The basis of Neuro Linguistic Programming is that the words we use reflect an inner, subconscious perception of our problems. If these words and perceptions are inaccurate, as long as we continue to use them and to think of them, the underlying problem will remain. In other words, our attitudes are, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our experiences and feelings affect the way we react to external stimuli.
The concept of Neuro linguistic programming can be broken down to three distinct words:
Neuro • Linguistic • Programming
Neuro refers to the brain and neural network that feeds into the brain. Neurons or nerve cells are the working units used by the nervous system to send, receive, and store signals that add up to information.
Linguistic refers to the content, both verbal and non-verbal, that moves across and through these pathways.
Programming is the way the content or signal is manipulated to convert it into useful information. The brain may direct the signal, sequence it, change it based on our prior experience, or connect it to some other experience we have stored in our brain to convert it into thinking patterns and behaviors that are the essence of our experience of life.
The neuro-linguistic practitioner (myself) will analyze every word and phrase you use in describing your symptoms or concerns about your health. The practitioner will examine your facial expressions and body movements. After determining problems in your perception, the practitioner will help you understand the root cause. The practitioner will help you remodel your thoughts and mental associations in order to fix your preconceived notions. These preconceived notions may be keeping you from achieving the success you deserve.
NLP will help you get out of these unhealthy traits and replace them with positive thoughts, and patterns that promote wellness. NLP is based on several useful presuppositions. NLP places great emphasis on concepts that work as opposed to concepts that should work. A NLP practitioner will tell you that if what you're doing isn't working, you should try something else that will work for you. Every person is different. Flexibility is the key element in a given system. The person who is most likely to do well responds to changing (or unchanging) circumstances appropriately. This is one reason why NLP has made so much progress. NLP is much more interested in getting results.
Other tools that are available to NLP practitioners are meta model, sensory acuity, Milton model, system representation and sub-modalities. The great power of this concept is that once we recognize how our sub-modalities may mask our perception, we can make changes to our subsystem to effect the change or to "correct" the situation.
Meta model in NLP is a set of questions designed to find the explicit meaning in a person's communication. It is important that the practitioner makes no assumptions regarding the communication. The practitioner may ask probing questions to find out what is in the mind of the person being treated.
Client: I am so exhausted.
Practitioner: What makes you so exhausted?
Client: She is always taunting me and making fun of me.
Practitioner: Who is making fun of you?
Practitioner: Jill who?
Client: Jill Jones, my friend.
Practitioner: Why is Jill making fun of you?
Client: She is such a tease!
An untrained person would have made the assumption that the person was physically exhausted. By asking probing and certain questions, the practitioner learned what the client is really saying/expressing. The practitioner will use the sound/tone, and the pitch of the way the subject is talking. The pitch of the voice (excited, sad, happy, etc.) is to understand the communication of the clients true interpretation.
We can take one look at a person and can infer a great deal about what they are thinking or what their thought process is at that time. For example, we will know when a person is happy or unhappy. We will know when a person is depressed. We know when to avoid our bosses - it may be his or her "bad day." Of course, some people are good at hiding their true feelings. We call it a "poker face." In general, a person's thought process is very closely tied to his/her physiology.
A dog can sense when you are afraid. How did he know? We pick up clues from the body language of the person we are communicating to: slumped shoulders, downcast eyes, drooping head, lack of animation etc. Sensory acuity takes these observations beyond the more obviously recognizable clues and uses the physical feedback in addition to someone's words to gain as much from the communication as possible.
Milton model refers to a set of linguistic patterns derived by Milton Erickson, the father of modem hypnotherapy. These language patterns are used to help guide someone without interfering with their experience. For example, "Think of the time you saw the dog." The suggestions are made purposely vague so that the client will have ample opportunities to shape it in his or her mind. For example, the practitioner did not suggest what kind of dog it was, what was its color etc. It is up to you to fill in those blanks. This way, you can personalize it the way it makes most sense to you. Thus, this suggestion is very general and can be used for everyone. The Milton-model helps the practitioner to maintain rapport with the client. It is often used in hypnotic or trance state sessions.
By using these models, (many of them modeled from the behavior and actions of successful people) NLP enables us to recognize how we and others create our own unique maps of reality. It enables us to understand our own and others' processes of decision making, communication, motivation and learning.
Once we understand our own map of reality, we can make changes to it in order to obtain the life experiences we want. NLP provides us "maps" used by other people. We learn how others have responded to a particular situation we are facing. We see the differences in the approaches and in the outcomes. Based on it, we may voluntarily make changes to our own behavior.
We step out of our own map and step into the other's. When this happens, the rewards are many. We experience a deep connection to the successful person. Life will never be the same again.
NLP increases the depth and effectiveness of our relationships. It begins with our self and grows through personal and intimate relationships to our professional and work lives. Or even to the therapeutic arena and working with others to bring forth healing, change and growth. NLP provides the tools and techniques that enables this wonderful connection with our own self and others.
Many of NLP's tools and applications are widely used in business, management, education, training and therapy. Many of us may have encountered and applied these principles in our life, without even realizing that it came from NLP.