MINDWORKS: Unlock the Promise Within, NLP Tools for Building a Better Life has been republished by Crown House Publishing and is titled, MINDWORKS: Introduction to NLP, the Secrets of Your Mind Revealed!
A popular and best selling introduction to and overview of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Mindworks has been translated into Danish, Spanish, Greek, German and Turkish. Reissued in paperback and still used as a basic reference.
Mindworks shows you how you think, how you talk to yourself, how you make yourself "see" things in the mind's eye and "hear" through the mind's ear. How do you motivate yourself? (Or conversely, how do you make yourself fail?) What is it that you habitually do but are unaware of that controls the outcomes of your life?
Being aware means gaining the power to choose between what you do (or think) "automatically" and what you want to do. Becoming conscious of how your hidden (unconscious) mind actually works, and applying the very simple techniques demonstrated in Mindworks, will allow you to make changes that lead to new thinking and new behavior.
Instead of telling yourself "I'm not good enough" (whether or not you realize you're doing it), in an instant you can switch to "I can do it!" Instead of imagining a fuzzy picture of your goal, you can create a clear, sharp colourful image that really motivates you. Mindworks teaches you how to "change" your mind, reprogram your thoughts, gain control of your fears, and fulfil your desires and potential.
Using the amazingly effective tools of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Mindworks demonstrates how to unlock the resources, abilities and creativity that you already have to accomplish whatever you want to do and take control of your life.
Anything is possible - when you know your own mind!
Say what you mean to get others to respond the way you want
Use principles of the new linguistics to communicate more precisely with yourself and others
Identify and access your resources to make full use of your talents, skills, and abilities
Create a 'blueprint" for the road ahead by asking yourself a few simple questions
Recycle mistakes, setbacks and failures into resourceful experiences
Replace your destructive behaviours with constructive ones that still fulfil your original purpose
See things from new perspectives; go from "stuck" to choice in an instant
Mindworks shows you all the astonishing and wonderful ways to take full advantage of everything you have and are, to accomplish whatever you set out to do!
This book will be published by Crown House Publishing in United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in spring 2008. It will be available in bookstores and from Amazon and Barnsandnobles.
In "Mindworks", Anné Linden, director of the New York Training Institute for Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), demystifies this popular self-help system, one that draws on several fields - including linguistics, psychology and anthropology. NLP, she says, offers practical techniques for changing behavior by means of clear communication, both with ourselves and others.
"NLP is concerned with HOW our minds work - the patterns we use to organize information, the ways we motivate (or inhibit) ourselves," Linden writes, "and HOW we can modify automatic patterns of response to allow new choices, new behaviors, new ways of thinking and feeling." Rather than delving into the past to resolve present-day problems, the focus in NLP is on quick resolution of "trouble spots" here and now.
Each chapter outlines one of the seven basic principles of NLP work and each ends with a short exercise to reinforce the preceding information. You learn, for example, how to determine how you take in information about the world: are you a visual type, someone who relies taking in information through the ears, or a touch-oriented, hands-on kind of communicator?
This book is an excellent introduction to a fascinating branch of psychology that seems to be an easily accessible way for people to take control of their lives.
The Columbus Dispatch
DELVE into the subconscious to put mind over matter
Positive thinking goes only so far. Anné Linden helps people use the subconscious mind to improve relationships, eliminate self-destructive behaviour and achieve goals.
Linden, a New York educator, distills her basic techniques and exercises in Mindworks: Unlock the Promise Within/NLP Tools for Building a Better Life (Andrews McMeel, $22.95).
"NLP" stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming - becoming conscious of automatic patterns and behaviors and learning how they can be modified or replaced.
"I thought of the many tools and techniques we have available," Linden said in an interview, "and especially how we do and don't use our minds. I thought if I could give people two or three particular ways to think about motivating themselves or solving problems, it could make a huge difference in their lives."
Linden said her primary audience is people 30-50 years old who are "professionals or people in transition" who "need a little motivation" along with the training that she can provide.
"Three or four of these techniques can mean a difference." Linden said the techniques themselves won't solve problems, but serve as tools to help people define choices. Linden, who conducts classes throughout the United States and Europe, has taught the program since 1979.
She offers seven basic techniques. "It depends on where you are getting stuck," she said. "If your problem is with relationships, either in love or in business, your communication is important."
Linden cites an instance of a husband expressing affection to his wife while she is distracted. Communication can succeed if they focus on what is said, pay attention to nonverbal communication, try to understand what the other is saying and demonstrate flexibility in leading the conversation and following when the other leads. Sections of Mindworks are designed to help people define successful outcomes, learn from failure, tap mental and physical resources and understand differences between specific and general phrases.
"The question is, `Where do you feel the lack of choices?" Linden said. "Those who need to motivate themselves and organize in the future should focus on the fact that success is the ability to achieve intended results. If you're really stuck in terms of self-esteem, you need to learn to turn failure into feedback."
