Those of you who missed the 1st edition of this excellent book, there is now a second chance to pick up this modern classic.
The premise of the work is that many NLP books are available that contain, within extensive “padding”, only a few patterns, some books just one or two. Hall achieves his goal of separating the wheat from the chaff admirably with all the objectivity of a Haynes car manual leaving this pragmatic work refreshingly academic yet accessible. Like a cookbook it is reference driven allowing the practitioner access to these powerful patterns without the contingency of having to wade into battle against the author's literary aspirations.
What are these patterns?
Most of these patterns are primarily action orientated, simple exercises to be run through step by step with regard to specific ends. The other few are, more fundamentally, explanations of NLP assumptions, such as the principle of well formed outcomes.
Hall begins by introducing the reader to an overview of NLP and levels-of-processing that is indispensable, as within the instructions to the patterns he falls back on a few technical concepts with out further explanation, such as “test and future pace”.
Then we come the patterns themselves, organised roughly according to their level of processing, the book allows you to easily select a pattern for your goal. Included patterns are; collapsing anchors, resolving internal conflict, chaining states, becoming intentionally compelled, responding to criticism, healthy eating, spinning icons”..
The second edition adds to the first; some simplification of the procedures and a little more detail as to the cognitive / behavioural mechanisms used in the patterns, and a deserved revision of the introduction. In the first (and second) edition Hall asserts that there may be as many as 200 distinct patterns and surely some that haven't been invented (or should that be discovered?) yet. So I was expecting some new patterns in the 2nd ed. but it's the original 77.
I don't know how I would start to define the distinction of a unique pattern (as opposed to a variant) anyway. I find it unlikely that at a computational ” cognitive level there are 200 modes of action, so it's safe to assume the all of the building blocks are here for you. Hall hints that, a list of patterns touted as “exhaustive”, would promote dogma and stagnate inventive development, through his legitimate assertion that all the patterns are largely prototypical and are easily extended and adapted.
Without being overly complex, this book is dense.