NLP in Malaysia

I have intended to write about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic programme) since two years ago after quite a number of enquiries. But seriously, I don’t know where to start, because from day one, I believe NLP is a pseudoscience (according to Cover & Curd (1998) pseudoscience “consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method”). And if you have followed my blog for a while, you might have noticed my very scientific and evidence-based stance.

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The claims and assumptions in NLP mostly lack empirical support (you may read more here, there are also many other good papers studying NLP and their conclusions are quite similar). There is a lack of scientific interest in the field. But due to what they claim, it still attracts interests in people who might not care much about scientific and research evidence.

In Malaysia, I’ve met people who took course in NLP and are doing general life coaching. I also have had clients who came to me having previously coached by a NLP-based “therapist” (not sure what they call themselves). And this NLP is so popular in the business and corporate world. I suppose when people practice safely understanding their sphere of competency and professional ethical issues, they are helping people and not causing harms – as long as they aren’t claiming that they can be alternative medicine treating cancers or Parkinson’s disease, giving people false hopes.

For the general public, I’d say it depends on your stance. Sometimes I get clients who come to me who specifically want to be treated with CBT because of how much empirical support there is for CBT. On other times, people just approach me knowing I practice hypnotherapy, and want their bad memories being erased in hypnosis. It’s often good to read a bit more about the therapists and the approaches they practice, even better if you speak to them first before making any decision.

Every now and then, there is “new” psychotherapy or pseudotherapy in the markets (not in the field), that has no empirical support.

Would you just pop some pills that has no clinical trials run into your mouth every day?

Please don’t get defensive. Your first reaction might be “of course not!” But there is no right or wrong here. Like I said, it depends on your stance. The thing is, we all have probably done that, especially for those of us who come from more traditional Asian families. But, we can change that.

If given a choice, would you choose a treatment that has robust scientific and research evidence?

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2 thoughts on “NLP in Malaysia

  1. I’m very interested with this topic. Is there any references or journals that you refer to when you wrote this page? If so, can you cc it to me?

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment, notice you can read more in the link in 2nd paragraph, and you can easily find more reviews and related references from there.

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