NLP in the world - Interview Series

Lucas Derks – Netherlands – NLP or making intuition concrete

NLPintheworld2Some of you will already know Lucas Derks, his book Social Panoramas is simply fascinating, and Lucas participated in Michael Hall Collection ‘NLP innovation for Challenging Times’. Lucas works from Netherlands, and has also published a documentary ‘Points of view, NLP in the world’. Lucas can be contacted on LinkedIn, as well as on his company site  and on Facebook.


Talking4good (T4g): How did you come into contact with NLP?
Lucas:  I found The Structure of Magic in 1977, as part of my psychology study at University, and reading the book, I recognized that its content filled in a gap in academic psychology. Since I had chosen to become a very good psychologis

: What NLP qualification do you have?t, I had to do what later became NLP <smile>. And since 1986 I have

 been a fulltime NLP-er <smile>.

Lucas: Practitioner, Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer.

T4g: Which NLP association would your qualifications be accredited by?
Lucas: NVNLP (Dutch) IANLP (international, in Switzerland) IN (international association of NLP Institutes, NLP Nielsen in Berlin.)

T4g: Have you joined an NLP association?
Lucas: Yes, the above mentioned organizations.

T4g: What do you expect from those various NLP associations?
Lucas: I expect that these organizations facilitate communication between its members by organizing Magazines and Congresses. I do not give much about standards and rules: since NLP was anarchistic from the beginning on.

T4g: What do you like best in NLP?
Lucas: NLP makes concrete what is intuition to most people. It forwarded applied psychology a few decades. It is creative and free. It enables me to do what I believe is best, without the limitations of professional organizations or peer control. I do meet many nice people along the way, and it brought me an interesting and good life. It is nice to be free from subsidiary money, not to have to write research proposals all the time or being handcuff by treatment conventions.

T4g: How did you come about writing Social Panoramas?
Lucas: I am a social psychologist (researcher). I was asking myself from the early eighties onwards, ‘How can I combine NLP with social psychology?’ The answer came while working with clients, this was the start of Social Panoramas, and testing this idea proved it right! By just working with relationships and mental space, the techniques developed through time, based on real situation. Delivering workshops helped me to clarify my ideas, and writing the book even more so <smile>.

T4g: Tell us more about Social Panoramas and its application? I am particularly curious in its usage in mediation since I notice you had a video labelled as such, unfortunately for me in German.
Lucas: The social panorama can be applied on all issues that involve human relations in some way, which means as conclusion: there are no real limits to its application… Love, hate, belonging, in-group/out-group issues, politics, sales, and social aspects of personality. A major part has to do with the SELF, as the core of our relating to others.

T4g: How is NLP present in your country?
Lucas: In the Netherlands we have had NLP institutes since 1982. Now there are about 50 providing practitioners’ trainings. Regular mental healthcare and academic clinical psychologists have been critical ever since toward NLP and this is a deep rooted problem for the field. But it is easy to understand why this resistance is there… NLP-ers help to keep it alive. Somewhere I don’t mind this so much, If all academic psychologists were enthusiastic about NLP the whole field would be taken into the direction where clinical psychology is now. Let’s say then, that, like in many other countries, NLP is popular between every type of people except academic clinical psychologists.

T4g: Tell us about ‘Points of view in the world of NLP.’
Lucas: Filming is my hobby <smile>. I travel to NLP institutes around the world, and have the chance to know well known NLP-ers since we have been long time colleague. It was a nice and not too difficult project for me.

T4g: What about NLP and research?
Lucas: I believe that NLP as a toolbox cannot be evaluated in a scientific manner, because experimental protocols will reduce NLP to something NLP-ers will not consider similar to what they do. On the other hand all the tools can be evaluated separately. And quite often this will not be so difficult since they are well described. The problem of course is, that the conclusion from evaluating one of the tools will never apply to the whole box… and somewhere we will never be able to claim that NLP is tested and works, based on scientific standards. Still I am working at a small test of the social panorama’s basic premises. It is just the sport to get something about it publicized in Social Cognition (journal) <smile>.

T4g: Any specific NLP research you would like to be involved with?
Lucas: I guess… Research that will help to discover new things, and will not be a waste of time in proving NLP efficiency to a sceptical and unwilling academic audience. ..

T4g: What would be your next step with NLP?
Lucas: I just follow my fascination… which means no real plans for NLP. Now I am writing about NLP and autism. NLP is in a way autistic social science. People with Asperger syndrom love a systematic structure about what they do not understand intuitively.

T4g: A last comment to conclude?
Lucas: Reflecting on the history and roots of NLP… which is not typical NLP <smile>, since NLP is about looking forward. So reflecting… there is much in NLP’s past that needs to be clarified to get rid of the myths that disable us going into the future, and for me much has to do with the ambiguous role of Richard Bandler as creator-destructor.

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