain is the most comprehensive manual to date covering the NLP Practitioner course”, and is a statement that I cannot refute. Presented in four parts, the book covers every aspect of NLP training up to Practitioner level and provides a wealth of knowledge and information that will delight any therapist from the novice to the more experienced. The book is written in a very accessible and  engaging style thus allowing the reader the opportunity to learn without having to wade through pages of obscure terminology. Every  concept is explained in great detail with relevant examples given where necessary. There are numerous exercises for the reader to follow, either alone or in a group, that further enhance and reinforce the learning experience.

Bodenhamer and Hall have created a superb resource that takes the reader from the very basic concepts of NLP through to some of the more advanced areas of NLP modeling (including Time-Lining). Although the book does not require any prior knowledge of NLP, it would be wrong to make the assumption that this is a book aimed totally at the beginner; anyone who uses N LP in their approach to therapy will benefit greatly from its contents. In fact, irrespective of your therapeutic discipline, there is something for everyone contained within its pages.

Part one provides a comprehensive overview of the N L P model and covers the representational system, the building of rapport, perceptual positions. presuppositions, communication, framing, and the management of states.

Part two covers the NLP language model and delves into the intricacies of communication, its structure,  meaning and application. Of interest to hypnotherapists are the three chapters that deal specifically with hypnosis and its application within the NLP framework. Bodenhamer and Hall provide a very interesting discourse on the concept of the conscious and unconscious mind whilst delving into the influential role played by Milton Erickson on the development of NLP and consequently the Milton Model. The construction and use of metaphors, story telling and analogy are also covered in great detail whilst explaining how to integrate the concepts of pacing leading and reframing in order to move a patient towards their desired outcome.

Part three covers the NLP neurological model and has an excellent chapter detailing the various approaches to anchoring and their uses, whilst part four looks at more advanced NLP modeling including the use of strategies and Time-Lining.

This is an excellent book, and one that should be read by anyone with an interest in the subject. For students it is an invaluable text book, for the more experienced practitioner it is a superb resource for revision, and for the trainer it provides a structure and format for teaching.

All in all, The User’s Manual for the Brain is a much welcomed and important addition to the extensive field of NLP literature.