Throughout the book, Linden provides vignettes of individuals with problems to solve. She offers suggestions and exercises to achieve goals. "This doesn't mean that you follow the techniques one or two times....and get what you want," she said, "but you shift your perception regarding the possibilities."
Ultimately, the recommended techniques are practiced automatically. "That's when they become useful, especially in interpersonal relationships. Intrapersonal relationships -relationships with yourself - will take longer."
Linden said her book is "not for people who are desperate." It shouldn't be seen as a substitute for therapy. Nor does successful learning of any of the techniques assure perfection. "This isn't about never reacting, or never feeling bad or discouraged," she said. "Even with these skills, it's OK to be human, to get overwhelmed and to forget."Then you remember you now have the skills to do things differently, and use them."
By Julia Osborne
Blue Stone Press
Writer Wants Us to Reach Our Dreams
For more than 20 years, Anné Linden has been teaching people to know their minds. Not what they think, but how: The way the brain puts together pictures, words, sounds, and sensations to represent experiences, memories and ideas. Linden, a therapist, teacher, and author who lives in Accord, wants us to understand that we all have the power to reach our dreams, simply by exploring the inner workings of our minds.
Listening to Linden talk about her life and work, it's clear that she has always been an independent thinker with the determination and vision to pursue her own dreams. She is the author of two self-help books, director and founder of the New York Training Institute for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and a world-renowned trainer who regularly teaches workshops throughout the United States and Europe.
"I've always done it my way," she says. Her voice is soft but there is no hesitation in her words. The striking gray-blonde curls that frame her face seem to symbolize a reluctance to be tamed by expectations or rules. "I always took it for granted that being a woman would not stop me from doing whatever I wanted."
Linden grew up in Long Island and moved to Manhattan at 18, determined to succeed as an actress. She spent nearly 20 years in theatre, waiting tables to fill income gaps. She glows as she ticks off the names of the poets and dancers with whom she worked in the "incredibly creative, incredibly exciting" off-Broadway scene of the 1960's. But in the `70's, Linden decided to quit acting - "the creative side was not worth putting up with the business side" -and after her last child was born she began her training as a therapist.
While in training, Linden discovered Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a new psychological model that was then being taught in small workshops around the country. NLP is based on the premise that once we identify our perceptual and cognitive patterns, we can positively affect our emotions, thoughts, behaviour, and sense of self to improve our lives. That theory may sound complex but the basic tools and techniques used by NLP are almost startlingly simple. From the start, Linden was "hooked" by the notion of practical communication tools that brought immediate results and helped people to solve their own problems. "Ideas are great, I love ideas," she says enthusiastically. "But you need the tools and skills to translate ideas into action. NLP gives people a way to learn about themselves, to become fuller, more interesting people."
For instance, the first NLP principles deal with communication, how to say precisely what you mean and get the desired response. NLP teaches us to calibrate, to pay attention to auditory and visual cues that reveal what another is thinking. Posture, eye movement, gestures, as well as pitch, volume, or tempo of voice are all signals that we can use to improve communication.
"Communication isn't throwing the ball at somebody then turning your back," Linden explains. "It's getting a response, and trying something else until you get a response that indicates you're getting your message across."
When it works, two people establish a rapport, two-way communication that flows in an atmosphere of trust. I knew I felt comfortable interviewing Linden, but when I transcribed my audio tapes I realized our voices sounded strikingly similar. Well, I thought, we are both from New York, but neither of us really has much of an accent. A closer listen revealed it was the speed, the pitch of the words, not the accent, that was the same. Anné Linden is simply a master at subtly establishing rapport.
In 1979, Linden founded the New York Training Institute for NLP. At the time, her administrative office was her kitchen table and she fielded calls with her kids chattering in the background. Over the years the Institute outgrew several buildings, but Linden is now in the process of gearing things down and redefining her life. She teaches only on weekends and spends more time at her country home in Accord, devoting more energy to her family, her Irish Wolfhounds, and her writing.
Linden's most recent book, Mindworks: Unlock the Promise Within, NLP Tools for Building A Better Life, summarizes the concepts of NLP in a precise, practical "owner's manual for the mind." Readers who work through the book's seven parts and try the exercises will begin to understand how they think, and what behaviours, conscious or unconscious, are holding them back from their goals.
Long considered one of the foremost NLP trainers, Linden continually refines the original NLP concepts by incorporating her own vision and values. She integrated NLP and the Enneagram, an ancient model of personality types, in her first book, The Enneagram and NLP. Her next book will focus on boundaries, a topic she has been exploring and teaching for several years.
"Boundaries are very paradoxical," she explains, her hands punctuating the words. "That tension of two things that can't seem to exist in the same space, yet do. Boundaries require us to be separate yet connected. A lot of people have trouble with that, but boundaries give us perspective."
She explains how often our most troublesome memories are imprinted in our minds using a sort of "tunnel vision." We zoom in on the negative image and merge completely into it. But if we back off and restore a normal relationship between foreground and background, changing the boundaries around the memory, we see the big picture and regain our perspective. Once the power of the memory is reduced we can move beyond it.
