The basic premise of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is that the words we use reflect an inner, subconscious perception of our problems. If these words and perceptions are inaccurate, they will create
an underlying problem as long as we continue to use and to think them. Our attitudes are, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The 2knowmyself
website defines NLP as a science that helps in understanding how the human mind operates in order to best use it to either increase performance and achieve your goals or as a therapy
to overcome fears, phobias,
anxiety and many other personality disorders.
The system called Neuro Linguistic Programming (NPL) can be broken down to three distinct words: neuro, linguistic, and programming.
Neuro refers to the brain and neural network that feeds into the brain. Neurons or nerve cells are the working units used by the nervous system to send, receive, and
store signals that add up to information.
Linguistics refer to the content, both verbal and non-verbal, that moves across and through these pathways.
Programming is the way the content or signal is manipulated to convert it into useful information. The brain may direct the signal, sequence it, change it based on
our prior experience, or connect it to some other experience we have stored in our brain to convert it into thinking patterns and behaviors that are the essence of our experience of
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NPL) as an area of study arose during the 1970s from a seminar at the University of California at Santa Cruz, which included Professor John Grinder and Richard
Bandler (the two individuals credited with originating this field). They became interested in 'modeling' the work of very effective psychotherapists, to see if they could discover the elements of
their practice which facilitated behavior change.
The initial three individuals modeled were Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy), Virginia
Satir (Family therapy) and Milton H. Erickson (Ericksonian Hypnosis). These individuals were considered
highly competent in their fields, and the consistent patterns and approaches they appeared to be using, became the basis of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NPL). Grinder and Bandler analyzed the speaking
patterns, voice tones, word selection, gesticulations, postures, and eye movements of these individuals and related this information to the internal thinking process of each participant. These were the
first of what came to be called "modeling" projects. The findings of these projects have been widely used and integrated into many other fields, from health and disability, to law enforcement,
to hypnotherapy and coaching.
Rather than explore this question in terms of psychotherapeutic theory and practice, the developers of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NPL), Bandler and Grinder, sought
to analyze what the therapists were doing at an observational level, categorize it, and apply the categories as a general model of interpersonal influence. NLP seeks to instruct people
to observe, make inferences, and respond to others, as did the three original, very effective therapists.
Based upon language patterns and body language cues derived from the observations of the successful therapists, NLP practitioners believe that our subjective reality
drives beliefs, perceptions and behaviors, and that therefore behavior change, transforming beliefs, and treatment of traumas is possible. NLP has been applied to a number of fields
such as sales, psychotherapy, communication, education, coaching, sport, business management, and interpersonal relationships.
Thinking of your mind as a computer and your behavior as programs launched unconsciously by your subconscious can help you in creating new programs and remove unwanted
Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapy is the agreed name of psychotherapy
which is practiced by individuals trained in both psychotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic programming (NLP). The relevant professional body is the NLPtCA; the Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapy
and Counseling Association.
The basic premise of NLP is that the words we use reflect an inner, subconscious perception of our problems. If these words and perceptions are inaccurate, they will
create an underlying problem as long as we continue to use and to think them. Our attitudes are, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The neuro linguistic therapist will analyze every word and phrase you use in describing your symptoms or concerns about your health. He or she will examine your facial
expressions and body movements. After determining problems in your perception, the therapist will help you understand the root cause. The therapist will help you remodel your thoughts
and mental associations in order to fix your preconceived notions. These preconceived notions may be keeping you from achieving the success you deserve.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NPL) practitioners believe NLP can help you get out of these unhealthy traits and replace them with positive thoughts, and patterns that
Here are a couple of examples to demonstrate how NLP may be used in the context of psychotherapy:
We have, generally speaking, five senses: seeing, hearing, feeling. smelling and tasting. The process of thinking involves creating mental representations in these
five senses. If I ask you about your last holiday, you will probably begin to remember the scenery, or conversations, or the sensations of whatever sport you may have engaged in. If
I ask you to imagine your next holiday, if it is in a place you haven't been before, you will probably begin to create some images of what it may be like.
