The NLP Meta Model was the field's first formal model, and was described in Richard Bandler and John Grinder pioneering 1975 book, "The Structure of Magic, Vol. 1".
The NLP Meta Model is based on the notion that 'the map is not the territory.' This is a core principle of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and simply means that the models that we make of the world around us, with our brains and our language, are not the actual world itself - they are simply our representations of it.
Bandler and Grinder developed this by extending features of general semantics (Korzybski) and transformational grammar (Chomsky), and modeling the successful therapeutic language interventions of psychiatrists Fritz Perls and Milton Erickson, and family therapist Virginia Satir, the major influences on Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
The NLP Meta Model is used as a way to help people identify and transform problematic deletions, distortions and generalizations in their thinking and communication with others.
This is a powerful tool that practitioners can use to help those who wish to make changes in their lives.
Once a client's mental maps have been identified, they can be challenged to help the client see alternative strategies. Many times, these mental maps contain traps, flaws and limitations that prevent people from shifting to more effective and congruent behaviour. By expand or revising the map, it is possible to look at alternative behaviours.