nlpNeuro-linguistic 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 Neuro-linguistic Programming, based on Module 2 of the iNLP Center’s NLP Practitioner Certification Online Course.

NLP on Wikipedia – What Happened?

I must admit I was taken aback when I first Googled Neuro-linguistic Programming and read and reread the history of it and its originators via Wikipedia.

The first thing I noticed was that many people are slamming NLP. Upon further reading, it dawned on me 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?

My intellect and gut feeling says neuro-linguistic programming, even though it is not perfect, is still an extremely valuable set of tools. I also believe it was a target of extreme backlash from the psychology profession. This was probably due to the overly ambitious and inflammatory approach taken by the two men who originated the model. You can read more about that here.

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 definition of Neuro-linguistic Programming is the influence of the five senses on learning and physiology. These same senses and physiology produce influence (programming) of which one is language (linguistic) in identifiable patterns. These patterns are generally consistent, recognizable and systematic.

Okay …I did my best!

Since Neuro-linguistic Programming studies programming of mental strategies that are effective, why not study those? That is where we want to go.

So if Neuro-linguistic Programming is not perfect …is it very useful? Common sense at this point says 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.”

Guest post by Robin Small, B.Sc. (Pharm) and student in the Online NLP Certification Training at the iNLP Center.