What is NLP?

What is NLP or neuro-linguistic programming?
NLP, the abbreviation for “neuro-linguistic programming,” gives you the models and techniques to manage yourself more effectively. Using NLP, you recognize your own pitfalls and learn to avoid them.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a set of techniques and theories that aim to understand and change human behavior and communication. It was developed in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who studied successful therapists and communicators in order to identify the patterns and strategies they used.

NLP is based on the idea that our thoughts and language patterns can shape our experiences and behaviors, and that by understanding and changing these patterns, we can improve our communication, relationships, and overall well-being. NLP practitioners use a variety of techniques, including visualization, reframing, and anchoring, to help people achieve their goals and make positive changes in their lives.

NLP has been used in a variety of settings, including therapy, business, and personal development. While it has been popular in some circles, it has also been the subject of controversy and criticism, and its effectiveness has been questioned by some researchers.

NLP in the seventies
In the 1970s, psychologist Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder at the University of Santa Cruz studied the power of communication: how is it that commercial communication experts could achieve fundamental results so quickly and powerfully with their target audiences? They studied the way successful communication responds to people’s subjective experiences. The result was the first form of what became known as “neuro-linguistic programming”: a collection of cognitive strategies in response to problems of behavior and competence.

From then to now
Much has changed since the early years of NLP. In the 1980s, the methodology broke free from its therapeutic context and the principles of NLP were increasingly applied in sales, negotiation, education, health, HR and other fields. New models and techniques were added under the umbrella term NLP. It also became increasingly clear that our experiences are not all cognitive – stored in our ‘mind’ – but that they are often stored in the nervous system. Ways were developed to work with that ‘physical (somatic) mind’ as well.

“NLP has helped me gain more insight into myself and others, develop further as a person and how to stay connected to myself and others.”

Today NLP looks at the whole system, both on an individual level and in organizations and teams. NLP now starts from the ability to center yourself in your ‘somatic core’: coming home to your body. From there you can open up to your environment.

NLP: a definition
NLP is the study of the structure of subjective experience. The NLP framework of concepts makes it possible to describe subjective experience very accurately. This includes inner representations, inner states, forms of motivation, thinking strategies and the world model. NLP does not describe the content of the experience, but its structure. That structure is the way a person uses his experience to make a model of the world.