What Is NLP?
NLP is the acronym for "Neuro-Linguistic
means "brain", so it is a model of the language of the brain's
programming. We may think of the brain as running software that tells us
how and why to do things. In the practice, we like to remember NLP
as meaning "Now Let's Play". With NLP, change
is faster and easier, so we can have more fun. We focus on the
desired outcome of the client, the future they desire, and spend
very little time in the past. Whether it's releasing trauma or an
allergic response, changing to empowering beliefs, or creating
compelling goals, NLP often works in one or two sessions. What's
possible with NLP, thought it's been around for almost 30 years, we
are finding new frontiers every day. Often NLP helps improve
salesmanship and public speaking. It can be helpful healing the
physical body, as in improving eye sight, healing injuries and
disease. The mind change change almost anything about the human
One of my teachers, one of the original pioneers in the field of
NLP Robert Dilts, assisted his mother in self-healing terminal
cancer 20 years ago. The cancer was so wide spread, the doctors we
helpless and could only give pain killers. Robert worked with her to
re-code her beliefs, find new hope, and re-train her body to heal
itself. She lives 18 more years! What's possible in your life?
NLP is more of an attitude than just a set of processes for rapid
change. It's an attitude of finding out how people specifically do
what they do. Coming from an assumption that people have all the
resources they need inside them. That they have the best solution
for healing and change, we only guide them in discovering they own
strategies. That's why NLP is so effective, because we use a
technology to find your fastest way for change.
NLP is a way of understanding the neurology of
our experiences (such as memories, emotions or responses.) Our brains store
information in patterns made by our five senses. By understanding this neurology
we can change or enhance those patterns if we wish to.
NLP is uniquely at once a psychological study, a system of
personal development, and an unprecedented modeling discipline. NLP
is neither therapy, new science, nor simply personal development,
but a discipline that touches all of these. It is a model of a way
of thinking, rather than a technique or process.
"NLP cannot be dismissed as just another hustle. Its theoretical
underpinnings represent an ambitious attempt to codify and synthesize the
insights of linguistics, body language, and the study of communication systems."
-- Psychology Today
A Brief History of NLP
NLP was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. John and Richard met at the
University of California at Santa Cruz in the early 1970s. Grinder was a linguistics
Bandler was a young student mathematician and computer scientist. When Bandler and Grinder met they had both studied
Gestalt Therapy with its founder, Fritz Perls. They became friends as a result
of their fascination with Gestalt Therapy. Together they studied the work of
three great therapists: Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls.
Virginia Satir was the primary developer of Family therapy. She developed Family
Systems Theory (the work that John Bradshaw has popularized) and was famous for
her incredible skill and effectiveness as a therapist. The beliefs and
presuppositions she held were part of what made her the great therapist she was.
Some of these beliefs were adopted into NLP from the very beginning and have
helped make NLP the effective tool it has become. Part of the NLP philosophy
includes the Presuppositions of NLP; a set of beliefs that we hold to be true in
every circumstance. The first presupposition of NLP is that "Behind every
behavior is a positive intention." This was Virginia Satir's philosophy for her
work with her clients. John and Richard observed Satir's work in minute detail.
Some the first NLP processes identified the steps that Virginia Satir followed
to create the incredible results she achieved with clients.
Bandler and Grinder then studied the work of Milton Erickson, the father of
modern hypnotherapy. He was brilliant in his work with trance states. Milton
Erickson was a medical doctor as well as a hypno-therapist. Much of his work was
with people with severe physical and mental illnesses and disabilities. He
successfully guided people towards the changes they wanted in a way that was
quite amazing. John and Richard worked with Dr. Erickson and watched hours and
hours of video tapes of him working with clients. They played back small
segments of tape over and over to determine the exact steps that he used to
create the successes he achieved with his patients.
The combined learning from the work of Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton
Erickson came together through Richard Bandler and John Grinder as the beginning
of a new field that they called Neuro-linguistic Programming.
The early years of NLP were an exciting time of discovery. Together Richard and
John observed the dynamics of unconscious communication, the influence of
language patterns, the structure of belief and identity, and the neurological
patterns we use for storing information. They experimented with the processes
and procedures they created and discovered that these were effective in helping
people to make the changes they wished to make with surprising, and sometimes
instant, results. NLP became known as a new field of personal growth that
offered people the possibility of working through difficult problems in a short
amount of time. It was then that NLP attracted a wonderful group of highly
intelligent and dedicated people to study and advance the field of NLP to the
stature it has today. NLP was initially developed with Richard and John by
Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Judith DeLozier, and Robert Dilts. Judith and Robert
currently offer some of the best NLP training available through NLP University.
The field of NLP has created a community of some of the most brilliant,
creative, reputable and caring people around the world holding very high ideals
of integrity, love, and high purpose.
I am proud to be part of this NLP community and a practitioner in a field that
offers growth, change and personal resources with consistently impressive