Modeling Subjective Experience


Modeling is the act of creating a representation of a person, thing or of a proposed structure, typically on a smaller scale than the original.

And whether or not you are aware of it you use models on a daily basis to make your life easier!

In Neuro-Semantics we model something very special, we model ‘human experience’…  more specifically we model experiences of human excellence.

It is with these models we are able to replicate the highest and best of human potential as well as to shift the experiences that pull us away from that.

Intro to Neuro-Semantic Modeling

When I first started delving in the field of NLP I read quite a lot of texts using the word ‘modeling’ and for years for the life of me I could not understand what they meant by that term!  It seemed so esoteric and ungrounded.

Fast forward 10 years and now I see modelling as 90% of what I do as a Neuro-Semanticist – whether I am working with coaching clients, running a pattern, communicating with loved ones, getting to know someone new, influencing in a professional context, or working on myself. Not only do I see effective modeling as one of the highest expressions of Neuro-Semantic skills, but one of my most powerful identities is myself as a modeler.

In the following text I hope to begin the process of clarifying this for you whether you new to the field, a seasoned NLP practitioner or a practicing Neuro-Semanticist.


Two Perspectives on Neuro-Semantic Modeling

In my experience, there are two ways to look at ‘modeling’ in NLP & Neuro-Semantics:

  1. As the process for how we all, as human beings, unconsciously create our mental maps of the world in the first place.
  2. As the NLP/Neuro-Semantic skill set of taking one of those already existing unconscious models in a particular individual and making it explicit (conscious) so we can alter it or replicate it.


1. Modeling as How Human Beings Learn

We all are operating from our mental models of the world that we, for the most part, unconsciously learned/picked up from our culture, parents, teachers, life experiences, the structure of our language, TV, radio, books, religious leaders, authority figures/role models, etc.

These models of the world are NOT the world itself, but filtered down models that we use to guide our behaviors.

In a particular context our model may be accurate or inaccurate, rich or vague, resourceful or unresourceful – but it can never be the end all be all ‘Truth’.  No matter how accurate, they are just models.

So in one aspect, we are all ‘modelers’ – albeit unconscious modelers.  We are usually not aware that we are building/operating off of mental models!

2. Modeling as a Neuro-Semantic NLP Skill

‘Modeling’, as a skill, is the heart of NLP & Neuro-Semantics as well as the method by which both fields were created.

In this sense, modeling refers to taking someone’s unconsciously masterful ability and making the structure of that experience explicit so that it can be replicated.

When we model someone’s Neuro-Semantics, we are creating a model of one of their subjective mind-body experiences.

In fact in Neuro-Semantics is a ‘meta-model’, because we are creating a model of someone’s mental model.

We can model & replicate the expertise of other people and we can also model and replicate our own personal excellence into contexts where we didn’t previously have access to it.

We are Modeling Excellence

In NLP & Neuro-Semantics we model the structure of excellence (whether that excellence is highly resourceful or pathological).

Whereas NLP provides the tools to model primary level experiences and strategies, Neuro-Semantics expands on the modeling process by providing tools to model and organize the higher level belief structures, the meta-level frames, the person themselves vs. just the skills, in addition to providing models to model cultures – family cultures, organizational cultures, national cultures, etc.

What Do We Do With These Models of Subjective Experience?

Once we have a model of an experience/skill we can use this model to either replicate or alter the experience.

  • In contexts where that experience is resourceful we model this skill so that it can be replicated (first in ourselves as well as transferred to others).
  • In contexts where the skill is undesirable we model the skill to find the key leverage points that make that skill work the way it does so we can alter the structure of that experience.

Every experience you (and everybody else) have had or ever will have is governed by a mental model -making conscious modeling one of the most important skill sets on your journey to self-mastery and self-actualization.

When you can see the internal structures that govern your experiences and the experiences of others you gain the ability to deconstruct unresourceful experiences and spread excellence farther and wider across your life and those whom you communicate with.

Want to Learn More Neuro-Semantic NLP?

If you've made it to the bottom of this article I can probably assume you're interested in learning about Neuro-Semantic NLP and the difference it can make in your life, personally and professionally.

Here at the Perception Academy I am on a mission to spread this information as far and wide as possible so I will continue to share as much of this cutting-edge material as I can for free.  This is my legacy.

More Ways to Learn More About Neuro-Semantic NLP at the Perception Academy

Here at the Perception Academy we offer a few action paths to choose from depending on your desired level of support. We offer various options to meet anyone's budget and desire for knowledge!

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