Neuro Linguistic Programming

A forum for the publication of independent public research conducted by J7 Independent People's Inquiry Forum Members and J7 RELEASE THE EVIDENCE Activists and Campaigners in the joint quest to get to the truth behind what really happened on July 7th 2005. Post your Freedom of Information requests, the responses, and official communications with other bodies and representatives of state and corporate entities here.

Neuro Linguistic Programming

Joined: 05 Jul 2007, 02:18

04 Aug 2007, 01:51 #1

In looking through the list of the deceased, I came to the couple who I think were the only two who died and were travelling together, Lee Harris and Samantha Badham.

Not only that, but two carriages behind them on the same train was an old schoolmate of Lee's, Lisa Merrick. All three previously lived in Hereford.
Two packed carriages along from the bomb, Miss Merrick heard a "loud blast" as the train came to a sudden stop.

"Our carriage started filling with black smoke. People were screaming and starting to panic, so another girl and I tried to calm everything down," said Miss Merrick, who lives in Highbury, North London.

"Some wanted to smash the windows but I tried to stop them as this would have brought more smoke into the train," she said.

It was half-an-hour before the surviving passengers could be walked back through the tunnel to King's Cross.

Miss Merrick said that only on reaching safety did they hear that a bomb had caused the blast.

"I thought we had hit another train or there had been an electrical fault," said Miss Merrick.

"When we were down there we could hear people screaming but I didn't think anyone had died - I just thought they were panicking. I feel guilty now for not helping - but it is such a lottery."
I was intrigued by the coincidences there. I looked into Lisa Merrick and found that she's a practitioner of NLP - neurolingustic programming.
Company:  Headspace 
Contact Name:  Lisa Merrick
Business Description:
Headspace is a London based company that provides training and professional coaching for companies and life coaching and therapy for individuals.

Headspace works with business' to help them win pitches and maintain excellent relationships with their existing clients, it also coaches individuals and teams toward achieving business goals.

With individuals Headspace provides therapy to get rid of limiting beliefs, negative emotions, phobias and addictions, this work is done primarily in a one day breakthrough session. Headsapce also provides Life Coaching to assist individuals in setting specific goals, clearing some headspace to achieve them and then focusing on action to get results - in any area of their life.
I don't really know what all the NLP stuff is about, maybe someone on here can explain it a bit more? I know it's the same Lisa Merrick because of this: ... geId=11395
Subject  overcoming PTSD Posted By lisa merrick  Posted On 27th Jul 2006


I wonder if any of you lovely people can help....

I want to run a session / workshop for survivors of the 7th July bombing last year and before I do this I wanted to canvas opinion on the kind of things you guys would use based on your experience?

As a survivor myself I am part of a group called Kings Cross United and as such have a relationship with a number of survivors (there are around 100 of us registered)and clearly I have an empathy with them.

Most of them have been usefully 'diagnosied' with PTSD and so dealing with this needs to be included. Some of them are also still in therapy so I need to take this into consideration also.

At a recent meeting I noticed a real difference between the people who referred to themselves as victims and those who thought of themselves as survivors (C vs. E) and I thought doing some work around moving from feeling anxious to feeling calm / feeling threatened to feeling safe would be useful?

All comments gratefully received.


She did a fortnight's "Master Practitioner" course in November 2005.

I'm sure it's all as benign as it sounds though.....lest I get complaints for raising the above :)
But Duncan, what men believe isn't important - it's our actions which make us right or wrong. - Alasdair Gray - Lanark

The Antagonist
Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

04 Aug 2007, 02:05 #2

"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown

Joined: 05 Jul 2007, 02:18

04 Aug 2007, 02:26 #3


I hope the 100 people knew what the session/workshop was exactly.
But Duncan, what men believe isn't important - it's our actions which make us right or wrong. - Alasdair Gray - Lanark

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

04 Aug 2007, 11:11 #4

From Wiki:

    Main article: Modeling (NLP)

"Modeling" in NLP is the process whereby an individual observes and replicates another's behavior, language, strategies and beliefs in order to 'build a model of what they do...we know that our modeling has been successful when we can systematically get the same behavioral outcome as the person we have modeled'.[11] The 'model' is then reduced to a pattern that can be taught to others. NLP modeling methods are designed to unconsciously assimilate the tacit knowledge of what the master is doing, and of which the master is not aware, and can involve modeling "exceptional" people.[15] Einspruch & Forman 1985 state that "when modeling another person the modeler suspends his or her own beliefs and adopts the structure of the physiology, language, strategies, and beliefs of the person being modeled. After the modeler is capable of behaviorally reproducing the patterns (of behavior, communication, and behavioral outcomes) of the one being modeled, a process occurs in which the modeler modifies and readopts his or her own belief system while also integrating the beliefs of the one who was modeled."[16] Modeling is not confined to therapy, but is applied to a broad range of human learning. Another aspect of modeling is understanding the patterns of one's own behaviors in order to 'model' the more successful parts of oneself.
Useful technique with groups methinks as is this:


