nlpGuest post by Robin Small, B.Sc. (Pharm) and student at the iNLP Center.

Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California in the 1970’s.

Over the years NLP has made its way into virtually every profession, becoming (according to some) the most borrowed from personal and professional development model in history.

Now, please remember this is my take on NLP, based on Module 2 of the iNLP Center’s NLP Practitioner Certification Course.

NLP on Wikipedia – What Happened to NLP?

I must admit I was taken aback when I first Googled NLP or Neurolinguistic Programming and read and reread the history of it and its originators via Wikipedia.

The first thing I noticed was wow … why is, or was,  “everybody” slamming NLP? Upon further reading, it dawned on me (my opinion only) that it was the adversarial approach that the co-developers of NLP took towards the psychology profession; and later with each other in court on more than one occasion.

The NLP developers called themselves modelers, not psychologists, so imagine the backlash when they made bold and paradigm changing claims to the field of psychology.

Why do I touch on this negativity within and around NLP?

It is because my experience, intellect and gut feeling says NLP – even though it is not perfect – is still an extremely valuable set of tools to have in our tool boxes. I also believe it was a target of extreme backlash from the psychology profession due to the overly ambitious and  inflammatory approach taken by the two men who originated the model.

Did Richard and John almost get the baby thrown out with the bath water ? I bet you will agree with me …yes!

What is NLP?

My rookie definition of NLP at this point is, the influence of the five senses on learning and physiology from an early age. These same senses and physiology produce  influence (programming) of which one is language (linguistic) in identifiable patterns that are generally consistent and recognizable.

Okay …I did my best!

It also occurred to me that since NLP studies programming or mental strategies, it makes sense to learn strategies that are already effective. That is where we want to go. Instead of studying sick people and wondering how they got sick, why not study well people and find out how they got there?

So far the course that Mike Bundrant teaches has caused me to type : very cool and excellent info! in the  comment sections at the iNLP Center online school.

So if NLP is not perfect …is it very useful? Common sense at this point says to me … Absolutely!

I will quote Dr. John Grohol, founder and CEO of Psych Central.

“Most modern practitioners of NLP simply see it as a pragmatic way of looking at human behavior and emotions.”