Why I Am Not NLP Certified


by Don Smith

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Earlier this year, I announced that one of my goals for this year was to get NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) certified. I signed up for Kain Ramsay's NLP course and started going through the material.

I found myself struggling with it because it just didn't fit my style. I'm very direct and goal-oriented in my coaching, and this seemed very “touchy-feely” for lack of a better word. I tried to keep an open mind, but I'm very much a “there's the goal, let's figure out the quickest way to achieve it” type of guy. NLP was not like that at all.

I was surprised because I enjoyed Kain's life coaching certification course and have used several of the workbooks from that original course in my coaching practice. He was good at explaining things as usual during this course, so it's nothing against Kain's teaching ability, but I couldn't get into it.

I asked one of my friends who is a board-certified psychiatrist about the subject. She pointed me to several peer-reviewed studies like this one which concluded, “we have no hesitation in coming to the view that coaching psychologists and those interested in evidenced-based coaching would be wise to ignore the NLP brand in favor of models, approaches, and techniques where a clear evidence base exists.”

That was the final straw for me. I wasn't that far into the course, and while the subject matter had always interested me, it didn't fit my direct style. Provided the additional information where study after study like the one I mentioned earlier concluded that there are more effective methods, I decided it wasn't worth pursuing further.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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