Core Competencies (Core) / Intensive Training Core (ITC)

Core Competencies (Core)
Intensive Training Core (ITC)

"With regard to the past, let's operate and relate with ourselves and each other as if we had no choice. With regard to the future, let's operate and relate with ourselves and each other as if we have nothing but choice." - Carl Buchheit

"When a student really gets that they can re-create their experience, they are on their way to mastery. This is a moment of true freedom." - Carla Camou

The Core Competencies of Transformational NLP constitutes our basic, first-level training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming leading to primary certification as an NLP Practitioner. This course is taught by our lead trainers Carl Buchheit and Carla Camou.

Whether you take the six month Core format or the three month intensive ITC format, you will learn the full, basic communication and change skill sets of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. You will also learn the powerful NLP change techniques and patterns that will make it easy to make the kinds of choice—and achieve the kinds of life-changing results—that haven’t been available before.

These amazing perceptual and behavioral skills and tools have been proven, for more than 30 years, to be the "difference that makes the difference" between run-of-the-mill capability and truly magnificent art and skill working with others (and with yourself).

Who is This For?

  • Individuals who are ready for a change in life. Many of our students join us in the intention to explore and accomplish highly personal change work. Over many years of training experience, we have found that the best way to grow as an individual is not only to have the change patterns and techniques applied to you, but also to stretch yourself and assist others in changing. Many of our students come into our courses with the conscious intention to learn to change and better manage others, only to realize—months or years later—that what they learned and did absolutely transformed their own lives as well. At the other end of the spectrum, many students come to us with the voiced intention of working only on themselves and gradually discover that the experience of being in the “practitioner chair,” in which they make themselves available to help someone else, is the most valuable and powerful component of creating growth and change in themselves.
  • Coaches, therapists, counselors, and change-workers: You learn to elegantly, rapidly clarify both the immediate and deep outcomes of your clients and patients. In this skill set, therapists discover a reliably miraculous method for gaining in-the-moment, respectful access to the deep unconscious content of the client’s experience. Moreover, this skill set allows the practitioner to immediately work with this unconscious material, to quickly revise stuck and dysfunctional patterning, should this be desirable in the client/practitioner process. (NLP Marin is possibly the only teaching center—NLP or otherwise—that has the expertise and experience to successfully transfer this know-how to our students. Mastery of this material is essentially unavailable elsewhere.) Practitioners of all kinds learn to work with clients to develop truly compelling motivation toward fulfillment of long-desired dreams and outcomes. Coaches gain increased skills to assist their clients in articulating meaningful new realities and creating congruent shifts toward ultimate outcome-based goals.
  • Working professionals, managers, and leaders: You learn skills to build and sustain rapport with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Managers improve their ability to hire and fire, to coach, to motivate, and to give feedback to their teams. Trainers and meeting facilitators are better able to take charge and hold the attention of the group, regardless of whether group energy is supposed to be sourced from the leadership or from the team. Leaders (of all kinds) learn to understand, accept and respect the internal maps that others are working from. The complaint “I just can’t understand how they can be like that!” usually disappears from the team space.
  • Entrepreneurs looking to increase their effectiveness in the context of building their business, inspiring and enrolling like-minded people to work together, and being a model for the vision they hold for the world.
  • People wanting better personal relationships: All of our students learn everything in this course at least three different ways. You will learn to use these tools, perceptions and paths toward new action 1) with yourself, 2) with others, and 3) by offering support to everyone who participates with you during the learning adventure. You will learn to experience and revise both your own map of reality and that of many others. This broad, private-but-intimate experience enables everyone to gain new insights into themselves and to grow into wider and richer wisdom about life and about what makes human beings the way they are. Your new relationship with yourself will give you an increased ability to create safety and intimacy with others.
  • Existing NLP Marin students or graduates who would like to audit the course, to add even more depth and dimension to the learnings they have already attained from prior years.

