Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analysing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behaviour learned through experience to specific outcomes. 

HOW NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING WORKS

Modelling, action, and effective communication are key elements of neuro-linguistic programming. The belief is that if an individual can understand how another person accomplishes a task, the process may be copied and communicated to others so they too can accomplish the task. 

Proponents of neuro-linguistic programming propose that everyone has a personal map of reality. Those who practice NLP analyse their own and other perspectives to create a systematic overview of one situation. By understanding a range of perspectives, the NLP user gains information.

NLP practitioners believe there are natural hierarchies of learning, communication, and change. The six logical levels of change are:

Purpose and spirituality:  This can be involvement in something larger than oneself, such as religion, ethics, or another system. This is the highest level of change.

Identity: Identity is the person you perceive yourself to be and includes your responsibilities and the roles you play in life.

Beliefs and values: These are your personal belief system and the issues that matter to you.

Capabilities and skills: These are your abilities and what you can do.

Behaviors: Behaviors are the specific actions you perform.

Environment: Your environment is your context or setting, including any other people around you. This is the lowest level of change.

NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING IN THERAPY

A core concept of NLP can be summarized by the saying, “The map is not the territory,” because it highlights the differences between belief and reality. It points out that each person operates within their own perspective rather than from a place of objectivity. A therapist who practices NLP must therefore understand how a client perceives their “map” and the effect this perception may have on that person’s thoughts and behavior. 

NLP therapists work with people to understand their thinking and behavioral patterns, emotional state, and aspirations. By examining a person’s map, the therapist can help them find and strengthen the skills that serve them best and assist them in developing new strategies to replace unproductive ones. This process can help individuals in therapy reach personal goals. 

Supporters of NLP claim the approach produces fast, lasting results and improves understanding of cognitive and behavioral patterns. NLP also seeks to build effective communication between conscious and unconscious mental processes to help people increase creativity and problem-solving skills.

Since its creation, neuro-linguistic programming has been used to improve wide range of issues. These include:

  • Anxiety, phobias, and panic
  • Communication issues
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Depression
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity
  • Addiction
  • Schizophrenia
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Borderline personality