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Richard Bandler (full-name: Richard Wayne Bandler) (born February 24, 1950) is an American author and the co-inventor (with John Grinder) of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and creator of Design Human Engineering (DHE) and Neuro Hypnotic Repatterning (NHR), .

Education and Background

Bandler holds a BA (1973) in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)[1]and an MA (1975) in Psychology from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco. Bandler has claimed in at least one seminar that he submitted a dissertation to, and was awarded a doctorate from the University of San Francisco. There is no record of a Richard Wayne Bandler having submitted a dissertation at USF[2].

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)

Main articles: Neuro-linguistic programming, History of NLP

Co-Founding of NLP

Richard Bandler was invited by Bob Spitzer, owner of Science and Behavior Books to attend trainings by Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir, and was later hired by Spritzer to help edit one of Perls' books--The Gestalt Approach. Because this happened prior to his meeting with John Grinder, Bandler has claimed that NLP originated with him. [How to reference and link to summary or text]

While Bandler was a student at University of California, Santa Cruz he also led a Gestalt therapy workshop and invited assistant professor of linguistics, John Grinder to observe. Grinder said to Bandler that he could explain almost all of the questions and comments Bandler made using transformational grammar, the topic in linguistics that Grinder specialized in. They developed a model for therapy and called it the meta-model. It became their first book, The Structure of Magic, Volume I (1975). Together, they met Gregory Bateson who taught at UCSC, Kresge College as did Grinder, and had moved to a community on Alba Road near the Santa Cruz mountains community of Ben Lomond. Bateson and Grinder would have a profound influence on Bandler's future. Grinder and Bateson supplied many of the intellectual foundations and Bateson introduced the pair to Milton Erickson, which formed some of the foundational models for Neuro-linguistic programming[1]. In 1975 Bandler then formed his own publishing company, Meta Publications, and published Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson Volume I (1975). Bateson withdrew support soon after, objecting to their mixing of logical types in the book on Erickson.

Bandler and Grinder went on to author The Structure of Magic Volume II (1976), Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson Volume II (1977) and Changing With Families (1976), which was co-authored with Virginia Satir herself.

Bandler also modeled Israeli physicist and founder of the Feldenkrais school of body work, Moshe Feldenkrais, and later published his book "The Elusive Obvious". In many of his classes, he has taught elements of this form of bodywork which he modeled.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

Litigation, Prosecution and Bankruptcy

In 1980 Bandler's company Not Ltd had reported earnings of more than US$800,000 and he and his then wife -- Leslie Cameron-Bandler -- were living an opulent lifestyle. By the end of 1980 Bandler's collaboration with Grinder -- where they lectured, trained and co-authored -- abruptly ended and his wife filed for divorce (after two years of marriage). Leslie Cameron-Bandler was later to report that Bandler was emotionally and physically abusive.[3] In 1983, Not Ltd declared bankruptcy.[4]

In 1986, Bandler was tried and acquitted of first degree murder. [5]

In July of 1996 Bandler filed suit against John Grinder and again in January 1997 against Grinder and numerous prominent members of the NLP community including, Carmen Bostic-St. Clair, Steve and Connirae Andreas. Bandler claimed trademark infringement, intellectual property ownership of NLP, conspiratorial tortious interference and breach of settlement agreement and permanent injunction by Grinder.[6] [7] [8]

In addition to claiming (retrospective) sole ownership of NLP, Bandler claimed "damages against each such defendant in an amount to be proven at trial, but in no event less than [US]$10,000,000.00". The list of defendants included 200 "Does", i.e. empty names to be specified later. [9]

On February 2000 the Superior Court found against Bandler stating that "Bandler has misrepresented to the public, through his licensing agreement and promotional materials, that he is the exclusive owner of all intellectual property rights associated with NLP, and maintains the exclusive authority to determine membership in and certification in the Society of NLP." [10]

Contemporaneous with Bandler's suits in the US Superior Court, Tony Clarkson (of Clarkson Knitting Limited) sought the revocation of Bandler's UK registered trademark "NLP" in the UK High Court. The UK High Court found in favor of Clarkson Knitting Limited and on 11 July 2000 Bandler was made bankrupt. [11]

