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What is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?

“There are all kinds of things we can do in this world to make it a better place but we must start with ourselves.” – Richard Bandler

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed in the early 1970s in America by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. They studied people who were highly successful in their particular field such as Fritz Perls and Gestalt therapy, the family therapy work of Virginia Satir and the hypnotherapy techniques of Milton H. Erickson. They were able to identify the common factors (both conscious and subconscious) that contributed to their success.

NLP is a set of tools which can be used in many different settings, both therapeutically and in everyday life, to enable change and to communicate better. These techniques can be used either in trance or with eyes open and are really effective in breaking habits and particularly for addressing fears and phobias very quickly. It is primarily the study of what works in thinking language and behaviour. It is a way of modelling excellence that enables you to consistently get what you want from your life.

Neuro – refers to the neurological system responsible for processing the vast array of information from all five senses, which allow us to see, hear, feel, taste and smell.

Linguistic – language, the words we use to express ourselves and communicate with ourselves and those around us.

Programming – refers to our thoughts, feelings and our behaviours.

A very simple NLP technique is to think about how we communicate. We all have a preferred representational system – this means that we all prefer to think about things in a different way. Some of us are visual, some are auditory and some are kinaesthetic (feeling). By understanding which our preferred system is and the preferred system of our colleagues and loved ones we can improve the way that we communicate with each other.

Some techniques of NLP include behaviour change, transforming beliefs, reframing, exploring limiting beliefs, anchoring, swish patterns, memory resolution techniques and personal breakthrough sessions.

If we change the thought (our internal language or programming) we can change the way we feel which in turn will change our behaviours. This in turn will influence our interactions with those around us. In other words NLP describes the dynamic between mind (neuro), language (linguistic) and how that interaction influences our behaviour (programming). The techniques used in NLP retrain and reprogramme our thought processes and expand our flexibility invoking positive, lasting change.

The predominant attitude in NLP is one of exploration and experimentation. A process of finding out what works best for you. NLP is used successfully in many fields including psychotherapy, interpersonal relationships, coaching, communication, education business management and training.

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