February 16, 2023

What is NLP?

NLP is a study in communication. How we communicate with ourselves and other people.

Written by

Nicole Biggs

I am an NLP Practitioner, and I am frequently asked what NLP is. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed in the early 1970’s by an associate professor of linguistics, John Grindler, and a psychology student, Richard Bandler, at the University of California. It has been developed and changed over the years many times; however, I will be talking about the original NLP ideas and concepts in this blog.

The name Neuro-Linguistic Programming may seem complicated, but it does describe the concept very well:

Neuro – Relating to the nervous system, which regulates how our bodies function. How our experiences are processed by our senses.

Linguistic – The way we communicate and interpret our experiences through language. 

Programming – The patterns and sequences of coded instructions in our minds. These make up the programs and strategies that we use to achieve our outcomes daily. 

Grindler and Bandler wanted to know what makes someone successful, and so they decided to model how successful and effective people communicate. They modelled Virginia Satir (who was the founder of family therapy), Fritz Perls (the founder of Gestalt therapy) and Milton H Erickson (a renowned hypnotherapist). From studying these people, they concluded that the mind could learn healthy behaviours and patterns, and that these would bring about positive effects both physically and mentally for that person. These behaviours and patterns are the basis for NLP.

NLP has been described as the ‘instruction manual of the mind’. By studying how we think and communicate with ourselves and others, we can learn to change how we communicate to get the results that we want. This is probably where I admit that NLP can have a bad reputation because it is often used by salespeople to try and manipulate you into buying their product. However, there is so much more to NLP than this. 

Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right’. This is so true. Through NLP you learn to be careful what you say to yourself, as your subconscious will do what you tell it to. You determine what happens in your life. By changing what you say to yourself, you will become much more successful and effective. Harnessing the power of your own self talk is an amazing and invaluable skill to learn.

NLP can therefore be used to help you to know yourself better. It can help to work out your values, and help you to start living by them. It can help to motivate you to be successful. It can help you to start living more happily, productively, and in harmony with others.

Through NLP you can discover your true potential and become the best version of yourself. It encourages you to know yourself deeply and develop, challenge and change yourself. To identify negative thought patterns and behaviours and take action to change them.

If you would like to find out more about NLP, please contact me on 07742 209312 or nicole@greenoaktherapies.co.uk

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