John Grinder

From Academic Kids

John Grinder is the co-founder (with Richard Bandler) of Neuro-linguistic programming.



John Grinder graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in psychology in the early 1960's. Grinder then entered United States military service where he served as a Green Beret in Europe during the Cold War; following this he apparently went on to work for a US intelligence agency. In the late 1960's, Grinder went back to college to study Linguistics, eventually receiving a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. After this Grinder studied with cognitive science founder George Miller at Rockefeller University. [1] (

Following this, Grinder was selected as an assistant professor of linguistics at the newly founded University of California campus at Santa Cruz. During his academic career, Grinder focused on Noam Chomsky's theories of transformational grammar and worked on the area of syntax. His works in the area of linguistics include Guide to Transformational Grammar (co-authored with Suzette Elgin, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1973) and On Deletion Phenomena in English (Mouton & Co., 1972) and numerous articles. [2] (

While at Santa Cruz, Grinder began working with Richard Bandler, who was then a post graduate student experimenting with psychotherapy. Together, they became aware of patterns in language used by therapists; they observed and then produced models of language based on the leading figure in family therapy Virginia Satir, Gestalt therapy founder Fritz Perls, and later the leading figure in hypnotherapy Milton Erickson. During the next three years, Grinder and Bandler continued to model the various cognitive behavioral patterns of these therapists, which they published in their books The Structure of Magic Volumes I & II (1975, 1976), Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, Volumes I & II (1975, 1977) and Changing With Families (1976). These books became the foundation of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. During this period, a very creative group of students and psychotherapists formed around Grinder and Bandler, who made valuable contributions to NLP, including Robert Dilts, Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Judith DeLozier, David Gordon, and Steve and Connirae Andreas.

Bandler and Grinder began giving lectures together. They believed that by producing models based on effective therapists and breaking them down into parts they would be able to teach these techniques to other psychologists. They produced several more academic style books and several books for the masses based on transcripts of their lectures. Those books sold very well, but due to legal problems between Bandler and Grinder many later went out of print.

Critics claim they were more concerned with the bottom line than with scientific validity. They might argue that they were concerned with what works rather than scientific validity - and that they were developing models not scientific theories.

In the 1980s Bandler, Grinder and their group of associates encountered difficulty and stopped working together. Many members of their group went out on their own and took NLP in their own directions. Bandler attempted to use the legal system to prevent others from using the term Neuro-Linguistic Programming but failed. Since then many new questionable NLP schools and companies have opened up and greatly altered the field. John Grinder focused primarily on working as a consultant, applying NLP methods and principles within companies and organizations.

John Grinder initially teamed up with Judith DeLozier to produce so-called 'new code' NLP and the book Turtles All The Way Down. Critics argue that Grinder failed to sufficiently differentiate his version of NLP from original NLP.

In 1987, John Grinder stopped collaborating with Judith De Lozier; and began working with Carmen Bostic St Clair. They founded Quantum Leap Inc. together. They released a book in 2001 called Whispering in the Wind.


  • Guide to Transformational Grammar (co-authored with Suzette Elgin, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1973)
  • On Deletion Phenomena in English (Mouton & Co., 1972) and numerous articles.
  • The Structure of Magic Volumes I & II (1975, 1976) with Richard Bandler
  • Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, Volumes I & II (1975, 1977) with Richard Bandler
  • Changing With Families (1976), with Richard Bandler
  • Frogs into Princes, 1979, with Richard Bandler (ISBN 0911226192)
  • TRANCE-formations, 1981, with Richard Bandler (ISBN 0911226230)
  • Reframing, 1982, with Richard Bandler (ISBN 0911226257)
  • Turtles All The Way Down, in 1986, with Judith De Lozier
  • Whispering in the Wind, in 1991, with Carmen Bostic St Clair*
  • Precision: A New Approach to Communication : How to Get the Information You Need to Get Results Precision, in 1993, with Michael McMaster

See also


External links

de:John Grinder


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