Helping people to move beyond their blocks and tap their inner resources has been Anné Linden's life for two decades. "I've really loved my life," she concludes, "because I've been able to make a difference. Awakening people to the things they already have, exposing them to certain tools and skills that give them a sense of their empowerment, of possibilities. It's really thrilling to teach somebody how to do something with their own mind that impacts their heart, their soul, and their behavior."
The Secrets of Your Mind Revealed
by By Anné Linden, with Kathrin Perutz
This book, previously published as Mindworks: Unlock the Promise Within, is designed to give the non-specialist an overview of what Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is all about. As the authors say, ironically they are not giving readers any new information but, instead, they are helping readers to use more effectively what they already know.
NLP is all the rage at the moment. The authors are honest enough to argue that NLP is simply becoming more aware of how our minds work and then using that information to modify the ways in which we respond to people and situations. In other words, it is a self-administered form of cognitive counseling combined with an injection of a large dose of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence! That is not to denigrate NLP -- it is a highly useful way of raising people's self-awareness and alerting them to the discrepancies between how they think they are communicating with other people and how in fact other people may be perceiving their attempts at communication.
Part One, "The Meaning Of Your Communication Is The Response You Get", is a series of short chapters on various aspects of communication. There is advice about being self-reflective and a great number of extremely sensible observations about how we fail to get over the message that we wish to convey. Being trapped in one's own bubble is the basic answer but that comes in all shapes and sizes -- failure to realize that the other person is in a totally different state of mind from one's own, failure to grasp the resonance of certain words and expressions, etc. The chapter on 'backtracking' is particularly wise -- picking up on something that the other person has said, clarifying it and using it as the clarification as the basis for continuing the conversation. Failure to 'backtrack' and clarify is indeed the cause of many a misunderstanding. Part One is a thoroughly commonsense set of guidelines for better communication.
Part Two, "You Have All The Resources You Need", has rather a different slant. This section tries to sensitize us to the skills we possess but perhaps do not use to their full extent. One chapter tries to get us to flex our visual and auditory skills. Another chapter alerts us to the fact that we in fact have all sorts of skills that, because we have not named them as skills, have never been recognized as such by us. Another alerts us to the possibility of linking a particular response to a certain stimulus so as to be able to feel positive and confident in situations that might otherwise make us feel differently. The final chapter in this section sets out to make us aware of how even our posture affects the way we perceive ourselves - and, obviously, how others too perceive us.
Part Three, "Success Is The Ability To Achieve Intended Results", is a future-oriented section. Its chapters concentrate on desired outcomes. The very sensible advice centers on a cluster of issues -- the importance of asking oneself what exactly it is that one wants to achieve, formulating that outcome in positive terms of what one does want to happen rather than in negative terms of what one wants to avoid, making sure that the desired outcome is under one's control and is not something that is unachievable for one reason or another, marshalling one's resources, and, finally, strategically implementing the route map that will get one to the desired outcome. This is all thoroughly sensible stuff.
Part Four, "You Can Turn Failure Into Feedback", is mainly about how we can rethink what we may conceive of as failure. This is partly the 'glass half empty' versus 'the glass half full' idea i.e. very few so-called failures are unequivocal disasters but often have an upside to them If we concentrate on the negative we become dispirited but if we stop wallowing in the failure, stand back a little and we look at those aspects that were a success we can change the complexion of the whole event. Again, this is all very sensible. Part Four also has a chapter on chunking. This basically about how we can change our thinking by chunking up to superordinate categories or chunking down to subcategories and thus looking at the issue differently.
Part Five, "The Map Is Not The Territory", is all about understanding how language works -- or often does not work. The most useful chapter in this part is the one that alerts us to the dangers of unspecified (and often generalized) nouns and pronouns, fuzzy verbs, nominalizations (the making of processes into a thing), polarizing words such as 'always', 'never', etc. and, lastly, mind reading. This last harks back to earlier in the book when we were reminded that the words spoken by one person are often not interpreted by the receiver in the way intended by the speaker.
Part Six, "There Is A Positive Intention Behind Every Behavior", acknowledges that we all have aspects to our personality that can sometimes result in poor behavior. However, by finding new and better ways to achieve our goals, ways that are more positively intended and received, we can put ourselves into a winning situation. The chapter on reframing, looking at the same situation but from a different and potentially much more positive angle, can help us to see things in a much better light. The last chapter in this section is particularly helpful in trying to get us to connect with our own unconscious and thus ascertain what it is that we truly want to achieve.
The last part, Part Seven, "There Are Always More Choices", is a series of chapters about how we define our choices and how we can redefine them by avoiding polar thinking, changing the perspective from which we view them, and dissolving negative emotions so that we can view our choices positively.
Some may view the book as a whole as clichéd but many others will see it as full of sound advice. NLP is not a radically new approach -- it is a mixture of psychological insights and common sense but it is no less useful for that.
