The Meta Model

As we wrote in a previous article NLP is composed of many tools and techniques.

There are the tools for gathering information. Those for analyzing the client’s map of the world and those with which to do change work.

I do not believe any of these tools can be pointed as the best. I believe all of them are good and the only difference in their capabilities would be the need for them at that specific time.

With all that said, one of my favorites is the Meta Model.

To explain the Meta Model, we need first to understand our mental processes.

When we are faced with an event, which can be anything from seeing something that is happening, through hearing some noise or feeling something. Be it internal or external. We gather the information with our senses. We then go on to processing it.

We do the processing through a set of filters until we get a feeling of completeness.

Finishing the process by making an imprint of that specific event.

The filters are our beliefs, our values, our criteria, our experience and many others.

It is a known fact that anything passing through filters gets refined. What that means is that part of the substance is excluded. That is true for everything including information.

Considering the type of filters mentioned we can conclude, that we Delete, Distort and Generalize a big part of the incoming data.

Therefore the output will not be the same as the input. In that sense we say that “The map is not the territory”. The map is only our subjective experience of reality.

Taking all this into account it becomes obvious that we need a tool with which to reconstruct or rebuild the missing information.

The Meta Model is just the tool for doing that.

By listening carefully to the way a person talks we can regain a big part of the missing information by using challenging questions.

We recognize, by the way the person talks about his experience, when he is deleting, distorting or generalizing.

One of the beautiful kinds of deletions is called “Nominalizations”. It happens when a person changes a process (verb) into a name.

For example: “My relationship is in trouble”.

Just by changing the verb “relating” into a nominalization “relationship” he has deleted considerable information.

Challenging the deletion by turning the “Nominalization” back into a verb or process, we can rebuild a big part of the lost information.

In this case the challenge would be: “What about the way in which you are relating is causing you to feel troubled?”

Learning to use the Meta Model gives the operator a wonderful tool with which to enrich the client’s map of the world.

For deeper knowledge and understanding of the model you can find much information in NLP literature.

There is also a software program that coaches you into learning how to use the model.

It is produced by my friend Paul Jerome at :


Emil Capone

Certified Trainer of NLP, CCHT, Advanced Practitioner of EFT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *