For the everyday person, the terms that therapists use can seem mind-boggling. One such term is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (or NLP). As a technique used to treat anxiety and stress disorders, it is one of the most effective. But what exactly is NLP? And why is it so successful?

First of all, NLP is not simply a treatment. It is a learning technique designed to help you to understand your own mind so that you can better manage the fears, emotions and thoughts hidden deep inside your subconscious. It is the study of human excellence and communication, which means it teaches you how to communicate with yourself more effectively.

At its heart is the concept that, by doing so, you are in the best position to take control of your emotions and your behaviour. Thus helping you to change the way you think and giving you the power to remove your old negative thought patterns and replacing them with positive ones.

History of NLP

The development of Neuro-Linguistic Programming starts in the 1970s when Richard Bandler, a Gestalt therapist, and John Grinder, a linguist and therapist, decided to draw from the work of several leading therapists to create a single, new psychotherapeutic approach.

Among the revered therapists that influenced their thinking are Virginia Satir, the creator of modern-day family therapy; Milton Erickson, who is considered to be the father of modern hypnotherapy; and Fritz Perls, the creator of Gestalt therapy.

Since then, Neuro-Linguistic Programming has spread to become a global phenomenon, and one of the most effective methods for treating mental health issues, like depression, anxiety disorders and phobias, as well as a host of less critical conditions, including allergies and learning disorders.

How NLP Works

It is said that we humans are creatures of habit. NLP is an approach that identifies the habitual strategies of the successful in order to understand why they work. In this way, we can better understand our own unconscious thought processes and expand our range of choices about our emotional and physical states.

NLP also helps us to identify specific behaviour that no longer serves us, and equips us to eliminate that behaviour by changing beliefs, perspectives and outlooks. The core beliefs around which NLP is built are:

  • the need to study the structure of subjective experiences
  • identify what can be determined from human behaviour
  • that all human behaviour possesses structure

The NLP process begins with ‘modelling’, a procedure designed to break down the approaches of proven experts in the field into thoughts, beliefs, values and actions. Because these approaches are formally and systematically deconstructed, revealing very specific strategies and patterns, you can then replicate them and achieve the same remarkable results as they did.

Once this is achieved, you are then in the strongest possible position to not only understand your state, emotions and behaviour, but to transform thought patterns to become more successful and even facilitate positive change in others.

What is worth noting is that the development of NLP was a revolutionary move that has changed the way the world understood therapy – and in particular hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.

What NLP Can Do For You

The NLP approach makes use of a number of proven techniques, so it is a perfect method for a vast range of people dealing with an equally wide array of issues. It empowers you to take control, so you can focus on achieving everything that you want to achieve.

For individuals, it helps you to:

  • identify limitations holding you back – then help you smash through
  • master your subconscious mind
  • discover new aspects of yourself, often hidden inside the subconscious
  • take control of your emotions to better deal with life problems
  • become a more effective communicator
  • improve personal relationships
  • develop stronger self-confidence

For professionals, it helps to:

  • set clear goals
  • define realistic strategies
  • train staff to achieve greater job satisfaction
  • reduce stress
  • reduce conflict
  • improve customer relationship
  • enhance customer care skills
  • increase staff productivity, creativity and performance