The best definition or summation of NLP comes from Answers.com , which has been listed below for your convenience!
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a field that studies “How we do things” and “how we best can express our excellence through studying and modeling human performance. It has it’s roots in behavioural psychology but has taken it to the next level by practically demonstarting that which one person can achieve, so can someone else in a much shorter time period. If we merely look at how children learn then we see that modelling is a natural part of being human, and a natural way of learning. In fact children don’t need to be taught NLP, they spontaneously know it already. Therapeutic NLP is used as well as modern day coaching and therapy as well as in multiple business applications, for example I utilise my NLP skills in evolving a highly technical team in the Telecomms industry.
NLP was co-created in the early 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, with the collaboration of Robert Dilts and Judith Delozier, from patterns derived from “modeling” several well-known psychotherapists, namely Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson.
Bandler, then a student at the University of California , Santa Cruz, and Grinder, then an Assistant Professor of Linguistics, were strongly influenced by the mentoring of Gregory Bateson, and they drew their inspiration from many fields, including Alfred Korzybski’s cybernetics and his General Semantics.
NLP falls under the broadest heading of popular psychology, and perhaps most closely relates to cognitive psychology. But while Grinder had an undergraduate degree in psychology, NLP began quite outside the academic mainstream, and it remains largely divorced from mainstream academic psychology to this day, even though many NLPs do have traditional credentials in psychology and psychiatry.
It is claimed that NLP offers a “practical epistemology,” i.e., it attempts to explain in specific terms “how we know what we know”: by inquiring of any human experience, memory, or theory, “How do you know this to be ‘true’?” — that is to say, when one says, “I know this to be true,” on what visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory, or olfactory information is one relying? When such information has been elicited, NLP then seeks to explore in detail such “representations” of reality (often described in terms of “four-tuples” of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and olfactory/gustatory experiences), and to modify them when they are inadequate or unhelpful by offering specific techniques for revising such representations.
NLP as a discipline is pragmatic and based on NLP Principles; practitioners generally take interest in models only insofar as those models have useful applications. This is then studied further in NLP Fundamentals. Some NLP practitioners claim to be unconcerned with explaining how a technique works or with predicting whether a technique will work in the future or in different situations. Nevertheless, most NLP practitioners seek to discover “how people do what they do” in the general sense, and are especially interested in how experts and superior performers in a given area achieve their results; they are interested in discovering what is “the difference that makes the difference”, and then in modeling those behaviors to create transferable skill-sets.
As a small example, consider the task of spelling English words. (Note that here we refer to the simple task of recalling the spelling of words one has seen in print before, rather than the more complex task of guessing how a word might be spelled based only on hearing it pronounced.) According to NLP practicioners, some people remember spellings phonetically, and some even remember them by physically writing the words out, whether on paper or in the air. The spellers with the quickest and most accurate recall, however, tend to remember the spelling of words visually, i.e., they literally see the printed word in their “mind’s eye.” People can therefore learn to excel in spelling by changing their approach to the task: instead of writing out or sounding out words, they will improve by learning to visualize words and by regularly applying this technique to the task of spelling.
The field of NLP and NLP Modelling has, over time, gathered to it many “mini-models” and associated techniques that can be applied to various situations. These models and techniques range in purpose from information gathering and building rapport, to anchoring and the triggering of internal states, to trance induction and changing beliefs.
Models of internal representations include such as visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory, and olfactory (along with their various submodalities), as well as their concomitant effects on emotions, beliefs, and behaviors. (As mentioned above, the subtitle of one early book on NLP is “the study of the structure of subjective experience”.)
As fallout from the modeling process, NLP has also developed specific techniques that can be applied to areas ranging from psychotherapy — e.g. curing phobias, handling criticism and flattery, handling grief, stopping unwanted habits and behaviors, etc. — to sales and persuasion techniques, to learning techniques, to curing some allergies, among many others.
NLP & NLP principles is best learned through live training programs, but can also be learned through self-study by using the techniques presented in books, tapes or cd’s and then exploring them, as well as attending Intensive Practioner trainings attached to these courses.
With NLP being a growing field more people are coming on board then ever before. This gives people an opportunity to choose from many different trainings, which can be a problem. Generally NLP training has three levels, NLP Practioner, NLP Master & NLP Trainer. In the modern context there is a fourth level, viz. NLP Coach that is parallel to the trainer level.