NLP proponents state that people make anchors (associations) between sensations and emotional states. If a person is exposed to an unique stimulus while in a specific emotional state, a connection is made between the emotion and the unique stimulus. If the unique stimulus occurs again, the emotional state will be triggered. Additionally anchors can be deliberately created and triggered to help people access 'resourceful' or other target states.[33]Anchoring appears to have been imported into NLP from family therapy as part of the 'model' of Virginia Satir.[34]
As for Sam & Lee, the only input to the GLA Review Committee from a relative of any of the deceased was a letter from Lee's parents which is examined in the context of the Casualty Bureau and identification of Hasib Hussain on the website.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Joined: 24 Jun 2006, 13:09

04 Aug 2007, 17:46 #5

NLP can be used to treat PTSD ... tment.html

Anyway she says the group is 100 people, not that 100 people came to an NLP workshop, nor that it ever happened.

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

04 Aug 2007, 22:38 #6

PTSD is an interesting diagnosis in itself. I am reminded of watching a programme about the huge distress and trauma amongst the people of Iraq, their everyday suffering on an immense scale. Added to which, of course, all this suffering was and is totally avoidable. A young Iraqi girl was interviewed who could not get over seeing a suicide car-bombing in the street outside her home. What was actually preventing her from being able to process this horrific event was that she saw the young man seconds before the car exploded with his hands handcuffed to the steering wheel. This fact did not make sense to her and therefore she could not accept what she had seen in the way she was 'supposed' to. This was preventing her from recovering and processing the trauma.

This article on the recent invention of PTSD is interesting:
The invention of post-traumatic stress disorder and the social usefulness of a psychiatric category

Derek Summerfield

A central assumption behind psychiatric diagnoses is that a disease has an objective existence in the world, whether discovered or not, and exists independently of the gaze of psychiatrists or anyone else. In other words, neolithic people had post.traumatic stress disorder as have people in all epochs since. However, the story of post-traumatic stress disorder is a telling example of the role of society and politics in the process of invention rather than discovery.

The diagnosis is a legacy of the American war in Vietnam and is a product of the post.war fortunes of the conscripted men who served there. They came home to find that they were being blamed for the war. Epithets like "babykiller" and "psychopath" were thrown at them by some who had watched on television the US military's atrocities against defenceless peasants. This reception was a primary factor in the well publicised difficulties - such as antisocial behaviour - that some military personnel had in readjusting to their peacetime roles. Those who were seen by psychiatrists were diagnosed as having an anxiety state, depression, substance misuse, personality disorder, or schizophrenia; these diagnoses were later supplanted by post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The diagnosis is a legacy of the American war in Vietnam" AP PHOTO/ ADAM NADE

Early proponents of the diagnosis of post. traumatic stress disorder were part of the antiwar movement in the United States; they were angry that military psychiatry was being used to serve the interests of the military rather than those of the soldier-patients. The proponents lobbied hard for veterans to receive specialised medical care under the new diagnosis, which became the successor to the older diagnoses of battle fatigue and war neurosis. The new diagnosis was meant to shift the focus of attention from the details of a soldier's background and psyche to the fundamentally traumatogenic nature of war. This was a powerful and essentially political transformation: Vietnam veterans were to be seen not as perpetrators or offenders but as people traumatised by roles thrust on them by the US military. Post.traumatic stress disorder legitimised their "victimhood," gave them moral exculpation, and guaranteed them a disability pension because the diagnosis could be attested to by a doctor; this was a potent combination. (In both South Africa and Bosnia men accused of politically inspired multiple murders have used post.traumatic stress disorder as a defence.)
Summary points

A psychiatric diagnosis is not necessarily a disease

Distress or suffering is not psychopathology

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an entity constructed as much from sociopolitical ideas as from psychiatric ones

The increase in the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in society is linked to changes in the relation between individual "personhood" and modern life
At no time was the debate in the psychiatric community in the US about whether or how diseases or disorders exist, merely whether there was one that had yet to be discovered. As Scott wrote:

