Beyond Blame and Shame

Dates, location, and registration here.

There are no pre-requisites for this course. Feel free to invite friends or family members.

Beyond Blame and Shame is part of our ever-updating “Essential Knowledge for Being Human” group of courses.

“Why does NLP Marin spend whole weekends on ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’? That is psychology.  I thought this was supposed to be NLP!”

We are not psychologists. We do not deal in psychological diagnosis. And we are not licensed to provide therapy. However, we have been doing NLP-based change work with clients for about 30 years, and it is our experience that everyone needs to understand the basics of so-called “Borderline Personality Disorder.”

Carl says:

‘BPD’ is an official psychological diagnosis. That is not its importance for us. What is important for us is that ‘BPD’ is a remarkably well worked-out description of some of the most common, most painful patterns humans seem to have. ‘BPD’ sits behind and beneath about 80% of the pain in people’s lives. This is not a psychological observation. I am sure most psychologists would think this percentage is absurdly high. In my experience, it is accurate. Everyone deals with the effects of BPD patterning, either in themselves or in the behavior of the people they work with, or relate with—or do anything with. 

There is no hyperbole in these sentences, alas. This is a very, very big deal. It is very important stuff. Anyone who comes for the “Beyond Blame and Shame” course (Two 2-day weekends) will discover that the basics of BPD-like patterning have been operating behind the scenes in nearly every really difficult, real-world interaction, situation and relationship. We will connect the dots about nearly every instance of the ‘not worthy,’ ‘not good enough,’ and ‘must be all my fault’ experience that has been operating in our lives and the lives of the people we care about.

For those who have taken Masters, let me say that understanding the basic rules and operations of BPD is as important as knowing about and working with Organismic Rights. For everyone else, just let me say that this material is incredibly important for anyone who wants to do healing and change work with any human being, including themselves.

As anyone reading this probably knows, NLP is a non-pathologizing model of human behavior and experience. At NLP Marin we emphasize the IPOs (Intended Positive Outcomes) of all experience, no matter how painful or limiting. We teach our students to properly appreciate an unwanted experience as the first step in changing or discreating it. We will continue to work within these immensely positive frames, but we are going to use them to delve into and be useful about some very serious psycho-pathology.

We do this class because we can’t avoid it any longer. Simply put, BPD parents are crazy and dangerous for their children. Sometimes they are very crazy, and hugely dangerous, to say it more directly. And, from any vantage point outside of their own families, these parents usually appear to be bright, attractive and caring. However, their children grow up with the fear that “no one will ever know how bad it was for us, in that house“. And, these children tend to pass on the damage when they become parents (or company owners and managers). A huge proportion of children of BPD parents will develop at least some of the BPD worldview and survival mechanisms themselves. This cannot be avoided, but it can be understood and corrected.

We want to cover this material in our own, NLP Marin style because it is important, because it affects a lot of the people we really care about, and because we will not be using the conventional frames of victimization and perpetration that purely psychological discussion of this material eventually devolves into. We want to cover this material ourselves because we will find ways to answer the question, “OK… and about all this really painful BPD stuff, what is it we would like?” Also, because this is NLP Marin, we will also laugh a lot, as we usually do. This really helps.

What you’ll get out of Beyond Blame and Shame:

Regarding the others with BPD in our lives: everyone will experience finding an opening to a new kind of rapport—we can even use the word peace—with their experience of those specific people, from the past and present, who have been most mysteriously bewildering, painful, and hurtful. The insights will compile themselves into reframes that will almost immediately change the negative feelings and kick off remarkable parasympathetic resets. Carla and Carl just marvel at how this has happened each time they have presented the material in this way and to this depth. The most intense heartbreak and hurt seem to tee-up the most intense and immediate relief when we can perceive these people properly, and say, “Okay. No wonder they were like that!”

Regarding ourselves: everyone who has survived and adapted to seriously BPD environments in childhood has elements of this patterning in themselves now. There are no exceptions; there is just no way around it. We will notice and unpack this out-of-date patterning. It will be more pain, more of the time. Then, we will restore hope! It’s actually lots of fun.

Regarding Life Itself: we will explore the cosmic sides and implications of BPD patterning.  These are quite astonishing.  They have to do with some very deep and universal aspects of being human. “What is the planetary IPO of having pretty much everyone be so crazy in these ways?” has some really remarkable answers.

And, there is one more thing. The sharing from the group will be amazing.  We don’t set out to make this happen. It just opens up by itself. It’s not like regular class Open Frame. No one is bored; no one looks at the clock. It’s different, and it’s worth the price of admission all by itself.

What People Are Saying:

Borderline personalities are all around us but they are often hiding behind masks. Through the BPD workshop I learned to unmask these people and decode their personalities. What was once a mystery is now predictable behavior that I can observe, calibrate and respond to when appropriate. It was a fantastic and worthwhile learning experience. — JS, NLP Certification Student

When I saw the lists of patterns in children of BPD parents, I saw my deepest self mirrored accurately for the first time in my life. Neither of my parents have BPD, so it set me off on a journey of discovering and recovering myself and my true emotional heritage. This workshop brought me there like no book could ever have. I’m more grateful than I can possibly express for stumbling into it.
— RG, Educator and NLP Marin graduate 

 Structure of the Class:

As do all of our courses, this course with include information, demonstration, and group practice.

Many of the frames for the course were inspired by the book Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship by Christine Ann Lawson. The archetypes of the mothers and fathers with this patterning — and their spouses and children— are particularly useful.

Building on these observations, the trainers will introduce unique perspectives on how lives are affected by this patterning, and they will lead the class through activities designed to begin to reveal and release the not-inconsiderable pain of living with this pattern or those who have it.


Carl Buchheit teaches the class with Carla Camou, whom many of our students and alumni know from her years of NLP teaching, training and co-facilitating. Carla is a superb NLP practitioner and a fantastic teacher. She also has a really good feel for this Borderline stuff.

Between Carl and Carla, we will be pretty sure to get things covered. It will be a remarkable two weekends, and it will change your perceptions and ideas about your life, and about life, guaranteed.

Please come join us

The experience will be somewhere between devastating and exhilarating most of the time. Spoiler Alert: It ends well.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Dates, location, and registration here

No previous NLP training is required. Feel free to invite your friends and family members.