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July 2019

The Orgins of NLP – Neuro Lingustic Programming

The Orgins of NLP – Neuro Lingustic Programming 4592 2584 udham

The History of NLP 

Neuro Linguistic Programming – NLP – originated in 1971, at the University of California, where Richard Bandler, John Grinder and Frank Pucelik first connected. Richard was an undergraduate student of Philosophy and Computer Science, John Grinder was an associate professor of Linguistics, and Frank was a teacher of Gestalt Therapy to students at the university.

All three of the founders had an obsession with human excellence and a passion for human development. This paved the way for deeper exploration into the inner world of ‘geniuses’. They set out to decode how ‘geniuses’ operate, and in doing so, they generated personal change models that can be applied to everyone, which advance individual abilities and set the foundations for personal development.

Initially, Richard and Frank began to organise group training sessions in Gestalt therapy (as created by the famous Fritz Perls). They witnessed amazing changes within their therapy sessions but were unable to identify and analyse the components of their successes, to replicate them. Richard knew that a significant part of the jigsaw was missing. He needed someone to find a way to communicate these processes, to enable the transference of skills. Richard needed the speciality of a linguistic expert – and invited John Grinder to his training to detect the linguistic patterns within their processes. This was the beginning of pattern detection – through analysing the expressions of the mind, the body and linguistic output.

After consecutive patterning successes, Richard and John agreed to exchange expertise. It took John two months to learn the art of therapy by modelling Richard and then he started re-teaching what Richard had taught him. These sessions were called the ‘repeat miracle group’. John’s input as a student, course supervisor and later, as co-leader, was invaluable. The group could now decode the patterns they had learnt, and then recode these patterns to produce rapid and rooted results.

They began to spend time and energy on growing the seeds they had sown. For approximately six years, they held Gestalt sessions with each other on every conceivable problem they had, even analysing their own family problems and restructuring them many times over – searching out any scent of psychodrama from every possible perspective, organising ‘parts parties’ (group therapy sessions) by the hundreds, and conducting dream therapy with every dream of any significance. They evaluated these patterns both verbally and non-verbally, repeatedly refining them, and continually testing the participants for results. They kept practising until they were convinced that a technique or process could not be any further improved.

Through this process, they made a profound discovery. Common misjudgements were made in psychotherapy, and many styles of psychotherapy would fail, more often than not, owing to the precondition psychotherapists used as a basis for therapy. Richard, John and Frank identified that valuing the client’s map of the world was at the core of any effective therapy.

This is when they recognised that they were on the cusp of discovering something far greater than they had anticipated, and NLP was born. The exhilaration felt by the trio during these early times was the driving force in the development of NLP.

These three young men, passionate and excited about what was being created, spent a lot of time modelling the best therapists in their fields. They achieved this through unconscious assimilation in person, watching video recordings, and by using transcriptions and manuscripts to learn therapists’ language patterns. They formalised strategies and procedures as successfully as the leading therapists did, and sometimes, even better.

During 1974 and 1975, Grinder and Bandler continued their pursuit by unconsciously modelling three pioneers of human change: Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. All three were exceptional in the sphere of personal change and were widely acknowledged as geniuses. Each possessed intuitive skills they were unconsciously excellent in demonstrating, yet were totally unaware of their genius. Grinder and Bandler could see the magnificence in the patterns they elicited from these three masterminds.

These exchanges provided the foundation for some of the leading therapeutic interventions available today. The NLP founders learned and experienced every trance phenomenon they found or read about and spent hundreds of hours working with each other and anyone else on whom they could test out these patterns. They would model every person with any form of genius. Through this process, they defined the field of personal development.

Their findings ultimately led to the Meta Model, the Milton Model and other fundamental change models becoming fully recognised. Before long, the knowledge and use of reframing, representational systems and eye accessing cues were increasingly being taught, developed and experimented with. The core components of NLP were well on their way to becoming established, on this journey of human exploration.

