The Science Behind Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP comprises the top three dominant components involving the production of human experience. These are programming, language and neurology. Man’s neurological system dictates how the human body functions; language ascertains the way we communicate and interface with other humans; and, the human programming regulates the types of world models that we create. Hence, NLP characterizes the basic dynamics among the human mind (neuro) and the language humans speak (linguistic) and how the interaction of these two affects the human body and its behavior (programming).

NLP was founded in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, claiming that it is essential in seeking ways and means to assist people to live fuller, richer and better lives. According to Bandler and Grinder, NLP is a rapid and most effective type of psychological therapy, which can address a whole scope of problems that are likely to be encountered by psychologists, such as depression, phobias, psychosomatic illness, habit disorder and learning disorders. NLP also states that self-determination may be achieved by hurdling learned limitations, and puts emphasis on healthy functioning and general well-being. According to NLP’s founders, any can learn skills to enhance their effectiveness, both professionally and personally.

Who Uses NLP?

NLP has enjoyed popularity in the field of psychology but it remained ignored by traditional science due to issues like lack of empirical evidence, professional credibility needed to substantiate the effectiveness it claimed. Despite being popular, it hardly made its presence felt in the field of academic psychology and mainstream counseling and psychotherapy.

Nevertheless, NLP was appreciated by private psychotherapists – as well as hypnotists – with some claiming to have been trained and are practicing NLP.

NLP Training has made quite an impact on management training, the self-help industry and life coaching.

NLP is based on two basic pre-suppositions:

1. The Map Does Not Translate Into Territory. Because we are human, we do not exactly know what reality is. However, each of us perceives reality in different ways. Thus, we respond to stimuli surrounding us through sensory representational classifications. It is not reality itself which discerns how we behave but, rather, our individual neuro-linguistic charts of reality that does – and which gives our behavior its meaning. It is not exactly reality which empowers or limits us, but our maps or charts of reality.

2. Mind and Life Are Considered Systemic Processes. The processes occurring within a person and between other people and their milieu are systemic. Our universe, societies and minds form environment made up of complex systems along with sub-systems which interplay with and influence one another. It is impossible to thoroughly isolate a portion of the system from the remaining portions making up the system.

All the techniques and models of NLP are founded on the synthesis of these two fundamental principles. NLP says that ecology, wisdom and ethics do not occur directly from one specific map of the universe, because man is not of conceiving. Instead, the goal is make the richest map that acknowledges the ecology and systemic nature of human beings and the universe they live in. The people who turn out most effective are those who are able to conceive a map of the universe which permits them to understand and perceive the most number of perspectives and choices available to them.