Free NLP Training - Can NLP be learnt for free and if so where?
Can NLP be learnt for free? What is the most effective form of free NLP training? Which NLP resources are the most useful for free information on NLP?
It doesn't take very long searching on the web to discover how expensive NLP training can be, but as I mentioned in my article Can you learn NLP from books? and the review of my practitioner course, it should be clear that I was surprised by how different I found NLP to be on a proper NLP training to how it was reading about it in a book.
So can you learn NLP without actually paying for a training?
Can you really progress using free NLP training, or online free information on NLP?
Well, it depends upon your goal.
If you want to work as an NLP practitioner then a practitioner training is essential. Aside from the knowledge gained, and the certificate, an NLP Practitioner course is the best way to gain experience working with clients. But if you're not planning on working with other people, then what are the alternatives?
I'll admit that learning NLP from books can't really be counted as free NLP training, but if you want to learn a few techniques to use on yourself then the best place to start is probably a good book by Richard Bandler (one of the founders of NLP) such as Using your brain for a change or the more recent Get the Life you Want. Richard Bandler's ' Guide to Transformations - Make your Life great' is a good book for learning NLP too, but I have yet to review it. John Grinder's Books (John is the other founder of NLP) should be avoided until you know quite a bit about the subject as they are more advanced and not as useful to begin with.
NLP Practice Groups
There is one way to gain experience working with others without the huge costs, and that is to join an NLP practice group, though admittedly as with books this isn't quite free NLP training.
But be aware, not all practice groups are equal.
Some groups are created by people who simply want to practice themselves and need to find others to work with. These groups can be good as long as they are well organized.
Some groups are run by people who have their own courses to sell.
Depending upon the skills of the facilitator, these groups can turn into either a constant sales pitch or ego massaging sessions for the facilitator.
Other groups are run simply to allow NLP 'celebs' to provide taster sessions for their seminars.
If you're in the market for an NLP seminar, these sessions can be interesting, but usually the amount you learn will be limited because the facilitator is giving a taster, hoping you will sign up for the full seminar - this isn't really free NLP training. The best thing about these kind of groups is that they allow you to meet other people interested in NLP.
A good practice group should, in my opinion, have a good mix of skill levels so that you can practice with people who know more than you do, and work with inexperienced people too. Once you've got a little experience, working with novices is a good way to practice for working with clients. Working with people who know the techniques tends to be easy because they can access the information you want easily and know what you meant to ask them, even if you weren't specific. Working only with experienced people can give you a false sense of your own abilities.
It is also preferable if sessions are run by different members of the group rather than a single facilitator every session. Different NLP Practitioners tend to develop different styles and its a good idea to see as many different practitioners in action as possible.
Free NLP Resources Online
There are many online NLP resources, many of which offer some free NLP training, or useful free information on NLP. A simple search using google will provide thousands of NLP articles and exercises by some well-known, and some not so well-known NLP practitioners, allowing you to pick and choose exactly which NLP techniques you wish to experiment with. Hopefully the information on PlanetNLP should keep you learning for a long time.
But, in the long run, once you've tried a few techniques and found that they work for you, you'll probably decide you want to learn more, and learn in a good practice environment.
In this case, if cost in an issue,find a local practice group.
Once you get to know a few people, you'll know if the group is for you, and you should be able to learn quite a bit before deciding whether to take the next step. Chances are that if you're serious about your NLP learning, you've decide on an NLP Training in the end.