Their experiments continued throughout their research phase through modelling/copying, experiencing personally, evaluating, testing, practising and refining everything they believed to be valuable in effecting positive change in the realm of human behaviour.

Gregory Bateson was a world-renowned British anthropologist, writer and expert on communication and system theory, having written on a range of subjects – from biology to cybernetics and psychotherapy. Bateson was known for his development of the double bind theory of schizophrenia. His contribution to NLP was priceless. He described NLP as the first systematic approach to learning to learn: the first applied epistemology process. In his introduction to Grinder and Bandler’s book, The Structure of Magic, he stated: “Richard Bandler and John Grinder have done something similar to what my colleagues and I attempted fifteen years ago.”

In the mid-1980s, NLP was starting to become more and more popular across the globe and people were beginning to apply NLP in many areas such as business, personal development, education, and health.

The Parting of Ways

By the 1980s, John and Richard’s relationship had broken down completely and they were now on different paths within NLP. Many of the original group continued to develop new theories and techniques and contributed books and models to the field of NLP.

Richard Bandler focused on what he valued most: belief models, later creating his Design Human Engineering DHE strategy, developing and refining various applications and patterns with great success and publishing two books – Using Your Brain For a Change and Magic in Action.

With Judith DeLozier, John Grinder formed Grinder Delozier and Associates, focusing more on NLP in business and leaning towards the work of Gregory Bateson and Milton Erickson’s patterns of communication.

In 1983, Grinder and DeLozier created a ‘New Code’ to replace the original or Classic Code of NLP. John focused on the ‘unconscious mind’ and regarded it as more intelligent and supreme than the conscious mind. John and Judith – whom he married – wrote Turtles All the Way Down, setting the platform for what can be described as John Grinder’s next chapter of NLP.

New Code NLP

New Code NLP was developed initially by John Grinder and Judith Delozier, and then, with Carmen Bostic St Clair. Michael Carroll joined the development team, later. John initially wanted to correct coding flaws in Classic Code NLP and recognised the increasing number of NLP Practitioners who, although well-versed and effective in NLP, needed significant help with their own lives. John highlighted that the self-application of New Code patterns is an indispensable part of training for New Code NLP Practitioners.

NLP has undoubtedly stood the test of time and is proven to contain the most transformative set of processes and strategies available in the personal development field. Classic Code NLP, combined with New Code NLP, is a powerful transformational methodology that has contributed to improving the lives of so many people. Its effectiveness and proficiency in providing sustainable change can only be described by those who experience its insights. NLP provides accelerated processes and dynamic applications for producing deep, lasting and natural changes. Its wisdom is as relevant today as when it was first conceived.

John Grinder, Richard Bandler, Frank Pucelik and the first NLP pioneers accomplished far more than they set out to achieve, offering a deeper understanding of what it is to be human beings. They assembled a set of personal change models and tools that surpassed anything previously available in therapy, in their effectiveness.

These trailblazers will forever stand firm as the inventors of the most advanced set of human change techniques, enabling powerful and lasting transformation.

How Can NLP Help Me?

How Can NLP Help Me? 560 420 udham

How Can NLP Help me?

You might be wondering ‘What can NLP do for me?’ or ‘How can NLP help anyone?’ NLP offers ways of influencing your thoughts, feelings and how you communicate, and ways of working your mind to achieve successful outcomes for yourself, others – and for organisational transformation, too.  You can get help through coaching, therapy or training in NLP – but first of all, let’s look at how NLP can help.

NLP – its uses

NLP is so versatile and adaptable, it can be useful in many contexts, for many purposes – and with many different people. From supercharging your leadership qualities or leading a team through organisational charge, to helping a child with their spelling or supporting a veteran with PTSD – there is something for everyone.  Whether you use NLP on yourself in daily life, or use it with others in the workplace, NLP is invaluable in helping to improve individual people’s lives, or in enabling groups and organisations to be more effective and productive.

