What is NLP?
NLP is short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It is an approach to psychotherapy which treats the brain as a ‘bio-computer’.
If you have ever had difficulty with your computer at home or at work, you probably telephoned a help desk, and spoke to someone with some expertise about how the computer works; they guided you through some procedures to find out what was wrong, and then they guided you step by step to get it working again.
You probably followed their advice to the letter; you were the only one with access to your computer, and yet they were the ones with the knowledge and skills to put it right!
An NLP Psychotherapist (called a Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapist or NLPsychotherapist by the UK Council for Psychotherapy) work very much like a computer help desk. First, a therapist will ask you about the problems, then help you to determine what you want. He or she will then guide you through mental processes which may include self hypnosis, guided visualisation, and many other methods of working, to effectively re-programme the part of your own brain which was causing the problem.
Like the expert on the computer help desk, the therapist has the detailed expertise about how the software functions in the ‘bio-computer’ – but only you have access to the controls, to make the changes you desire.
NLPsychotherapists are accredited, and regulated by the Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (NLPtCA). They and other psychotherapists are registered by the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Links to the websites of both these organisations are on the navigation bar on the left of this page.
How NLP Developed
During the 1970s and early 1980s, working at California University, were two men with a real potential for genius. They were Associate Professor Dr. John Grinder, a linguist, and Dr. Richard Bandler, a computer expert.
Both men had long been interested in psychotherapy, and they had noticed that, practicing every approach to therapy there were many satisfactory therapists, and a few outstandingly effective ones. And yet, these few did not know what they were doing differently – at least, not well enough to enable their students to become as effective as they.
Bandler and Grinder agreed to collaborate on a piece of research to examine closely the work of these few outstanding therapists, to discover, as they put it, “The difference that makes the difference!” Out of this research grew the body of detailed knowledge about the working of the human mind, and the detailed skills to enable the changes in thinking, emotions and behaviour, which today is called NLP.
Today, NLP is an approach to psychotherapy recognised by the UK Council for Psychotherapy, and it also has many other applications, including the use of NLP in education, executive coaching, personal development, life coaching, business, mediation, and indeed in any setting where truly effective communication between human beings is important.
Those using and applying NLP in these many different settings are represented in the membership of the Association for Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ANLP). A link to the website of the ANLP is in the navigation bar on the right of this page.