The History of NLP
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed in the late seventies by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
They wanted to know why certain therapists achieved spectacular results while others appeared to use the same techniques but were much less successful.
They studied the work of experts in their fields, Milton Erickson (hypnotherapy) and Virginia Satir (family therapist). The results were the basis for what they went on to call NLP.
What is NLP?
NLP is the study of how individuals store and process information. How we communicate and react to certain stimuli, how we form beliefs, values, attitudes and habits can all be understood through NLP. It has been described as the study of subjective experience.
From a therapeutic point of view NLP provides a framework for understanding, diagnosing and gathering information about problems a client may have, and once we understand the structure of a problem and how it works, NLP gives us tools to change it to healthier, safer, more satisfying options.
For example, the experience of craving a cigarette will have a structure to the experience. Maybe it starts with having a coffee or seeing someone smoke, followed by a feeling in the body and a thought like “well I could just have one…” This is then followed by remembering how good it felt last time and – before you know it – it’s a craving. [more on how to stop smoking]
Similarly, jealousy could have certain mental pictures of a partner being unfaithful and so on. Depression has a structure, anxiety, phobias, nail-biting and so on. [more on anxiety][more on phobias and fears]
How can NLP be helpful?
With NLP we can change those patterns and establish new ones, which will lead to the desired experience.
Since the seventies NLP has snowballed into a massive field with exponents becoming household names including; Anthony Robbins (personal development), Derren Brown (entertainment) and Paul McKenna (hypnotherapy).
Where is NLP being used?
It is widely used throughout the business community to enhance performance in sales, communication and teamwork. NLP is now also used in education, social work, politics, law, coaching, dentistry, nursing and many other fields.