What is NLP?
Richard Bandler and John Grinder of California created an approach for communication, Personality development and Psychotherapy which is known as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). Bandler and Grinder also claim that NLP methodologies can “model” the skills of exceptional people, allowing anyone to acquire those skills. It started in 1970s and since then it has been widespread gaining a lot of popularity.
It uses perceptual, behavioural, and communication techniques to make it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions.NLP teaches a person to take control of their mind and therefore the life.
Unlike Psychoanalysis that focuses on the ‘why”, NLP is very practical and focuses on the “how”.“You can’t control what happens to you but you can always control on how you deal with it”.
How does it work?
Definition of NLP is hard to define due to varied interpretation, the concept works on an idea that every individual has his/ her own internal “maps” of their own world and that they learn through their sensory experiences.
The goal of NLP therapy is to identify and modify unconscious biases or limitations of one’s internal map. Unlike hypnotherapy, NLP will operate through the conscious use of language to bring about changes in someone’s thoughts and behaviour.
For example, a central feature of NLP is the idea that a person is biased towards one sensory system, known as the preferred representational system or PRS. Therapists can detect this preference through language.
Phrases such as:
“I see your point” may signal a visual PRS or
“I hear your point” may signal an auditory PRS.
An NLP practitioner will identify a person’s PRS and base their therapeutic framework around it. The framework could involve rapport-building, information-gathering, and goal-setting with them.
Two Fundamental Principles of NLP
The Map is Not the Territory:
Human beings never know reality , what we know is the perception of reality. Our response and experience to the our outer world is through sensory representational systems but our behaviour would be determined by our neuro-linguistic maps of reality. The NLP therapy presupposes it is not the reality that limits or empowers us but it’s our MAP of reality that will guide us.
To gain the life experiences we want we first need to become aware of our own map of reality and then make changes to it in order to go where we want. NLP provides us “maps” used by other people. Through the experiences and the response of others to a particular situation that we are facing we can see the differences in approach and in the outcome.
Life and Mind are Systemic Processes:
The processes that takes place between human beings and their environment are all systemic. The system and subsystem inside our bodies, society and ecology have a mutual interaction with each other in their complex system. None of the systems can be isolated from the complex system. If they are, the such systems are based on self organising principles and they naturally seek balance and homoeostasis.
In the broad field of practice of NLP many different techniques helps practitioners such as :
- Anchoring: Turning sensory experiences into triggers for certain emotional states.
- Rapport: The practitioner tunes into the person by matching their physical behaviours to improve communication and response through empathy.
- Swish Patterns: Changing patterns of behaviour or thought to come to a desired state instead of an undesired outcome.
- Visual/Kinaesthetic dissociation (VKD): Trying to remove negative thoughts and feelings associated with a past event.
- Moving Images: Manipulation of the image in your brain to change emotional states in the physiology.
Business management, sales and marketing, education, training and therapies are the widely used areas of application of NLP. It has a large scope in one’s personal life well and is often used to mend relationships and maintain a healthy family life.