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NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It uses the most powerful techniques on the planet today, to bring about personal change. You could say, it’s like having a user’s manual for the brain. By utilising a collection of insights, skills and techniques we are able to change the way we think, easily and rapidly.
Most of what goes on in our bodies is outside our awareness, we are not conscious of it. When you sleep, who controls your breathing, your heart rate, your blood pressure? In fact for every bodily process we are aware of, there are 15,000 more that we are not. These processes are under the control of our unconscious mind. You could think of your unconscious mind as the part of you that controls everything that you are not conscious of.
Think of your mind as a computer. Programs are installed throughout your life. When you are born you can’t walk. As you go through the processes of learning to walk you create a new program called walking. You also install talking, toilet training, feeding yourself and social skills, to name but a few. Many of these programs get re-installed through life as we experience and learn again and again.
Behaviours are learnt, therefore at some time they were ‘installed’ and are controlled by your unconscious mind. What if the behaviour isn’t appropriate now, or is unwanted. What, for example, if this unwanted behaviour has led to anxiety, phobias or depression?
The behaviour was ‘installed’ at some time and probably ‘re-installed’ many times, with increased intensity over time, and just like a computer it can be ‘un-installed’. That’s where NLP comes in.
If you are depressed or paralysed by fear and anxiety, you will surely want be free of this burden. Bad temper or anger management issues also complicate lives and impede good health. Then of course there are physical problems of which many, believe it or not, have their roots in emotional issues and improve once we ‘un-install’ the root cause.
This is true of almost any disease process that is not obviously related to external influences, such as diet, toxins, allergens, alcohol, or drugs.
NLP began in the 1970’s, when John Grinder, a Professor at UC Santa Cruz, and Richard Bandler, a graduate student, had an idea. They believed that all behaviour has a structure and can be modelled. If you model someone who is excellent in their field exactly, you could teach it to others and they would get the same results. They tested their theory by studying in great detail the masters at the time in the fields of Psychology, Hypnotherapy, Communication and Social Science. These people achieved remarkable results in the area of personal change. By modelling them exactly, reproducing their behaviours and testing the results they sorted the bits that worked from the bits that didn’t. The bits that worked come under the heading of NLP.