© 2009 Kevin M. Purday
Kevin M. Purday has just completed his fortieth year as a teacher and has recently returned to the U.K. after being principal of schools in the Middle East and Far East. His great interests are philosophy and psychology. This review appeared in Metapsychology Online Reviews
MINDWORKS: Introduction to NLP, the Secrets of Your Mind Revealed
By Anné Linden, with Kathrin Perutz
I have followed Anné Linden's work with interest for more than twenty years now and know her as a skilled and experienced NLP trainer. I'm delighted that she has at last found a way to share her knowledge and thinking with a wider audience. If you are not yet familiar with NLP then Mindworks is a gentle yet thorough introduction covering everything that you would wish to know. Anné writes with clarity and her experience shows through.
Julian Russell, Senior Executive Coach, PPD Consulting, Ltd.
MINDWORKS: Introduction to NLP, the Secrets of Your Mind Revealed
By Anné Linden, with Kathrin Perutz
Often, when I try to explain the intricacies of NLP to others who are not psychologically-inclined, I get one of two responses. One response is the "eyes glazing over" expression of the person who finds my explanation far too complicated. The other response is the enthusiasm of a novice who sees in NLP a path toward personal growth. Both people need an easy-to-understand approach to NLP that shows them how to use NLP for superb communication, accessing resourceful states, getting results, turning failure into feedback, and having more choice and flexibility in everyday situations. Mindworks by Anné Linden (with Kathrin Perutz) is the answer.
Mindworks is an "owner's manual for the mind" that allows readers to "make maximum use of the strengths and resources you already have." The book is divided into seven sections, each presenting a basic NLP presupposition:
The meaning of your communication is the response you get. This section covers how to create quality communication in interpersonal relationships: rapport, observation skills, calibration, representational systems and how they are expressed (verbally and non-verbally), uptime and downtime, sameness and differences, and pacing and leading.
You have all the resources you need. This section tells readers how to access their resources and develop their strengths and talents. The NLP tools are submodalities, anchoring, future conditioning, and body language.
Success is the ability to achieve intended results. Here, the book delves into goal-setting, values, outcomes, motivation, ecological considerations, and strategies.
You can turn failure into feedback. This section is a philosophical guide to understanding how to reframe failure - to discover the learnings, to see the new opportunities presented by failure, and to recognize that good that exists, alongside, or in spite of, the bad.
The map is not the territory. In this exploration of language patterns, Linden teaches the Meta Model - a method of questioning that facilitates specificity and understanding of meaning.
There is a positive intention behind every behavior. At this point, the text addresses our unconscious behaviors and how to manage them with an understanding of "parts", positive intentions, and reframing.
There are always more choices. Flexibility is the topic. Linden presents tools for change: perceptual shifts and pattern interrupts.
Anné Linden directs the New York Training Institute for NLP and is one of the most highly-respected trainers in NLP. Mindworks is an updated version of her well-received, Mindworks: Unlock the Promise Within (Andrews McMeel, 1997). She has also written The Enneagram and NLP (Metamorphous Press, 1994). I had the delight to interview her in 2004 for Anchor Point magazine and it is a distinct pleasure to review this book. Kathrin Perutz has written both fiction and non-fiction for many years and has published several books and reviews.
Mindworks makes NLP palatable for the non-practitioner - someone who simply wants to know how to use NLP in daily life. Linden weaves the instruction into an upbeat, conversational delivery, with sample dialog, examples, and metaphors. Mindworks is a first-rate beginner's guide to NLP.
Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor, certified hypnotherapist, and certified NLP trainer, with a private practice in Springfield, Virginia. She has recently published The Weight, Hypnotherapy and You Weight Reduction Program: An NLP and Hypnotherapy Practitioner's Manual. Her website is
Anné is a master teacher, a model of excellence, and her writing is wonderfully simple and crystal clear, offering readers empowering principles of transformation. She makes NLP very accessible, and I am most happy and eager to highly recommend her book to all my students, colleagues, and friends. We certainly will carry her book in our Learning Alliance bookstore!
Rev. Joyce Liechenstein, Ph.D.
Associate Director, One Spirit Learning Alliance and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, New York City
THE ENNEAGRAM AND NLP A Journey of Evolution by Anné Linden and Murray Spalding.
Here, for the first time, the Enneagram personality typing system is integrated with the powerful transformational techniques of NLP to form a methodology for therapy and a systematic approach for personal evolution.
The authors, both therapists, have successfully integrated Enneagram theory with NLP patterns, so that once your Enneagram type is defined, you can learn and practise type-specific change work.
Step-by-step guidelines for an array of therapeutic interventions are given, including:
changing limiting beliefs and expectations
transforming phobic responses
reframing the meaning of experience
building Time Lines to achieve goals
recognizing sensory representational systems and visual cues
creating a safe, nonjudgmental environment
Therapists and NLP Practitioners alike will discover valuable strategies for changework with their clients-students in both fields and will gain better insight into each model - and those pursuing self-knowledge will find this book an enlightening guide on their journey.
