One of the questions I’ve been asked a lot lately is,
"Why are you teaching NLP in a Feldenkrais training?"
Because the new international teacher training in Amsterdam incorporates NLP into the curriculum, this is certainly a timely and relevant query. Given the intensity with which it’s often asked, I can tell that the folks who ask the question are seriously interested.
The answer is simple: NLP training can play a crucial part in preparing trainees to successfully and competently practice the method upon graduation.
Looking back at my education and considering the feedback I receive, I realized how much NLP contributes to the way I teach and why my lessons work. Living in the town where NLP started gave me the opportunity to study extensively with the founders, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, and their original collaborators and faculty members back in the early 80s. After completing the practitioner and master practitioner courses as well as additional training in hypnosis, modeling, and more, I graduated from the last NLP trainer’s training that Bandler and Grinder taught together.
Why does NLP make such a crucial difference?
Have you ever considered that in addition to creating the brilliant methodology that bears his name, Moshe Feldenkrais was also an incredibly engaging, charismatic teacher? He was a remarkable teller of teaching tales. From his teenage fascination with self-hypnosis to learning NLP in his later years (and becoming friends with co-founder Richard Bandler), Dr. Feldenkrais was intrigued by and continued to learned about communication and consciousness. However valuable and necessary these skills might have been to his success, he never taught them in any of the teacher trainings he conducted.
The fact is that no matter how good a training is or how well you understand the method unless you can listen to, understand, and communicate successfully with your students, it’s hard to imagine how you would succeed.
If you're not a natural-born communicator (or, even if you are, if you want to improve your ability to connect with others), then the training is the crucial time to cultivate these skills. Teaching the method is not a matter of mirroring Moshe’s manner. Trainees become the best possible teachers when they learn how to develop their unique gifts and abilities most effectively.
Make no mistake: we are not just adding NLP training on top of a Feldenkrais program. Instead, trainees will be learning the observational abilities, practical skills, and insights of NLP in the context of teaching Moshe's method well. Blending experiential and cognitive learning, trainees will develop their capacity communicate verbally and nonverbally. For instance, they’ll how to create rapport both through touch and talk. Likewise, they’ll learn how to engage a student’s curiosity when leading classes and when giving hands-on lessons as well as while talking to prospective students and giving public presentations.
Recently I offered an hour-long teleseminar to give a more in-depth explanation of why we teach NLP in the 5th Amsterdam International Feldenkrais Teacher Training (AIFTT V). I started with some of my personal experiences learning NLP and then proceeded to share how it made — and still makes — such a difference in how I teach. Beyond that, I addressed topics such as how:
- 1) NLP helps teachers communicate with the student's conscious and unconscious processes.
- 2) Tracking your students’ language, manner of expression, posture, and gestures can provide crucial clues to their individual learning strategies.
- 3) NLP’s explicit models and maps can help trainees become better teachers and enjoy the training process more.
Nicole Schneider, the international acclaimed NLP trainer who is a member of the AIFTT V faculty, snuck away from a family gathering long enough to share some of her experiences and insights as well.
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