Reader Questions – Might You Clarify the Distinction Between Course of, Sample and Content material?

Sally emailed me asking me to make clear the distinctions of Course of, Sample and Content material.

These three phrases confuse starting and superior NLP college students alike – mainly the method/content material distinction.

I am going to share with you my definition. It is VERY doubtless for different trainers to disagree with it. Undertake it in the event you discover it helpful.

Within the context of NLP, a sample is a predictable unit of behavioral sequence.

Now what the hell does that imply?

Gregory Bateson defines the sample as follows in Steps To An Ecology of The Thoughts:

any mixture of occasions or objects (e.g. a sequence of phonemes, a portray, or a frog or a tradition) shall be mentioned to include a “redundancy” or a “sample” if the mixture could be divided in any approach by a “slash mark” such that an observer perceiving solely what’s on one facet of the slash mark can guess with higher than random success, what’s on the opposite facet of the slash mark…. Or, once more from the perspective of a cybernetic observer, the data out there on one facet of the slash will restrain) i.e. scale back the likelihood of) improper guessing.

OK, now that we now have the jargon and the summary out of the best way, let’s do this in English.

To illustrate that you just contact James’s hair and he will get indignant. Hmmm, fascinating… Then, you discover later that Tim touches James’s hair and he will get indignant once more. Wow, what is going on on right here? One other time, Tara touches James’s hair and he will get indignant once more.

At this level, you’ve got seen a sample. How are you going to inform? As a result of you may semi-accurately predict that anytime somebody touches James’s hair, he will get indignant.

That is the construction of a sample. Anytime x occurs, y occurs. Anytime somebody touches James’s hair, James will get indignant.

To make use of Bateson’s slash mark, it appears as follows: somebody touches James’s hair/James will get indignant.

Now, in the event you have been to look at solely half of the film (somebody touching James’s hair) and paused it, you might precisely predict the second half of the film (James getting indignant).

You are surrounded by patterns. The refrain of a tune is a sample, which you’ll be able to predict time and time once more. You most likely brush your tooth and dry your post-shower physique in a sample, figuring out precisely what comes after every stroke.

Anytime x occurs, y occurs.

Course of vs Content material
Now on to the feud! Right here we go…

Have been John Grinder speaking to you, he would undoubtedly argue that this IS the NLP distinction in remedy.

As soon as once more, let’s hit an instance to make this extra apparent than Leonardo DiCaprio strolling round in Uganda.

Karl wants remedy, in response to him. The explanation for this, he tells you, is that his father beat him when he was a child.

This final piece of information is content material.

A psychotherapist educated in most modalities would doubtless dabble into content material to carry out an intervention. This could contain exploring Karl’s relationship to his father, reliving a number of the beatings, attempting to know why his father beat him the best way he did, and many others.

Enters the NLP-trained therapist.

This therapist will discover how Karl represents the issue scenario. In different phrases, what does Karl do to make himself really feel dangerous? Does he make footage? Does he discuss to himself? Does he hear sure voices? Does he expertise kinesthetic sensations?

As soon as she has recognized that Karl talks to himself after which feels dangerous, the therapist will discover HOW SPECIFICALLY he talks to himself. How loud is the voice? The place in house does it come from?

Then, the therapist will information Karl in altering the best way he talks to himself. He’ll decrease the quantity. He’ll transfer the voice round in house. He’ll speed up the voice. He’ll change its pitch. All the best way till Karl notices that he not feels dangerous when he continues telling himself the very same issues he used to.

In different phrases, Karl is now processing the content material otherwise.

NLP-trained therapists can carry out an intervention on a consumer completely blind to the content material, that’s, with out having a clue as to what the difficulty is. You possibly can learn many examples of this in Frogs Into Princes.

So content material is what occurs. Course of is the best way we symbolize what occurs.

Summing all of it up
There you’ve it. Course of, Sample and Content material.

Course of: The way in which we symbolize what occurs.

Sample: Anytime x occurs, most certainly y will occur.

Content material: What occurs.

Easy, huh?


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