The Enneagram is an ancient typology of personality that provides an important key to our strengths and limitations, our preoccupations, passions and defenses. NLP is a model that identifies the perceptual, cognitive and behavioral patterns underlying our subjective experience. These two models enrich and enhance each other: increased self-knowledge and awareness combined with the tools of nonjudgmental thinking and the specific patterns of change give greater depth and meaning to our journey of evolution.
Now therapists can refer to The Enneagram and NLP: A Journey of Evolution to help clients clarify their personality traits and resolve critical emotional issues.
The Enneagram; The Enneagram in Love and Work
"The authors have discovered links between NLP techniques and the Enneagram of personality types. I know little about NLP, but if it is as clearly defined as the Enneagram side of their equation, it will all add up to an excellent handbook."
Helen Palmer, author and teacher,
"An excellent compendium of techniques and distinctions! Lots of ideas for those who want to apply the Enneagram in dynamic ways. The Enneagram also gives NLP much needed depth."
Thomas Condon, author of The Everyday Enneagram and The Enneagram Movie and Video Guide
"Without this book, you would need to read much on Enneagrams and then try to correlate them to NLP. Linden and Spalding have done all your work for you."
Ferne Anderson, Anchor Point
"The Enneagram, which divides people into nine types, is moving into the mainstream... Practitioners say the Enneagram lets them see what makes themselves and others tick in the business world, as well as in personal relationships."
"This is an excellent book! Your reviewer has read the bulk of Enneagram and NLP materials available. This book brings the two together in understandable and practical ways. The Enneagram is examined one point per character reviewing the traits and issues of each, followed by suggested NLP Patterns and Therapeutic Interventions..."
Bob Sandidge, InnerQuest
"The authors are therapists. The language is moderately technical, the examples are case histories and the observations are clinical. But while the book has enough depth to make it valuable for fellow therapists, the 100 pages of extended appendices make it clear it is for anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of either discipline."
Clarence Thomson, Enneagram Educator
NYTI/NLP is proud to announce the publication of Anné’s third book! Boundaries in Human Relationships; How to be Separate AND Connected
How would you like to move beyond your psychological and emotional blocks? BOUNDARIES IN HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS: How to be Separate AND Connected tells you how to use your ”ultimate resource” – boundaries, to do just that. While the word is used frequently very few know the inner mechanics of boundaries.
Here is the book that delves deeply into not only meaning but the practical skills and tools necessary to use boundaries for your advantage. You will learn to understand exactly what boundaries are, recognize when you need them and how to create and maintain them using three simple skills. This gives you choice and control over your emotions, behavior and thinking.
The most important distinction you can ever make in your life is between who you are as an individual and your connection with others. Can you truly love another and be the whole, complete and unique person you are? How do you know the difference between your fear and your partner’s, between your past anger and your here-and-now anger? The answer is boundaries- and this is a practical guide to unlock these mysteries.
First, the book lays out a clearly defined structure of boundaries: including boundary distortions, when you have either “walls” and can’t connect to another, or “mush” and are so connected that you can’t find yourself; the three types of boundaries which are clarified into specific categories, and the five psychological patterns that are necessary to support boundaries. Each piece of information is accompanied by real life examples.
Second, the three specific “how tos” of boundaries are explained and broken down into doable steps with examples and exercises. These strengthen and habitualize each skill so that it quickly becomes a part of your life instead of remaining a theory in a book.
Third, the significant areas of relationships and self-esteem are explored in depth through the lens of boundaries. See how the purposeful application of boundary skills affects and can resolve common, recurring problems related to self-confidence, motivation, communication, assertiveness, intimacy, fear and anger.
The purpose of boundaries is not only to achieve a state of separateness in order to know who you are but equally to connect with others - to achieve a state of relatedness. The ability to “do” healthy boundaries enables the paradox of individuality and togetherness to exist.
This book will be published by Ankh-Hermes in the Netherlands and Belgium in early 2008; by Crown House Publishing in United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in spring 2008; and by Intereditions in France and Belgium in mid 2008.
It will be available in English in bookstores and from Amazon and Barnsandnobles ; in Dutch from Bol ; and in French from Amazon .
Anne Linden does it again! A clear complete analysis and description of boundaries in human behavior that is accessible to professionals and the average reader both. As in her previous works on the practice of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, this new work ,"Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to be Separate and Connected" is both theoretical and practical. Through methodical exposition and inspiring examples including personal practice exercises you come away with a great deal of revealing and useful information. The book is sprinkled with fables and 'stories' that further add to the depth of the message. Anne Linden is for real!
John Fischer, author and Life Coach
Anné Linden’s new book, “Boundaries in Human Relationships,” reads like a great novel. It’s actually a page-turner. It is so interesting and informative that I was actually excited to get to the next chapter. It will revolutionize people’s awareness about the impact of boundaries in our relationships.
Her new distinctions on Internal/External Boundaries, Self/Other Boundaries and Contextual Boundaries, greatly expands all previous knowledge on the subject. This new book is done so well that I believe it will make “boundaries” a new household word.