By the end of 2000 some sort of rapprochement between Bandler and Grinder was achieved when the parties entered a release wherein they inter alia agreed that "they are the co-creators and co-founders of the technology of Neuro-linguistic Programming. Drs. Grinder and Bandler recognize the efforts and contributions of each other in the creation and initial development of NLP." In the same document, "Dr. John Grinder and Dr. Richard Bandler mutually agree to refrain from disparaging each other's efforts, in any fashion, concerning their respective involvement in the field of NeuroLinguistic Programming." ("Release" reproduced as Appendix A of Whispering in the Wind by Grinder and Bostic St Clair (2001)).


Richard Bandler was a major part of the development of many of the most important ideas that are considered a part of NLP. Among ideas that Bandler has developed include nesting loops, chaining states, advanced submodality applications and multiple timelines.{citation needed}

Richard Bandler together with Todd Epstein developed much of the NLP theory and practice associated with submodalities[12], i.e. "the particular perceptual qualities that may be registered by each of the five primary sensory modalities"[13]. Post-1980 much of Bandler's work revolved around the NLP concept of submodalities[14].

Design Human Engineering (DHE)

Design Human Engineering is an offshoot, or extension, from Neuro-linguistic programming. Design Human Engineering refers to using NLP models to formulate new levels of performance without directly modeling, but rather through applying contrasting models.

Bandler has stated that he considers Design Human Engineering to be significantly different from traditional NLP and he has created many new techniques in recent years. Bandler claims that many of the newer techniques are more direct and more effective. Critics argue that his new techniques are not theoretically different from traditional NLP.

Bandler independently developed Neuro-Sonics, Neuro-Hypnotic Repatterning, Persuasion Engineering and Design Human Engineering and authored Magic in Action, Using Your Brain for a Change, Time for a Change and Persuasion Engineering (written with John LaValle). Bandler continues to lecture, consult and produce media on NLP.

Bandler currently teaches DHE and NHR with co-trainer John La Valle and NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner with trainer Paul McKenna and Michael Neill.{citation needed}


  • Bandler, Richard & John Grinder (1975a). [- The Structure of Magic I: A Book About Language and Therapy], -, Palo Alto, CA: Science & Behavior Books.. 0831400447.
  • Bandler, Richard & John Grinder (1975b). [- The Structure of Magic II: A Book About Communication and Change], -, PaloAlto, CA: Science & Behavior Books.. ISBN 0-8314-0049-8.
  • Grinder, John, Richard Bandler (1976). [- Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume I], -, Cupertino, CA :Meta Publications.. -.
  • John Grinder, Richard Bandler, Judith Delozier (1977). [- Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume II], -, Cupertino, CA :Meta Publications.. -.
  • John Grinder, Richard Bandler (1976). [- Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming], -, Science and Behavior Books.. -.
  • John Grinder, Richard Bandler (1979). [- Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming], 194pp, Moab, UT: Real People Press.. ISBN 0-911226-19-2.
  • Grinder, John and Richard Bandler (1981). [- Trance-Formations: Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Structure of Hypnosis], -, Moab, UT: Real People Press.. ISBN 0-911226-23-0.
  • Grinder, John and Richard Bandler (1983). [- Reframing: Neurolinguistic programming and the transformation of meaning], -, Moab, UT: Real People Press.. ISBN 0-911226-25-7.
  • Using Your Brain for a Change, 1985 (ISBN 0-911226-27-3)
  • Magic In Action, 1992 (ISBN 0-916990-14-1)
  • Time for a Change, 1993 (ISBN 0-916990-28-1)
  • Persuasion Engineering - 1996 (ISBN 0-916990-36-2)

It would be good if there were pictures to go along with the titles for these books.

See also

External links

Biographical & Personal
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
Design Human Engineering (DHE™) and Neurohypnotic Repatterning (NHR™)

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  1. John Grinder & Carmen Bostic St. Clair, (2001) Whispering in the Wind. C&J Enterprises.