Role of the Meta Model in NLP
Armed with a heuristic questionnaire, the Meta Model for Neuro-linguistic Programming endeavors to recover highly detailed and unambiguous information about the client, by challenging his beliefs and line of thought, and expanding his personally set boundaries into a more wider and open model of the world.
The model identifies any alterations, generalizations and omissions adopted by the client by concentrating on his language and choice of words. The meta model is a part of the foundation of Neuro-linguistic programming laid down by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, both experts in the field of linguistics.
The Neuro Linguistic courses based on the Meta Model are derived from the verbal patterning techniques designed by the renowned therapists Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls. The Neuro Linguistic training is designed to bring out the inherent feelings, attitude and outlook of the client. The questions used in the Meta Model are meant to bring clarity of thought and language for the client, so that his belief systems and thought processes can be understood and worked upon.
The actual work on language patterns was initiated by the Virginia Satir, who was a family therapist, and Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. The language patterns also draw their influence from transformational syntax, which deals with Linguistic Patterns. Several claims state that the meta model is a more accurate and complete representation of the individuals model of the surrounding world.
The Neuro-linguistic Training on Meta model tries to extract the deeper structure behind the overlaying surface structure that is formed with the opening verbal language and expressions chosen by the client. By challenging the limits of the clients view of the world, and getting rid of or elaborating upon the deletions and alterations, a more complete model of the clients world map can be derived.
As a contrast to this theory, a reverse model exists, known as the Milton model originating from the works of Milton Erickson, which primarily relies on a skillful vagueness of the language pattern to derive the individual’s map of the world.
The Neuro Linguistic training on meta model essentially targets the analysis of the general semantics and transformational grammar used by the client. Neuro linguistic training involves the concept that language used by an individual is a translation of his underlying mental state into carefully selected words by the mind. This process is usually an unconscious behavior, and includes several noteworthy points.
For example, not everything that is being thought of is actually put into words, resulting in deletion of certain facts or observations. Several assumptions could be made by the individual and there could be structural incorrectness as compared to the facts, leading to a distortion in the event portrayed. There could also be an inclination to use wide ranging statements leading to generalization of the core idea or problem at hand. In addition to this, the listener or therapist himself might not fully comprehend or correctly interpret what is being said, and the image generated after being filtered through his set of beliefs and assumptions might drastically deviate from the actual truth.
The Function of Language Patterns in Human Communication
Looking from a therapeutic context, these language patterns exist in all forms of human communication. For example, a client may make a statement such as “Why did it happen to him?” In this case, an expert practitioner using Neuro Linguistic courses will try to find the real meaning behind this statement.
The meaning of “it” is not known at this point, which is supposedly the major cause of distress and concern for the client. The experience of the client is a response based on his particular perception of the sounds, images and feelings he felt during the time of the event. The client has then categorized this experience based on his past experiences, beliefs, fears and feelings, and then labeled it with certain specific words. The concept of the meta model to use the information-deprived language and words and recreate a more rich, precise and detailed experience captured by all the primary senses of the client. Only then can constructive and positive changes be brought about in the life of the client and his behavior.
Neuro Linguistic Programming using the Meta Model can be applied in our day to day lives and behavior. There are several techniques to identify the underlying thoughts of a case by further probing. For example, a presupposition made by a client is an inherent assumption where the actual truth is known or taken for granted. A negation of the expression used by the client will not change the presupposition, such as “I want to marry again” or “I do not want to marry again” both hint that the subject has been married before once or more than one time. A presupposition should not be confused with an implication, where the rule of negation might not always work.
The Cause and Effect Analysis
Other examples of Meta model based Neuro Linguistic Programming include the cause and effect analysis, wherein one event most likely results in another event provided everything else remains the same. A mind reading violation is said to have occurred when a person claims he knows the thoughts and predicts the actions of another person without and direct evidence. A universal quantifier is said to have happened when a person attempts to characterize a whole bunch of people into having a particular belief or action, that is a thought or action is true for every related thing or person.
Other techniques included in neuro-linguistic training use unspecified comparators or indices for explaining an idea or event. Thus, by improving the clarity of thought and communication, the actual problem and issues can be identified and dealt with.