Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Bandler, Richard

  • Shalini Lata MiddletonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_1028-1


Richard Bandler is a psychologist, philosopher, and a self-help author who has contributed significantly to the field of neurolinguistics. He is the cofounder of the field of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and has also helped codevelop other models and techniques, including the metamodel, the Milton model, anchoring, the swish pattern, reframing, the belief change, nesting loops, chaining states, submodality applications, and timelines. Along with his various published books and articles, Bandler continues to contribute to the field through his workshops, seminars, and consulting work.


Bandler attended the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and psychology in 1973. Two years later, he earned his Master of Arts in psychology from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco. Earlier in his career, Bandler worked with a number of notable figures including Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson, and Robert Spitzer. His work in the neurolinguistic field began when he met John Grinder who was a professor at the time when Bandler was a student at UC Santa Cruz. In 1974, Grinder and Bandler started creating a model of the language patterns used by Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson. This model was published in their books The Structure of Magic, Volumes I & II (1975a, b) and Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, Volumes I & II (1976; 1977). These co-authored books by Grinder and Bandler served as the foundation of the field of neurolinguistic programming.

Contributions to Profession

Bandler has made significant contributions to the field of couple and family therapy through the creation of his models, trainings, and writings, which have all facilitated clinicians’ ability to better understand and help people. Specifically, he is best known for codeveloping NLP, which is comprised of models and methods used to understand human communication and behavior in order to elicit change. Two major models that arose from Bandler and Grinder’s work with NLP include the metamodel and the Milton model. The metamodel documents language patterns through a series of questions that allow the individual to identify thinking patterns in another person. It responds to the distortions, generalizations, and deletions in the speaker’s language. This can be useful to individuals in various roles, including therapists, who are working to identify their clients’ thinking patterns in order to understand, modify, and/or change them. The Milton model is also helpful for therapists, as it can assist in shifting a listener into a more receptive state by using language that guides the clients from detail and content to deeper levels of cognition. NLP is widely used as a technique to elicit behavior change in the mental health field. Bandler continues to train individuals and clinicians in NLP and other self-help techniques that he has developed over the years.

Bandler has over four decades of work that is available to those in the field of psychology as well as the general public. His work includes published books, articles, audios, and videos. He has developed numerous workshops and seminars which include neurohypnotic repatterning, design human engineering, persuasion engineering, personal enhancement, charisma enhancement, and hypnosis. He has also continued to write books to help progress the work of NLP. Bandler’s book How to Take Charge of Your Life (2014) discusses the importance of self-belief and how to change beliefs, how to control your emotions and negative thinking, and how to create the life you that want in order to create change. In the book, The Ultimate Introduction to NLP (2013), readers are given the tools to change their life by overcoming things such as phobias, depression, habits, psychosomatic illnesses, and learning disorders. Bandler’s book Get the Life You Want (2008) discusses simple NLP exercises the readers can do to transform their lives. Bandler’s work continues to live on through his students and the licensed institutes worldwide.



  1. Bandler, R. (2008). Get the life you want: The secrets to quick and life change with neuro-linguistic programming. London: HCi.Google Scholar
  2. Bandler, R., & Grinder, J. (1975a). The structure of magic I: A book about language and therapy. Palo Alto: Science & Behavior Books.Google Scholar
  3. Bandler, R., & Grinder, J. (1975b). The structure of magic II: A book about communication and change. Palo Alto: Science & Behavior Books.Google Scholar
  4. Bandler, R., & Grinder, J. (1976). Patterns of the hypnotic techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume I. Cupertino: Meta Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Bandler, R., Grinder, J., & Delozier, J. (1977). Patterns of the hypnotic techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume II. Cupertino: Meta Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Bandler, R., Fitzpatrick, O., & Roberti, A. (2013). The ultimate introduction to NLP: How to build a successful life. London: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  7. Bandler, R., Fitzpatrick, O., & Roberti, A. (2014). How to take charge of your life: The user's guide to NLP. London: HarperCollins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA