Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is one of many self-help programs that emerged in the 1970s and '80s but whose popularity has waned somewhat in recent years. The founders of NLP,  and , believe that NLP has something for everybody, the sick and the healthy, individual or corporation. In addition to being an agent for change for , NLP is also used for individual psychotherapy for problems as diverse as and. It also aims at , showing them how to achieve their maximum potential and achieve great success.

It is difficult to define NLP because those who started it and those involved in it use such vague and ambiguous language that NLP means different things to different people. While it is difficult to find a consistent description of NLP among those who claim to be experts at it, one metaphor keeps recurring. NLP claims to help people change by teaching them to program their brains. We were given brains, we are told, but no instruction manual. NLP offers you a user-manual for the brain. The brain-manual seems to be a metaphor for NLP training, which is sometimes referred to as "software for the brain." Furthermore, NLP, consciously or unconsciously, relies heavily upon (1) the notion of the as constantly influencing conscious thought and action; (2) metaphorical behavior and speech, especially building upon the methods used in Freud's Interpretation of ; and (3)  as developed by 

One common thread in NLP is the emphasis on teaching a variety of communication and persuasion skills, and using self-hypnosis to motivate and change oneself. NLP can enhance all aspects of your life from improving your relationships with loved ones, learning to teach effectively, gaining a stronger sense of self-esteem, greater motivation, better understanding of communication, enhancing your business or career, bending steel bars in a single bound and an enormous amount of other things that involve the use of your brain.

NLP can be understood in terms of three broad components and the central concepts:

  • Subjectivity. 
    • When we experience the world, we create subjective representations of our experience. These representations are described in terms ofsenses and languages.  It is in this sense that NLP is sometimes defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience.
    • Behavior can be described and understood in terms of these sense-based representations. Behavior is broadly conceived to include verbal and non-verbal communications.
  • Consciousness.                      
    • NLP is predicated on the notion that consciousness is divided into a conscious component and a unconscious component. Those subjective representations that occur outside of an individual's awareness comprise what is referred to as the "unconscious mind".
  • Learning. 
    • NLP utilizes an imitative method of learning termed modeling that is claimed to be able to codify and reproduce an expertise in any domain of activity.

 NLP can be understood in terms of several major stages including:

  • Establishing rapport,
  • Gleaning information about a problem mental state and desired goals,
  • Using specific tools and techniques to make interventions, and
  • Integrating proposed changes into the client's life. The entire process is guided by the non-verbal responses of the client.

The first is the act of establishing and maintaining rapport between the practitioner and the client which is achieved through pacing and leading the verbal and non-verbal behavior. 

Once rapport is established, the practitioner may gather information (e.g., using the Meta-Model questions) about the client's present state as well as help the client define a desired state or goal for the interaction.

The practitioner pays particular attention to the verbal and non-verbal responses as the client defines the present state and desired state and any "resources" that may be required to bridge the gap.

The client is typically encouraged to consider the consequences of the desired outcome, and how they may affect his or her personal or professional life and relationships, taking into account any positive intentions of any problems that may arise (i.e. ecological check).

Fourth, the practitioner assists the client in achieving the desired outcomes by using certain tools and techniques to change internal representations and responses to stimuli in the world. Finally, the changes are "future paced" by helping the client to mentally rehearse and integrate the changes into his or her life.

Alternative medicine-

NLP has been promoted with claims it can be used to treat a variety of diseases. Eg. Cancer, HIV, Anxiety and PTSD .etc.


Early books about NLP had a psychotherapeutic focus given that the early models were psychotherapists.

Other uses of NLP include persuation, sales, negotiation,management training, sports,teaching, coaching, team building, and public speaking.

How It Works:

Our life experiences influence how we view and relate to the world around us, and no two people have the same experiences, or the same mind, so no two people have the same world view. NLP is designed to help clients understand their own minds, how they came to think and behave the way they do, and to learn to manage their moods and emotions, and reprogram the way they process information so it leads to more acceptable and successful behavior. At the same time, NLP is designed to help clients see ways they have been successful in the past, and determine how they can most easily and efficiently repeat that success in other areas of their lives. NLP therapists believe that their clients have the answers to their problems within themselves; it is simply a matter of helping them draw out those answers.

NLP is one of the most powerful tools available for self improvement and self growth. 

Whether it is for personal use, professional use or in your coaching practice, learning the core NLP skills and building upon that learning with processes and techniques you will find you have stronger skills with people, both others and yourself, than many of your counterparts.

You will be able to help others accomplish more, guide your clients as they resolve issues that have been following them for years, and become a more effective version of yourself.

NLP is not difficult. You don’t have to have a college degree to learn it, or to practice it. You just need a little training. In fact, in most cases you can get started experiencing the power of NLP after only an hour or two of training.