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John Grinder : biography

January 10, 1940 -

John Grinder, Ph.D. ( born January 10, 1940) is an American linguist, author, management consultant, trainer and speaker. Grinder is credited with co-creating Neuro-linguistic programming, with Richard Bandler. He is co-director of Quantum Leap Inc., a management consulting firm founded by his partner Carmen Bostic St. Clair in 1987 (Grinder joined in 1989). Grinder and Bostic St. Clair also run workshops and seminars on NLP internationally.

Life and career

John Thomas Grinder, Jr. graduated from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor degree in psychology in the early 1960s. Grinder then entered the United States Army and served as a Captain in the US Special Forces in Europe during the Cold War; following this he went on to work for a US intelligence agency. In the late 1960s, Grinder returned to college to study linguistics and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 1971. His dissertation, titled On Deletion Phenomena in English, was published by Mouton in 1976.

In the early 1970s, Grinder worked in George A. Miller's laboratory at Rockefeller University. After receiving his Ph.D., Grinder took a full-time position as an assistant professor in the linguistics faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). He engaged in undergraduate and graduate teaching, and research. His research focused on Noam Chomsky's theories of transformational grammar specializing in syntax and deletion phenomena. He published several research papers with Paul Postal on the syntactical structures relating to "missing antecedents" or missing parasitic gaps for the pronoun. They argued that the syntactic structure of a deleted verb phrase (VP) is complete. Labov, W., Fox, RC. (1973) "Sociolinguistic patterns: Physicians and Patients Facing the Unknown" ISBN 0-8122-1052-2 p.198

Postal, P. (2008) In "Parasitic Gaps", Peter W. Culicover (Ed.) The MIT Press

Linguistic Theory: Syntax, semantics, pragmatics. Annual Reviews p.351

Edward Klima, doctoral adviser to both Postal and Grinder at UCSC, became involved in the early development of generative semantics.

Grinder co-authored, with Suzette Elgin, a linguistics text book titled A Guide to Transformational Grammar: History, Theory, Practice.Elgin has since published various poems and short stories; she is also known for her non-fiction series Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense series. e.g. Elgin, S. The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense (1980), ISBN 0-13-351080-8 In 2005, Grinder published Steps to an Ecology of Emergence with Tom Malloy and Carmen Bostic St Clair in the journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing.

Development of neuro-linguistic programming

In 1972 (during Grinder's stint at UCSC) Richard Bandler, an undergraduate student of psychology, approached him for assistance in specific aspects of modeling Gestalt therapy. Bandler had spent much time recording and editing recordings of Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt therapy) and had learned Gestalt therapy implicitly. Starting with Fritz Perls, followed by a leading figure in family therapy Virginia Satir, and later the leading figure in hypnosis in psychiatry Milton Erickson, Grinder and Bandler modeled the various cognitive behavioral patterns of these therapists, which they published in The Structure of Magic Volumes I & II (1975, 1976), Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, Volumes I & II (1975, 1977) and Changing With Families (1976). This work formed the basis of the methodology that became the foundation of neuro-linguistic programming.

Bandler and Grinder began hosting seminars and practice groups. These served as a place for Bandler and Grinder to practice and test their newly-discovered patterns while allowing them to transfer the skills to the participants. Several books were published based on transcripts of their seminars, including Frogs into Princes (1979). During this period, a creative group of students and psychotherapists formed around Grinder and Bandler, who made valuable contributions to NLP, including Robert Dilts, Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Judith DeLozier, Stephen Gilligan and David Gordon.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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