What is NLP?
NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming is a collection of tools and techniques used in the fields of personal development, coaching and therapy. It can be defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience. NLP can be applied in business (leadership & management, managing conflict, sales, negotiations and customer services), coaching (identifying and overcoming limitations and achieving goals), education (teaching, ways to learn) performance/sport (improvement, analysing and replicating success) and health (anxiety, weight management, phobias, smoking cessation).
The creators of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, deemed the skills of exceptional people can be modelled and therefore acquired by anyone and as an NLP practitioner you will be taught how to do just that.
NLP can be understood using three components:
We experience the world subjectively thus we create subjective representations of our experience. These subjective representations of experience are constituted in terms of five senses (sight, sound, feel, smell and taste) and language. An example of this is we rehearse an activity “in our heads“, recalling an event or anticipating the future we will “see” images, “hear” sounds, “taste” flavours, “feel” tactile sensations, “smell” odours and think in natural language. These subjective representations of experiences have a discernible structure, a pattern.
Behaviour can be described and understood in terms of these sense-based subjective representations. Behaviour includes verbal and non-verbal communication, incompetent, maladaptive or pathological behaviour as well as effective or skillful behaviour. Behaviour in self and others can be modified by manipulating these sense-based subjective representations.
NLP is predicated on the notion that consciousness is split into a conscious component and an unconscious component. Those subjective representations that occur outside of an individual’s awareness comprise what is referred to as the unconscious mind. Though NLP will work with the unconscious mind it is only through using tools and techniques found in hypnotherapy can a practitioner access the deeper unconscious mind and positively affect the outcomes of client’s goals (click here for ‘what is hypnosis’)
NLP utilises an imitative method of learning – termed modeling – that is able to codify and reproduce the beliefs, values, behaviours and mental sequencing found in people who excel at what they do.