Key Benefits

  • Positive personal change. Gain exceptional clarity about what you want to create and have unfold in your future. Then learn how to shift old, ineffectual patterns that keep you “stuck” in unchanging experience.
  • Satisfyingly more effective change work with others. Learn more tools to uncover, understand and unlock old patterns of behavior that have become outdated. Learn new techniques to change or shift those patterns. Begin to see and develop the ability to understand the structure of beliefs and how to change them.
  • Increased life success. Applying your new tools and skills in your own, original ways will enable you to communicate more effectively and establish a unique presence in your life. Also, the practice you get each weekend and at your weekly study groups enables you to become exceptionally clear about what you want to create and what you would like to experience in all your day-to-day interactions.
  • Elegant language skills. You’ll learn a way to use language to precipitate conscious change. You’ll also use storytelling and metaphor to enhance communication with the unconscious mind.

What You Will Learn

  • Rapport skills. Learn to distinguish between levels of rapport, “the difference that makes the difference” when you need deeper access to a person’s unconscious mind. Develop the ability to build rapport with absolutely anyone, anywhere, any time. Your conscious learning from Core Competencies of Transformational NLP will integrate all the way into the wonderfully handy domain of “unconscious competence” when it becomes a part of you are.
  • Discovering and clarifying desired outcomes. Develop even more skill at guiding people to identify what they want, personally and professionally. Learn the art of asking questions that cause “stuck” present-tense situations and patterns to spontaneously open toward movement and positive change.
  • Reframing. Learn how to create change through the spoken word. Gradually develop more and more skill in utilizing the art of “specific vagueness” to enhance communication and understanding.
  • Learn “meta-model” basics. These are precise question patterns derived from the work of Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls that work magically to unlock and unstick an unproductive experience.
  • Gain instant, respectful access to people’s unconscious barriers. You also will learn the trademark question of Marin-style NLP: “What stops you?” A very simple question which, when asked correctly, gives us access to volumes of entirely unconscious experience in just a few seconds. This is a life-changing event for everyone who learns it.
  • Uncover and understand pattern ecology. We take a holistic approach to human experience. We delve deeply into personal ecology and learn many ways to uncover and understand the very important reasons patterns have existed in someone’s life up to this point. Artful change always takes these important reasons into account so we can create change without having negative, unintended consequences as a result of positive change.
  • Discover the structure of human experience. Human experience is created neurologically using the pathways of our five senses. We dig into the structure of human experience to uncover each other’s “strategies”–the hugely unconscious patterning that determines the success or failure, the easefulness or painfulness, of all of our experience, motivation, decision-making and learning. You will learn explicit procedures to discover and rewrite all of your old, “dysfunctional” or un-motivation-producing programming, installing instead more productive and useful patterning.
  • Learn story-telling, metaphors and hypnotic language. Learn how to use story and metaphor to create change and increase influential memorability. You develop your skill in using hypnotic language patterning to enhance impact and understanding while learning to conduct multiple, simultaneous conversations with many different levels of the unconscious mind.
  • Test for NLP Practitioner Certificate. Included in the price is an opportunity to test for your Practitioner’s Certificate. Not only is this an opportunity to be certified but it’s also an incredible learning and integration experience for anyone who participates.
  • Be part of a happy, supportive community. Our students are focused on personal and professional change and come from all walks of life. You’ll study with CEO’s, health practitioners, coaches, psychologists, parents and everything in between. NLP Marin is for anyone and everyone. Our community is a testament to the effective, flexible nature of the work. Also, by working with your classmates over an extended period of time, you discover an exquisite experience of friendship and camaraderie as you learn and grow together.

Two Options for Taking This Course

Core Competencies (Core)
Taught by lead trainer and training director, Carl Buchheit. The course spreads out the "Core" material into six weekends (one 4-day weekend and five 3-day weekends) over six months.

Class runs from 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM Pacific time, USA on Fridays & Saturdays, and 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Pacific time, USA. Class includes 90-minute lunch break and other breaks throughout.

This option gives participants maximum time for learning and integration.

