What is NLP?

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) was originally developed by American authors and trainers, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who drew on the work of various linguists, therapists and psychologists, the most notable of whom are Virginia Satir, Noam Chomsky and Milton Erickson.

NLP began as a model of how we communicate to ourselves and to others based on our interpretation of the world around us. NLP is about noticing the patterns we use in understanding the world around us. So, NLP is more focussed on process rather than content.

How we process our world in general – our past experiences, our emotions, our thoughts and our behaviour – has a significant impact on how we experience our current world and, therefore, our lives. NLP uses a number of techniques and strategies that give the individual (the client) the ability to maximise their success in life.

Further, according to Professor Google, ‘Neuro-linguistic programming is a psychological approach that involves analysing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behaviour learned through experience to specific outcomes.’

In other words, NLP is the practice of using the language (linguistic) of the mind (neuro) to consistently achieve specific desired outcomes (programming).

As described in the Medical News Today website, ‘NLP is used as a method of personal development through promoting skills, such as self-reflection, confidence, and communication.
Practitioners have applied NLP commercially to achieve work-orientated goals, such as improved productivity or job progression.

More widely, it has been applied as a therapy for psychological disorders, including phobias, depression, generalised anxiety disorders (GAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD).*