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Why IPANLP advise AGAINST pre-study materials

In the early days of NLP training there were very few books on NLP. 

Trainers at that time had to put together reasonable material to support their trainings.  Much of it was back ground reading material and some of it specifically followed the structure of their course.

NLP Courses were (and the excellent ones still are) run minimalistically, with the focus on discovery & conditioning of NLP Patterns through drills.  Originally NLP Practitioner courses were 20 -24 days long as Therapists legally had to undertake at least 120 hours of training over a miminum of 20 days.

In the early 90's some NLP trainers noticing the interest from business and personal development segments reduced the training to 15 and then only 7 days and introduced pre-study material for the participant to get up to speed on the NLP content prior to the course. This did appear to work for a short time with experienced Trainers who understood how to utilise it and would exclude participants from their courses if the participant had not gone through the pre-study material in detail.

These pre-course materials are no longer necessary as there are literally thousands of books, audio CD's and DVD & YouTube video's on NLP available at very reasonable cost.  Almost all participants of modern NLP courses have heard, read or viewed some of these prior to attending an NLP course.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind.  Pre-study materials continued to evolved mainly for marketing purposes, to "anchor" the participant to a particular training and are rather ineffective for pre-study because in the main people do not utilise it and the whole of the face to face training ends up covering content meant to have been covered in the pre-study material.

The costs of production of pre-study material are initially high and costs are passed onto the participant.  New NLP Trainers reduce the cost by copying from existing pre-study CD's or by downloading scripts from the internet and simply reading it aloud into a microphone. They are ineffective because the participant could more easily read a good book in a fraction of the time with much higher quality content. 

More importantly in the rare case that the participant has listened to the audio, from their own perspective and subjective experience, they arrive at the course with pre-conceived ideas about NLP which may be difficult to change during the training.

 It takes about 4 minutes to listen to an A4 page of text read to you, but only about 30 seconds to read that same page quietly to yourself (I've tested it!).  It makes more sense to buy a book and read the content yourself in a fraction of the time. 

Even if some of the pre-course material is now on DVD in video? Without the skill in NLP patterns of sensory acuity and calibration, particularly to unconscious signals, what exactly are you observing in a DVD video of a practitioner applying a technique to a client??

Pre-study material is about marketing, appearing to 'give' great quantities of materials, and appearing to give you greater value for money.
What makes more sense to us is that after undergoing NLP Training and experiencing for yourself the NLP Patterns and Processes - that your trainer provides you with 'post-course' learning material in the form of exercises to continue the conditioning of the core NLP patterns.

This embeds the generative skills and helps them become second nature.  Even if there is a manual, giving it out at the END of the training means that when the participant reads it at home AFTER the training, as a reference manual as it was originally intended, they can relate what they read back to the experiences of the training rather than their previous subjective experience.

It is far better to leave an NLP Training with immediately useful skills which can be enhanced with post course exercises.