Intensive Training Core (ITC)
Taught by lead trainer, Carla Camou. This course condenses the "Core" material into two 5-day weekends and one 3-day weekend over three months.

Class runs from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM Pacific time, USA Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, and 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM Pacific time, USA on Sundays. Class includes a 75 minute lunch break, a 45 minute dinner break, and other breaks throughout.

This option is designed for those with a more fast-paced style of learning and integration.



NLP Marin classes are completely experiential. Our class time is usually about 25% lecture and other highly interactive presentations, about 25% live demonstration of the material being covered, and at least 50% “live-in-person” practice with fellow students.

Our training weekends are designed to transfer information and to allow that information to transform itself into elegant and powerful behavioral know-how. Each weekend emphasizes lots and lots of practice with other students to ensure your understanding.

We believe our students experience such a high level of proficiency because they get so much opportunity to practice their skills, and to be with and learn from each other in a safe and caring way.

  • Our 6-month course (Core) is 19 days of training (six weekends: one 4-day weekend and five 3-day weekends).
    Our 3-month version of this course (ITC) is 13 days of training (three weekends: two 5-day weekends and one 3-day weekend).
    If you have to miss a day or weekend, you will be given access to the videos of your class, so you can see what you missed in class and then integrate the material in your study group.
  • Weekly study groups and supervising Teaching Assistants (TA). NLP Marin is unique in that we also provide multiple study group sessions every week, conducted by our Training Assistants. Practice, practice, practice leads to an exceptional level of integration and implementation. The weekly study group sessions are designed to accommodate both in-person at many locations around the San Francisco Bay Area (when public health orders permit) and virtual study sessions. The online study groups are facilitated using Zoom Video Communications.
  • Food & Drink: When we meet in-person, students are expected to bring their own lunch or go out to a local restaurant. Tea and hot and cold water are provided. The class will break each training day for lunch (and dinner for ITC).

Our Teaching Assistants (TAs) are selected from among NLP Marin graduates who have achieved a high level of integration. We have a ratio of about 3-5 students to 1 TA, or better, so that there is almost always an assistant observing an exercise who can give skilled feedback.

What if you must miss a weekend? Not a problem. This is a common occurrence. If you miss a weekend, log in to the course portal to access recorded videos of our training so you can catch-up in your own time. If you are to miss a training weekend or two, the most important thing to do is attend weekly supervised study groups as that is how you really learn and integrate the material.