In the story of [post-traumatic stress disorder] we see again how the orderliness of the natural world is to be found in the very accounts of its orderliness. Theories represent competing sets of assumptions that are inseparable from the interpretation of the evidence taken to support them and their predictions. Hence scientists and those who adopt its discourse evaluate evidence and make claims about what they have discovered. The goal is to move disputed claims along a path towards acceptance as taken-for-granted fact. This calls for appropriate documentation, the ability to command the attention and respect of critical persons and groups, and the skills and resources necessary to marshal this effort. This is how facts are made."1

The growth in popularity of the diagnosis

Despite the atypical nature of the experiences of American soldiers in Vietnam, the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder has become almost totemic. The National Center for Post.Traumatic Stress Disorder in the United States tracks journal articles, books, technical reports, doctoral dissertations, etc, that are written on the subject. Although coverage is largely limited to publications in English, and even then is only partial, more than 16 000 publications had been indexed by September 1999. One striking development, although not the subject of this paper, has been the global spread of the use of this diagnosis by humanitarian programmes. It is promoted as a basis for capturing and addressing the impact of events like wars regardless of the background culture, current situation, and subjective meaning brought to the experience by survivors. Thus the misery and horror of war is reduced to a technical issue tailored to Western approaches to mental health. This has been criticised elsewhere.2 3

In Western societies the conflation of distress with "trauma" increasingly has a naturalistic feel; it has become part of everyday descriptions of life's vicissitudes. The profile of post-traumatic stress disorder has risen spectacularly, and it has become the means by which people seek victim status - and its associated moral high ground - in pursuit of recognition and compensation. An editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry commented that it was rare to find a psychiatric diagnosis that anyone liked to have but post-traumatic stress disorder was one.4

Originally framed as applying only to extreme experiences that people would not expect to encounter every day, it has come to be associated with a growing list of relatively commonplace events: accidents, muggings, a difficult labour (with healthy baby), verbal sexual harassment, or the shock of receiving (inaccurate) bad news from a doctor even in cases in which the incorrect diagnosis has been rescinded shortly afterwards. Increasingly the workplace in Britain is being portrayed as traumatogenic even for those who are just doing their jobs: paramedics attending road accidents, police constables on duty at disasters, and even employees caught up in what would once have been described as a straightforward dispute with management. All are seeking compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder or for not being offered counselling. A recent paper described a postal questionnaire survey of doctors involved in treating the survivors of the Omagh bombing in 1998.5 The authors concluded that 25% of the sample had post.traumatic stress disorder and were critical of them for not seeking treatment. There are real implications for society and indeed for the NHS in these trends.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, concepts of "personhood," and modern life

The constructs of "psychology" or "mental health" are social products. Collectively held beliefs about particular negative experiences are not just potent influences but carry an element of self fulfilling prophecy; individuals will largely organise what they feel, say, do, and expect to fit prevailing expectations and categories. Underpinning these constructs is the concept of "person" that is held by a particular culture at particular point in time. This embodies questions such as how much or what kind of adversity a person can face and still be "normal"; what is reasonable risk; when fatalism is appropriate and when a sense of grievance is; what is acceptable behaviour at a time of crisis including how distress should be expressed, how help should be sought, and whether restitution should be made. In Britain, for example, person. hood has traditionally invoked notions of stoicism and understatement - the "stiff upper lip" - and of fortitude (exemplified by the "bulldog" tenacity which popular memory holds as a characteristically British response to a crisis like the threat of Hitler).

There is a tension between these older, time honoured constructions, which centre on resilience and composure, and what is emerging today. When a psychiatrist or psychologist attests that an unpleasant but scarcely extraordinary experience has caused objective damage to a psyche with effects that may be long lasting, a rather different version of personhood is being posited.

This may be understood in terms of cultural and socioeconomic shifts. Today an expressive, psychologically minded individualism is increasingly common. On the one hand the modernisation of society has seen a loss of the binding properties of its fabric and on the other there has been a promotion of personal rights and the language of entitlement. A nation is judged as if it is primarily an economy rather than a society, and the lexicon of commerce increasingly regulates social relationships and responsibilities (not least in respect of health). The gap between winners and losers grows wider. Moreover, belief in the comfort of religion and in the benevolence of authority is waning. An individualistic, rights conscious culture can foster a sense of personal injury and grievance and thus a need for restitution in encounters in daily life that were formerly appraised more dispassionately. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the diagnosis for an age of disenchantment.

