Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is an understanding of how the brain works and how to ‘re-wire’ it to help you created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s. They studied lots of successful people to find out what they had in common, and put it all together into a simple-to-understand model of the mind. NLP can be used to identify and change how you communicate with yourself and others, and can be used to overcome negative self-talk (telling yourself “I can’t do it”, for example), overcome phobias, create goals and change how you communicate with others. NLP is used widely by individuals and organisations to improve communication, motivation and leadership.
When Richard Bandler and John Grinder created NLP in the 1970s, it was because they noticed that some people in psychotherapy stayed there for a long time, whereas others quickly sorted out their problems and moved on. They wanted to find out what it was that made the second group solve their issues quickly so that they could use their successes to help more people.
Together, they studied people who had high success rates for creating change in their clients, and created a model of how the mind works and how to effectively use it to achieve your goals and remove any limitations. Some of their methods are closely linked to hypnotherapy, but they also drew on other sources of information.
NLP is a vast subject and is used in individual coaching, therapy and in corporate coaching all over the world. The main premise is to ‘teach our old brain new tricks’ by changing the language we use. We respond emotionally to the language we use. If you got a parking ticket, imagine the difference in your emotional reaction to it between the following thoughts:
- I am so stupid, I can’t believe I parked there
- Oops…there goes £90…oh well never mind…
- Damn parking attendants, they’re always out to get me
- Well, at least I know this car park is definitely manned now and my car is safe
If you recognise any thoughts you have which aren’t helpful to you (after all, if the parking ticket has happened, getting stressed about it isn’t going to help), NLP can help you manage them better. I can teach you tools which will help you with this.
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