Six Blind Elephants: Vol. I


A truly ground-breaking new book that provides a practical and generative “unified field theory” of experience and personal change. These simple understandings are illustrated with examples from the most effective therapists, collected over a lifetime.

If you ever find yourself out of choices — either in your own life, or in your work with others — you know how nice it would be to always have something to do next. You’ll learn how the fundamental distinctions of scope, category, and logical level offer a way to describe and track all our experiences — from ordinary troubles and difficulties to positive mystic experiences of union or oneness. The same knowledge provides surprisingly endless possibilities for changing your experience when you want it to be different.

The book is illustrated with a multitude of rich examples gleaned from expert therapists — Milton Erickson, Virgina Satir, Frank Farrelly, Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Carl Whitaker, Salvador Minuchin, and many others. Some of these examples would be completely baffling without these understandings.

Those who appreciate a rigorous analysis will appreciate the clear discussion of logical levels. Although misunderstood by many previous thinkers, including Gregory Bateson, logical levels provide a simple way to determine where and how to intervene in problems. (Volume II continues this by examining a variety of more complex and troublesome communication patterns.)

While I had been thinking of this as an advanced book, the proofreader, with no NLP or therapeutic background at all, said that he wished he had read it twenty years ago, because it would have made his life so much easier.

Praise for Six Blind Elephants Vol. I

Ernest Rossi, PhD, author of A Discourse with Our Genes: The Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy
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"This is a wonderfully clear book about how we think and make meaning-and how to change it. I hope all therapists will have the sense to read it."
Chris Cathey
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"Six Blind Elephants is an absolute masterpiece—the greatest breakthrough in NLP in the last 30 years. It finally explains the structure of generalizations in a more explicit manner than Richard Bandler ever did—and before this set of books I would have considered him the expert on the subject matter."
Ryan Nagy
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"Since Monday of last week, I have been going back and forth between reading Six Blind Elephants (so far just Volume One) and Transforming Your Self. I am doing the exercises, playing with the distinctions, taking and reviewing notes and...Wow. I'm consistently amazed at how much better I feel and act afterward. I feel—at times—like a brand new person. I know that it is still 'me,' just a much better organized and happier and persistent one."

"I knew those books were important ten years ago when I first encountered them, but reviewing and using the materials on a regular basis has really paid dividends for me. I want to say 'Thanks' to you for taking the time to do the work of discovering and eliciting those patterns and writing them down so that others can benefit from them."

About Steve Andreas, M.A.

Steve earned a BS in Chemistry from Caltech in 1957, and an MA in psychology from Brandeis University in 1961. He taught psychology and social science at Diablo Valley College in California from 1962-1970, and did Gestalt Therapy from 1967-1977. He edited Fritz Perls’ books, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim and In and Out the Garbage Pail, and wrote Awareness: Exploring, Experimenting, Experiencing—all under his previous name, John O. Stevens, which he changed in 1981 when he married Connirae Andreas, and took her last name.

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