Today there is often more social utility attached to expressions of victimhood than to "survivorhood"; this is perhaps the reverse of 50 years ago. (In contrast, in the former Soviet Union there was no social utility in victimhood: state dogma emphasised endurance and stoicism, and victims were advised to keep silent. There was little basis for a discourse on "trauma."6)

Julie Krone suffered PTSD after falling from her horse during a race in 1993 AP PHOTO/ ED BAILEY

Once it becomes advantageous to frame distress as a psychiatric condition people will choose to present themselves as medicalised victims rather than as feisty survivors. In western societies, people can receive compensation for psychic discomfort in some contexts although not in others. They cannot receive compensation for the psychic discomfort of unemployment or poverty or imprisonment: the criteria for these are societal not medical. Although the basis of many compensation cases for post.traumatic stress disorder is moral-that is, embracing the sense of having been wronged - rather than psychological, the psychiatric category is the instrument by which a moral charge is fashioned into a medicolegal one. In the West positivism and instrumental reasoning (that is, reasoning based on supposed empirical proof) are privileged modes of persuasion: to show that you have been wronged you seek to show that you were not just hurt but impaired. The diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder is the certificate of impairment.

There is a veritable trauma industry comprising experts, lawyers, claimants, and other interested parties; it is a kind of social movement trading on the authority of medical pronouncements. An encounter between a sympathetic psychiatrist and a claimant is primed to produce a report of post-traumatic stress disorder if that is what the lawyer says the rules require and what has, in effect, been commissioned. In the United Kingdom awards for psychological damages based on the diagnosis can be several times higher than, say, the �30 000. �40 000 limit that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority applies for the traumatic loss of a leg.

Problems with defining post-traumatic stress as a psychiatric disorder

In a study of the genesis of post-traumatic stress disorder, the medical anthropologist Young concluded: "The disorder is not timeless, nor does it possess an intrinsic unity. Rather, it is glued together by the practices, technologies, and narratives with which it is diagnosed, studied, treated, and represented and by the various interests, institutions, and moral arguments that mobilised these efforts and resources."7 This is a challenge to the disorder's objective status as disease but not to its existence: each time the diagnosis is made, each time a new paper is published, each time a new claim for compensation is made, its apparently free standing existence and natural place in the world is reaffirmed.

The disorder has had a secure place in successive editions of international classification systems like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A perusal of any edition of the manual shows that post-traumatic stress disorder is not the only non-disease that is shaped as much by social concepts as by psychiatric ones - for example, see antisocial personality disorder. With each new edition some disorders are classified for the first time (where were they before?) and others disappear (where did they go?). This is a reminder that a psychiatric diagnosis is primarily a way of seeing, a style of reasoning, and (in compensation suits or other claims) a means of persuasion: it is not at all times a disease with a life of its own.

Winston Churchill personifies "a characteristically British response to a crisis like the threat of Hitler" AP PHOTO

The most recent reformulation of post-traumatic stress disorder in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM.IV) makes it still easier to qualify for the diagnosis by widening the definition of traumatic stressors to include the experience of hearing the news that something bad has happened to someone to whom one is close: second hand shocks now count. None the less, from a psychiatric point of view the problems with the disorder are unconnected to the nature or degree of the events that supposedly provoked it and would not be resolved by retaining the diagnosis only for undoubtedly extreme experiences. So called traumatic memory, seen by proponents of the diagnosis as the basic pathology of the disorder, is in general no sounder conceptually when attributed to people exposed to an atrocity or catastrophic accident than when attributed to those exposed to the lesser events mentioned above.

Psychiatric assessment of the factors associated with a clinical disorder might commonly include retrospective attribution to biological vulnerability and life experiences. Uniquely, post.traumatic stress disorder operates in the opposite direction: in DSM.IV it is taken for granted that time and causality move from the traumatic event towards the criteria and the event is specifically expressed in the content of the symptoms. This sense of time, and the "traumatic" memory it delivers, is a psychiatric construct rather than a natural entity. Throughout history people have had disturbing recollections and despair, but the idea of traumatic memory as a fixed, circumscribed, pathological entity is recent.7

The entire canon of diagnostic categories in DSM.IV is phenomenological and descriptive, bar post-traumatic stress disorder. Aetiology is not included in definitions because it is invariably multifactorial. Only post-traumatic stress disorder supposes a single cause (S Wessely, annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Edinburgh, 3 July 2000). What makes the disorder preferred to other potential diagnoses is the term "post-traumatic" in its name, which seems to "prove" a direct aetiological link between the present and an index event in the past that excludes other factors. This is scientifically and clinically dubious. Studies of those exposed to a range of manmade and natural events have consistently found that factors before the event account for more of the variance in symptoms of the disorder than do characteristics of the event. These factors include having the tendency to respond to life experiences with negative emotions (trait neuroticism); believing that one is helpless in the face of events; using an emotion focused coping style ("how am I feeling?") rather than a problem focused coping style ("what do I need to do?"); having a history of psychiatric disorder; and on whether social support is available, whether religious or political commitment is present, and the person's level of intelligence.8

The diagnosis is claimed to represent a distinct category of psychopathology, but it is largely grounded in phenomena that are common to many other psychiatric diagnoses, such as mood, anxiety, sleep patterns, etc. What is distinctive about an adverse experience for a survivor would come through in the active conceptualising and meaning making of that experience, a process which the survivor undertakes. However, no psychiatric model captures this.

Above all, the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder lacks specificity: it is imprecise in distinguishing between the physiology of normal distress and the physiology of pathological distress. The criteria in DSM.IV are subjective, and the diagnosis can be made in the absence of significant objective dysfunction. The objectification of distress or suffering means that subjective consciousness is reified; this reification risks being clinically meaningless and a "pseudocondition." There is no more graphic demonstration of this than the results of a community survey of 245 randomly selected adults in war torn Freetown, Sierra Leone, in whom post.traumatic stress disorder was diagnosed in no less than 99%.9

Royal marines land near Freetown, Sierra Leone. "[PTSD] was diagnosed in no less than 99% of the local community" AP PHOTO/ MINISTRY OF DEFENCE/ DARREN CASEY


This paper has highlighted some of the medical and sociological discussions about post-traumatic stress disorder and the interplay between them. The psychiatric sciences have sought to convert human misery and pain into technical problems that can be understood in standardised ways and are amenable to technical interventions by experts. But human pain is a slippery thing, if it is a thing at all: how it is registered and measured depends on philosophical and socio-moral considerations that evolve over time and cannot simply be reduced to a technical matter.

Trauma has become a pervasive idiom of distress in Western culture, and day to day usage - as with related terms like "emotional scarring" - is typically metaphorical. But when does it credibly denote a disease akin to physical trauma? The medical discourse on trauma has had heuristic value and some of those diagnosed as having post.traumatic stress disorder do have clinically significant psychiatric dysfunction, how. ever it is labelled (and post.traumatic stress disorder will sometimes do). However, it might be timely for mental health professionals to review our definition of the disorder as a disease and decide whether it has sufficient robustness and explanatory power to apply to the diverse uses to which it is now being put. Society confers on doctors the power to award disease status and the social advantages attached to the sick role. Current practice, which labels people as being mentally ill when they are not, calls this public duty of doctors into question. To conflate normality and pathology devalues the currency of true illness, promotes abnormal illness behaviour, and incurs unnecessary public costs.10

In turn, society might reflect that the medicalisation of life, which has gathered pace in this century, tends to mean that distress is relocated from the social arena to the clinical arena. This is a two edged sword: there are practical gains for some, but costs may accrue for everyone over time if contributing factors rooted in political and commercial philosophies and practices escape proper scrutiny.

Competing interests: None declared.

Derek Summerfield

1. Scott W. PTSD in DSM.III: a case in the politics of diagnosis and disease. Soc Problems 1990;37:294.310.
2. Summerfield D. A critique of seven assumptions behind psychological trauma programmes in war.affected areas. Soc Sci Med 1999;48:1449.62.
3. Bracken P. Hidden agendas: deconstructing post.traumatic stress disorder. In: Bracken P, Petty C, eds. Rethinking the trauma of war. New York: Free Association Books, 1998.
4. Andreasen NC. Post-traumatic stress disorder: psychology, biology and the manichaean warfare between false dichotomies. Am J Psychiatry 1995;152:963.5.
5. Firth-Cozens J, Midgley S, Burges C. Questionnaire survey of post-traumatic stress disorder in doctors involved in the Omagh bombing. BMJ 1999;319:1609.
6. Merridale C. The collective mind: trauma and shell-shock in twentieth-century Russia. J Contemp Hist 2000;35:39.55.
7. Young A. The harmony of illusions: inventing post-traumatic stress disorder. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.
8. Bowman M. Individual differences in post-traumatic distress: problems with the DSM.IV model. Can J Psychiatry 1999;44:21.32.
9. De Jong K, Mulhern M, Ford N, van der Kam S, Kleber R. The trauma of war in Sierra Leone. Lancet 2000;355:2067.70.
10. Middleton H, Shaw I. Distinguishing mental illness in primary care. BMJ 2000;320:1420.1.
Perhaps the best way that the 7/7 sufferers of PTSD can be helped would be through truth and justice?
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

The Antagonist
Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

04 Aug 2007, 23:04 #7

The diagnosis is a legacy of the American war in Vietnam and is a product of the post.war fortunes of the conscripted men who served there.
Back in the days when words still had some semblance of meaning left about them, rather than being random jumbles of letters, this Post Traumatic Stress Disorder masque used to be known as something rather more like what it was, shell shock.
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown