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Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language and programming. It describes the fundamental dynamics between mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and behaviour (programming).

NLP was originated by John Grinder (background in linguistics) and Richard Bandler (background in mathematics and gestalt therapy). Their aim was to make explicit models of human excellence. The neurological system regulates how our bodies function, the language determines how we communicate with other people and the programming determines the kind of models of the world we create.

NLP is an approach to communication, personal development and psychotherapy. Richard Bandler and John Grinder claim that the connection between the neurological processes, language and behavioural patterns learned through experience can be changed in order to achieve specific goals in life. NLP can model the skills of exceptional people and then those skills can be acquired by anybody. It helps understand human behaviours, communication and why communication may be difficult.

The main components of Neuro Linguistic Programming are: Subjectivity (5 senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, and language), Consciousness (Conscious and Unconscious) and Learning (Modelling).

NLP helps establish rapport by pacing and leading verbal (sensory keywords) and non- verbal behaviour (mirroring non- verbal behaviour). It helps get information about a problem, mental state and desired goals by using specific tools and techniques to make interventions and by integrating proposed changes in a client’s life. An outcome can be achieved by changing internal representations and responses to stimuli in the world. Changes are future paced by helping the client mentally rehearse and integrate changes in his/her life. (Step into the future and mentally see, hear, feel what it’s like having achieved the outcome).

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, provides practical ways in which you can change the way that you think, view past events, and approach your life. It shows you how to take control of your mind, and therefore your life.

Unlike psychoanalysis, which focuses on the ‘why’, NLP is very practical and focuses on the ‘how’.It works from the starting point that you may not control much in your life, but that you can always take control of what goes on in your head.

Your thoughts, feelings and emotions are not things that are, or that you have, but things that you do. Their causes can often be very complicated, involving, for instance, comments or beliefs from your parents or teachers, or events that you have experienced.

NLP shows you how you can take control of these beliefs and influences. Using mind techniques such as visualisation, you can change the way that you think and feel about past events, fears and even phobias.

You can’t always control what happens, but you can always control how you deal with it.

What you believe can be extremely powerful.

What this boils down to is that if you believe you can do something, you probably can. If you believe you can’t, then you probably can’t. But you can also challenge limiting beliefs, and change whether you believe you can do something by asking yourself the right questions.

We’re all familiar with the principles of goal-setting, but NLP suggests some interesting new insights, focusing on satisfaction, not dissatisfaction.

For example, it’s helpful to make your goals positive; focus on what you want to have, not what you’d like to lose or not have. It is also important to think about what it is that you really want. For example, you don’t actually want to buy your dream house, you want to live in it. It’s much easier to get motivated about a goal that really satisfies you.

Our minds actively look for answers to questions.

So if you ask yourself ‘Why do I feel so bad?’, your mind will find lots of answers and you will feel worse. With NLP the key is to ask the right questions.

NLP is a very powerful technique based on the power of your own mind and with NLP you can learn to take control of your mind and how you respond to the world.

You may not be able to control the world, but you can control how you react to it.

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FLAVIA POWELL

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