Understanding NLP Meta Model

The first model the NLP founders created is the Metal model, which came about as a result of modeling the communication intervention styles of the successful psychiatrists Fritz Perls and Milton Erickson. This model allows the operator to extract and loosen the “encodings of reality” of the subjects. The map is not the territory and through language people unwittingly fall prey and see life, limited by the biases in their perceptions.

Deletions, Distortions and Generalizations

Communication is always imperfect and incomplete and only a tiny part of the experiences is actually communicated. To use the meta model is to bring back the missing information and thus changing the beliefs and meaning. Our encoding of reality in our minds is governed by the following.


To eliminate dimensions in the experiences to tune out the necessary to make the experience more manageable or tangible and these are the bits we deem unimportant for that time.

*Simple Deletions (Unspecified Nouns, Relationships, Adjectives)

“It’s time for you to face reality” This can be challenged by challenging the violations. Which reality? Say’s who exactly? Which time is that?


“You’re the worst driver I’ve ever met!”

Because you are being compared against an invisible entity? Bring it back by challenging him “Which drivers are you comparing me to?”

Unspecified Verbs

“Don’t force me to call the cops!”

Bring back the deletion by challenging him “How am I forcing you to do that exactly?”

Unspecified Referential Indices

“People hate you!”

The deletion was the people. “Who are these people exactly that you claim to hate me?”

Lost Performatives

“You don’t look like you belong here”

The one making the value judgment is deleted. Bring it back by challenging” Who thinks I don’t belong?”


We arbitrarily convolute the interpretation of reality by distorting the meaning or the facts themselves.


“After you bring me tea, please bring the magazine after.”

Presupposed the one being ordered will comply to the request, and that the speak (I) wants tea, that I will drink it, that I am not Illiterate and have time to read it etc. Each of the presuppositions can be challenged.


“Look at what you made me do!”

Speaker has made a cause and effect relationship that my actions made him do something.

Challenge it by “What exactly did you do, and how did I manage to do that?”

Mind Reading

“You are just trying to make me look dumb!”

Speaker assumes to know what we are thinking. Challenge it by asking specifically how he is able to read our intentions.


Verbs or actions frozen, and turned to things or events

“I hate his singing”

Bring light to the nominalization by “unfreezing” it. “Which parts of his singing do you hate? Delivery? Diction? Style? , Voice? “

Complex Equivalences

“Why aren’t you eating? You hate my cooking don’t you!”

Speaker puts one statement to mean another thing. You can challenge this by disentangling or questioning how not eating is NOT equal to hating her cooking.

Selective Restriction Violations

“You have the personality of a stump”

Attributing properties or values to an entity that does not poses that mode, like a stump is a nonliving therefore will not have a personality.


Generalization is a shortcut people tend to do to categorize things and events to have one meaning or universal truths. This is one of the things that causes or installs beliefs and people.


“You always wear that shirt”

“All men are pigs!”

Easily challenged by poking holes at “always” and citing examples for that statement to be untrue.

“Your priest, was also promiscuous?”

Modal Operators

Cans and Can’t (Possibilities), Should and Shouldn’t (Judgments), Would and Wouldn’t (Contingencies), Must and Mustn’t (Necessities)

“You shouldn’t wear that dress”

“You can’t drive home without bringing me Pizza”

“He wouldn’t want you to feel sad”

“You mustn’t go out with less than $50 in your pocket”

Challenged by pointing out if the request or statement is not complied to, by asking the opposite.

What if he can, would, should, would action?

Start with Chapter 1 – What is NLP? and return next week to read Chapter 6 – Anchoring Your Way To A Success State Of Mind

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