Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a term most people may not be familiar with. People who study health sciences such as psychology, psychiatry or hypnotherapy are usually aware of this. However, you may be interested in knowing more about this subject which can change your life in the way you communicate with yourself and others, the way you behave or the results you reap in anything you do. NLP is a subject which is gaining popularity across various fields ranging from hypnotherapy to behavior counseling and self-help related areas. Let us see in brief, what Neuro Linguistic Programming is all about.
What is NLP?
So, what is NLP? NLP incorporates three important components viz. neurology, language and programming. It is an approach in which the neurological processes, behavioral patterns and a person’s language can be programmed and organized to achieve specific goals in life using certain processes and techniques. NLP is a process which can also help in curing various psychosomatic problems such as depression, phobias and learning disorders.
The basic premise of NLP is that, a person’s physical actions and hence the results are controlled by the subconscious mind of the person. By programming the subconscious mind, you can change your language and behavior patterns which can alter the results you obtain in life.
History of NLP
NLP was founded by Dr. Richard Bandler (mathematician, gestalt therapy practitioner and a self-help trainer) and Dr. John Grinder (linguist, trainer and speaker). The history behind coining the term NLP is indeed very funny and intriguing. However, it has its origins in the Gestalt therapy. Using Fritz Perls’s Gestalt therapy and linguistics, Bandler and Grinder came up with a meta model, a model which could gather information and challenge a client’s underlying thinking and hence his/her language.
Removing generalizations, challenging distortion of language and recovering deleted information in the client’s language would yield better representation of the deep structure and have therapeutic benefits.
Representation Systems and NLP
According to Neuro Linguistic Programming, a person absorbs information from external sources and processes it in the mind through the five sensory input channels:
- Visual (the way we see and are seen)
- Auditory (anything that involves sound)
- Kinesthetic (feelings of touch, texture, pressure, etc)
- Olfactory (smell) and
- Gustatory (taste)
However, in NLP the first three input channels (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) play a very important role in the way a person takes and processes information, and learns from it. Before the external information is converted to an internal representation, a person tends to filter the event through distortion, deletion and generalization of the event. This remainder is ultimately taken as the true representation of the external event.
It is these supposed “realities” in our subconscious mind that shape our experiences, values and belief systems, and ultimately, the way in which we behave and the results we obtain. Hence, according to NLP, changing these internal representations or “realities” can change our belief and value systems, and ultimately the external results.
Uses and applications
As stated above, the representation systems can help a person become aware of certain negative beliefs and value systems. By becoming aware of these, the person can follow certain NLP techniques such as anchors to change negative beliefs into positive ones. And as everyone knows, the results in the outside world follow our beliefs deep within our subconscious mind. NLP also finds its use in various applications ranging from building a rapport (using mirroring techniques) with a person to applications such as public speaking. One example where NLP has found its application is speech therapy.
Another example of application of NLP is in learning any particular subject. For example if you are aware whether you’re a visual person (who learns through seeing pictures and visuals), auditory (who learns through hearing words or sounds) or kinesthetic (who learns through feeling or touch), it can help you a long way in learning that subject better.
Neuro Linguistic Programming in itself is a vast ocean and takes time to study. I have made an attempt here to put down the basics of this wonderful system. NLP requires diligent practice and if you become a practitioner of NLP, you can certainly change your life beyond your wildest imagination.
Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on July 29, 2020:
Thanks a lot for the appreciative words Chandraprabha.
A. V. Chandraprabha on July 29, 2020:
NLP it is new to me, but good one
Keep writing, so thst we can also learn slowly
God bless you
Karthik Kashyap (author) from India on September 12, 2012:
thanks Mahesh :) Yes, NLP is a wonderful technology.
maheshtcr1 on September 12, 2012:
Hi thank you for sharing such a informative article.I've read Richard Bandler's book 'Get the life you want' .That s a good book about nlp.
Thank you for sharing. Voted up......