NLP might sound like an unbelievable cure-all, especially to the more sceptical amongst us, but until you try it yourself, you may not appreciate its versatility. Call it your own personal toolbox if you like – although it is even more than that.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. NLP offers a wide range of tools, techniques and attitudes as diverse as the individuals who benefit from them. It is useful in areas like education and training, business leadership, coaching, marketing, sales, health, mental health, sport, arts, and in personal development.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but NLP can help you – or others – to

  • Manage unhelpful emotions like anger and overwhelm
  • Deal with anxiety, stress and depression, including PTSD
  • Build rapport with other people and forge good relationships
  • Communicate well, motivating and inspiring yourself and others
  • Develop fantastic presentation skills
  • Set clear and compelling goals – and achieve them
  • Remove any limiting beliefs and psychological barriers to your success
  • Improve personal or professional efficiency and effectiveness
  • Overcome fears and phobias
  • Improve spelling and address dyslexia problems
  • Give up smoking, lose weight, and make healthy lifestyle choices.

Sounds too good to be true?

Overcoming Problems with Solution-focussed NLP

Through NLP coaching, people learn that there are a number of ways to get beyond their current challenges. Let’s hear about some case studies.

NLP Case Studies

Simone was depressed

She had a lot of stressors in her life – work, health, and family conflicts. She received some clarity through relaxation, chunking up to the higher purpose of what she was doing, and by undertaking the confusion to understanding technique, she got a better perspective, some detachment from the chaos and was able to prioritise tasks by tapping into her inherent abilities in other contexts.

Kelly was promoted to manage her old team

Kelly felt anxious and uncomfortable leading and talking in front of the team she used to be part of. After learning the NLP anchoring technique, she felt confident and capable in addressing them in team meetings. Some further work on distancing and changing negative self-talk, and perceptual positions to appreciate other people’s points of view enabled her to feel that she deserved the role and could excel in it.  The small changes she made had a hugely positive impact on her self-belief, her relationship with her team, and greatly improved productivity all round.

Kevin suffered from almost constant migraines

Kevin had suffered from crippling headaches for several years, that laid him low for 4 days at a time. He had had all manner of clinical tests and scans to try to diagnose and resolve the problem. No drugs worked. Within 5 minutes, he learned to change the submodalities of the headache, and send it far away. The look of astonishment on his face was amazing! His constant migraine had left him instantly, and he had an invaluable tool to take control of the pain if it ever occurred again.

Mike and his boss’s negative relationship

Both seemed to be talking at cross-purposes, and the environment had become so frosty, that Mike was considering leaving. Mike realised that his boss and he had different communication preferences, and with some flexibility, he realised he could adapt his communication to build rapport with his boss. He also recognised that his boss liked to give and receive ‘big picture’ overviews, but Mike was  detail-oriented and had wanted his boss to give him lots of specific information and – believing it was helpful to know, he always gave his boss minute step-by-step details details of what he’d done. This annoyed his boss and made him impatient – he wanted broad-brush, brief and concise updates.

Mike realised that his boss wasn’t being awkward – he was just ‘different’ from himself.  He learned to chunk up to the bigger picture to give his boss overviews of his work, and he developed a way of asking useful questions to get the information he needed to do his job properly. They both developed a better understanding of one another’s needs resulting in a more positive and productive working relationship and a happier environment.

Lesley wanted to lose weight

She was getting married and wanted to look slim for the photos and video. The ‘like to dislike’ technique using submodality change enabled her to address her addiction to crisps! Some visualisation and timeline work enabled her to see her goals, feel how it would be to achieve them, and plan action to achieve her target weight.

These are just a few examples. Millions of people have experienced the amazing changes and positive differences NLP has made to their lives. Overcoming a single issue by using NLP has released amazing growth, enabling them to flourish – and creating their own happiness, health and success in life. 

With so many useful applications and proven impact, NLP really is a transformational set of tools, techniques and attitudes to improve your professional work and your personal life. Whether you want to achieve success yourself, or help others, you will find that even a little knowledge and practice in NLP will be invaluable to you.

If you’re interested in receiving coaching, or finding out more, please get in touch.