Based on the subjective study of the phenomena of language, communication and change, Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP is a perspective in psychotherapy as well as a model for interpersonal communications. Richard Bandler and John Grinder (who is a linguist) co-founded NLP in the 1970s as a personal developemt process. Various psychological fields contribute to NLP among numerous other disciplines – occupational therapy, cognitive science and linguistics.
Thus, NLP has diverse and sound theoretical foundations. NLP is taught through workshops, seminars, books and audio-visual programs. It defies a single definition and is spread over a lot of schools of thought. Training and standards also vary accordingly. Badler and Grinder developed sets of techiniques and/or practices modelled on effective psychotherapy methods of the era. The application hardly remained limited to just psychotherapy, but spread to interpersonal communications that were applied generally and loosely.
In simpler terms, NLP looks at the structure of human thought and experience. Since this is a subjective phenomenon, it cannot possess a streamlined, clear cut, statistical structure but leads to various models of thought, expression and experience. These models then help to quickly changing thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that can limit an individual.
Various people who did things exceedingly well have been studied, and models have been structured based on these studies. Just some of these models include the meta model, Milton model, sensory acuity, sub modalities and representational systems. Presuppositions form an integral part of NLP. They are the beliefs that anyone practicing NLP can create changes within themselves as well as in the environment they are surrounded in. People who practice NLP often have different presuppositions but some common ones have been outlined in this article for your benefit –
a. communication matters more than mere speech
b. you already have everything you need in order to change
c. having a choice is a better situation than having none
d. each type of behavior has a context and situation in which it is positive and has some value
e. failure doesn’t exist; feedback does
f. if one person can do it, anybody else can (when taught properly)
g. people can and do work perfectly
h. if you aren’t getting the response you want, try another approach
i. all your communication amounts to is the response you get from it
j. by changing a person’s “map”, that person’s reality can be changed (perception is changed by representation)
In NLP, the five senses are central to the purposes of representational systems. For example,
a. visual (the eyes) – it looks good, positive visual image
b. auditory (the ears) – I have heard good things about it
c. olfactory (the nose) – it smells favorable, pleasant, effective
d. gustatory (the tongue) – it tastes like it will be successful
e. kinesthetic (the skin) – it makes me feel good
All these representations have certain attributes or qualities that you can perceive by using all your five senses – these are the sub modalities used in NLP. They fine tune your representation and can thus be used to create great changes.