The more vividly you remember scenes or activities from your holiday, the more you begin to re-live those experiences, the more you will begin to feel the way you
felt at that time. This is what in NLP we would call an 'associated memory'.
If, on the other hand, you have some old, faded photographs of a distant holiday, and see your younger self in them, you are likely to find that the feelings have
faded, as well. When working with a person who has had a traumatic experience, a Neuro-Linguistic psychotherapist is likely to invite their client to remember it in this way, a 'dissociated'
memory. The idea is that with this kind of perspective on a past event, a person can begin to think about it in a less emotional, more realistic way. The understanding of the adult can
be applied to events which have happened in the past, and they can be re-evaluated, helping resolve negative effects in the present.
This differs from the approach of some traditional psychotherapies, which may encourage clients to re-live past traumas, with the idea that this will help them 'work
through' the negative emotions.
Most of us are aware of having a background of internal talk going on in our minds, and most often it is self-critical. Neuro-Linguistic psychotherapists call this
our 'internal dialogue'. A NLP therapist will often encouraged you to think positively, or try saying positive affirmations to ourselves, to counteract the negative effects of our self-criticism,
but often this contradicts what we believe about ourselves.
It should be noted that NLP has been criticized by psychotherapists, concerning ineffectiveness, pseudoscientific
explanation of linguistics and neurology, ethically questionable practices, cult-like characteristics, promotion by exaggerated claims, and promises of extraordinary therapeutic results.
information about hypnotherapy and other therapeutic approaches, please click on the linked websites listed below.
The following Neuro Linguistic Programming (NPL) Glossary has been
taken from the West One website.
Accessing Cues: External signs that give us information about how we think.
Analogue Analogue: distinctions have discrete variations, as in an analogue watch. This is as opposed to Digital.
Analogue Marking: Using a verbal or non-verbal cue to mark out words in a sentence.
Anchoring: The process by which any representation, internal or external (the stimulus), gets connected and linked to and triggers a subsequent string of representations and responses
(the response). Anchors can be naturally occurring or set up deliberately.
As-If Frame: This is “acting as if” something were true, such as pretending that you are competent at something that you are not.
Associated: The relationship you have with the memory of an experience. As if seen through your own eyes.
Auditory (A): The Representational System dealing with hearing. It can be internal or external. Also known as Auditory Tonal (At).
Auditory Digital (Ad): The Representational System dealing with logic and the way we talk to ourselves.
Backtrack: To go back and summarize, review or contemplate what was previously covered, as in a meeting.
Behavior An external, verifiable activity we produce or engage in.
Being At Cause: Taking responsibility for the results of one’s actions.
Beliefs: Generalizations we make about the world and our opinions about it. They form the rules about what we can and cannot do.
Break State: Using a movement or distraction to change an emotional state.
Calibration: The ability to notice and measure changes with respect to a standard. Usually involves the comparison between two different sets of external, non-verbal cues. By comparing,
we can notice the difference between persons, places, things, states and behaviors. Calibrating depends on refined Sensory Acuity.
Chaining: Sequencing a series of states.
Chunking: Changing a perception by moving a “chunk”, or a group of bits of information, in the direction of a Deductive or Inductive conclusion through the use of language.
Circle of Excellence Using an imaginary circle on the floor as a spatial anchor to install new or additional resources relative to a situation where different behavior or thinking is
Complex Equivalence: This occurs when (1) you attach meaning to something specific and (2) when two statements, one behavioral and one capability, are considered to mean the same. (See
Congruence: When behavior (words, tonality, physiology, etc.) matches the words a person says.
Conscious: That of which we are currently aware.
Conscious-Unconscious When our thoughts and behaviors are integrated / Integration at the conscious and unconscious levels.
Content: The details of a story. The history of the client.
Content Reframe Giving another meaning to a statement by recovering more content, which changes the focus. (Also called a Meaning Reframe).
Context: The particular setting or situation in which the content occurs.
Context Reframing: Giving another meaning to a statement by changing the context.
Contrastive Analysis: This is a process of analyzing two sets of Submodalities to discover the Critical Submodalities. What makes the two sets different.
Convincer: Something that convinces the client’s conscious mind that their unconscious mind can do something.
Convincer Strategy: The filter used in becoming certain or confident that something is okay.
Criteria: The NLP word for values. Values are what is important to you and determine how you spend your time.
Critical Submodality: In Submodalities, Critical Submodalities are the difference that makes the difference. Discovered through the process of Contrastive Analysis, Critical Submodalities
account for the difference between two different internal representations. When Submodalities are compared through contrastive analysis, the Critical Submodalities are the Submodalities
that are different.
Cross Over Matching: Matching one aspect of a person’s external behavior or physiology with a different physiological movement.
Deductive: Reasoning from the general to the specific. To chunk down.
Deep Structure: The unconscious basis for the surface structure of a statement. Much of the deep structure is out of awareness. The deeper underlying root cause, or meaning of a spoken
Deletion: One of the three major processes (including Distortion and Generalization) on which the Meta Model is based. Deletion occurs when we leave out a portion of our experience as
we make our Internal Representations.
Derivation: Obtain from the Deep Structure to create the spoken word.
Digital: Digital distinctions have distinct variations of meaning as in a digital watch, or an on/off switch. This is as opposed to Analogue.
Dissociated: The relationship you have with the memory of an experience. As if seeing your whole body in the picture.
Distortion: One of the three major processes (including Deletion and Generalization) on which the Meta Model is based. Distortion occurs when something is mistaken for that which it
is not, when things are incorrectly included in our Internal Representations.
Double Binds: Questions that give a client a “free choice” among two or more comparable alternatives. They are based on the notion of multilevel communication.
Downtime: Having all sensory inputs focused inward. There will therefore be no attention available for outward attention.
Drivers: The Submodality that makes the most difference in our meaning of an experience. It is so important that it carries all the other submodality differences, the Critical Submodalities,
when we change it.
Ecology: The study of the consequences or results or impact of any change that occurs on the wider system.
Elicitation Inducing a state in a client, or gathering information by asking questions or observing the client’s behavior. See Accessing Cues.
Embedded Command: A command that is inside a longer sentence marked out by voice tone or gesture.
Embedded Question: A question that is inside a longer sentence marked out by voice tone or gesture.
Eye Accessing Cues: Movements of the eyes in certain directions that indicate visual, auditory or kinaesthetic thinking.
Feedback: The results of your actions to influence your next step.
First Position: This is one of the Perceptual Positions. First Position is when you are associated, looking through your own eyes, and in touch with only your own inner Model of the
Fractionation: Repeating the induction of trance which deepens trance.
Frame: The context or particular point of view around a specific experience
Future Pace: Mentally rehearsing a future result so that the desired outcome automatically occurs.
Generalization One of the three major processes (including Distortion and Deletion) on which the Meta Model is based. Generalization occurs when one specific experience represents a
whole class of experiences. Generalization also occurs when one experience is generalized to the whole.
Gestalt: A collection of memories around a certain topic.
Gustatory (G) The Representational System dealing with taste.
Hallucination: Sensory experience of something that does not exist.
Hypnotism: A relaxed state induced in a person so change work can be done at the subconscious or unconscious level.
Incongruence: When the external, verifiable behavior of a person does not match the words the person says.
Inductive Drawing a general conclusion (abstract) from specific facts. Chunking up.
Intent: The outcome of a behavior.
Internal Rep: The content of our thinking or the confirmation of information which includes Pictures, Sounds, Feelings, Tastes, Smells, and Self Talk.
In Time: An In Time person will prefer to code their memories from front to back, up to down, in a ‘V’ or any arrangement where part of the past, present or future is behind
or inside them.
Kinaesthetic (K): The Representational System dealing with feelings and sensations. It can be internal or external.
Law of Dominant Effect: A suggestion is more effective when it is experienced simultaneously with a strong emotion.
Law of Requisite Variety: In a given physical system, that part of the system with the greatest flexibility of behavior will control the system.
Leading: Changing your own behavior with enough rapport so another person will follow.
Lead System: The Representational System used to access stored information and lead it from the Unconscious Mind to the Conscious Mind. Watching Eye Accessing Cues discovers the Lead
System. We look where the eyes go when someone accesses information.