What Our Students Have to Say

  • Sami
    I stepped into the first Foundations weekend in 2009 out of curiosity. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. As I look back now, I see big shifts in my self-image and around my personal relationships. And there was this unexpected paradigm shift around the fundamental premise of subjective reality. That has opened up a new world to me where I continue to unfold.
  • Tim Gallagher
    Anyone looking to offer NLP into their change work practice would greatly benefit by going through the program. The skill set and training that I received from NLP Marin allowed me to do meaningful change work with my Clients from day one of opening my practice. It prepared me emotionally to work with my Clients on a deep emotional level. Thank you Carl and Michelle for providing me with a path that allows me to be of service to others and for changing my life!
    Tim Gallagher
    MA NLP Practitioner
  • Anonymous
    After a few months of treatment, I thought, "Change shouldn't be this fun? Or could it? It is. Wow." With Carl the word "breakthough" became a regular part of my vocabulary. So much so that I joined his NLP classes so I would have buddies to talk about these aha moments with. Seriously! Carl's unique version of Transformational Neuro-linguistics Programming (NLP) allowed me to put my past in the past - where it belongs. And to Carl I say a heartfelt thank you.
  •  Stewart Anderson
    The community that arises during (and after) the course (Core Comp) is uplifting, fulfilling, supporting and accepting. The sense of belonging runs deep. Carl and Michelle foster a beautiful, humorous space of trust in which to work with our "shortcomings".
    Stewart Anderson
    Account Executive
  • Anonymous
    My NLP training at NLP Marin has deeply expanded my ability to understand and map the terrain of people's inner landscape while lovingly helping them to guide themselves to having the life they always wanted. This NLP training has helped me do this with a level of sophistication and grace that I am so thankful for and taught us to do this while keeping their sense of empowerment in tact and strengthened.
  • Julie Gieseke
    One of the best choices I made for my personal growth.
    Julie Gieseke
  •  Jess L. Roat
    If you're interested in NLP, you must try NLP Marin. It is a thorough, respectable program.
    Jess L. Roat
  • Bahgu Hinit
    Through this training, I personally have gained many insights of myself/family/professional life that has changed the directory of my life for the better.
    Bahgu Hinit
    NLP Practitioner & Investor
  • Dave Conley
    The instructors, staff, and volunteers give a gift that has improved my vocation, relationships, community, and world. Mostly NLP Marin has given me the tools, resources, and happiness that has improved myself beyond anything I could imagine.
    Dave Conley
    Health and Wellness Professional
  • Rev. Dr. Melissa Phillippe
    I have spent my adult life finding modalities for change and evolution of consciousness. Carl & Michelle's work is THE most powerful stuff I've experienced! Every aspect of my life is vastly improved (and I mean, radically transformed!) because of their work!
    Rev. Dr. Melissa Phillippe
    Teacher, musician, transformation coach
  • Jacquie Duncan
    All the trainings I have taken have been engaging and full of interesting material to learn and reflect on. I love the interactive practices and the TAs are sweet and helpful. I especially love the humor that the teachers bring to each session. I look forward to continuing my education and practice with NLP Marin.
    Jacquie Duncan
    Executive Coach
  • Jessie
    NLP was the first step that I took as an adult on my path of growing and learning about myself. It opened my mind to new possibilities for my life.
    Graphic Designer
  • Preston Temple
    I firmly believe that NLP Marin is the best NLP training in the world. The 'outcome frame' alone is one of the most powerful therapeutic tools ever developed and that's only scratching the surface of what's possible. Carl is basically an NLP savant and it is an honor and a privilege to get to learn directly from him. The curriculum he has amassed is nothing short of a national treasure.
    Preston Temple
  • Garik Goodell
    NLP Marin has fostered an amazing community to grow and become more of yourself in an amazing way! I deeply value my experience!!
    Garik Goodell
  • Madeleine Munday
    NLP Marin is the most integrative and transformative practice on my spiritual path. I recommend the courses and activities without reservation to anyone seeking greater happiness, balance and joy in their life.
    Madeleine Munday
    Catholic sister, administrator
  • Marlen O.
    My participation in the NLP Marin coursework has made me a happier, more authentic and more aware human being. The changes within me were subtle, yet incredibly profound and life-changing.
    Marlen O.
    VP Business Development
  • Betsy Gornet
    NLP Marin offered me the opportunity to test and push the edges of all my assumptions, interpretations, beliefs, and rules I've had about the world, others, and myself. And in that journey, I've had the opportunity, in my own way and in my own time, to discover, explore, try on, develop, resolve, renew, and emerge in ways of thinking, feeling, and being that I never would have imagined absent the opportunity I found in NLP Marin classes. The experienced and talented trainers (who are also veteran practitioners) have this unique and special way of honoring each person in the class, respecting where they are, holding the preciousness of their experience, no matter what. Even if I was resistant to what they were offering, or confused and lost about something, the trainers showed patience with a knowing and open heart. The group of teacher assistants that dedicate hours and hours to support the students over time is a gift offered to each class. I've learned from each one of the TAs I've come to know over the years. They take this stance of "we are all teachers and we are all students" and it's such a beautiful thing to experience. The TAs guided me, supported my learning, served as a sounding board, and held a space for me - even when I wasn't aware of it at the time -- for my learning journey. I'd also say that the students who find themselves in these classes, no matter what their history or background, seem to create an accepting community that offers a connection that I've never experienced anywhere else. Perhaps it is the deeper common experience of personal change work that connects us all, or just perhaps the openness to learning that drew us all there in the first place. Whatever it is, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.
