What is “Neuro-Linguistic Programming“?
NLP in London, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is the art and science of excellence, derived from studying how top people in different fields obtain their outstanding results. These communication skills can be learned by anyone to improve their effectiveness both personally and professionally. It is directly applicable to a diverse spectrum of fields such as communications, business, sales, education and therapy
NLP began in the early 70’s as a thesis project in Santa Cruz, California. Richard Bandler and his professor, John Grinder, wanted to develop models of human behavior to understand why certain people seemed to be excellent at what they did, while others found the same tasks challenging or nearly impossible to do.
Inspired by pioneers in fields of therapy and personal growth and development, Bandler and Grinder began to develop systematic procedures and theories that formed the basis of NLP. They studied three top therapists: Virginia Satir, the extraordinary family therapist, who consistently was able to resolve difficult family relationships that many other therapists found intractable, the innovative psychotherapist Fritz Perls, who originated the school of therapy known as Gestalt, and Milton Erickson, the world-famous hypnotherapist.
Their goal was to develop models of how it was that these people got the results they did. They sought to identify and model the patterns that produced these results and then to teach these models to others. These three gifted therapists were quite different personalities, yet Grinder and Bandler discovered some underlying patterns that were quite similar. These patterns became the underlying structure of NLP, with names like: meta-model,submodalities, reframing, language patterns, well formedness conditions and eye accessing clues.
The phrase “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” describes the process of how personality creates and expresses itself. Put simply, we are all made up of a neurology that conveys information about our environment to our central neurvous systems and brains. Since we are also meaning creating creatures, we translate these perceptions in our brains into meanings, beliefs and expectations. As we continue to grow from a rather “critter brain” baby into a more complex adult human, we tend to filter,distort and magnify the input we get from our environment such that it matches the elaborate program we evolve to explain our life experience.
The infant passes through “magical thinking” and various other stages of development, on its journey into becoming an adult. We may even carry with us the “suffering contracts” we made as children in unworkable attempts to love and heal the family. The study of how we do all this, the kinds of meanings we make from our perceptions and the internal programming and external behaviors we have set up to explain, predict and make sense of it all – this is what the core of NLP is all about.
The concepts of “submodalities”…
We all have our unique “maps” of reality. We are a complex and unique mix of inborn genetic potential, and the molding effects from the people and experiences of our lives. Science has now proven that emotional and social development is at least equally as important as is the cognative development of the growing infant and toddler, and for adaptability and success later in life.
We humans store the memory of our life experience as sequences and montages of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory representations. When we load up a particular sequence pattern from our memory banks that matches some previous powerful experience – we get to relive the experience of the event or situation (the V’s, & A’s,… that produce the K’s) . These Visual, auditory, kenesthetic, etc sensory systema are the “modalities” in NLP. Each modality has submodalities, which define the characteristics and properties of the information comming from each sensory channel. Visual has brightness, color/B&W, motion/still, fuzzy/clear, degree of transparancy, to name a few. Auditory can be fast/slow tempo, rhythmic, stacatto, loud/soft, tin can/stereophonic,… Kinesthetic can have the full range of emotional experience, but also considers texture, rough/smooth, temperature, impact, duration, subtlety,…
By playing with the adjustments or “volume knobs” of these submodalities, we can dial in different meanings into our brain and neurology that literealy change our experience, and sometimes our memories. It is thought that since the human brain/body being is generally aspiring towards higher evolution, that human neurology often reorganizes itself in resonance with a more elegant way of functioning, when the system is offered a new experience that offers a choice in addition to the old, patterned way of doing things. A skilled practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming can help your system have experience of new choices, from which you can incorporate or discard resources, insight and healing.
Replaying old patterns in new ways and adjusting submodalities is a classical NLP methodology for assisting clients be free of problematic habits and phobias. Adjusting submodalities can have the effect of defusing an overwhelming challenge or obstacle. Adjusting submodalities can also increase the pleasure, comfort and value of
NLP in other Therapies
Today, NLP has grown in a myriad of directions – hypnosis and behavioral personal change work, structures of beliefs, modeling personal success and systems of excelence and expertise, business coaching and sales training,… It has been “popularized” and marketed by controversial people such as Tony Robbins Life Coach . Aspects of it have informed such therapies as EMDR or rapid eye movement and desensitization. People have taken it in spiritual directions, assisting in alignment of personal behaviors and beliefs with a “higher purpose” and connection to the Divine. Some have developed processes to speed healing in hospital settings and to lessen the need for anesthesia during medical procedures. (Anodyne). You can even find internet sites promoting NLP techniques of influence to pick up women. Public speaking, stage fright, parenting skills, allergies, phobias, trauma,… the list of areas where training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and individual therapeutic work with NLP practitioners is valuable is endless.
When we are experiencing being a particular state, we are also loading up a specific suporting pattern of interconnected neural pathways and circuits that coordinate in specific ways to generate certain specific experiences. The blueprint that guides and coordinates the construction of our experience of life, seems to be clusters of beliefs which are expressed through the secuences and collages of Vs, As, Ks we store in our memory system.
Anchoring is a form of clasical conditioning that associates a specific touch on the arm, or paper napkin on the floor, with the experience of a specific state. The precise spot anchored there after serves as a trigger for that state. Very useful when wanting to add resourceful <stuff/extra resources> to a problematic state.
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