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What Is NLP? (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

Updated on March 28, 2015
The Human Brain
The Human Brain | Source


NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) can be thought of as a form of applied psychology which was originally developed back in the seventies by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. The word 'neuro' is taken from the study of the effect of speech patterns on the brain and the word 'programming' is taken from computer programming.

As it's name suggests Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP, makes practical use of certain patterns, tools and techniques that allow you to use language to program the mind and vice versa. If you find yourself delving further into the work by John Grinder and Richard Bandler, you will find that there are actually many variations and spin-offs of NLP which have been devised over the years.

Technically, NLP is not a form of psychology in it's own right. Rather, it is a compiled set of useful techniques which have been taken from various aspects of applied psychology. NLP is a set of useful techniques that have all been compiled into one simple 'package' for the benefit of anyone who decides to learn it and therefore there is no government accredited qualification needed by law (or attainable) in order to become an NLP Practitioner.

However, when NLP was initially released it was turned into somewhat of a pyramid scheme by it's founders who sold it as a kind of life-training course and issued the certificates themselves. Certified master practitioners were then allowed to start their own training school in order to train and qualify more people and, once qualified, they became authorized to hand out their own certificates to students. This pyramid scheme turned out to be a big success for American guru, Tony Robbins.

Although the NLP system was mostly sold as a way of improving life and becoming successful in all that you do, the model also had the benefit of providing therapeutic uses such as giving up smoking, overcoming phobias and dealing with emotional and mental health issues and many NLP practitioner's do indeed go on to set up their own NLP practices in order to become therapists.

Hypnosis is also a very large part of NLP although unfortunately in practice NLP can potentially be quite dangerous if in the wrong hands, given the fact that it teaches people the abilities needed in order to provoke major changes to the way a subject thinks and emotionally responds to external stimuli without even needing to use direct hypnosis or suggestion.

Neuro Linguistic Programming is not magic and certain claims that some people make are highly exaggerated. However, NLP definitely holds an infinitely valuable amount of resources that can undoubtedly help you achieve the best out of your life, whether in terms of psychology, career or simply just getting the most out of life.

NLP teaches awareness of internal representational systems, anchoring, heightened communication, hypnosis and body language in addition to other valuable tools that can be utilized in order to maximize your potential.


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    • MADLVF profile image

      Miguel Angel de la vega 

      3 years ago from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

      The nlp is in the marketing and innovation if you want.

    • Zoraya Nash profile image


      4 years ago from Ukraine

      Yeah.. NLP is used everywhere. On the radio, TV, while selling at the street. We should be on alert :)

      Thank you, good hub!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Interesting concept

    • nmdonders profile image

      Nira Perkins 

      7 years ago

      Cool Hub. I've never heard of NLP before. Great info.


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