NLP Book Review – “The Rainbow Machine” by Andrew T Austin

The Rainbow Machine

‘With hindsight, maybe dressing up as Satan was a step too far, but sometimes I just cannot resist. When a consultant psychiatrist called me to book an appointment to “confront her Catholic guilt”, then something inside my head just started shouting “Go on!! She’s a psychiatrist! Do it!! Do the session dressed as Satan!!”‘

If you like that extract, then you’ll love this book. It’s a series of bite-sized articles, case studies and “Tales from a neurolinguist’s journal” drawn from Austin’s practice as a hypnotherapist and former career as a psychiatric nurse.

The book comes with heavyweight endorsement from the likes of Steve Andreas and Bill O’Hanlon, who describes Austin as ‘the British Milton Erickson’  – although given the degree of irreverence for the psychiatric establishment and the willingness to satirise some elements of the NLP community, “the British Richard Bandler” might be a little bit closer to conveying the flavour of the book.

Published by Real People Press, the Mark Andreas hippy-art cover makes it look like classic NLP works  such as ‘Frogs Into Princes‘ and ‘Trance-Formations‘, and it’s good enough to stand in that company. There really is an insight on nearly every page. The psych nursing background gives Austin an unusual depth of knowledge of the oft-neglected ‘neuro’ part of NLP, which provides useful perspectives on disorders like OCD.

Many people will be familiar with the “That’s so obvious – why didn’t I notice that before?” moments that come thick and fast when you first encounter NLP. I’m pleased to say that after 10 years as an NLP trainer, this book could still give me plenty of those. Of course a decision-making process that uses movies is going to get better results than one restricted to stills! Damn!

One tiny quibble is that despite being Austin being English, the book sometimes lapses into American. Does he really use “gotten” in everyday conversation? Maybe he’s been over there a lot and it’s rubbed off. But you’d have to be a Kingsley Amis character to take that as anything more than a minor irritation.

Did I mention that the book is often laugh-out-loud funny? He got away with that “Satan” thing too – in fact the client was so pleased with the results that she paid about six times what he asked. One thing I’m taking away from it is to be braver in my changework sessions.

For my money this is the most significant NLP book of the last five years. Luckily it’s also one of the most readable. More please!

The Rainbow Machine: Tales From a Neurolinguist’s Journal by Andrew T Austin

Order it in the UK | order it in the US

© 2008 – 2017, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.

1 comment

  1. Todd

    I like what you have put together here. It is nice to see people doing what they can to get useful information about NLP technologies out.

    I have put together a teleseminar series that I believe you and your readers would be interested in.

    The NLP Summit 2.0.

    I have gathered a group of the NLP greats as well as marketing greats and interview them on different topics including building successful practices, what are the biggest mistakes they see and so forth. The great part of the series is it is a free series.

    Hope to see you there!

    Choose to make it an outstanding day,

    – Todd

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