A typical NLP Practioner training course consists of the Techniques of NLP and will be conducted in an intensive format where learners undergo some level of CD / correspondence based training and submits research papers. On completion of this stage of the training normally a 7 or 10 day intensive training occurs whereby learners have the opportunity to practice their skills in small groups under supervision of a NLP Trainer or Master NLP Trainer, before being certified as Practioners of NLP. The course layout in the 80’s had 3 modules, VK Dissociation, Parts Integration & Six Step Reframe, the modern course in the 2000’s has the typical format:
The fundamental NLP Practioner Training modules consist of:
1. Intro to NLP
3. Sensory Acuity
4. Goal Setting
5. Submodalities & Belief Change & SWISH
6. Perceptual Positions & Logical Levels
7. Language 1 – Meta Language
8. Language 2 – Milton Language
9. Language 3 – Hierarchy of Ideas
12. Core Techniques Of NLP
A typical NLP Master Practioner training course consist of an understanding of the methodology behind the NLP Techniques and being able to create customised techniques and is often conducted in an intensive format similar to the NLP Practioner training except that it is generally longer 10 to 12 days, and has much more hands on training. It generally encompasses a strong element of Hypnotherapy (Ericksonian), modelling, meta programs, Meta Model II & III and training / learning strategies. Most of the key NLP trainers have their own flair to the NLP Masters training, yet the basics have similar themes. A typical course layout would be:
The NLP Master Practioner Training modules consist of:
1. Quantum Linguistics
2. Values & Metaprograms
3. Modeling & Presenting
4. Healing & Personal Breakthrough Session
A typical NLP Trainers training course is about understanding and applying the NLP principles, techniques and is the highest level of trainers training in the world today. It is rigorous and demanding running from 20 to 40 days and requires high standards to pass. One NLP Trainer when completing their course said “we had do stand there present for 20 minutes without moving, do you know how hard that is”.
The NLP Trainers Training modules consist of:
1. Rapport with Groups
2. Group dynamics
3. Learning Strategies
4. Presenting Styles
5. Presenting & Assessing
6. Core NLP modules
7. Practical Presentations & Assessment
8. Master NLP modules
9. Practical Presentations & Assessment
10. Certifying & Marketing Trainings
A NLP Master Trainer is a NLP Trainer who has significantly added to the field of NLP through developing their own techniques and possibly even having written their own book. Only Certified NLP Trainers can issue Internationally Recognised NLP Certifications.
A typical NLP Coach training course is conducted on a NLP Master Practioner‘s level, and integrates the NLP skills, techniques and methodologies into a coaching model. For more details on NLP Coaching
The NLP Coach Training modules consist of:
1. NLP & Coaching
2. Branding your Coaching Business
3. Coaching Modalities
4. Practical Coaching
5. Running a coaching practice
NLP can broadly be described as a type of psychotherapy which has been marketed to the general public using a broad brush approach to solutions, and adopts conveniently broad and simple terms, popular psychology, and pseudoscience to promote its efficacy. As such it has been widely extended to market an extremely diverse range of products from psychotherapy to psychic seduction techniques, as it is likely to be used for the sale of other such products in the future. The ever changing and uncertain nature of NLP’s concepts and theory have led to distrust by conventional fields, but allow it to operate on a powerfully commercial scale without the need for objective proof of its efficacy, and the “flavour of the month” trends and fads occurring within the NLP concern suggest that NLP will go through further alterations and applications in future. Currently (2007) NLP is being utilised within the coaching model and is a powerful change lever towards enabling people to find options and make the real shifts that they want to make.
- Ready, Romilla & Burton, Kate. Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. (ISBN 0764570285)
- O’Connor, Joseph, and McDermott, Ian. Principles of NLP. National Book Network (ISBN 0722531958)
A concise yet thorough introduction to NLP that works from everyday experience back to theory, rather than from theory to practice. This works well compared to many introductions which explain techniques before giving their commonsense background.
- Bandler, Richard & Grinder, John, 1975. The Structure of Magic I. Science and Behavior Books, Inc. (ISBN 0831400447)
Seminal work in Bandler and Grinder’s early development of the process of NLP. Attempts to model successful therapeutic skills using Chomsky’s Transformational Grammar linguistic theory to explain the relationship between a clients speech and the underlying experiences. Introduction of the Meta-Model.
- Andreas, Steve, editor 1979. Frogs Into Princes. Real People Press. (ISBN 0911226192)
The first popular introduction to NLP, it is primarily an edited transcription of a seminar given by Bandler & Grinder in the early days of NLP. While some members of the NLP community still regard this as one of the best and most readable introductions to NLP, it is quite dated and contains little of the many techniques and models that have been subsequently developed. Many others in the NLP community therefore have more regard for it as an historical document within NLP.
- O’Connor, Seymour, 1990. Introducing NLP. Aquarian Press. (ISBN 1855383446)
A no-hype introduction to NLP.
- Andreas, Steve, and Faulkner, 1994. NLP: The New Technology of Achievement. William Morrow. (ISBN 0688146198) An applied introductory book, with exercises.
- Hall, Belnap, 1999. The Sourcebook of Magic. Crown House Publishing Ltd. (ISBN 1899836225)
A concise compendium of the central patterns and techniques of NLP.
- Merlevede, Patrick & Bridoux, Denis, 2001. 7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence: Raise Your EQ with NLP. Crown House Publishing Ltd. (ISBN 1899836500)
A NLP textbook containing most of the models taught during NLP practitioner training, explaining on how to use them to increase your EQ.
- Ready, Romilla and Burton , Kate, 2004. Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. (ISBN 0764570285)
A primer in neuro-linguistic programming for the beginner.