    Betsy Gornet
    Coach, Consultant
  • Susanna Jackman
    Guaranteed ka-ching moments, often known as ah-ha experiences; always thrilling, surprising and gratefully received.
    Susanna Jackman
  • Diana Knight
    I use my NLP learning every day in our business, working with our employees and also with myself and out in the world. One time I helped someone decide whether to move to Seattle or stay here while I was in the checkout line at Trader Joe's by having him do an NLP exercise (future pacing).
    Diana Knight
  • Anonymous
    Learning NLP at NLP Marin is one of the best things that I have done. It was a fun learning experience in an extremely supportive and compassionate environment. I love Carl, Michelle, Carla and the support staff at NLP Marin.
  • Leanne Pain
    The learning and awareness that I have gained from NLP Marin has had a deeply profound impact in my life. The training is invaluable and exceptional. I would love to attend everything offered. I will eventually. NLP Marin creates an environment which allowed me to feel safe and allowed my critter to calm down.
    Leanne Pain
    ABASW, Life Coach, NLP Practitioner
  • Isis Wilkinson Bertagnoli
    I love NLP Marin! Communication is my passion and NLP Marin has shown me multiple tools that I utilize on a daily basis to be a better communicator by listening.
    Isis Wilkinson Bertagnoli
    Director of Business Development and Partnerships
  • Vanessa Loder
    NLP Marin is the best NLP Program out there! The trainers are incredibly skilled and you will experience profound positive shifts in your life as a result of this work. This is one of the best investments you can make in yourself, your happiness and getting more of what you want in your life!
    Vanessa Loder
    Women's Leadership Expert
  • Daphne Peterson
    Since taking classes at NLP Marin I have experienced deep, long-lasting changes that can only be described as amazing.
    Daphne Peterson
    Broker, Investor, Entrepreneur
  • Ken Griffin
    Core Competencies was, and continues to be, a life changing experience for me in the best possible way.
    Ken Griffin
  • Dr. Barbara Birsinger
    I am so grateful to have had, and continue to have, the honor, privilege and opportunity to be a student and mentee of Dr. Carl Buchheit, a true genius and Master Trainer, as well as the incredibly talented, gifted and experienced Trainers alongside of Carl, Michelle Masters and Carla Camou. There are not enough words to express the amount of appreciation that I feel for the creators of this organization and the dedication and care that goes into every single class, every single time. And, because of Carl's and the entire Training Team's ability to hold the most difficult of life circumstances in a place of safety and respect, while finding the humor in the humanity of it all, I've been motivated to return for nearly a decade as a student and a TA. And now my daughter has completed the highest level trainings and is a new generation TA, together with me! The NLP Marin Trainings are brilliant AND hilarious! And, why not? Fun, fun, fun, in that order, except for all the pain all the time (Inside joke, seriously!)
    Dr. Barbara Birsinger
    Owner Energetics of Eating, LLC and Academy
  • Anonymous
    Across all measures, the world-class Transformational NLP Marin Training Center has to be THE BEST on the planet--most experienced, most knowledgable of the history and the attention to the lasting, and often quantum transformation of behaviors and the belief and identity structures that hold them in place. There is an unwavering attention to rapport-building and safety, allowing students to go with respect, to places of unknown territory, and be able to make significant shifts in their unwanted present experience and have a felt sense of what it is like to step into their desired state in life, and experience the next level of change that takes them to new and even better experiences.
  • 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
  • Anonymous
    Words cannot convey the depth of my gratitude and appreciation for Carl, Michelle and the NLP Marin community.
  • Tracy Joy
    I met and was trained in NLP by Carl and Michelle at a critical point in my life when I knew I needed to fundamentally change the foundation of how I learned to exist in the world so I could live the life I wanted. They made making that change easy and supported providing tremendous amounts of love. I cannot say enough great things about my experience working with them. And, I can't appreciate them enough for what they provided for me.
    Tracy Joy
    PTSD Therapist
  • Gary D. Salyer
    Simply put, NLP Marin offers the best NLP training on the planet. Its depth and breadth of training cannot be matched. It will transform your life and, if you are a coach or therapist, it will enable you to create transformations with clients with much greater depth and ease.
    Gary D. Salyer
  • Bill Cordingley
    NLP Marin really lives up to the promise. It's truly an exceptional path of personal change for anyone wanting to shift the trajectory of their life away from pain and suffering and toward much more of what they want.
    Bill Cordingley
  • Jonathan
    I'm so much happier with myself and my life after going through NLP Marin. The classes start simple, but by the time you get to Masters, the world occurs differently. Much recommended!
    Partner, HolacracyOne
  • Ali Schultz
    NLP Marin gives you the manual on being human that we all need to make great sense of life and our relationship to it. This is the most complete and most necessary program for anyone in a coaching, change-work or therapeutic profession. Or, really, for anyone that lives and works with other humans. We require all of our coaches to complete Foundations through Masters, at the very least, and strongly encourage them to take the whole NLP Marin curriculum.
    Ali Schultz
    COO of
  • Lindsay
    NLP Marin's trainings were hands down the best investment I've ever made - in myself, my well-being, my business, and my life. I whole-heartedly recommend the trainings to anyone who is wanting to change their life for the better.
    Client Services Director and Life Coach
  • Shauna
    Fascinating application of neuroscience in the context of great compassion. Some of the other NLP approaches I have seen appear to be less sophisticated and manipulative in comparison. Even in the Core class, I learned valuable skills to apply in interactions with others in my everyday work and personal life. By the end of Masters, I felt much more effective in client interactions and have used the techniques and concepts in work presentations. I apply the techniques and concepts in personal life on a daily basis.
    Start-up Consultant


