The point is - it works

4th June 2004 at 01:00
Your article on neuro linguistic programming (TES, Friday magazine, 21 May) reveals a dilemma which seems to be rearing its head with increasing frequency.

It is the strange phenomenon whereby something that appears to work cannot be proven to work by orthodox scientific methods. The NHS have had similar experiences with regard to alternative medicine and are now accepting that approaches such as acupuncture and homeopathy, once scorned by Western science, can often succeed where traditional approaches fail.

I do not know why research into the effectiveness of NLP techniques does not support the claims of its enthusiasts. Is it that we are becoming obsessed with finding "quick-fix" cures and "magic wand" solutions, and are disappointed when the latest theory fails to provide it?

I am an NLP master practitioner myself and as far as I am concerned, the techniques are part of a much wider range of skills, a number of which are grounded in research and yet are compatible with NLP methods, many of which do indeed work.

As Jackie Beere says, NLP is really about an attitude to life. Trying to pigeon-hole it as a new wonder-cure, or as yet another piece of American wackiness does NLP - together with its detractors and its enthusiasts - a great disservice.

Let's face it, after 150 years of state education we still don't really know how children learn. Perhaps we never will - the human mind is a strange and wondrous thing - as Shakespeare said: "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

But then Hamlet wasn't very scientific, was he?

Mark Edwards 3 Hoopern Terrace Dawlish Devon

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