Anné Linden uses her vast knowledge of NLP to teach us the profound role of boundaries in our lives. It is done in such a practical and useful way that anyone who reads this book will have a powerful new tool to improve their relationships. The word boundaries will never be the same again. This new work has given me great insights into not only my relationships with others but also how I relate to myself. Thanks, Anné, for sharing your great insights.
Perch Ducote, management consultant and author of The Soul of Communication: Communication for a New Era.
Boundaries are “…that intangible distinction between our inner and outer worlds, between ourselves and others.” These distinctions create separation and yet, are permeable, allowing people to exchange emotions and information. In her latest offering, Boundaries in Human Relationships: How to be Separate and Connected, author and NLP trainer, Anné Linden explores the subject of human psychological boundaries and how to manage those boundaries in a wide variety of contexts.
Boundaries allow for both separation and connectedness. When boundaries are too rigid, they become walls, preventing empathy and connection. Conversely, weak boundaries result in a loss of a sense of self. For those with imbalanced boundaries, separateness means loneliness and connectedness means suffocation. Linden writes:
“The purpose of boundaries is to enable you to know and understand yourself…as separate and unique from others, while connecting with them; you can be a part of the world, allowing the world to touch you as you remain distinct from the world. The purpose of walls is to protect you from the world, from being overwhelmed by the emotions of others, by situations that are dangerous…The purpose of no boundaries is to give up all distinctions and separation and lose yourself in another, to merge with nature or a situation that is gratifying, satisfying and enjoyable.”
Linden’s thorough treatment of this topic makes for enlightening reading. Often, our boundaries constitute defense mechanisms against feeling abandoned or controlled by others. It is our continuing challenge to distinguish between self and other. Linden also advises that we make distinctions between thinking and doing, the part and the whole, identity and description, as well the past, present and future. Making all these distinctions relies on maintaining and managing boundaries. To do so, we continuously adjust our boundaries according to contextual variables such as place, people, activity, time, and gender. Linden tells us:
“Contextual boundaries help you to be more flexible and have more choices; you are more congruent with your environment, show yourself in the most positive light, and your resources are more available to you.”
The book analyzes and explains the cognitive and perceptual patterns that support boundaries:
Ego Strength: Our likes, dislikes, and values give us a separate sense of self.
Self in Process: Experiencing the self as an evolving work in process, we see ourselves as in all facets, as individuals with a past, present, and future.
Empathy: By vicariously experiencing another’s emotions, we understand and connect with them.
Noticing Difference: Our ability to make distinctions, compare and generalize allows us to know the world around us and understand what makes each person and event unique.
Observer Self: When we take an observer view of self, we understand more about how we relate to others and how others perceive us.
We create and maintain boundaries through three skills: 1) simultaneously recognizing sameness and difference; 2) connecting to the body and using it as a “physiological filter” of experience and 3) using peripheral vision and peripheral hearing to pay attention to the background, while focusing attention on the foreground. These skills help us to more accurately assess the environment and how we interact with it. With such skills, we minimize distortions and “make better decisions about who we are, what we’re capable of, and what the world is.”
Ms. Linden discusses the implications of boundaries in a wide variety of human relationships such as teacher-student, therapist-client, parent-child, managers and employees, colleagues, and lovers. She also looks at boundaries within the self. She examines how we connect with the “parts” within ourselves and negotiate with these sub-personalities. I was especially taken with her description of a change agent as a FAIR WITNESS – one who is caring, yet objective, without attachment to others’ outcomes, without the need to help, heal, or fix, yet fully present and holding the other in positive regard. Linden proposes that we act from this perspective when negotiating among our parts.
Linden ends her book with an astute discussion of issues related to identity and self-esteem. She teaches us how culture and experience shape identity, beliefs, and self/world concepts, and these, in turn, influence our boundaries. Her Identity Ritual and Identity Meditation help readers have a “concrete experience of identity.” Similarly, she guides her readers in an understanding of the many facets of self-esteem, with the message that the self is constantly evolving. By learning to manage our boundaries, we come to accept our emotions and expectations, we learn to love ourselves and find a personal life mission.
Anné Linden directs the New York Training Institute for NLP and is one of the most highly-respected trainers in NLP. She has written two other excellent books: The Enneagram and NLP and Mindworks: Unlock the Promise Within both well-received by psychologically-minded readers worldwide. I had the delight to interview her in 2004 for Anchor Point magazine and it is a distinct pleasure to review this book. What is worthwhile about this book is the way in which the author helps readers to so completely understand a process that usually operates at the non-conscious level. She gives her readers the skills and tools to make informed decisions about when and where to increase or decrease boundaries with others and within the self.
While Ms. Linden does not cite other authors who have written on this subject, and does not draw upon research studies, she does bring to this book over 25 years of experience in working with human relationships as an accomplished trainer, advisor and consultant. Linden’s writing has a familiar, personal feel, with the tone of a friendly, insightful mentor. She peppers each chapter with real-life examples and teaching tales to bring home her main points. She includes self-help exercises, useful for the individual reader, or a trainer working with a group, or a coach or therapist making an assignment for a client.
