A simple definition of NLP is that it is an approach that gives people the tools to become more effective and successful in their lives. A more formal definition is that it is “The study of the structure of our subjective experience”.
Where does NLP come from?
NLP is an offshoot of Hypnotherapy and
Psychotherapy and was developed by Dr.’s Bandler and Grinder after they studied three successful psychotherapists, Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy), Virginia Satir (Family Systems Therapy), and Milton H. Erickson (Clinical Hypnosis). Bandler and Grinder aimed to discover and model the successful patterns of behavior and communication distinguishing these exceptional individuals from others in their field of therapy.
If we look at the 3 components of NLP, then:
- Neuro relates to the way the brain interprets our experience of the world. We experience the world through our 5 senses, this activates our brain (our neurological system) and affects our physiology, emotions and behaviour. For instance if 2 people are given a menu, one may feel pleasure, the other, a person who finds making even small decisions difficult, may start to panic, creating stress in their body.
- Linguistic relates to the idea that the way we use language influences our experience.
- Programming looks at how the way we do things; learn, make decisions, get results. NLP says that in the same way that a computer uses different software packages to do different tasks, so does the brain. Now some of these software packages are highly effective, others less so.
NLP in Practice
By looking at the way we think, the way speak, which is an indication of the way we perceive the world and our beliefs, and our strategies for doing things, NLP can help us rapidly achieve the changes we want, developing more useful and effective strategies.
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