Beyond Blame & Shame (BBS)

Beyond Blame & Shame

"It is about understanding and using the interdependence and interplay of our creature, human and spiritual natures for something incredibly important."-Carl Buchheit

Beyond Blame and Shame is about releasing ourselves from the terrible trances called "not worthy," "not good enough" and "all my fault." It's also about freeing ourselves from the costly counter-trances called "better than," "always innocent" and "all your fault."

Carl Buchheit describes this 2 x 2-day course as part of our ever-updating “Essential Knowledge for Being Human” group of courses. That means, for people wanting to transform their lives personally, and for practitioners who want to increase their capacity and effectiveness in affecting change in the lives of their clients’.

*Note: Offered only once a year, this workshop is open to everyone. No prior knowledge of NLP (or anything else) is required.

This series of two 2-day weekends is one of the most important parts of the whole NLP Marin curriculum. Here's why: the material and exercises in Beyond Blame and Shame go right to the heart of almost all our pain as human beings.

These are the experiences of separation, loss, abandonment, and betrayal that churn away at the center of just about everything human beings don't like about being human. It is these experiences—and the people and situations that give rise to them—that are the source of most of our fear and anger.

Some of us try to stay safe by trying to locate the failure and villainy "out there," which means we are innocent, but most of us find it necessary to locate the failure inside of ourselves, and to make ourselves the guilty source of what's gone wrong in our jobs and relationships. And, of course, some of us continually and creatively "switch-hit" between guilt and innocence, and a few of us just try to delete the whole thing.

The material we will be using as a basis to explore this is an official diagnosis called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), simply because the material is so significant, effects so many of us who are in pain about our lives, and, using our Transformational NLP toolkit, our students are offered a workable pathway to greater personal well-being and empowerment in their lives.

Be sure to read the important message from Carl (below).


Read a very important message from Carl Buchheit...

‘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 dis-creating 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.”

Now, you might be wondering …

“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.” Although it begins there, this class is not mainly about the psychology of Borderline dysfunction. It is about understanding and using the interdependence and interplay of our creature, human and spiritual natures for something incredibly important.

Who Is This For?

  • New to NLP Marin, haven’t undertaken a course, and feel drawn to the work.
  • An existing NLP Marin student or graduate and would like to positively supplement the change you are receiving already, and/or increase your capacity to work with others in a change format.
  • A long-standing NLP Marin alumnus, and would like to get up to speed with the new frames and formats that Carl Buchheit so inevitably explores and generates over the course of his continued becoming.
  • A breathing human-being who aspires to improve and gain in any one or more area of your life without feeling like someone(s), something(s), or some aspect(s) of life must lose for you to achieve it.
    … we welcome you wholeheartedly! And, we do hope you join us.

Key Benefits

  • Illuminate our life experience and offer relief to painful experiences we have had in life, especially in relation to a specific someone or some ones who have been most mysteriously bewildering, painful, and hurtful.
  • Open a new kind of rapport—we can even use the word peace—with the experience we have had with those specific people from the past and in the present.
  • Commence the dissolution of the life-diminishing BPD trance that keeps us stuck in cycles of pain and suffering, in hope that our having it worse will lead to someone we endear having it better.
  • Generate a more workable hope for our life, one that respects every human being’s right to be as they are and embraces our right to reach and have what we want of life.
  • Explore and appreciate the cosmic sides and implications of BPD patterning, and the very deep and universal aspects of being human.
  • Enjoy copious doses of light-hearted laughter which is so characteristic of our NLP Marin courses.
  • Connect and collaborate with like-hearted individuals as you continue to express your precious art-form called Life. The sharing from the group will be amazing. We don’t set out to make this happen. It just opens 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.
  • Increase your capacity to endure ever-increasing doses of happiness in your life 😊

What You Will Learn

As do all 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.

Part 1 (Weekend 1)

We begin with a rapid introduction to the nature and expression of one of the most painful diagnoses in the entire domain of conventional psychopathology—something called Borderline Personality Disorder.

We will describe and explore this "Borderline" experience. We will discover the sources and drivers for it. We will use summary versions of the work of a number of truly brilliant researchers and therapists to gain a quick but extraordinarily useful sense of what happens to and for the people who get caught in this most agonizingly distorted expression of love and hope.

We will discover that we all know some of these people, and that often we have spent our lives trying to make them right about how wrong we are (so that everyone can be OK!).

To complete, we will make the most amazingly smooth transition beyond "Borderline" psychology patterning to find its source in our most profound human and spiritual dilemma. Finding this viewpoint, we will quickly work our way back to the more immediate experiences of fear and loss, and we will close with a sense of wholeness and perspective that is pretty much unavailable in any other approach to this material. This is an NLP Marin class, after all.

Part 2 (Weekend 2)

We will begin, sensibly, with some review of Part 1, and will then quickly move into the territory of what to do about all of this. We will explore and unpack the communication patterns that catch us and trap us in a desperate need for aliveness-killing guilt and aliveness-limiting innocence. We will then complete in a peaceful space of vastly enhanced rapport and respect for ourselves and everyone else.

What Our Students Have to Say


  • Gail Brown
    Again, words fail me, but my life is better at home; everything I continue to learn has more resonance, more connections, more ways to fit it all together.
    Gail Brown
    retired teacher
  • Kelly Notaras
    Carl is a genius, and hilarious to boot. His commitment that choice is possible everywhere and in all ways has fundamentally rewired my relationship to self, other selves and life itself. Doing so much practice in the weekends is also extremely helpful--not only to preparing students to do the work with others, but also in getting us more of what we ourselves want. And I love Michelle and Carla too!
    Kelly Notaras
    Book editor
  • Laura Schummers
    I came to NLP Marin for my own healing and to get a step closer to reinventing my career. The Teaching Assistants are incredibly supportive and welcoming, and the other students are the types of people I want to spend my time with. I feel incredibly lucky to have found this community.
    Laura Schummers

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