NLP book review: The Big Book of NLP Techniques by Shlomo Vaknin

The Big Book of Nlp Techniques: 200+ Patterns & Strategies of Neuro Linguistic Programming

This book explicitly sets out to be a resource for NLP practitioners. As the author says in the introduction, it contains very little theory and no metaphors, stories or research backup.

This is all to the good – if you have had some decent training in NLP and you want to use it, you will already have had a wealth of experiences which demonstrate the value of the NLP approach. You won’t need further convincing.

You also won’t need yet another book which attempts to introduce NLP to readers who haven’t come across it before, or which provides another retread of the same few basic patterns that a hundred other books have already set out.

Instead, you will be looking for new patterns and techniques that perhaps your training didn’t cover, with step by step explanations of how to do them, and lots and lots of them! That is what this book provides.

It features 210 (!) patterns and techniques. And it’s fluff-free – pretty much all of its 700+ (!) pages are devoted to how to use the patterns. Not case studies, not attempts to persuade you of why you should use the pattern. Just – here the pattern is, and this is how you do it.

There are also little gems like ’55 Hypnotic Phrases used by Milton Erickson’.

A nice feature of the book is that where possible Shlomo gives credit to the original developers of the patterns. The book is very definitely not a promotion for him and his material.

Very occasionally, the writing style is a little unpolished, or there’s an insignificant typo – but that’s fine. No-one who is looking for a manual of NLP techniques is going to base their decision to buy on how much of a prose stylist the author is.

I’ve been an NLP trainer since 1997, and I hadn’t come across maybe 25% of these patterns before.

I just did a quick calculation – based on the price at the time of writing, your investment will be about 15 cents per pattern! Which, if you are an NLP practitioner, makes it a no-brainer to buy this book.

Update: There’s now an expanded and updated version, The Big Book of NLP Techniques, Expanded with 828 pages and over 350 patterns. The links below now point to the new version.

NB if you are in the UK or Canada, on this occasion it will be cheaper and quicker to order the book from as the UK and Canada stores don’t have it in stock.

Order this book from: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada

© 2009, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.

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