What is NLP?
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a psychological framework which helps us create rapid changes in individuals through an understanding of the way in which we think, the types of words we use both as part of internal dialogue and when communicating with others, the way in which we generate feelings, and through understanding the way in which people learn most effectively.
NLP is based around the principle that the way we think determines the way we feel, and the way we feel usually determines our behaviour, and our behaviour determines the outcomes we get in life. So, if we have recurring negative internal dialogue, we’ll tend to feel depressed, anxious or unmotivated, and if we feel depressed, anxious or unmotivated we’re likely to behave in a manner that’s commonly associated with depression, anxiety and lack of motivation.
Using NLP in coaching, we can help people ‘unlearn’ old ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, and replace them with more appropriate and effective ways, which leads to profound change, easily and quickly.
The Origins of NLP
NLP was developed during the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder when they studied what it was that made three of the most effective therapists of the time so successful in helping their clients achieve change. These therapists were Virginia Satir, Milton Erikson and Fritz Pearls who operated in the areas of family therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, and gestalt therapy. Perhaps most significantly was Bandler and Grinder’s development of a model of language patterns, which they identified as central to what Satir, Erikson and Pearls were able to achieve. As an NLP practitioner, using these language patterns in a purposeful and methodical way allows me to help reveal more information about my client’s problems, and to expand my client’s beliefs and perceptions of the world.
Application of NLP
NLP is such an effective tool for change that we can use it to help people overcome phobias, alleviate anxiety and depression, to develop greater confidence and self-belief, improve their skills of communication and persuasion, to quit old habits and replace them with new, more positive and resourceful habits.
How I incorporate NLP into my coaching sessions
All of my coaching sessions incorporate NLP is one way or another, whether it’s through the use of language patterns to get to the root cause of client problems, or the use of particular NLP techniques to help my clients create change at a subconscious level. One of my favourite ways to use NLP because of how quick and effective it is, is in helping my clients free themselves of negative or harmful self-talk. In a matter of minutes it can can completely transform negative self-talk into strength and empowerment.