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What is NLP?

NLP is the acronym for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. As NLP develops over time, its definitions evolve - to describe it will depend on how one views the world, and there is no single definition that captures the spirit of NLP entirely. 

NLP is well known for its applications in the field of therapy and counselling but there are many other areas in which NLP can be applied.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is essentially about behavioural modelling, which means that any task or skill done well (or excellently) can be decoded and replicated so that others can learn to do the same skill or task. It is this aspect of NLP (the modelling) that means NLP can be so widely applied. NLP is often referred to as a meta-discipline - an approach that informs many approaches.

Dr Richard Bandler, who is widely regarded as the Co-Founder of NLP, defines NLP as ‘an attitude and methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques’.

A more formal definition looks something like this:

Neuro: Our nervous system, brain/mind and how that interacts with the body.

Linguistic: The words and language we use. Language can be verbal and non-verbal.

Programming: Is the habits of thought (often unconscious) that lead to habits of behaviour. By discovering these with NLP you can then decide whether they work well for you or lead you to be unhappy and unfulfilled. This places you in a great position of CHOICE about whether you would like to change them.

NLP can be applied in the following areas:

  • Coaching, therapy and counselling, to accelerate the changes with clients by looking at the processes that underlie a particular pattern, emotion or habit.
  • Education and training, to promote and accelerate learning and memory. NLP is also a valuable tool for teaching and design methods.
  • Personal development, to remove unresourceful emotions and patterns while promoting confidence and self-esteem.
  • Business, to enhance communication and negotiation skills. 
  • Sports, to enhance performance.
  • Parenting, to assist in clear communication with children.

NLP Association of Australia Inc.

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