NLP or neuro-linguistic programming is a highly popular concept aimed at changing your thoughts and achieving success by interacting with your mind elaborately. NLP was invented by American trainers Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s. Nowadays, it’s generally used by corporate coaches and, sometimes, hypnotherapists who claim that they can treat phobias but most experts consider it a pseudoscience.
Disclaimer: NLP isn’t backed by any scientific results or universal methodologies, so it remains unsupported by the academic medicine.
What is NLP?
Generally, neuro-linguistic programming is a set of approaches which help people to change the way they think and behave. The inventors of NLP claim that they can recognize behavioral and thinking patterns of successful people, so others can utilize them.
As the name suggests, the term can be divided into three parts:
- Neuro – relates to the nervous system
- Linguistic – relates to language and communication
- Programming – designs and implements specific patterns
The NLP experts explain the essence of this invention using the example of foreign languages. Let’s say, you want to order a steak from a foreign restaurant but eventually find out that you have ordered a liver stew. Obviously, it’s miscommunication. The same happens when you ‘talk’ to your own mind including its subconscious. The NLP techniques focus on enabling proper interaction to help you achieve exactly what you want.
How to use NLP?
Although everybody can apply neuro-linguistic programming on their own after certain research, there are some professionals in NLP who have basic strategies. They can both work with other people as psychologists or act as tutors.
Generally, NLP practitioners define four stages when working with patients:
- Establishing rapport. The first step provides making contact by using verbal and non-verbal reactions. NLP is focused on subconscious behavior, mostly.
- Gathering information. Further, a practitioner talks to a client to know more about his life and current state. This step also includes defining goals and desires.
- Making changes. The most important part of the entire process stands for achieving the defined goals. Here, NLP methods are used to the full.
- Focusing on the future. Finally, a client integrates these changes mentally and tries to see future consequences.
Considering the overall idea of defining and implementing successful behavioral patterns, specialists work with so-called mind maps. NLP professionals detect unconscious triggers and focus on conscious changes to modify patterns/maps.
For instance, they can define your preferred representational system to choose a more effective and personalized strategy of interacting.
Since the 1970s, NLP has evolved a lot, and introduced different practical tools for identifying and modifying mind maps. Here are some of the most prominent techniques:
- It links emotional states with a unique stimulus. Specialists claim that they can create such anchors and trigger them to reach any target state.
- Future pacing. This similar idea provides for visualizing and imaging the defined changes or actions in the future. NLP experts claim that our mind doesn’t see differences between real and properly visualized scenarios.
- Parts integration. It’s considered that different aspects of our personality are in conflict with each other. That’s why NLP focuses on identifying reasons of this conflict and solving it.
- This technique provides for changing your attitude to something. Just remember the ugly duckling, who found itself turning into a swan after other beautiful birds welcomed it.
- Stands for destroying behavioral patterns which lead to unwanted consequences and visualizing new positive outcomes.
- VK/D. In other words, visual/kinesthetic dissociation. It focuses on removing bad associations and hurtful feelings during re-living the linked events. Simply, VK/D is like watching a film of your life.
- Well-formed outcome. Here’s the most popular NLP frame according to which a client should consider the desired goal as achievable. Additionally, effects and consequences should be considered as always positive.
Certainly, different techniques have a different impact, so if you consider using them, make sure to consult specialists.
NLP efficiency and influence
Is NLP effective? In fact, none of the modern physicians can guarantee the real effect of NLP. Various studies show that the supportive research of NLP is based on poor methodology with significant flaws. Scientists claim that the techniques are backed by outdated findings, so the mainstream healthcare industry doesn’t recognize NLP. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether to use NLP or reject it.