With Tad James 1990
Here is a list of my NLP teachers in chronological order.
They all had different approaches and presentation styles, but I enjoyed
learning from every one of them.
I feel privileged to have trained with such legends.
Anthony Robbins 1980s
I had the pleasure of meeting Tony Robbins
in May 1985 when I attended his Fear into Power
weekend in Los Angeles, which included the firewalking
experience. I was so impressed with the workshop that I
resolved to learn all I could about the NLP methodology
Tony taught, and contacted the originators, Richard
Bandler and John Grinder, in Santa Cruz, California.
I attended a number of Tony's events for graduates, including a
training session for assistants where I broke a board with my
bare hands for the first time. Since the 1980s, Tony has become
the number one success trainer in the world, with a client list
that includes presidents and royalty. Along the way he's
modified the NLP material into his own unique approach, which
he calls Neuro-Associative Conditioning.
Tony continues to be an inspiration through his books and tape
To watch a video of Tony, please click on Tony Robbins Video.
Richard Bandler is one of the creative
geniuses behind NLP and is the originator of many of its
most popular and effective processes. I did my NLP
Practitioner training with Richard and his associates,
Christina Hall, Max Steinbach and Gary Boone, in Santa
Cruz in August 1985.
Richard was an inspiring teacher who taught with skill and
humor. He chose me as a subject to demonstrate an auditory
swish pattern, and apparently the videotape of that session has
been played at subsequent NLP trainings. I think of it as my
five minutes of NLP fame.
To watch an interview with Richard on video, please click on
Richard Bandler Video.
Richard Bandler 1980s
With Todd & Robert
Robert Dilts & Todd Epstein
Robert Dilts and Todd Epstein were two of
the guest trainers at my NLP Practitioner training, and I
enjoyed their teaching styles so much that I chose to do
my Master Track training with them in August of 1986.
Robert and Todd were a great double act, their teaching
sessions interspersed with some entertaining comedy patter.
During the training, I volunteered for a conflict resolution
demonstration conducted by Todd and Robert. While resolving my
conflicting impulses of aspiring to the status of a respected
professional while simultaneously desiring to dance on table
tops like Zorba the Greek, Todd christened me 'Zelda the
Greek', which remained my name for the remainder of the
training. I'm grateful to Todd for giving Zelda permission to
Since Todd's death, Robert and Judith DeLozier continue to
operate the NLP University in Santa Cruz. Robert was one of
Bandler and Grinder's original students at the birth of NLP and
remains one of its most respected figures.
John Grinder, the brilliant co-founder of
NLP, offered a number of trainings in the 1980s after his
split with Richard Bandler. I attended his NLP
Practitioner Training Using Ericksonian Hypnosis in
Grinder's team of trainers was exceptional, and included Susan
Marcus, Michael Colgrass, Charlotte Bretto and Judith De
Lozier. Herbert Lustig and Robert Dilts were guest lecturers at
the training. John has an amazing presence and is one of the
most charismatic people I have ever met. The highlight of the
training was a private demonstration John gave three of us of a
double induction hypnotic technique.
John has since moved on to other types of training, and his
former partner, Judith DeLozier, now runs NLP University with
John Grinder 1980s
Norma Baretta 1980s
In 1988 I elected to do some one-on-one NLP
training with Dr Norma Barretta, an associate of John
Grinder. Over the following 10 months, I drove from Los
Angeles to San Diego monthly for private sessions with
She taught me a variety of approaches, answered my many
questions and guided me through some personal changes. It was a
wonderful experience on both an educational and an emotional
I always looked forward to my sessions with Norma. She was
smart, knowledgeable and a lot of fun. Norma said she would
always remember me as the girl who burned her list of negative
beliefs and buried the ashes in LA's Pan Pacific
Late in 1988 I made two additional trips to
San Diego to participate in a process called Imperative
Self Training. This intensive two-part workshop is the
brainchild of Leslie Cameron-Bandler, a co-developer of
NLP. Imperative Self Training focuses on a person's
overall approach to life, and is a powerful instrument of
generative change. My trainer was Marilyn Blank, one of
the first therapists Leslie trained in this method, and
the core of what she taught me is something I use to this
I've always regretted not doing a training with Leslie while I
lived in California. In her books she comes across as a
committed and caring person, and she played a vital role in
both the development of NLP and the professional accreditation
Leslie Cameron Bandler
Wyatt Woodsmall 1990
Tad James & Wyatt Woodsmall
In 1989 I attended Tad James's workshop on
Creating Your Future, based on his book of the same name.
Tad specialized in Timeline therapy and published the
definitive book on the subject, co-authored with Wyatt
Woodsmall. He is also a teacher of Huna, the spiritual
tradition of Hawaii, his home state.
Tad has an entertaining and effective teaching style, so I
decided to do my NLP Trainer's Training with him and Wyatt
Woodsmall the following year (1990) in Washington, DC.
The training was excellent, with some fascinating material
provided by Wyatt, a true scholar and an expert in world
religions as well as a host of other subjects.
To watch a video interview with Tad, please click on
Tad James Video.
Other NLP mentors I've met only through their written works but greatly
- Steve and Connirae Andreas are the editors of the first books on NLP:
Frogs into Princes, Reframing, and Tranceformations,
and later wrote their own, Change your Mind and Keep the Change and
Heart of the Mind. For a time I was part of a program in which Steve
and Connirae made their videotape library available via the postal system
to NLP graduates throughout the United States. I regret that I left the
country before I had the opportunity to take one of their residential
trainings in Colorado.
- Leslie Cameron Bandler is the author of a series of NLP books,
including Know How, The Emprint Method and The Emotional
Hostage. I'm a great fan of Leslie's books, and appreciate her unique
approach to NLP.
- Joseph O'Connor, a UK-based NLP practitioner, co-authored two very
readable works on the various aspects of the technology. Steven Lankton,
Genie LaBorde and David Gordon also write excellent books on NLP.
- For a list of NLP book titles, go to the NLP Resources
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