Limiting Belief Beliefs: or decisions we make about ourselves and/or our model of the world that limit the way we live.
Limiting Decision: The decision that preceded the adoption of a Limiting Belief.
Logical Levels: The level of specificity or abstraction. Think of logical levels as going up or down from Abstract at the top to Specific at the bottom.
Mapping Across: Following Contrastive Analysis, Mapping Across is the Sub modality process of actually changing the set of Submodalities of a certain Internal Representation to change
Matching: Doing the same, copying or adopting the behavior of the client or replicating exactly some aspect of a person’s physiology.
Meaning Reframe: Giving another meaning to a statement by recovering more content, which changes the focus. (Sometimes called a Content Reframe.)
Meta: Something is meta to another if it is at a higher level.
Meta Model: A model of language, derived from Virginia Satir that gives us an “over” view of language. It allows us to recognize deletions, generalizations and distortions
in our language, and gives us questions to clarify imprecise language and gain specificity.
Metaphor: A story which is symbolic and which allows us to bypass the conscious resistance of the client and to have the client make connections at a deeper level.
Meta Position: A location outside a situation enabling you to view the situation in a more objective way. A dissociated position not involved with the content of the event or the person.
Very similar to Third Position.
Meta Programs: These are unconscious, content-free programs we run which filter our experiences.
Milton Model: The Milton Model is designed to produce trance or agreement. It is a series of abstract language patterns, which are ambiguous so as to match the client’s experience
and assist in accessing unconscious resources. The Milton Model has the opposite intent of the Meta Model.
Mirroring Reflecting the behavior or physiology of the client as if looking into a mirror.
Mismatching: Using different patterns or contradictory responses regarding behavior or words to interrupt communication.
Modalities: Refers to our internal representations, which relate to the five senses (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory) plus our internal dialogue.
Model of the World: A person’s values, beliefs and attitudes as well as their internal representations, states and physiology, that all relate to and create their belief system
of how the world operates.
Model Operators: Modal Operator of Necessity relates to words, which form the rules in our lives (should, must, have to, etc.). Modal Operator of Possibility relates to words that denote
that which is considered possible (can, cannot, etc.).
Model: In NLP, a Model is a description of a concept or behavior, which can be adopted easily.
Modeling: Modeling is the process by which all of NLP was created. In Modeling we elicit the Strategies, Filter Patterns (Beliefs and Values) and the Physiology that allows someone to
produce a certain behavior. Then we codify these in a series of steps designed to make the behavior easy to reproduce.
Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP: is the study of excellence, which describes how the language of our mind produces our behavior, and allows us to model excellence and to reproduce that
Nominalization: A noun describing a state of being which exists in name only. Not a tangible item. Can be a verb or another process word that has been formed into an abstract noun.
Olfactory (O): The representational system dealing with smell.
Outcome Orientation: Having a specific, sensory-based, desired result for the client. Having an end and an aim in mind.
Overlapping: Moving from the Preferred Representational System to Representational to another Representational System.
Pacing: Gaining and maintaining rapport with another person over a period of time by joining them in their model of the world by Matching or Mirroring their external behavior.
Parts: Parts are a portion of the unconscious mind, often having conflicting beliefs and values that are different from the whole of the system.
Parts Integration: A technique, which allows us to integrate parts at the unconscious level by assisting each one to traverse logical levels by chunking up and to go beyond the boundaries
of each to find a higher level of intention and wholeness.
Pattern Interrupt Changing a person’s state. Can be abrupt. See Break State.
Perceptual Position: Describes our point of view in a specific situation: First Position is our own point of view. Second Position is usually someone else’s point of view. Third
position is the point of view of a dissociated observer-much like an overview or meta-position.
Personal Edit See Self Edit.
Phobia: A severe, associated, unwanted response of fear regarding some person or event in the past.
Phonological Ambiguity: This occurs when there are two words which sound the same but have different meanings.
Physiology of Excellence: Modeling excellence in others and utilizing it in yourself and others.
Post Hypnotic Suggestion: A hypnotic suggestion that activates and operates at a time after the induction of trance.
Precision Model: Derived by John Grinder from the Meta Model as a series of five pointers to greater understanding.
