What is NLP?
NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is an extremely effective way of making lasting rapid change in your life. It considers how we can make change as simple as possible, focusing on how the present and the future can be different rather than spending too much time asking why we have issues and dragging up the past. This makes change a much easier, intriguing and inspiring process.
The name NLP reflects how it works. It addresses our:
- Neurology – the way our brains and minds work
- Linguistics – the way language affects the way our brains and minds work
- Programming – how our brain often seems to be working, sometimes against us, in very habitual ways
Developed in the 1970s at the University of California Santa Cruz by Dr John Grinder and Richard Bandler it began as a research endeavour to try and discover why some therapists seemed to be more effective than others, and what was similar about their very different approaches.
Using the process of ‘modelling’ – identifying the most important parts of someone’s behaviours, language, choices, actions and thought processes – they evaluated key figures in the world of psychology and change. These included Fritz Perls (the founder of Gestalt therapy), Milton Erickson (a psychiatrist and founder of the modern approach to clinical hypnotherapy) and Virginia Satir (founder of family therapy) and from their findings developed a model of how to make effective change easy – the so-called ‘Meta Model’. Much of this work was done with the assistance of Gregory Bateson, an anthropologist on the faculty of UCSC, who’s wide-ranging work spanned psychology, cybernetics, linguistics and systems theory.
Due to the success of this initial project on ‘how do you make effective change?’, NLP developed into an extremely popular method for helping people change a range of habits and issues. This led to other projects which attempted to understand how individuals, with different types of skills, achieved their levels of success. These include considering how some people: