Jo first encountered NLP in the early 80s when she heard about it whilst on a postgraduate management course. She read all the books available at the time, mostly written by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the co-founders and co-developers of NLP, and by their original students and attended numerous workshops before progressing to Practitioner training.
After Practitioner training in London, Jo went on to train at Master Practitioner level and beyond with Robert Dilts, the late Todd Epstein, and Judith DeLozier, at the Dynamic Learning Center and NLP University in Santa Cruz, California. Robert and Todd encouraged Jo to train with Richard Bandler, Co-founder of NLP, and in 1992 she attended Richard Bandler's Design Human Engineering seminar in San Francisco. This was the start of a continuing association with him, becoming a Society of NLP Licensed NLP Trainer in 1993. Jo continued to train with Richard and in 1997 was proud to be personally certified by Richard Bandler as a Master Trainer - one of only a handful of Society of NLP Master Trainers in the UK at that time.
In 1994 Jo and her partner Peter Seal started Centre NLP, a training partnership based in Leicester, teaching NLP at Practitioner and Master Practitioner levels. People of many backgrounds came to Centre NLP from all over the world. When Centre NLP was established it was one of only twelve NLP training organisations listed in the UK whereas now there are too many to count. Jo and Peter are the co-authors of the NLP chapter in the Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy, now in its updated and revised third edition.
The proliferation of NLP and NLP training means that there is an enormous variation in what is being offered as NLP. Jo has chosen to work with Richard Bandler and the Society of NLP, maintaining close links with the roots of NLP and with his leading edge developments.
NLP is a systemic model and can be applied to all human (and animal) systems at every level from the micro to the universal. One of the exciting things about NLP is that when people understand it as a model of human functioning, rather than just as a set of techniques, it can open up a new world of learning. Applying NLP modelling skills to other methodologies can make sense of them in a different way and can enhance our practice in other areas.
Using a different way of thinking can often lead to exploring new areas and modelling them in a different way. In the late 90s Jo was introduced to Thought Field Therapy (TFT) by a clinical psychologist who told her that he was using a new 'tapping' technique that was strange but very effective. Jo followed up this introduction and in 1999 became the third person in the UK to train with Dr Roger Callahan, the founder of TFT. Jo was fascinated by the apparent effectiveness of the method and, using her NLP modelling skills, developed her own ideas and approach to using 'tapping' which she has incorporated into her client work.
Jo's explorations of TFT also led her to explore other models including some of the more esoteric approaches to energy medicine. A well-known statement in energy medicine is that 'energy follows thought' - 'thinking' is a way of processing information. Jo was interested to find that these models can be thought of in terms of information processing - as can NLP and TFT.
Working with the body
Jo recognised that an area in which she wanted to further develop her experience, especially in her work with equestrians, was in using NLP to facilitate change throughout the body-mind system.
Jo has studied PPT (Patterns of Physical Transformation) a system of body work that incorporates the presuppositions of NLP. PPT was developed by Drs Ron and Edie Perry, both chiropractors, Fledenkrais practitioners and NLP Master Trainers, and can be thought of as NLP applied through the body. Jo is also interested in the biomechanics of riding and how the way that we process information can impact on the way we 'use' our bodies and recover from injury.
Working with animals
As a result of her own interest and experience, and especially as she developed her work with equestrians, Jo also began to explore the way in which NLP models apply to other-than-human systems. She was especially interested in how animals learn and change. Her search for effective and humane training led Jo to the Synalia Training System (SATS) that is not only highly effective as a training system for all animals, but its operating model is close to the application of the presuppositions of NLP to animal training and learning. Jo has been involved with the SATS system since 2006.
Work background pre-NLP
Jo originally qualified as a Community and Youth Worker, trained in person-centred counselling and worked as a social and community worker. She also managed a London day centre that was featured in a Guide to Good Practices in Mental Health and worked closely with local mental health professionals. She went on to become a policy adviser and project co-ordinator in the public sector followed by several years in the private sector as a change manager and trainer in a multi-national company. Jo has a Social Policy MA and postgraduate diplomas in local planning and in management. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). She carries relevant insurance for all her work.
© Jo Cooper 2002-2017. All rights reserved