Predicates Words and phrases (primarily verbs, adverbs and adjectives) that often presuppose one of the Representational Systems.
Preferred Rep System: This is the representational system that someone most often uses to think, and to org anise his or her experiences. This is the representational system that we
commonly and most easily employ.
Presuppositions: The assumptions that a client makes to support their model of the world. Presuppo¬sitions are what are necessarily true for the client’s belief systems to
make sense and have meaning to the client.
Primary Rep System: This is how we represent our internal processing externally. Most people tend to favor one Representational System over another and process most communication in
Presuppositions of NLP: Assumptions or convenient beliefs, which are not necessarily “true,” but which if accepted and believed will change our thinking and improve our results.
Projection: To attribute one’s ideas or feelings to other people or to another model of the world.
Punctuation Ambiguity: An ambiguity, which is created by changing the punctuation of a sentence by pausing in the wrong place, or by running on two sentences.
Quotes This is a Linguistic Pattern in which your message is expressed as if by someone else.
Rapport: The process of responsiveness, at the unconscious level. The ability to relate to others in a way that creates a climate of trust and understanding.
Reference System: The base against what we calibrate. How we organize information so that we know what we know.
Referential Index Shift: Finding someone else who has a way of thinking or a resource you wish to model (their Reference System), entering their model of the world and noting from their
perspective and in all modalities the process and results of their thinking and/or action. Also making a change in the referential index (subject) of a sentence to create overload at
the conscious level.
Reframing: The process of making a shift in the nature of a problem or changing the structure or context of a statement to give it another meaning.
Representation: A thought in the mind which can be comprised of Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Auditory Digital (Self Talk).
Representational System: This is the way we code sensory information and experience our world. There is a representational system for each of our senses.
Resources: Resources are the means to create change within oneself or to accomplish an outcome. Resources may include certain states, adopting specific physiology, new strategies, beliefs,
values or attitudes, even specific behavior.
Resourceful State: This refers to any state where a person has positive, helpful emotions and strategies available to him or her, and is operating from them behaviorally. Obviously the
state implies a successful outcome.
Search Anchor: An anchor used to identify the source of a problem or issue.
Secondary Gain: The reason/reward the client has or receives for not changing from a presenting problem or outside source.
Second Position: Relating to a Perceptual Position: Second Position describes our point of view in a specific situation. Second Position is usually someone else’ s point of view.
Self Edit: Accessing your personal resources & making a change.
Self Inventory: A Sensory Based internal scan.
Sensory Acuity: The ability to notice and gain awareness of another person’s conscious and unconscious responses through their physiology.
Sensory-Based: Is describing someone’s verifiable external behavior Description in a way that does not include any evaluations or assumptions, but in a way that just relates the
State: Relates to our internal emotional condition. In NLP we believe that the state determines our results, and so we are careful to be in states of excellence. In NLP, our Internal
Representations, plus our State, and our physiology results in our Behavior.
Strategy: A specific, repeatable and anchored sequence of internal and external representations that leads to a particular outcome.
Submodalities: These are fine distinctions (or the subsets of the Modalities V, A, K, O, G, and Ad) that are part of each representational system that encode and give meaning to our
Surface Structure: This is a linguistic term relating to the organization of the spoken level of our communication, which generally leaves out the totality of the Deep Structure. The
way we leave out the deep structure is by Deletion, Generalization and Distortion.
Synaesthesia: A two-step strategy, between Modalities, where the two steps are linked together with one usually out of awareness.
Syntactic Ambiguity: Where it is impossible to tell from the syntax of a sentence the meaning of a certain word.
Third Position: Relating to a Perceptual Positions. Third Position, or Meta Position, is the point of view of a dissociated observer, an over view.
Through Time: Through Time people will store their memories left to right or right to left or in any other way so that all time is in front of them. Time is a continuous and uninterrupted.
Time Code: The way we store our memories into the Past, Present and Future.
Time Line: A way in which we store our memories of the past, the present and the future making each person’s time line metaphorically unique to them.
Trance: Any altered state. In hypnosis it is usually characterized by inward, one-pointed focus.