What is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)?

Developed by psychologist Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder in the '70s, Neuro :inguistic Programming (NLP) is a modelling approach that focuses on teaching people how to adopt new behaviours as required and to choose physical and mental states of wellbeing. It explores the interrelationship between how a person thinks (neuro) and communicates, both verbally and nonverbally (linguistic), as well as patterns of emotion and behavior (programmes). In effect, it is about the understanding of what is going inside yourself and others.

What is Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP?

How Does Neuro Linguistic Programming Work?

The purpose of NLP is to help people to understand their own minds — how they think and why they behave the way they do — and to learn how to manage their moods and emotions as well as reprogram how they process information so that it can lead to a more acceptable and successful behavior.

NLP is designed to help people see various ways that they have been successful in the past and identify ways to efficiently and easily replicate that success in other areas of their lives. NLP practitioners believe that the answers sought by their clients to their problems can be found within themselves; they only need to help them draw those answers out with a variety of techniques. Some of these techniques include anchoring oneself to a target emotional state, dissociation, reframing one's thoughts, and mirroring to establish rapport with the client.

What are the Benefits of Neuro Linguistic Programming?

NLP equips a person with the right tools and strategies to improve their thinking patterns, behaviour, and how they react to different situations in their life. Using the helpful resources provided by the practitioner allows the client to cope better with the challenges that life hurls their way and achieve their goals faster.

Through NLP, one can release their limiting beliefs, improve their communication skills, hone their leadership traits and build great relationships. The modality can also address various psychological issues, including: 

  • Fears and phobias
  • Anxiety
  • Depression 
  • Stress
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Learning difficulties 
  • Insomnia and other sleep issues
  • Addiction
  • Self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours
  • Victim mentality
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

What Can You Expect From Neuro Linguistic Programming?

NLP is unlike counselling or other forms of talk therapy where the practitioner has to know all the details of the client's problem. The latter may opt to keep the issue at hand confidential while being guided into their innate resources to achieve the changes that they want to make in their life. Depending on what the client wants to work on, an NLP session can run for an hour and a half or longer.

During the treatment session, the practitioner will use different techniques to help the client connect with their subconscious mind and rewire beliefs, attitudes and feelings on which their internal communication and behaviour operate. It's not uncommon for the client to re-experience something from their childhood, which is beneficial as it would allow them to dissect the event and shift negative thoughts and emotions associated with it.

The client does not have to book a follow-up appointment unless they want to address something else besides the issue that they're working on in the current session. An NLP session may be held face-to-face in the practitioner's office or online through a videoconferencing platform like Zoom. 

Is Neuro Linguistic Programming Safe?

NLP is a safe, noninvasive and holistic approach in helping a person explore new ways to recognise and shift limiting thoughts, attitudes and feelings in order to make progress in their life. Anyone can reap the benefits of NLP. Whether you're suffering from a mental health condition or just want to be better at work or school, an NLP practitioner can guide you to your goals.