ConversationsConversations by Dr Richard Bandler and Owen Fitzpatrick

Written using various Conversations between Richard Bandler and Owen Fitzpatrick. This review will look more closely at the book and what it's about.

Conversations was primarily written in the first person by Owen Fitzpatrick and includes transcripts of many of the Conversations he had with Richard Bandler over various topics.  Conversations is a pretty honest and personal book. Through a story of events in his life, Fitzpatrick examines his time spent talking with Richard Bandler and asks Bandler questions about every topic he could think of while getting answers which he discusses with the reader

The book takes us on a journey around the world and back and to all kinds of issues from how change happens to overcoming problems people have with themselves, to relationship issues to their spirituality and connection with the world. It provides insights into almost every area of life and reveals very simply the importance of helping people to be free and the connection between NLP and Freedom.

The book is written in an engaging way and I found myself interested in each chapter. There were certain chapters that were my favourite. I enjoyed the random ramblings chapters at the end of each section and some of the chapters on change and spirituality the most. Having read Richard Bandlers other books, this is a very different kind of book, even from other NLP books. It takes a few risks which I believe pay off and I found the book useful in many different ways. At the end of most chapters, there are also plenty of very useful exercises which I found very useful once I completed them (I haven't completed all of them... yet!)

Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot and would recommend it to anyone with no knowledge of NLP, anyone with some knowledge and wants more and anyone who is experienced and wants some good insights and ideas on even more ways NLP can be applied to the real world.

As Owen states in the book, there will always be people who don't like the book or even hate the book. Although to all accounts, with Conversations almost every review to date I have come across has been a positive one, it's important to examine some of the less positive criticisms that have been levelled at Conversations.

It has been described as self absorbed however as Fitzpatrick continuously states throughout, it is an extremely personal book. The idea of the book came from the notion that what was important to do was to share the conversations he had with Richard Bandler and essentially, how he changed and developed throughout. So it is self absorbed in so far as any description of one's own experience can be termed as self absorbed.

Many people have commented that they enjoyed the honest way that Fitzpatrick let people into his personal life... from his difficult times to his successes.  From that point of view, most of the bestsellers out there from Tony Robbins to Wayne Dyer would also be considered as self absorbed.

Similarly, a suggestion that the book involved Fitzpatrick paraphrasing Richard Bandler is misleading. Throughout the book, we see Fitzpatrick taking the ideas that Richard explains and making the ideas make sense in his own mind and in his own experience. So, it was not just about the wisdom shared, it was also about how Owen interpreted that wisdom and applied it in his own thoughts that was important. Far too many people assume that the reader will always be clear on any cool idea that they read about. This lets the reader explore one of the writers getting to grips with the wisdom they are learning as they are learning it.

It has also been suggested that Conversations contains too much hero worshipping of Dr Bandler however I believe this is a mute point as again it is an example of Fitzpatrick giving his heartfelt opinion on his mentor and teacher. There are some examples but to suggest that this takes away from the merit of this book is very obviously an incorrect assumption in my opinion.

Lastly, the suggestion that this book would not be of use to someone with no experience I believe is innaccurate. Two of my friends have read most of Conversations and have found it very interesting and useful despite not even having heard of NLP before. The personal nature of the book ensures that the reader gains a good insight into both authors and understands a refreshingly close up perspective on their personalities. I am very certain that it would be very practical for anyone interested in becoming happier and developing personal freedom.

So, such criticisms will no doubt come and primarily from people who are experienced in NLP (who, like me, don't remember what it's like to know nothing about NLP) that have their own reasons not to praise the book. I'm not saying that anyone has a hidden agenda to criticize. When Owen Fitzpatrick asked me to review the book for the website of the institute, obviously he did  as he knew I had already expressed to him that I liked it. However, when conducting this review I decided it was necessary to address any criticism that has been levelled at it.

Simply, I suppose, from my point of view, I am a fan of this book. My own agenda is that I believe in this book quite strongly and I like Mr Fitzpatrick and Dr Bandler's work.

John O'Connell
Founder New Energy