Boundaries in Human Relationships is a book for anyone who wants a better understanding about this often-ignored aspect of human relationships and provides valuable information for therapists and coaches who work with clients having boundary issues. The information applies to situations we encounter every day. Read it and you could acquire a deeper understanding of yourself in relation to those around you, and expand your flexibility in truly being comfortable with others, while maintaining your own unique individuality. Anné, thank you for yet another gem!
Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor, certified hypnotherapist, and certified NLP trainer, with a private practice in Springfield, Virginia. Her web site is www.engagethepower.com.
Thank you again, Anné. This wonderful book by Anné Linden addresses a crucial aspect of human relationships. The writing is very clear, helpful, and meaningful. I believe many people can benefit from reading it.
Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D. Author, "The courage to love"
I can think of no more timely and urgent subject for the success and health of Life on Planet Earth than that of "Human Boundaries". Anné Linden's new book, Boundaries in Human Relationships, is a much needed and wonderful contribution to this field, and it gets better each time I read it. Not only will it give you lots to look at and think about, it gives you ways to practice establishing your own boundaries that are simple, clear and effective. It is full of detailed information about the different types of boundaries, their structure, and their psychological developmental underpinnings, as well as many examples of how these boundaries are experienced in daily life. To clearly and firmly sense your own boundary is to know yourself. It is the basis of all healthy and loving relationships. And it feels good! Read this book slowly, and then read it again.
Paul Carter, Ph.D., Human Relations Counselor
Anné Linden has handled her challenging, paradoxical subject of boundaries with enormous skill, clarity and understanding. She has made these invisible structures in our human relationships visible and easy to read. Using a light touch she lets us see ourselves in her stories and metaphors which are humorous, suspenseful and deeply human. Thanks to her work, after thirty years of practice I finally understand about boundaries - that they are ubiquitous and weave themselves into every aspect of our lives. With this very wise book, Anné Linden has broken new ground. It gives us a whole new way to think about boundaries and can be read and reread many times.
Jane A. Parsons-Fein, CSW, BCD, DAHB, Director, Parsons-Fein Training Institute
Anné Linden is a wonderful teacher, and magical therapist. What she offers here is a way of defining ourselves and our relationship to others that encourages change, growth and a stronger sense of self.Boundaries In Human Relationships is an invaluable tool of discovery, helping us live life to its fullest.
Baird Hersey, National Endowment for the Arts Fellow
This book is a valuable contribution to NLP, personal growth and therapy. Anné Linden is an amazing teacher and therapist. For those skilled in NLP this book presents a powerful new way to organize NLP meta-programs and presuppositions. More important it presents a powerful model and set of tools for personal growth and human change. For anyone focused on their own personal growth this book provides incredible insight into how by putting up walls or merging with others we invite problems and how by the appropriate use of boundaries we can have healthy relationships and live fulfilling lives. Last for anyone who does therapy this book provides a powerful organizing framework to understand how clients get into the problems that they do and how by the proper use of boundaries the therapist can help them find the way out of the maze created by their inappropriate walls and merging. The book is well written and organized and the examples further facilitate understanding of all of the important concepts. Also each chapter ends with a wonderful story. Anné has long been the "grand dame" of NLP, and it is hoped that this book will give her some of the recognition that she so richly deserves. Also the book makes a solid contribution to the field of therapy. I invite everyone who wants to further understand themselves and others to study this book carefully.
Wyatt L. Woodsmall, Ph.D.,
NLP Master Trainer and Master Modeler, President of the International NLP Trainers Association
Anné Linden belongs to the pioneer generations of NLP's development, popularization and dissemination. As Richard and John began teaching their discoveries to ad hoc groups in their native California, Anné founded the first officially recognized NLP training center in New York. Years later, her book on the Enneagram opened a new frontier in understanding human behavior, especially for the NLP community.
In her book "Boundaries In Human Relationships" she has done it again. After reading this book you will have a new tool for understanding how to utilize almost all of the NLP patterns you are already familiar with.
And if you don't have an NLP background you'll find yourself intrigued, reflective, enriched and motivated by Anné's marvelous anecdotes and insights into the human condition. The easily understood technical descriptions of NLP patterns -- which make up the mind of the book -- come to life through the anecdotes and insights which make up the heart of the book.
So go get hold of "Boundaries In Human Relationships," put on your thinking cap and your slippers, sit down in your easy chair, read, learn, enjoy.
So much for the overall introduction. Now for a more explanatory and critical analysis.
The book's title is "Boundaries In Human Relationships." The subtitle is "How to be Separate and Connected."
The title implies that the book is fundamentally about how people relate to one another -- and the cover's graphics, showing a man and woman facing each other, supports this notion.
In fact, the subtitle is the truer description of the book because Anné's analyses and insights relate to intra-personal situations as well as inter-personal ones, to self-development as well as to therapeutic interventions.
We therefore need to understand what is meant by "boundaries," and as a tool, what is its contribution in the realms of human growth and therapy.
First, we must recognize that, in terms of self-development or therapeutic contexts, the notion of "boundaries" is obviously a metaphor. Thus what will be true of physical boundaries will find an application at the metaphoric level as well.
Physical boundaries have four major characteristics:
They cordon off and demarcate the outline of an area; they encompass an area of "within" and therefore simultaneously point to what is "without."
They paradoxically connect the very areas they separate (because they "touch" both areas simultaneously).
They may be rigid and impermeable or they may be porous and flesible.
Finally, they may shift; they may be changed and "advance" or "retreat."
All these characteristics are utilized by Anné when describing "boundaries work."
When observing or revealing a particular pattern being used by someone -- whether on the cognitive, emotional or behavioral level -- Anné will note (the following are my words) how "wide an area it fills up." How prevalent is the use of a specific pattern? Are the "boundaries" of its use too wide so that it is used beyond the "areas" in which its use would be most effective? Or, perhaps its use is too limited? Are the patterns too unchanging and limited or too flexible when they should be rigid?
If a pattern is too often used and used in all contexts without considering options, there are no boundaries.
For example, in the "Jewish mother syndrome" of "I'm cold. Put on your sweater," where my rules apply to you, there are no boundaries between the parent and the child (at least not in this context).
Or for example, a memory may be disabling if it is filtered through too much tunnel, or focused, vision. In such a case creating a new balance between the amount or "area" of tunnel vs. peripheral vision, may be the therapeutic solution. Expanding the memory to contain more pictures of the surroundings of what is remembered in the overly-focused memory, i.e., including more of the memory's peripheral content -- who else was there? How were they reacting, etc? -- will almost certainly resolve much of the problem state generated by the original memory.
Or, if an individual doesn't readily use options when more flexibility is called for, we feel that we or they are "up against a wall," i.e., an overly rigid boundary.
Or, in one of Anné's examples, the individual was unable to easily move between thinking and feeling. Such a person is stuck or "bounded in," being able only to react either intellectually or viscerally when a combination of the two is what is called for.
These are some examples of how "Boundaries" thinking helps describe the problem situation. Simultaneously, "Boundaries" thinking indicates the direction of change that is called for.
If too much is the problem, less is (part of) the solution and vice versa. Scale back use of a pattern and you can limit it to appropriate contexts. Extend its use if its application has been too limited. Boarders are changeable. The use of the pattern advances and retreats. So in the earlier examples, if a person learns to limit the extent of certain patterns, he can realize that, for example, his rules apply only at home but not at work, or only to himself and not necessarily at all to the others in his life.
Of, if internal thinking (submodality) patterns are problematical due to too much tunneled, focused vision in a particular context, the obvious solution is to expand the pattern on the other side of the tunnel vision boundary and start using more peripheral vision in those contexts.
If he can monitor his thoughts and feelings simultaneously, the "boundary" between them becomes flexible and even appropriately porous, and he can function much more effectively and congruently.
In short, if you can move between the boundary areas, i.e., if you can move between patterns of behaviors, you're well on your way to resolving the problem.
Which leads us to list the three major therapy advantages of thinking in terms of boundaries (These are a distillation of some of the principles I gained from Anné's book):
1) The 2 Advantages to the Therapist:
a) The first advantage to the therapist is that if you think of the problem as an area, you begin to think in terms of identifying the problem as an overuse of underuse of a pattern. This is an easy to use diagnostic tool in understanding problem states. At least, so I have found.
b) The second advantage is that the direction for a solution is immediately recognized, because Anné's "boundaries" metaphor makes you immediately think of what pattern is on the other side of the problem state, and that pattern is almost certainly (at least part of) the solution for the presenting problem because, being on the "outside" of one area, it is in the area "containing" exactly what the problem area lacks.
2) The Advantage for the Client:
The advantage to the client is that by describing their problem as a "boundaries" problem you essentially presuppose that the client already has the alternative resource patterns -- on the other side of their problem area! If the client displays too much of some pattern, that presupposes that he has the ability to use it less and replace it with its over-the-boundary alternative. By talking of boundaries you imply to the client that the resource he or she needs is as much a part of them as the problem resource since the existence of the resource that is being underused is what allows for the boundary of the problem-resource state to exist. It's right there on the other side of their problem state -- ands/he's just not using it -- yet. Even if in reality you have to teach the client how to use that other resource, almost by definition it's there on the other side of the border. This is a nice and empowering reframing of the client's problem. Try it. S/he'll like it. And so will you. (Remember, we're talking metaphors and therefore their Milton Model effect should not be underestimated).
Recognize that you're applying one or another of the above "advantages" when thinking in terms of boundaries, and you have what can be a very simple, subtle and powerful metaphor for influencing the other and helping to figure out where to go next.
And one place where you personally might consider going to next for now, is where you can order the book, so that when you have it, you can put on your thinking cap and your slippers, sit down in your easy chair, read, learn and enjoy.
Menachem Kasdan, Jerusalem NLP Master Trainer & Psychotherapist