[Exclusive Interview] The Real History Of NLP Got Started With Frank Pucelik

By Aaron Morton, - In Marketing

Picture of Frank Pucelik Speaking

Listen to our Exclusive Interview with Frank Pucelik on how he has used NLP:

There should be a video here, but as javascript is not enabled on your browser the video can not be loaded. However, You can view it here:


Do you know the real story of how NLP was created? How something so important and special appeared? What thousands of people worldwide are now learning. And this all began with three guys: John Grinder, Richard Bandler and Frank Pucelik. Frank was the unknown third originator of NLP for 30 years.

In this interview, after 30 years of ‘hidden’ activities, Frank Pucelik gives his deep and profound answers about the real story of NLP creation‏ and his current work in the NLP field.

  • How can you comment on the fact that the world didn`t know about Frank Pucelik as one of three NLP co-founders for 30 years?

“How can I comment on being invisible for 30 years? Well, originally Richard Bandler and I were partners when we were teaching Gestalt at university in California. We were doing this basically to make some money for both of us because we were students at that time. Then we invited John Grinder to join us. Actually Richard invited him to see if there is something he could find in linguistics of what we are doing because he was the linguistics professor at that time. He joined us. And we were excited about what he said. So we spent the next 6,5 years moving through different stages of development.

But then the relationship between my wife and I changed and it became necessary for me to move on to the rest of my life. I left Santa Cruz in late 1976, maybe 1977. I took several of the researchers from the regional Meta group which is what we called NLP before Meta, with me to San Diego. I was kind of the team leader. We had Meta Institute in San Diego for about 4 years. Then I had business opportunity in Oklahoma I couldn`t refuse. I moved to Oklahoma and opened Meta Institute there. I left Meta Institute in San Diego to my friends. They continued to operate it for three or more years and then they all went on to their own careers. I had mine, I had Mid – Western United States that was mine. I worked there, I taught there, I did NLP there, I ran a treatment center for young drug addicts there, I did a lot of things there. And I spent a lot of time with my son. Then I had the opportunity in 1987 to come to Russia the first time, to Moscow and I went.

I never really quite NLP, never stopped doing it. I wasn`t gone, I just did not present myself on an international level. I was doing mostly business consulting from the middle 80s when I moved to Oklahoma. My focus became more business consulting. So I didn`t teach NLP anymore, I used it. And there were people that always found out that I was one of the three people who originated NLP But I was doing treatment, I was doing business consulting, I was working with young people with problems. I was happy, busy, doing what I wanted to do. I had my life and so forth.

Then John decided to write about the fact of three of us in “Whispering in the Wind”, in the book he wrote with Carmen. And suddenly people started to call me and ask “What the hell is it? Were there three guys?” People are starting to know now.”

After several years John and Frank wrote the book together about the real story of NLP creation.

  • How did the idea of writing ‘Origins of NLP’ appear?

Actually I`ve been friends with John all that time, we meet, we played golf and racquetball. We were family friends. I consider him one of the special, wonderful people in my life. I think John increased the quality of my life immeasurably, maybe completely. When I was finally pushed back into the NLP world on the international level I did a keynote at the London NLP conference three years ago. And people kept asking me the same questions: “What happened?”, “How did it really start?” etc.

I just talked to John: “When will we do something? I`ll find some real people, real originators and ask them to write their stories in chapter form. I`ll write mine and you`ll write yours. Actual miracle that we were involved with is talked about in realistic way by the actual people who did it. I found most of them. They wrote and we decided to once and for all tell people what actually happened. And that`s what we did.”

  • Frank, you live in Ukraine now. What brought you here? And why did you choose Odessa to be your home?

“Originally I was invited to Moscow by 3 Russian psychologists who were on a tour in America. For the first time they got out of Russia in 1987. And I went to Moscow first time. I jumped right back to an NLP world when I first came to Moscow. And then little by little I moved back to my primary profession which was consulting and which is my primary business now as you know. I`ve worked deals, consulted companies.

When I was about 5 or 6, my parents moved to San Diego and I lived next to the ocean all my life. So for me living in St. Petersburg and in Moscow not being near the ocean I felt like fish out of water. I was travelling all over and one day I came to do some training programs in Odessa and looked around and “Home. This is home.” I was looking for a place to grab the ground and make my home. I was one who traveled around the world for 20 – 30 years even being person with no home. And I always felt that and I never really liked that. So I chose Odessa and I grabbed the ground. I like the town, I like the size, I like the people, I like the fact that it`s a resort town. I can`t pick a better place to live. It`s ideal.”

  • What have you been doing all this time in Odessa and what are you working on now?

“When I decided to stay in Odessa I decided to get an assistant, open an office. I have seen some small consulting companies in every country all over the world and I liked them. I liked how they work. So I decided to make one for myself. And I built PCG – my company that I have now, have much great young people working with me. I want PCG to be a major player in this field for a long time. I want PCG to be known for its brand, its quality, its people and I want PCG to become the strongest consulting company in these 11 time zones.

I want to help this world develop. I have some very strong beliefs about what the future should be and could be and I think that what happens in ex-Soviet countries during the next 20 years is a major key to the prosperity of human raise in the future. It has 13 time zones of wide opened, well – educated and highly motivated people that can do a lot of very good things if they learn to shift from system that didn`t work into a system that really is beneficial. And I am attempting to help do that. I am very pleased with what I`m doing. I am trying to keep learning and keep getting better. It is incredibly interesting and important. It`s amazing opportunity for me to be involved in the one of the most important developmental moments that will raise on this planet needs to go well. And if I can help it go well, then maybe I`ve actually served some purpose during my time on this planet. That`s what I`m attempting to do.”

  • Frank, can you please give some advice to our participants of the NLP SuperFest about the three main skills they have to focus on to achieve their excellence?

The three main skills? I’d probably say there are six or seven main skills. The obvious skills are the base. If you want to be a good tennis player you have to have a good foundation game in order to play. If you want to be a good singer you have to have voice training. If you are going to be a car mechanic you go to school and learn how a car works. No matter what you do you have to have foundation skills. One of the things about NLP training and NLP people is to have a tendency to jump over the foundation skills so they can learn fancy stuff. What I know about NLP is if you don’t have base skills then everything else is luck. State control, Meta Model, Major beliefs, representive systems, unconscious use of language,  motives structures, observation skills. You have to build these things to a level when you can do this without thinking. When you are playing tennis and Andre Agassi serves to you, you are going to receive a serve and the ball is coming at you at 160 km an hour you can`t think about how you change the racket in your hand or whatever. Then reaction has to be effective and accurate. NLP is the same. It is a set of skills and you have to be automatic. When all this is automatic you can move on and become skillful, in your own profession. But you will never be your own professional if you don’t have the base skills. You do it right or you don`t play on a top level. So those seven skills are the base.

If you would like to hear more from Frank on the subject of NLP check back tomorrow as we release an exclusive podcast with him before he heads down under to the NLP Superfest.

Would you like to get a greater understanding of NLP? If you are in Australia 3rd – 5th of October 2014 come and join us at the NLP SuperFest. You can find out more information about the event here.
However don’t happen to be in Australia don’t worry you can get involved online as well and come join in at the SuperFest Online as well here.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to this podcast with Alistair Horscroft hosted by myself Aaron Morton. I look forward to catching you for the next episode where will you will discover more about NLP and how it can help us in business.

Just one quick question for you, how do you use NLP in your business?


Peak Performance Editor