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Review: The Wild Days: NLP 1972-1981

The Wild Days: NLP 1972-1981
Terrence McClendon
What a fun little book and a great read for anyone who has taken NLP training and wonders where it all came from. McClendon was there right from the beginning days of NLP when Bandler and Grinder were carrying out all that crazy stuff in Santa Cruz. This is the best historical account of that period and although it is relatively brief (about 130 pages), it contains a huge amount of interesting and useful information about the development of the concepts of NLP and the interaction between the developers.
Each chapter takes us forward chronologically from 1972 when it began up to 1981 when Grinder and Bandler went separate ways and NLP broke into numerous strands. McClendon describes the beginnings in Gestalt Therapy, the initial classes and workshops by Bandler at the University of California in Santa Cruz, the beginning of the collaboration with Grinder, and the long crazy party-like workshops that went on through the night usually involving deep trance. From these beginnings, NLP moved onto modelling Virginia Satir’s work in Family Therapy and Milton Erickson’s work in hypnosis. There is much much more here that will be of interest and entertainment value for people involved in NLP today.
This is a short read, presented in simple straightforward prose. I read it from cover to cover in about 90 minutes. The illustrations by the author are rough sketches of various scenes from the history of NLP and they add to the intimate feeling of the text.

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