What is NLP?

Butterfly. Photo by Andrew Grant. Reproduced with kind permission.

NLP is an abbreviation for the slightly daunting title of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It was first developed in the 1970's by mathematician Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder, who were both drawn to discovering what was at the core of human excellence.

Through observing and modelling the behaviours of many renowned communicators and therapists they developed a range of tools and techniques that would enable others to replicate the behaviours and traits of these experts.

These powerful tools and techniques continue to be developed today and can be used to quickly and effectively change the thoughts, feelings and beliefs we hold that lead to some of the more negative or counterproductive behaviours we demonstrate and live by day to day.

Neuro: is the way the mind and body communicate through our five senses:

  • Visual (pictures)
  • Auditory (sounds)
  • Kinaesthetic (feelings or touch)
  • Olfactory (smells)
  • Gustatory (taste)

The human brain is often said to be the most powerful computer there is, and for most of us we use our brains in the same way we use computers, maximise use of the bits we understand to give us the basic core processing capabilities….and ignore the rest!

What this means for you: Everyone applies filters to the vast array of information we receive through our five senses and we each do it in our own way. This means that our view of the world and what is happening in it is not necessarily the same as anyone else's. We form our own unique, internal perception of the world around us, which in turn drives our physiological and emotional state. By recognising this link NLP can help you eradicate those internal representations that are less than favourable to your health and emotional wellbeing.

Linguistic: This is the way that we translate in to words, the sights, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes we have experienced and therefore give some form of personal meaning to our experiences. However, the filters that we apply to the data we received through our senses, results in distortions, deletions and generalisations in our experiences, which in turn are reflected in the words we use. To go back to the computer analogy, we all know the information we receive out of a computer is only as good as the data that went in in the first place.

What this means for you: The deletions, distortions and generalisations we have applied to the data we received through our five senses will be reflected in the words we use to express these experiences and our feelings about them. Hence, two people watching the same play can come out with totally different views about what they saw and experienced. This is the same with life in general, but sometimes we lose the true meaning or impact of what we actually experienced. NLP can help uncover what you lost and get to the heart of what you experienced and the real impact it had on you.

Programming: The behaviours that we display throughout our lives are the result of rules and codes we have created within ourselves which form a whole range of programmes or sub-routines. These unconscious programmes have often been installed by us as a direct interpretation of our sensory and linguistic experiences, or may have been installed in us by others, e.g. parents, teachers, peers or even media icons. To link back once more to the computer analogy, a computer only works in so far as a variety of rules and codes have been built in to the system, which in turn allows it to run a set programme to complete a specific task or activity.

What this means for you: A lot of the programmes that we run unconsciously are extremely helpful to us in everyday life, how to cross a road safely would be one such vital programme. However, we often don't know or understand some of the programmes we are running as they have become so deeply rooted in our unconscious mind. NLP can help you discover what programmes you are running and identify those that are helpful, those that have outlived their purpose and those that might be holding you back in life. NLP can help re-programme you to discover your inner potential and be who you want to be, doing what you want to do with your life.

NLP can help you; respond more positively to whatever life throws at you, allow you to let go of negative thoughts and behaviours holding you back, give you the strength and courage you need to drive forward and achieve your goals, reduce stress and anxiety, manage chronic health conditions, enhance your relationships and much, much more. All of which will lead you to a healthier, happier, fuller, and more successful life.

Let NLP help release your inner potential.