The User’s Manual for the Brain Volume II – Book Review

The User’s Manual for the Brain Volume II
by L Michael Hall PhD and Bob G Bodenhamer D Min

Published by Crown House Publishing. 2003
Hardback. £35. ISBN 189983688-8

 

 

Reviewed by
Anne Marshall

 

 

This weighty volume offers a wealth of information to bring advanced skills to the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner, and as the title suggests, this second volume builds upon the skills of NLP outlined in Volume I and goes on to introduce some of the newer advances in the field to take the reader from the level of Practitioner to Master Practitioner.

 

As such it is not a beginners guide, but rather offers a comprehensive manual covering many aspects of advanced NLP practice.   Some of the new material introduced in this volume includes:

  • Meta-Programs
  • Meta-States
  • “Sub-modalities” such as Meta-Level Framing
  • Advanced Meta-Model distinctions
  • Mind-Lines as conversational refraining patterns
  • Advanced Time Line Patterns
  • The Meta-Domains systemic model

 

Exciting new work is also introduced on meta programmes, meta states and submodalities.  The authors have succeeded in providing a systematic, step-by-step guide to integrating advanced NLP skills, presuppositions, models, processes and applications within the four meta domains: Meta-States, Meta-Modalities, Meta-Programmes and the Meta-Model.

 

The pages of this book contain a wealth of exercises, scripts and comprehensive discussions, giving the NLP practitioner an invaluable tool kit to further their career development.

 

Each chapter begins by introducing a particular skill or concept, then develops the theme to an advanced level before concluding with a useful summary encapsulating the main points of learning. Scattered throughout the text are occasional diagrams, flow charts and tables. My personal preference would have been to have more of these to increase the appeal of the text to the predominantly ‘visual’ reader.

 

Although this text book is not ‘light-weight’ it is written clearly and concisely, and the authors’ genuine passion for NLP shines through. They have also succeeded in avoiding an academic tone and have managed to ‘speak’ in the writing pretty much as they would ‘speak’ the same ideas on a training course, which increases the ‘user friendliness’ of the book as a whole.

 

In the words of the authors they have set out to invite the reader into “the adventure of mastery of NLP” not just in skills but also in attitude, to develop the very spirit of NLP and become ‘a master in running your own brain’ and in my opinion they have most certainly achieved this goal.

 

This book is so informative that it is tempting to think that it could replace attending a professional training course, but after the theoretical learning there has to be a measure of practice, so that real skill and experience can be acquired. To this end practical exercises are scattered throughout the text and the reader is encouraged to stop and practice each technique before moving on. Certainly practice is essential to really bring all these fascinating tools to life, but without a practice partner or study group much could be lost.

 

I particularly enjoyed reading the chapter on Practical NLP. The authors asks “When you finally reach a place of mastery, then what? What will that do for you?”. In answer to their own question they go on to present an excellent overview of how NLP can be used to create significant and beneficial changes within the fields of therapy, education, business and not least of course, within each individuals own individual personal growth.

 

A comprehensive bibliography is available, but the book lacks an index which would be helpful to the student who wishes to pull together all the relevant strands of information on a given topic. Similarly a glossary of terms, such as is available in Volume I, would also be a welcome addition.

 

From the start the authors advise the reader that to fully master the material “you will need a good dose of courage, boldness and passion, for these patterns will not work their full magic if you attempt to use them while you are hesitating, fearful or unmotivated”. So this is not a book for the faint hearted and it will not represent easy reading to anyone new to NLP, nor is it meant to. It is an advanced manual which deals with complex topics and assumes that the reader is already familiar with volume I or has completed the NLP Practitioner course. For the advanced student it is a goldmine of useful information and is to be highly recommended.

 

About the Reviewer:

Anne Marshall is the Director of the Inside Minds consultancy, offering coaching and training to help clients develop the tremendous and often largely unused powers of the mind. Her aim is to enable people to use their mental resources more effectively, with a particular focus on developing intuition and inner leadership abilities. Inside Minds offers both public and in house training seminars on topics such as Awakening Intuition, Coaching Skills Development, The High Performance Mind and Effective Mental Programming. NHS Seminars are also offered in Coaching Skills and in Clinical Hypnosis. Telephone and email coaching are available on request.

 

Anne Marshall can be contacted on Tel: 0870-7897955;

info @ insideminds.com www.insideminds.com.

 

To purchase this book Tel: 01267 211880:

www.crownhouse.co.uk