NLP is based on the idea that everyone experiences reality differently, and therefore it is our understanding of reality that determines how we function, rather than reality itself.I can give you a simple example: When I have helped someone overcome a phobia, e.g. fear of flying or fear of spiders, what has changed? Has reality changed? No, the spider is still the same, but the person’s perception of reality (the spider or the flight) has changed.NLP is the study of the unconscious processes in our mind that create our perception of ourselves and our reality. Our feelings and our ideas about what we can and cannot do, our self-confidence and thereby our actions and our quality of life all depend on how we use our mind, either consciously or unconsciously.
NLP was developed in the mid-1970’s by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. They felt that traditional psychology took too long to uncover problems and see how they developed, and too little time was spent developing new resources or new understandings to enable patients to make progress. They wanted to develop simple and effective methods for personal development.
They started by studying three therapists who were especially skilled in their fields: Fritz Perls, the innovative psychotherapist who established Gestalt therapy; Virginia Satir, an exceptional family therapist who was able to resolve many problematic family relations, which other therapists found unsolvable; and the world-famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson. Bandler and Grinder wanted to find out what it was that made some people particularly well-functioning. A certain situation, can affect one person very negatively while a different person will experience the same situation as a challenge or perhaps something that is not important.
Bandler and Grinder uncovered which unconscious mental processes control a host of human abilities and qualities. They discovered that these unconscious mental processes could not only be identified, they could also be taught by other people who did not have a natural talent in these areas. A kind of shortcut for positive resources.
A few skilled people then further developed NLP, in particular Robert Dilts, who developed many methods, which we use today. Since then, the method has become widespread. Today, NLP is used in many different areas, including:
– Personal development: the ability to achieve positive self-esteem and self-confidence.
– Goal setting: The ability to recognize and achieve what you want.
– Communication/management: The ability to be understood and understand others better.
– Sports: Increase performance by visualizing your goals and removing limitations.