2024 Core Dates:

March 21 - 24, Thursday - Sunday
*April 19 - 21, Friday - Sunday
May 17 - 19, Friday - Sunday
June 14 - 16, Friday - Sunday
July 12 - 14, Friday - Sunday
*August 9 - 11, Friday - Sunday
*Hybrid - in person & Zoom simultaneously.

Offered once per year only

Times for Core:

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Pacific time, USA
Calculate in your time zone

2024 ITC Dates:

*June 19 - 23, Wednesday - Sunday
*July 17 - 21, Wednesday - Sunday
*August 9 - 11, Friday - Sunday
*Hybrid - in person & Zoom simultaneously.

Offered once per year only

Times for ITC:

10:00 AM - 8:00 PM Pacific time, USA
Weekends 1 & 2
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Pacific time, USA
Weekend 3
Calculate in your time zone


Includes weekly supervised study groups for integrating learning

Recommended Text:

Transformational NLP:
A New Psychology

by Carl Buchheit, Ph.D. and
Ellie Schamber, Ph.D.


Online via Zoom
(Online via Zoom &
live at the Novato Oaks Inn)
215 Alameda del Prado
Novato, CA 94949

Let's make sure we are a great fit!

Core Competencies of Transformational NLP and Intensive Training Core are different kind of classes than ones you might have taken previously. These are not classes where you read a textbook and pass a test. It is a highly participatory class that is as much about personal growth as it is about acquiring professional skills. So, it is important that our curriculum, approach to learning, training methodology, and community are a great fit for you - and vice versa.

Our Enrollment Application serves as a mutual interview process. We know the word “application” might be intimidating. However, chances are, your interest and curiosity that has brought you to this point means we are likely going to be a great fit. Filling out the Enrollment Application will be a clarifying, affirming process, even if you don’t embark on our certification track. And, filling it out in no way requires you to attend Core or ITC.

So, please take about 15-20 minutes now and add your responses to the following questions, so we can get a deeper sense of who you are, what you want, and how our certification training programs might serve you. Your responses are sent to us securely and are kept 100% confidential. We appreciate this view into who you are!