NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming

By Scott Sulak
ChangeForGood,® Inc.
This often used term sounds much more complicated than it really is. Your mind and your body have a way of communicating with each other. The neurology of your body (neuro) uses a language (linguistic) and creates an observable pattern (program) for you to follow. It is a way that you see the world and, likewise, how you experience it.

Richard Bandler, Ph.D., an information scientist, and John Grinder, Ph.D., a linguist, developed NLP in the early 1970s. Bandler and Grinder were interested in how people influence one another, in the possibility of being able to duplicate the behavior and, therefore, the effectiveness of highly influential people. Their early research was conducted at the University of California at Santa Cruz. What made their research special was their use of technology from linguistics and information science, combined with insights from behavioral psychology and general systems theory, to unlock the secrets of highly effective communication.

Overview

 

The actual technology or methodology that Bandler and Grinder used is known as human modeling – actually, the building of models of how people perform or accomplish something. This modeling process actually means finding and describing the important elements and processes that people go through, beginning with finding and studying a human model. This is a person who does something in a particular and usually highly skillful way. For example, if you want to know how to teach some particular skill or concept, you’d first find someone who does it extremely well. Then ask him or her lots of questions about what they do, why they do it, what works and doesn’t work, and so on.

At the same time, observing this person in action will often lead to new and better questions to ask in the process. Most of us do this already, though perhaps not systematically. The addition of specific NLP technology makes it possible to discover much of what this human model does that he or she is not aware of. To do this well means to actually study the structure of people’s thought processes and internal experience, as well as their observable behavior.

During their early studies, Bandler and Grinder developed a unique system of asking questions and gathering information that was based on the fields of transformational grammar and general semantics. Later they and their colleagues discovered certain minimal cues people give that indicate very specific kinds of thought processes. These include eye movements, certain gestures, breathing patterns, voice tone changes and even very subtle cues such as pupil dilation and skin color changes. Training of practitioners of NLP includes the skills and knowledge to use these information gathering techniques and to notice and interpret the subtle cues.

NLP is this gathering of information to make models, based on the internal experience and information processing of the people being studied and modeled, including the part that is outside of their conscious awareness.

The mind interprets the world through a variety of senses (sight, taste, sound, etc.) or a combination of them. These impressions are recorded in a way that each person finds easiest to understand. Some people are “visual,” so they see pictures and images in their mind when thoughts are served up to them. Other people are more “auditory,” so they may hear things in their mind. Others are more “kinesthetic,” meaning they feel things easier. When you hear someone say, “I don’t see it that way,” it is a clue that they may be a more visual person. Someone that says, “It just does not feel right,” is more kinesthetic. These are called modalities. When you learn someone’s modality, then you can help him or her alter impressions which might be depleting their energy.

Phobia Cures

An example of how NLP is used relates to the cure of phobias. First, in order to understand the process, one must first understand how a phobia is created. It is usually “event driven”, meaning something happened to create a footprint in the mind of the individual. For example, a little boy is in a chair. Feeling a little sleepy, he dozes off. He awakens and a black widow spider is on his crotch. Petrified and stricken with fear, since he was told all his life they can be deadly, he cannot move. For 10 seconds, frozen in fear, the little boy is speechless.  Finally, dad comes to his aid and kills the spider. The result: Arachnophobia (fear of spiders).

From that event forward, the little boy grows up with a neurological imprint on his subconscious mind of what spiders can do. They terrorize his body, and his fear is reconfirmed day after day and year after year. Later, he is 30 years old and sees another spider (big or little, it does not matter) and is reminded of that fear. He relives the feeling he had as a little boy.

What we do in NLP is to first relive the experience; however, we rewrite the script. We interrupt the pattern so he does not see spiders quite the same way. It is surprisingly simple and quite fast. Using deep relaxed states and a series of visuals, we can “un-link” the old pattern and create a brand new experience which no longer associates the old experience in the same way.

Other Uses

 

NLP has a wide variety of uses. We often will use it in cases where someone has been traumatized. Changing the imprint on the subconscious mind can help people get over the experience of death, rape, molestation, accidents and other life-changing events. Images or impressions held in the subconscious mind can forever make themselves known, giving someone a feeling of weakness or fear, and never arise to the conscious mind for clear viewing. When we combine hypnosis and NLP, we can get to the root of the feeling, match it with the event, then make modifications so that it is not relived the way it has been repeatedly, year after year.  This very effective tool can be experienced online or via telephone.
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