Neuro Linguistic Programming ( NLP)
Neuro – Beliefs, values, memories and attitudes. The mind and how we think.
Linguistic – What you say and what you do. How we use language and how it affects us.
Programming – what others think and how they respond. How we sequence our actions to achieve our goals.
Richard Bandler and John Grinder developed NLP in the USA during the 1970s. They were inspired by ViriginiaSatir, a key figure in the development of family therapy in the 1950s and 1960s.
Satir was the first therapist to identify the idea that a problem itself is not the problem, but the way in which we cope with it. The remains the core tenet of NLP.
Another influential therapist was Franz Perls who founded Gestalt Theory. Perls talked about aiming for excellence to reach our goals. This formed the basis of the modelling process for which NLP is best known. Gestalt brings the concept of “ frame of reference” to NLP. We are what we bring to our lives from our past experience, the beliefs we hold, and things we have been told that limit our self-esteem or abiltity to achieve our goals. We can choose to let these limit us or not. Choice is fundamental to NLP, and we each have the power of choice. Choice gives us the power we need to reject old, long-held beliefs.
The third main influence on NLP was Milton Erickson the Hypnotherapist. His biggest contribution to NLP was his work on language pattern in the areas of communication and rapport. He is also responsible for the idea that we already have the resources we need and that all behaviour has a positive intention.
Today NLP is used in teaching, medicine, and business and of course in the home within families.
The therapy most similar to NLP is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). They both acknowledge that how we behave is affected by how we think and what we believe about ourselves and others around us; and that we need to change our way of thinking first and then we can change our behaviour.