Neuro Linguistic Programming

NLPNeuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to psychotherapy and organizational change based on “a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them” and “a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour”.

The co-founders, Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder, believed that NLP would be useful in “finding ways to help people have better, fuller and richer lives”. They coined the term “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” to emphasize their belief in a connection between the neurological processes (“neuro”), language (“linguistic”) and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience (“programming”) and can be organized to achieve specific goals in life.

In early workshops by Bandler and Grinder and in books that followed, it was often claimed that through the use of NLP, problems, especially phobias, could be overcome in a single short session whereas traditional therapies would have taken weeks, or even months of regular sessions to make progress. It was claimed that NLP was capable of addressing the full range of problems that psychotherapists are likely to encounter, such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, and learning disorders. The founders advocated the potential for self-determination through overcoming learned limitations and emphasized well-being and healthy functioning. Bandler and Grinder claimed that if the effective patterns of behaviour of outstanding therapists (and other exceptional communicators) could be modeled then these patterns could be acquired by others. NLP has been adopted by private psychotherapists worldwide, including hypnotherapists, who undertake training in NLP and apply it to their practice. Later, it was promoted as a “science of excellence”, derived from the study or “modeling” of how successful or outstanding people in different fields obtain their results. NLP has gained popularity within management training, life coaching, and the self-help industry.

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